ORLANDO, Fla. - The number of tourists flocking to Florida keeps growing to record numbers. And this time it's a big one.
[RELATED: News 6 Theme Parks page]
Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday during a visit to Disney World that 105 million tourists made their way to Florida last year. That's according to preliminary estimates prepared by Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing arm.
The number beats the previous high of 98.5 million. And it's the fifth year in a row a record number of tourists came to Florida.
The 105 million mark for 2015 beats the goal of 100 million tourists that had been set by Scott, who has pushed for more money for tourism marketing.
“I am proud to announce that Florida has surpassed our tourism goal and welcomed an historic 105 million visitors to our state in 2015," Scott said. "The number of travel-related jobs also reached a record high, with 1.2 million Floridians employed in the tourism industry. Tourism plays an important role in supporting our economy, and we will continue to make strategic investments in the tourism industry to keep Florida on track to becoming first for jobs. With five consecutive record years for tourism, it is time to set our goal even higher, and I look forward to welcoming 115 million visitors to the Sunshine State this year.”
Most of the visitors were from the United States, but millions also came from overseas and from Canada.
“Achieving record visitation for five consecutive years, including reaching 105 million visitors in 2015, is a testament to the strong industry alignment between Visit Florida and our tourism partners. Thanks to the visionary support of Go. Scott and the Florida Legislature, together we have built a solid foundation that will enable us to reach our goal of generating $100 billion in visitor spending by 2020," said John Tomlin, chair of the Visit Florida board of directors.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.