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New all time record for tourism across Florida and locally

Posted: 11:16 PM, Aug 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 00:29:02-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Florida’s tourism season broke a record last year.

Governor DeSantis announced today 68.9 million people visited Florida from January to June of 2019, breaking the record of visitors during the season, a 5.6 percent increase from the 2018 numbers.

“The revenue generated by out-of-state visitation has kept taxes low while allowing us to invest in priorities like environmental protection, transportation, and education. We will continue to work to make sure that Florida remains the world’s premier vacation destination,” said Governor DeSantis in a press release.

Lee County also broke records this year. They collected more than $5 million in bed taxes in February with visitors spending up to $3 billion in the county.

“It’s been a great year for the state of Florida, and Lee County is no exception,” said Pamela Johnson, Deputy Director for Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau.

The county found most visitors spent money on water activities, local restaurants, and craft brewing. Owner of Millennial Brewing Company Kyle Cebull says in their second year it was noticeably busier.

Days of the week that wouldn’t have necessarily been this busy were plenty busy. Even the events that we did, were higher level attendance than we were expecting and I think that can all be attributed to the high level of tourism,” Cebull said.

Most tourists who come to Southwest Florida are regulars, which keeps a steady revenue in the tourism industry every year.

“That’s really set us apart from other destinations in that they return again and again,” Johnson said.