Tourists Spent a Record $71.8 Billion in Florida in 2012

Florida's economy might not exactly be fully recovered, but one of our main industries broke a record last year. Tourists spent a combined $71.8 billion in Florida in 2012. That's an all-time record, and a 6.8 percent increase from 2011, which was also a record year.

According to Visit Florida, 90 million people visited Florida last year. That includes 10.2 million overseas visitors and 3.6 million Canadians, don't ya know. All in all, the tourists spent a combined 500 million vacation nights in the state.

Tourists spent $67.2 million in Florida in 2011. Before then, the last record-setting year was in 2007, when tourists spent $65.5 billion. Tourism dollars fell during the recession but are once again improving.

"Florida's tourism industry is critical to Florida families as it serves as a vital source of revenue to the state and a key driver of employment -- and that's why our Florida Families First Budget commits $75 million to Visit Florida, so we can better grow jobs and opportunities for Florida families," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.

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Kyle Munzenrieder