The main industries of the Florida economy are tourism, general services, financial services, trade, transportation and public utilities, manufacturing and construction. The state of Florida is one of only nine states that does not have a personal income tax. The sales tax imposed on various products (not on food or drugs) varies in each county with most of the counties have a sales tax of 6%.
A record 97.3 million visitors traveled to Florida in 2014, the fourth consecutive record year, according to preliminary estimates Monday by Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation.
Tourism increased 3.9 percent over 2013, Visit Florida said. The previous record was 93.7 million tourists in 2013.
Last year, about 11.5 million visitors came from overseas, with 3.8 million visitors more from Canada, up 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Both set new records.
The tourism industry of Florida has a tremendous economic impact on the Floridian economy bringing in $57 billion a year. The warm climate and sun draws over 97 million visitors to Florida a year. The main tourist entertainment destinations are Miami Beach, Walt Disney World’s magic kingdom in Orlando, Bush Gardens in Tampa, SeaWorld in Orlando, Universal Studios in Orlando, and Miami Seaquarium.
In Broward County, 14 million travelers visited last year, spending $11.4 billion, according to data from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. That was up from 13.4 million visitors and $10.6 billion in spending in 2013. In Broward County hotels were 77.8 percent full in 2014, compared with 74.6 percent occupancy in 2013. The county’s average daily room rate, rose to $ 126.94 last year from $119.38 a year before.
Palm Beach County is forecast to see more than 6.24 million visitors in 2014, up from 6 million the year earlier. In this county hotel occupancy also climbed in 2014 to 73.4 percent from 71.6 percent in 2013. The average daily rate was $155.76 in 2014, from $145.78 in 2013.
Miami-Dade County also had a higher occupancy rate of 78.3 percent with an average daily rate of $185.12. This compared with 77.4 percent and $174.90 in 2013.
It also appears that Florida tourism in 2015 will set record highs as 28.4 million people visited Florida in the first quarter of 2015. This was a 6.2 percent increase over last year’s first quarter. This was larger than any other first quarter in history of this state. In the first quarter of 2015, 2.9 million visitors came from overseas and 1.7 million came from Canada. 23.8 million people came from other U.S. states.
Because of the large increase in tourism, 1.2 million Floridians were employed in the tourism industry, another a record high.
Florida’s Governor Rick Scott says Florida is on course to pass the magical 100 million visitor mark this year after announcing the 2015 record first quarter number of Florida visitors. Arrivals. « We are excited to start 2015 off with our biggest quarter ever, which puts us on pace to exceed our goal of 100 million visitors to Florida this year, » Scott said.