97 Million Reasons to Protect Our Family-Friendly Brand

This week, Gov. Rick Scott announced the great news that Florida’s tourism industry set a new record in 2014 by attracting more than 97 million visitors to our state. Visitors are flocking here, drawn by our beautiful weather, first class hotels, and abundant entertainment attractions – all contributing to our reputation as the most family-friendly destination in the U.S.

That enviable reputation is just one reason No Casinos and a coalition of business, law enforcement and tourism organizations once again will be urging our state legislators to resist overtures by lobbyists for gambling industry conglomerates seeking to profit from our success by building giant casino “destination resorts” in Florida.

“Four consecutive years of record tourism, a stable and growing economy, and a $1 billion-plus budget surplus entering 2015 says it all,” said John Sowinski, President of No Casinos. “Florida has too much to lose to allow mega-casinos or expanded gambling to potentially damage our state’s family-friendly brand.”

Florida sees record tourism in 2014

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 more from Canada, up 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Both were records.

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