Florida tourism numbers down

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – The number of visitors to Florida dropped in the third quarter of 2009.

According to VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing group, an estimated 18.5 million people visited Florida between July and September of this year. That equates to a 1% drop over the same period in 2008.

Of that number, 16.3 million were domestic visitors, which represents a 0.8% decline from Q3 2008.

But visits by Canadians increased by an estimated 5.6%.

Since the beginning of the 2009, an estimated 60.8 million visitors came to the Sunshine State, a drop of 2.3% from the previous year.

But travel within the state by Florida residents has grown, increasing by about 1.3 million since the beginning of the year.