Out-of-state tourists spending more, Visit Florida says

Out-of-state tourists spent $108.8 billion in Florida in 2015,  an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year, according to a study released Wednesday by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm.

A plane comes in for a landing at Miami International Airport. (Getty Images)

A plane comes in for a landing at Miami International Airport. (Getty Images)

The study, which was conducted over a six-month period in 2016, found that out-of-state tourists spent an average of $300 million per day in Florida, while generating $11.3 billion in state and local taxes and $13.1 billion in federal taxes in 2015.

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“This study offers a much more comprehensive and accurate picture of the true economic impact of Florida’s out-of-state visitor spending and what it tells us is that the tourism industry is driving the growth of the Florida economy,” said Visit Florida President & CEO Ken Lawson.

The money spent by out-of-state tourists supported roughly 1.4 million jobs in Florida in 2015, the tourism agency said.

The report comes weeks after Visit Florida longtime President and CEO Will Seccombe resigned amid a controversy over a $1 million contract between the public-private marketing agency and Miami rapper Pitbull to promote the state. 

The Visit Florida board this month picked state Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson to lead the tourism agency.