by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 21, 2018

Florida welcomed a record 116.5 million visitors in 2017, despite losing 1.8 million visitors due to Hurricane Irma. The 2017 figure represents a 3.6 percent increase over 2016, making it the largest number of visitors in the state's history, according to Visit Florida. The numbers broke down accordingly: 102.3 million domestic visitors, 10.7 million overseas visitors and 3.5 million Canadians.

Ken Lawson, president and CEO of Visit Florida, called the record, "great news for our state." He added, "Because of the cutting-edge marketing programs at Visit Florida, particularly following Hurricane Irma, we were able to increase total visitation by 3.6 percent over last year, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue for the state. We are continuing to aggressively market the Sunshine State to the rest of the country and the rest of the world."

Fla. Governor Rick Scott said, "Today, I am proud to announce that Florida has continued our record-breaking success by welcoming more than 116 million visitors in 2017. Because of Visit Florida's aggressive marketing efforts to make sure families across the world knew that Florida was open to visitors following Hurricane Irma, we are able to celebrate another record-breaking year for tourism. This is especially great news for the 1.4 million jobs that rely on our growing tourism industry. We will continue to market our state as the number-one global destination for tourism."