ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Rick Scott encouraged leaders from Florida's No. 1 industry on Wednesday to set a goal of luring 100 million tourists to the Sunshine State next year.
Scott told hundreds of leaders of Florida's tourism industry that the goal was feasible, given that a record 90 million people visited the state last year.
"A hundred million tourists next year would create a lot of jobs," Scott said during a dinner banquet at the 46th annual Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism.
The three-day conference is at a Universal Studios hotel in Orlando. "We have every reason to believe we can get to 100 million next year," he said.
Florida's visitors spent a record $72 billion in 2012, an almost 7 percent increase over the previous year.
Scott credited the uptick in tourism to increased funding for Visit Florida, the state's quasi-public tourism marketing agency. Scott asked lawmakers earlier this year to set aside $75 million in this year's budget for Visit Florida to pay for its marketing and advertising efforts.