Tampa, Florida -- Governor Rick Scott spent the morning under a roller coaster at Busch Gardens talking about record tourism numbers. leading to more than a million jobs.
But I wanted to ask the leaders there a bigger question: How do we keep that momentum going?
Gov. Scott was flanked by charts that show the state's tourism stats -- in number of visitors and how much they spend -- going in the right direction. The results are record-setting.
"Every 85 tourists is another job. So we love more and more tourists here," Scott said. "Plus they pay a lot of sales tax. They help us put more money into education and things like that."
It helped increase the flood of tourists coming to Florida to a record 26.7 million in the first quarter of 2014. In the Tampa Bay area alone, tourists spent an all-time-high of more than $9 billion in 2013.
According to Visit Florida, 26.7 million visitors is the state's highest quarterly total. The state's tourism arm says the number of direct, travel-related jobs also was at a record high with 1.12 million Floridians employed in the industry.
"It's always about bringing more and more visitors here," he replied. "So, we've got transportation issues that we have to work through. More hotels. Our partners -- our attractions like Busch Gardens continue to diversify."