Fla. tourism down for the first time in 7 years

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's tourism industry is taking a hit in the sour economy. It's the first time in seven years that tourism has dropped in the popular Sunshine State.

About 82.5 million visitors traveled to Florida in 2008, that's about 2.3 percent less than 2007. VISIT FLORIDA officials say visits were up the first part of 2008, but started tumbling when news about the economy hit. Officials released the statistics Monday.

More Florida residents are also sticking close to home during the rough economy, taking in-state vacations. Those trips increased by 22.9 percent in 2008.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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