Florida is home to some of the most famous theme parks and tourist attractions in the world.
21 November 2012
US visa rates contribute to Florida’s record year
Florida's multi-billion dollar tourism industry is on course for a record year - helped along by US visa holders - with as many as 22 million people visiting the state in the third quarter alone.
Florida remains one of the most popular destinations for domestic tourism due to its 600 mile coastline and numerous theme parks but it is the contribution of international tourists visiting on a US visa that have helped the state reach record highs.
The American government has recently made changes to US visa and immigration policy which make it easier for citizens of certain countries - particularly China and Brazil - to visit the US. And the changes are beginning to pay dividends.
The latest tourism statistics show a 35% increase of tourists during the summer months compared to the same time last year and while American tourists still make up the vast majority of visitors - almost 19 million - an increase in international travellers is being cited as the catalyst for record levels.
Will Seccombe, chief executive of Visit Florida, said the 'healthy' growth can be attributed to an improving balance between international and domestic visitors.
Tourism remains the Sunshine State's largest and most lucrative industry thanks to the world's largest theme park resort - the World Disney Resort - as well as several others such as the Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.