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Florida Tourism Numbers Show Slight Gain In 2012

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Lia Calavro (L) and Jamie Sadler sit in the sun while laying on the beach on May 10, 2012 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Lia Calavro (L) and Jamie Sadler sit in the sun while laying on the beach on May 10, 2012 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida tourism officials say numbers for the first quarter of the year are up slightly over the same period a year ago.

Visit Florida, the state’s marketing division, released numbers Wednesday showing a 2.4 percent boost for the first three months of the year. Those 23.4 million visitors included a 2.7-percent increase in Canadian tourists and a 13-percent increase in people visiting from overseas.

Tourism employment showed growth for the 24th straight month, with the industry adding more than 19,000 jobs in the past year.

Tourism is Florida’s leading industry, generating $60 billion annually and employing more than a million people.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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