TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sunshine State saw record tourism in the third quarter of 2022, extending to its overall visitation numbers surpassing pre-pandemic levels for its fifth consecutive quarter, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday.

According to VISIT FLORIDA’s latest quarterly visitation estimates, preliminary findings indicate a total of 35.1 million visitors came to Florida during the third quarter of 2022 — That’s a 6.9% increase from Q3 2021 and the highest third-quarter visitation on record, the report added.

Of that total, 32.6 million (about 93.0%) were Domestic visitors and 1.9 million (5.5%) were Overseas visitors.

“We are thrilled to cap off more outstanding growth for Florida’s tourism industry in the third quarter of 2022,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “Even as more destinations have become available, Florida has firmly maintained the top spot on every traveler’s list.”

Taking a look at numbers in the hospitality industry, Florida hotel demands in Q3 2022 rose 9.2% from Q3 2021. This marked the third consecutive quarter of growth in rooms sold compared to pre-COVID levels, the visitation report found.

The occupancy rate rose 6.2% to 62.9%, while the average daily rate grew 0.7% to $143.97. There were about 9.2 million hotel room nights sold in Q3 2022, an increase of 9.2% from Q3 2021.

So far this year, Florida has welcomed 104.5 million travelers, an increase of 4.1 percent from the same period in 2019, and over 15.3% more than in 2021.

“Our freedom first policies continue to bring visitors to Florida from across the country and around the world,” DeSantis said. “This increase in tourism will support our entire economy, especially small businesses that have been built from the ground up by hardworking Floridians.”

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