The Real Deal Miami

Tourist numbers drop

February 17, 2009 11:46AM

Florida got fewer visitors in 2008 than the previous year, the first decline in seven years, according to state data. Visit Florida, which tracks tourism data, said a sharp decline in visitors in the second half of the year resulted in a net 2.3 percent drop from 2007, although the state was headed for a 2.9 percent increase based on the first six months of the year. The economic downturn has cut sharply into leisure visits, said Bud Nocera, president and CEO of the agency. The state had 82.5 million visitors in 2008.