TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s visitation has surpassed pre-pandemic levels shrugging off concerns that the state’s tourism-focused economy would suffer, according to an announcement from Governor Ron DeSantis.

The governor’s announcement was based on VISIT FLORIDA’s estimates which show Florida welcomed a total of 32.5 million travelers in Q3 2021.

“In 2020, the experts thought Florida’s economy would be among the most impacted in the nation because of how important tourism is to our state; instead, we are setting the pace for job creation and visitation in the U.S.,” DeSantis said.

He added, “In just fifteen months, Florida’s visitation numbers have surpassed past pre-pandemic levels, helping drive revenue, job growth, and economic activity to all 67 counties in our state.”

The Governor’s Office says Florida was the only state marketing outside its borders for seven months, seeing steady growth in visitor volume each quarter.

Approximately 1.2 million visitors traveled to Florida from overseas and 85,000 from Canada between July and September of 2021, representing a 597 percent increase from 2020, and a 16.1 percent increase from Q2 2021.

Courtesy of VISIT Florida

“Though the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic may continue to pose challenges, the steps we have taken as an industry and as a state have put us in the best possible position to overcome anything that comes our way,” Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO said.

Virginia Haley who is on the VISIT Florida Board of Directors said, “Q3’s visitation numbers are amazing news for our tourism industry and the entire state.”