Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013
“Florida tourism” paints vivid images of theme parks, resorts, state parks and the finest beaches the world has to offer. Sailfish, marlins and mackerel don’t immediately come to mind, but recreational fishing is an important part of the tourism industry in Florida, too. Florida is uniquely positioned to attract visitors to the state for recreational fishing, as the natural fresh and salt waterways are truly world-famous. Each year, millions of Americans and international visitors come to Florida to spend time fishing on the waterways.
Florida leads the nation in total angler expenditures, where nearly $5 billion was spent just last year. According to a recent report by the Florida TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida, Florida: The Fishing Capital of the World, more than 80,200 jobs result from the state’s recreational fishing industry.
More than half of the money that enters Florida’s economy from the fishing industry is spent on trip-related expenses, such as food, lodging and transportation, which benefit the traditional tourism industry. This huge economic impact does not include the commercial fishing industry, which provides its own tremendous value to Florida’s economy, and supports thousands of jobs.
The demand for quality fishing already exists, and Florida should make the most of it. Did you know that approximately 46 million Americans fish, which is more than those who play golf and tennis combined? There are many opportunities for tourism expansion in Florida, but recreational fishing is one that continues to steadily grow. The number of people fishing in the Sunshine State grew by 24 per cent, from 2006-2011.
In response to this growth, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission recently added four additional Florida license-free fishing days Oct. 12, Nov through. 29-30, and Dec. 28 2013:. License-free fishing days encourage visitors and residents alike to participate in this multi-billion industry. From now on, Florida will host eight license-free fishing days each year.
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