Capital City Visitors

Gov. Jeb Bush is praising Florida's continuing growth in the tourism industry. Many Florida companies suffered deep losses in the days and months following 9/11. That same report is projecting more growth for 2004, but there's even more good news for this area.

Tallahassee and Leon County are reporting a large jump in visitors, more than 14 percent, which is high for this area. What's more is Tallahassee is one Florida city that doesn't rely on tourism money.

The capital region's main source of income is state government, according to the Chamber of Commerce, but the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitor Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce are reporting high numbers in tourism.

"When you see a tourism pop, you see an influx and multiplier effect. It usually increases dollars and it's wonderful for the community," said Sue Dick.

The bureau says there are specific reasons why this increase has happened.

"Number one, the Red Hills Horse Trial really did a good job promoting themselves. Plus Seven Days of Opening Nights," Mike Bristol said.

The bureau also says a three-year contract with the Good Guys Car Show helped fill hotels and restaurants for a few days.

"Tourism effects our retail, our vendors and retailers get to make money from tourist, and that's great for people in our community."

According to visit Florida, Tallahassee's not alone, the whole state of Florida is reporting an increase in tourism projected to continue into 2004 and create more jobs.