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Florida sets another tourism record with 112.8 million visitors in 2016

Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming the highest amount of visitors in the state’s history with 112.8 million visitors in 2016. This is the sixth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 106.6 million in 2015 by 5.9 percent. Tourism jobs also hit a record high in 2016 of 1.4 million jobs, exceeding the previous record in 2015.



Sustained growth in international tourism despite challenges

Demand for international tourism remained robust in 2016 despite challenges. International tourist arrivals grew by 3.9% to reach a total of 1,235 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) traveled internationally last year compared to 2015. 2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth following the 2009 global economic and financial crisis.



VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors appoints Ken Lawson as new President & CEO

VISIT FLORIDA announced the appointment of Ken Lawson as its new President and CEO.  The announcement was made following a unanimous vote of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors during a meeting this morning in Orlando.  Lawson, who currently serves as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), will assume his new position with VISIT FLORIDA on January 11.



Ned Walker returns to Delta as Chief Communications Officer

John E. “Ned” Walker, who served as Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer during a period of growth and transition for the company, is returning to Delta in a similar position with increased responsibilities, effective Jan. 1, 2017. He will join as a member of the Delta Leadership Committee and will report to Chief Executive Officer Edward H. Bastian.



Houston to host the 23rd. World Petroleum Congress in 2020

Huge win for Houston. Delegates of the World Petroleum Council (WPC) voted Thursday to bring the World Petroleum Congress to Houston in 2020. The vote followed the Houston WPC Bid Committee’s final presentation this week in Bahrain. Houston was competing against Vancouver for the global event that’s expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees from nearly 70 nations and direct expenditures of more than $60 million.



Interval International leads the timeshare segment on Facebook

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services, has reached 500,000 fans on Facebook. This milestone makes Interval the first company in the timeshare segment to achieve the half-million mark on this important social network. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market since 1976. Today, Interval's exchange network comprises more than 3,000 resorts in over 80 nations.