Fewer tourists are soaking up Florida’s rays.
The number of visitors to a state driven by tourism fell 2.8 percent last year to 39.9 million from a record 41 million in 1993.
Officials in the $32 billion industry say some travelers stayed away because of the killings of nine foreign tourists from late 1993 into 1994. Others said Florida also was hurt by competition.
“People are assuming that Florida is becoming too commercial and crowded, and that’s one reason they’re staying away,” said Robert Cornwell, marketing director of the Florida Association of R.V. Parks and Campgrounds.
The news wasn’t all bad. Sales tax revenues on tourism and recreation were up 2.8 percent for the year through November.