- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Tourists are flocking to the Sunshine State in record numbers - at least for now.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that 57.4 million tourists visited the state during the first half of 2016. State officials say that’s the highest six-month total ever and a 4.3 percent increase over the year.

Scott, who touted the numbers during a visit to Southwest Florida International Airport, says the state is on pace to reach the governor’s goal of having 115 million visitors this year.

The new tourism numbers, however, do not reflect what’s happened in the state over the last few weeks.

Some parts of the state have dealt with toxic algae blooms, and 25 people have acquired the Zika virus from mosquitoes in a Miami neighborhood. U.S. health officials continue to warn pregnant women to avoid the infection zone.


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