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Orlando now the nation's most visited travel destination

The front entrance to Sea World Orlando
The front entrance to Sea World Orlando
Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

It seems that Central Florida is back from its tourism hibernation.

According to the Orlando Sentinel on April 9, Visit Orlando, the tourism board that markets the area to tourist, reported that about 59 million people visited Central Florida in 2013, the highest number of visitors ever recorded by the tourism agency and a three percent increase over 2012, when Orlando was visited by 57 million people.

Orlando now holds the title as the most visited city in America, and with the boom in tourism infrastructure, Orlando is expected to sit on the top spot for the foreseeable future.

George Aguel, the President and CEO of Visit Orlando, told the Sentinel that the strong tourism numbers reflect the strong global marketing and sales efforts by the tourism agency.

The economic impact the increase in visitors had on Metro Orlando is not yet known, but judging by 2012 standards, the economic impact on the region is expected to be significant. According to Visit Orlando, the tourism industry generated more than $52 billion in total economic impact in the region.

About one-in-three jobs in Central Florida -- about 380,000 -- are directly linked to the tourism industry, which represents 20 percent of Central Florida's workforce.

"For more updates on what's going on in Central Florida and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions."

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