TALLAHASSEE, Florida - Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill repealing a law requiring an International Driving Permit for all foreign drivers visiting Florida.
"Florida is committed to being the number one tourist destination in the world, and signing this bill into law will ensure that our international visitors continue to come to Florida," Governor Scott said. "Florida has had two consecutive years of record visitation to Florida, which has created thousands of jobs for Florida families."
Representatives from AAA-The Auto Club Group and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) also joined Governor Scott in signing this bill into law.
"Effective immediately, Canadians in Florida can go back to doing what they have always been able to do - drive with peace of mind in the Sunshine State using their provincial driver's license," said Jeff Walker, CAA Vice President of Public Affairs. "CAA is pleased that the voices of its members and others were listened to by state officials, and that the state of Florida has removed any uncertainty."
According to VisitFlorida, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, Canada is the number one international market for Florida, with 2012 experiencing a 7.3% increase in visitors versus 2011, recording 3.6 million Canadian visitors. Preliminary data suggests that roughly 1,583,000 Canadians drove to the Sunshine State, representing 44% of all Canadian visitors.
As the Sunshine State's # 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 89.3 million visitors to Florida in 2012, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2011. This represents a record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 87.3 million in 2011. The number of direct travel-related jobs in 2012 was also a record high, with 1,030,600 Floridians employed in the tourism industry.