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Florida tourism marks record third quarter

This undated photo provided by the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce shows visitors on the West Gulf Beach on Sanibel Island in Florida. Visit Florida said Thursday that the state had a record number of third-quarter visitors this year. (AP Photo/Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce/David Meardon Photography)
This undated photo provided by the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce shows visitors on the West Gulf Beach on Sanibel Island in Florida. Visit Florida said Thursday that the state had a record number of third-quarter visitors this year. (AP Photo/Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce/David Meardon Photography) AP

Florida had its busiest ever third quarter for tourism, officials said Thursday.

Between July and September, an estimated 23.7 million people visited the state, according to preliminary numbers from Visit Florida. That’s a 3.5 percent increase over the same time a year ago.

For the first nine months of the year, tourism numbers increased 2.5 percent to 73.9 million.

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