In 2nd quarter, Florida tourism rises

More tourists came to Florida in the second quarter of this year than 2009, despite the threat -- and reality, in some places -- of oil washing ashore from the Deepwater Horizon gusher in the Gulf.

An estimated 20.8 million people visited the state between April and June, a 3.4 percent increase from the same time period last year.

The number of domestic visitors, who make up the bulk of Florida tourism, only increased by 2.4 percent. But the state saw 11.9 percent more overseas guests and 10.4 percent more Canadians visiting.

The April 20 BP disaster sent oil to beaches in the Florida Panhandle and threatened the entire state, putting tourism offices on the defensive.

BP paid $25 million to Florida for tourism campaigns and sent another $7 million to Panhandle counties.

Visit Florida, the state tourism bureau, launched a Web effort to give potential visitors a real-time look at the state's beaches, with updated photos, videos, beach and fishing reports and other information.

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