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St. John County sets record tourism numbers for 2013

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Updated: 1/03 10:24 am
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Johns County set record tourism numbers this year and lodging gets a boost in business.

St. Augustine is a historic city that county tourism officials said more than a million tourists travel to every year.

"Its a really beautiful city, (It has) a lot of great food and a lot of great shopping," Allison Reichard said.

Reichard is visiting St. Augustine for the first time.
She said her trip has been amazing and the new record tourism numbers show its a popular destination.

Barbara Golden, St. Johns County Visitors and Convention Bureau communications manager, said the county is pleased with the growth.

"We are just seeing so many more people visiting the destination," said Reichard.

Golden said hotel and motel stays iare up a record 6 percent this year.
Also, available rooms and room revenue is up 17 percent and demand is up 7 spercent over last year.

Golden said the numbers are what helped create nearly 12,000 jobs in the county last year.

"When we have increased visitation, that's not just more money in the hotel rooms but they are buying gas, their buying groceries, they're buying souvenirs," said Golden.

According to Golden, tours and historic museums have also contributed to bringing these tourists into the city
and ask visitors like Reichard if she plans to come back.

"I would love too," said Reichard.

Golden said Florida celebrated its 500th year during 2013, which contributed to the national attention St. Augustine received for the past year.
The record numbers also included other parts in St. Johns County like Ponte Vedra and the beaches area.

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