The Texas House approved legislation on Wednesday that would limit the number of people allowed to visit a beach resort in southernmost Florida, as part of a push to curb a rising number of tourists visiting the southernmost parts of the state.
The legislation passed on a 26-10 vote, with several Democrats joining Republican members to support it.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Allen, R-Fort Worth, would limit people from the Florida Keys and the southern portion of the Panhandle to two people per day.
It would also limit visitors from visiting resorts in South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana to a maximum of one person per day, as well as from Florida Keys to the Outer Banks.
“The southernmost portion of Florida is becoming increasingly popular,” Allen said.
“I’m concerned about the impact that this legislation could have on the tourism industry in the area.”
Allen, who has been a champion of beach tourism in Florida, has also called for the state to limit visitors to the Bahamas and other Caribbean destinations.
In 2016, more than 6,000 people traveled to the state from the Bahamas in an average of six days, according to data from the tourism commission.
That was an increase of more than 12 percent from the year before.
Allen has also pushed to limit the numbers of visitors to tourist destinations like Grand Bahama and the Bahamas.
He recently pushed legislation that would have prevented the state of Florida from allowing travelers from the U.S. Virgin Islands to travel to the island.
Allen said the legislation was needed because of a rising tide of people who want to visit the coastal areas of the Sunshine State.
“When I see more and more of the tourism coming from this area, and the number is so large, I think it’s time for us to take action,” he said.