Visit Orlando recently announced another record setting year for the "City Beautiful" with 72 million people visiting Orlando in 2017. With an increase of 5.8% over the previous record of 68 million people who traveled to Orlando in 2016, this celebrates Orlando's achievement as the first U.S. city to surpass the 70 million threshhold for tourism activity.
The latest numbers showed the strength of tourism in 2017 — a year where Hurricane Irma shut down the theme parks temporarily and disrupted lives in much of the state and cements Orlando, as the World's favorite destination when it comes to tourism.
Orlando’s record growth was not unexpected given the state of Florida as a whole recorded 116.5 million people in 2017, another all-time high. “Orlando’s record-setting visitation affirms the city as a leader in the U.S. travel industry,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
About 20 new attractions opened in Orlando in 2017, with large scale opening planned for the next several years. Walt Disney World debuted its Pandora — World of Avatar to rave reviews and long lines for its Flight of Passage ride. while Universal Orlando Resort opened it's highly anticipated Volcano Bay water park.
Orlando also attracted national headlines for its restaurants and things-to-do away from the theme park corridor. It hosted the NFL’s Pro Bowl game for the first time in 2017 at Camping World Stadium. An estimated 112 restaurants, resorts and attractions have arrived in Orlando in the past five years, according to Visit Orlando, which is in charge of marketing the tourism for the area.
Revenue from the 6 percent Orange County hotel tax is steadily growing as the visitors stay at short-term rentals. It generated about $255 million in the 2017 fiscal year and is steadily growing. Tourism has lifted the economy and improved the quality of life in Central Florida, said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
The latest unemployment rates in Orange County and Seminole County dropped to 3.2 percent for March, the lowest in more than 10 years, according to figures released last month.
In a recent interview, Garry Walmsley, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor or The Orlando Agency, a Division of Global Real Estate Services stated that in addition to the "Tourism Factor", Orlando is exploding as a region because of assets including creative and technologically advanced economy, forward thinking transportation initiatives and an exceptional quality of life.
From M.L.S. Soccer to the Number One Airport in Florida, a thriving downtown scene and a booming Millennial population, Walmsley stated that "Orlando is not a great place to visit, but it's a great place to invest" ~ visit ThinkYouKnowOrlando.com for additional insight and information.
Source: Visit Orlando