“As the busiest airport in Florida we continue to track and closely monitor our growing passenger totals,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Not only is each monthly increase a travel record for us, it also re-affirms the value and importance of having the facilities and staff to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers to our region.”
Kingwood International Resorts has purchased the AAA Four Diamond-rated Reunion Resort and released an ambitious expansion plan for the Disney-area golf destination. Kingwood announced plans to make significant investments in Reunion Resort, including the addition of 1,200 rental accommodations, a new 400-room hotel with convention and meeting facilities to enhance the resort’s condominium and private home rentals.
Being able to move guests at a much faster rate would make vacations smoother and help improve the Orlando experience. “We’ve been working with U.S. Customs & Border Protection on a facial recognition system for international arrivals,” Brown said during Orlando Business Journal’s Feb. 8 Making the Connection: Smart Cities, Smarter Transportation luncheon at the airport. “The next step is to install a camera that actually can take a family at one time and process them in the system.”
It’s no surprise for those of us that call “The City Beautiful” home, that we’re now seeing expanded development options for Baby Boomers through an abundance of newly announced Active Adult (55+ communities), for those looking to take advantage of the pleasant and serene living atmosphere which is perfect for senior citizens in their retirement age.
The passenger numbers for 2018 have been counted and once again Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the busiest airport in the state of Florida with a record 47.7 million annual passengers, up 6.9 percent over 2017. MCO surpassed 150 non-stop domestic and international destinations in 2018, which contributed greatly to the airport’s increased airline activity, seat availability and passenger traffic numbers.
Tourism annually generates approximately $71 billion in economic impact and supports roughly 449,000 jobs (41% of Orlando’s workforce). Visitor spending, in the neighborhood of $45 billion, provides more than $2 billion in state taxes and $3 billion in local taxes. Also, since 2009, visitation has increased 55%, while visitor spending is up 75%.
The Orlando region is No. 1 in the nation for job growth for the fourth consecutive year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) continued its trajectory as the fastest growing job market in the country for 2018. Forbes cited Orlando’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) job growth in recent years as one contributing factor, explaining “Orlando (is) actually now adding STEM jobs at a faster clip than the Bay Area metros."
“As the first water park in the world to complete the training and become a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is proud to provide fun and memorable experiences through exceptional service,” said David Heaton, Vice President of Aquatica Orlando in a statement. “We continually strive to create safe and meaningful experiences for all of our guests, and we are committed in our efforts to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs.”