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.”
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%.
“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.”
“This is a significant milestone in Orlando International Airport’s history because it shows the sustained strength of the Central Florida economy,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “With over 47 million annual passengers and growing, we must continue to plan and build for future growth, following the vision that was established more than three decades ago.”
Orlando held onto its No. 1 spot in 2018 as the top city for meetings and conventions in the U.S., according to Cvent, who has produced an annual list of top convention cities since 2012. The meetings and conventions management technology provider tracked meeting activity from January-December 2017 to compile its 2018 list.
The Games will be comprised of 15 Olympic-type team and individual sports, as well as 5 potential demonstration sports. The Games will be hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the YMCA Aquatic Center, the U.S. Tennis Association campus in Lake Nona, and other sporting facilities across the Orlando area.
“We are on track to have a record breaking summer at Orlando International Airport. Our passenger growth is reflective of the value placed on this community by our travelers,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “At our current pace we should surpass 47 million annual passengers by the end of summer.”
“Orlando International is busier than we have ever been before, we are also now the busiest airport in the state of Florida. With our balanced increase in both domestic and international visitors, 2017 proved to be yet another record breaking year, reflecting the dynamic business activity of the region,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.