‘Heading in right direction:’ Tourism rebounding in Orange County

Visit Orlando says Orlando exceeding pre-pandemic numbers

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Tourist Development Council met on Friday and got a closer look at the tourism numbers from April through June.

Visit Orlando President and CEO Casandra Matej said Orlando has exceeded pre-pandemic times.

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“The travel confidence is at its peak level since February 2020 and what we found in the research is that people are interested in theme park destinations and that interest has grown by 25%,” Matej explained.

Matej said 90% of American travelers plan to take a trip in the next six months, with many eyeing Orlando.

Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond said tourism is heading towards the right direction compared to last year.

“We started out the pandemic with about $180 million of unrestricted, undesignated reserves,” he said.

Ray Walls, of the Orange County Convention Center, said the center has 41 events scheduled from July to September, including MegaCon.

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They expect 434,000 attendees, with an estimated economic impact of $709.5 million.

Walls said the convention center had nearly 80 events canceled during the pandemic.

The convention center also has open positions now that more events are scheduled for the next couple of months.

“We have these major events coming in and we need their expertise. We need our employees to make these events successful,” Walls said.

The Tourist Development Council is scheduled to meet again on September 24.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!