ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Tourist Development Council met on Friday where members received updates and an economic outlook after emergence of the COVID-19 delta variant.
Sean Snaith, who is the director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness, said there has been a robust recovery over the last 18 months.
“I’m very pleased and surprised to see the progress that we’ve made,” Snaith said. “Not that we’re necessarily all the way back, but we’re further back than most of us would have imagined.”
The Orange County Convention Center reported its best quarter since the pandemic began, but Executive Director Mark Tester said there are still challenges in the labor market.
“We posted 150 jobs. We’ve been able to fill about 60 of them right now. So, we still are in need of additional bodies,” Tester said.
Central Florida is also looking forward to a resurgence in travel from abroad.
“I believe with the international travel restrictions being reduced is going to bode well for our international travel. Our domestic travel was already strong,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
Demings said an increase in vaccinations has led to a recent decline in cases, which can only improve tourism numbers going forward.
“We will, sooner than later, be able to contain the spread of the virus here in our community,” Demings said.
The Tourist Development Council is next scheduled to meet Dec. 3 where members will get a clearer picture of tourism heading into 2022.