ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – University of Central Florida professor Dr. Sean Snaith addressed members of Orange County’s Tourist Development Council on Friday to discuss how recession could impact the area’s booming travel industry.
Snaith explained the U.S. economy is in what he calls a “pasta bowl recession” due to its low and shallow shape.
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“I think in many ways, I don’t like to ever say a recession is a good thing, but there are some silver linings to this pasta bowl recession,” Snaith said. “It will help the federal reserve bank and its fight to bring down inflation.”
The focus on Friday, though, was on tourism and what a recession would mean for Orange County.
“What we are seeing is consistent with a very mild recession. It’s not going to look anything like 2020, it’s not going to look like 2008, 2009,” Snaith said.
Officials with the Orange County Convention Center said it’s been a busy year. They already have 120 events booked for the 2022-23 fiscal year, estimated to bring in $2.8 billion.
“Really for us this year was really about recovery and really from February on, our events came in extremely strong,” OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester said.
Visit Orlando said the travel industry is resilient, adding that online search demand for flights and hotels for Orlando is strong and growing for the months of October 2022 through April 2023.
“To date, for the year, our sales team has booked 645 events (with) 829,000 estimated attendees, which results in one million room nights, which equates to $1.8 billion in economic impact,” Casandra Matej with Visit Orlando said.
The Tourist Development Council is set to meet again right before the holidays on Dec. 9.
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