Orlando tourism money generated for local economy hits new record

Tourism increase reaches new record of 55.2 billion visitors

ORLANDO, Fla. - According to an economics study from Tourism Economics, Orlando tourism in 2011 reached a new record, generating over $31.6 billion for the local economy in visitor spending.

A record of 55.2 million visitors was also recorded in 2011, which is 7.2 percent higher than the previous year. The record-breaking spending generated $50 billion in total business sales, including indirect and induced impacts in the region, increasing by 11.7 percent from 2010.

The record also shows tourism's impact on local businesses. Restaurants and bars received $6.9 billion from visitors last year, while lodging facilities received $6.6 billion. Visitor spending in the retail industry reached $5.4 billion. Entertainment, meanwhile, grew by $1 billion in one year. From 2010  to 2011, visitors spending increased by $670 million more on lodging and $640 million on food and beverages.

Tourism Economics also reports that travel and tourism accounted for a total of 367,000 direct or induced jobs in the tourism industry in 2011, up nearly four percent from 2010. Employment in Orlando grew by one percent overall.

The report found that over one-third of total wage and salary employment in Orlando is sustained by travel and tourism. Additionally, employment growth in the Orlando tourism industry was nearly four times greater than that of the economy as a whole.

According to the report, seven percent of visitors were international travelers and were responsible for 13 percent of the visitor spending. This alone contributed $4.2 billion to the local economy.

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