Florida Needs Long Distance Air Travel to Rebound

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A group of people in a city

Credit: Orlando International Airport

Central Florida took major losses to their tourism revenue after the events of 2020. As the world continues to try to adapt and recover, the leaders of the Visit Florida agency recently expressed areas of concern and shared what they believe Florida will need in order to rebound. Long-distance air travel, especially from other countries, seems to be the key to unlock future tourism success for the Central Florida region.

Related:Florida Pays $198 Million For New Road Next to Disney

Credit: MCO Airport

Theme Parks

The most obvious draw for Central Florida are the theme parks. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando all call the Orlando area home. These theme park resorts have been open with strict health and safety protocols, including mandatory face masks and social distancing regulations, in place.

Visit Orlando has recently launched a new ad campaign to try and boost tourism, but could that be difficult because of the lack of foreign visitors?

While the theme parks have seen some success as they reopened in 2020, a report by the Orlando Business Journal indicates that this spring may be difficult for the Florida tourism industry.

father and daughter wearing masks in front of cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

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In the report, Amy Baker of the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research spoke to local Florida government officials and outlined that, due to the ongoing pandemic, foreign tourists are not expected to head to Florida soon. Because overseas tourists typically spend more money than domestic tourists, this could greatly impact the tourism industry in 2021:

Baker said during a January appearance before state lawmakers that on average, tourists who drive to Florida don’t spend the same amount of time or money as foreign travelers and others who fly into the state.

Credit: MCO Airport

The report continued:

And Baker said while tourism numbers show expected improvements during the coming year, it might not be until 2024 before normalcy returns to the hospitality and leisure industries that have suffered the most from the pandemic.

“So, 2021 will still be low. By the time we hit 2022, you can see we have pretty sharp growth,” Baker said to lawmakers. “From that point forward, we think it’ll be more slow recovery, but that we should be approaching normal enough to say that we’ve recovered by 2024. So, that’s our current expectation.”

United Airlines
Credit: United

It is good to know that Baker is predicting greater growth in 2022. Due to the virus there are still travel restrictions in place, so before you book your trip to Orlando, be sure and check with your government on any restrictions that may be in place.

While the spring may be slow in 2021, Disney World is hosting a big celebration for its 50th anniversary. Hopefully, that can help draw in foreign tourists as cases also hopefully continue to decrease globally with the implementation of vaccines.

Will you be visiting Central Florida this Spring? Or are you waiting for 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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