It is no secret to say that Florida is a tourist-heavy destination. With Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, the hot climate, plenty of beaches, and so much more, there is so much to see and do, no matter who you are.
During the pandemic, travel slowed down…a lot. Still, now, as vaccination rollout has been made available and travel restrictions begin to loosen, Florida’s tourism rates are nearly back to a pre-pandemic state. During the second quarter of the quarter of 2020, Orlando International Airport only saw 700,000 passengers visit. This quarter, the airport has seen 5.4 million tourists enter the state. This totaled a 677.9% increase for Orlando International Airport (MCO) alone.
The Orlando Sentinel reported some recent statistics pertaining to Florida’s visitation:
Florida drew 31.7 million visitors in the second quarter of this year, a 16.3% improvement from the first three months of the year and 223.4% above the second quarter of 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the tourism industry.
Although not all tourists visiting Florida are headed to Orlando and the theme parks, we have definitely seen an increase in Guests and demand at Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney World has already admitted to raising capacity based on demand, and the Park crowds have dramatically increased over the past few months. At Universal, capacity restrictions have been completely lifted.
The total amount of tourists is only 2.2% less than in the pre-pandemic state, showing that tourism is almost completely back to normal. While tourism numbers jump, however, so are the state’s COVID-19 case numbers. With the Delta variant spreading quickly, Florida COVID-19 numbers have risen even higher than they once were during the height of the pandemic.
Because of this, we have seen Disney take steps back and reinstate its mask policy for all indoor locations, attractions, and certain queues. On top of that, both Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California are also mandating vaccinations for all salaried and full-time non-union Cast Members.
What do you think of Florida’s tourism numbers? Let us know in the comments below.