55.1 Million Visit Orlando

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando News |

Visit Orlando recently announced that Orlando welcomed a record-breaking 55.1 million visitors last year up  7.2% more than 2010’s record 51.4 million.

So by those numbers, we’re the nation’s top destination, though other draws such as New York (it says it passed the 50 million mark last year, with 50.5 million visitors) might quibble, because Orlando includes multiple counties (Orange, Osceola and Seminole) in the count whereas New York counts its five boroughs.

Orlando’s domestic visitor volume is calculated by D.K. Shifflet & Associates.  International visitors are counted by the U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries says Visit Orlando says.

It also says domestic visitation (business & leisure) accounted for 51.3 million visitors, a 7.5% increase over 2010 and a record for any U.S. destination; international travel totaled 3.8 million, an increase of 3.5% from 2010. Orlando is the first destination in the country to welcome more than 55 million visitors and remains the most visited destination in the USA.

Of course, the folks in New York don’t seem too happy with that and Julie Wood, deputy press secretary to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “Visit Orlando counts travelers to three counties and 36 different cities and towns outside of the city of Orlando. When we count, we don’t add Newark, New City, New Rochelle, New Hope, New Haven or anywhere else to our total – we only include visitors to New York City. All on their own, the five boroughs attracted 50.5 million visitors last year – a record number. New York City remains the No. 1 one overseas destination in the U.S., capturing 33% of the market share – the most of any destination.”

Visit Orlando spokeswoman Denise Spiegel returned fire by saying: “The majority of our hotels and all of our major attractions are within a 20 mile tourism corridor, not spread throughout the three county area, making the boroughs verses county comparison irrelevant. And the average consumer has no idea which borough or county they are in. They are there to visit the destination – New York or Orlando.” Quite.

Other Orlando stats:

•Visitation from Canada, Orlando’s top international market, was up 5.7% to 1,015,000 travelers in 2011 compared to 960,000 in 2010

•Domestic leisure visitors were up 8.3% to 41.4 million, representing 75% of all visitors

• Overnight convention-group meeting visitation was 3.3 million, up 2.7%

•Hotel room occupancy was up 5.8% to 67.6% (Interestingly, occupancy in destinations such as NYC and Las Vegas tends to be higher, but those areas are more compact.)

Interestingly no figures are available from Visit Florida  for visitors to Orlando who rent vacation homes but Osceola county reported an increase of approximately 25% in sales tax figures while Polk county consistently reports that 55% to 60% of it’s sales tax income is collected from the vacation rental industry.

All this goes to prove that Orlando is THE place to visit for family fun or business travel. There’s so much to do in the area aside from the theme parks and in tomorrow’s blog we’ll touch on the other side of Orlando as we take a look at everything there is to do in Kissimmee.

One Response to 55.1 Million Visit Orlando

  1. Wow! I had no idea Orlando was the top destination in America. 55M is a lot of people. I guess the fact that Orlando includes 3 counties is a little unfair when compared to New York, but still, 55M coming to visit one area is a lot!

    Alex Johnston
    June 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

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