With a record 55.2 million visitors (domestic and international leisure, business travelers and meeting attendees) in 2011, tourism generated more than $31.6 billion for the local economy – a new record for visitor spending according to an economic impact study by Tourism Economics. The record spending generated $50 billion in total business sales including indirect and induced impacts in the region. In 2011, visitation increased by 7.2 percent from 51.5 million visitors in 2010, while visitor spending grew 11.7 percent from $28.3 billion in 2010.
According to the report, the 51.4 million domestic visitors to Orlando in 2011 (93 percent of total visitation) represented 87 percent of visitor spending, totaling $27.5 billion. The area’s 3.8 million international travelers accounted for seven percent of visitation, but were responsible for 13 percent of visitor spending, contributing $4.2 billion to the local economy.
Visitor Spending Impacts Local Businesses
The $31.6 billion in visitor spending estimated by Tourism Economics for 2011 supports local employment, industries and business owners. Visitors spent $6.9 billion in restaurants and bars and $6.6 billion in lodging facilities last year. The retail industry received $5.4 billion from visitors while entertainment spending reached $7.4 billion, growing by more than $1 billion in just a year. Visitors spent an additional $670 million more on lodging in 2011 than 2010 and $640 million more on food and beverages.
Travel and Tourism Means Jobs
As Central Florida’s largest industry, travel and tourism accounted for 224,000 direct industry jobs and an additional 143,000 induced jobs for a total employment of 367,000 direct or induced jobs in 2011, up nearly four percent over 2010 while overall; employment in Orlando grew one percent. Visitor-related employment growth was nearly four times greater than that of the economy as a whole. Wages generated through direct industry jobs totaled more than $7.7 billion. Indirect and induced employment added an additional $6.3 billion in wages for a total of $14 billion. The study found that more than one-third (36 percent) of total wage and salary employment in Orlando is sustained by travel and tourism.
Taxes Generated Impact State and Local Governments
According to the report, the tourism industry in Metro Orlando generated $7.4 billion in taxes and fees in 2011. Visitor spending generated $4 billion in state and local taxes ($1.7 billion state and $2.3 billion local). Visitor generated tax receipts rose 6.8 percent over the prior year.
• The $4 billion in state and local taxes generated by Orlando tourism is roughly the same as sales by the Florida Lottery – and requires no payouts
• The $50 billion in total business sales supported by visitors to Orlando is approximately the size of electronics retailer Best Buy
• Orlando direct visitor spending of $31.6 billion is larger than the entire US organic food industry
• Orlando’s direct visitor spending is also larger than ALL internet ad revenues
Tourism Economics, headquartered in Philadelphia, is an Oxford Economics company dedicated to providing high value, robust, and relevant analyses of the tourism sector that reflects the dynamics of local and global economies. By combining quantitative methods with industry knowledge, Tourism Economics designs custom market strategies, project feasibility analysis, tourism forecasting models, tourism policy analysis, and economic impact studies.
Visit Orlando is the branding, sales and marketing organization responsible for positioning Orlando as the destination of choice for leisure and meetings business for the economic benefit of the Orlando region. For more information please visit VisitOrlando.com/research.