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Orlando tourism visitor count hits record for 3rd year

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June 17, 2013

Orlando tourism visitor count hits record for 3rd year

The year after the Great Recession, the number of visitors to Orlando hit an all-time high. And the country’s No. 1 travel destination hasn’t looked back since.

Orlando welcomed 57 million people last year to set a third-consecutive record high, the area’s main visitors bureau announced this week. That included 52.9 million U.S. visitors and an estimated 4.1 million international travelers, for a 3.3 percent overall increase compared with 2011, Visit Orlando said.

George Aguel, Visit Orlando’s president and chief executive officer, said the latest figures for 2012, which he described as “fantastic,” came in even higher than the bureau had expected.

Visit Orlando disclosed the latest head count at this week’s International Pow Wow, a high-profile tourism-industry gathering that took place this year in Las Vegas. The annual trade show and convention, often used for big announcements by theme parks, visitors bureaus and travel companies, was held in Orlando in 2010 and returns in 2015.

At this year’s Pow Wow, Aguel said, “Our destination probably had the most of all ? by far ? to talk about that was new.”

From new retailers at International Drive’s two Premium Outlets and at the upcoming Disney Springs ? Walt Disney World’s renamed “downtown” ? to new attractions in the works at all three major theme-park resorts, Visit Orlando used the area’s latest projects to draw a specific picture for the international tour operators and trade representatiives attending Pow Wow, Aguel said.

The message it sought to convey about Orlando to the industry reps, travel writers and tourism wholesalers at the show: “You’ve got to go there,” he said.

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Source: Sara K. Clarke (2013). Orlando tourism visitor count hits record for 3rd year, Orlando Sentinel?http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-06-13/business/os-orlando-record-year-20130613_1_visit-orlando-george-aguel-head-count published Jun 13, 2013. Viewed Jun 17, 2013.

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