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Visitors to Orlando generated $31.1 billion for the local economy in 2007, according to a new economic impact study by Global Insight Inc.
In 2007, visitation increased by 2%, from 47.8 million visitors in 2006 to 48.7 million in 2007, while visitor spending grew 4.7% from $29.7 billion in 2006.

Based on domestic visitor volume provided by D.K. Shifflet & Associates in June, Global Insight estimates that the 45.9 million domestic visitors – 94% of total visitation — to Orlando in 2007 represented 82% of total spending, or $25.6 billion.

The area’s 2.8 million international travelers accounted for 6% of visitation, but were responsible for 18% visitor spending, contributing $5.5 billion to the local economy.

Other data from the study shows

  • Tourism accounted for 399,000 jobs in 2007, generating wages of about $17 billion.
  • Among domestic travelers, leisure visitation increased 2.4 percent to 35.3 million, and business travel declined 0.5 percent to 10.6 million visitors. Of the business travel segment, overnight visitors attending meetings and conventions declined by 4.5 percent to 3.8 million.
  • Total visitation to Orlando by Florida residents totaled 24.5 million in 2007, up 2.4% from 2006. Visitation by non-Florida residents increased 1% to 21.4 million.
  • The average leisure travel party in 2007 consisted of 3.2 visitors who spent an average of $1,867 in Orlando over the course of 3.2 nights. Families with children accounted for 46% of domestic leisure travelers, an increase from 39% in 2006. Sixty-six percent of domestic leisure travelers visited a theme park, making the attractions the top activity for visitors.
  • In 2007, 64% of domestic overnight visitors stayed in a hotel or motel, a decrease from 65% in 2006. Timeshare usage remained unchanged from 13% in 2006. The proportion of domestic overnight visitors staying in a home, apartment or condominium remained unchanged at 17%.
  • Total international visitation increased 5.7% to 2.8 million in 2007, but short of the record year in 2000 when international visitation was at 3.7 million. With increasing competition in both domestic and global travel markets, Orlando’s share of overseas arrivals to the United States has declined from 11.4% in 2000 to 8.6%% in 2007.
  • With 990,000 visitors in 2007, the United Kingdom accounted for 48.2% of Orlando’s 2 million overseas arrivals, making it Orlando’s top international market. Canada followed, with 783,000 visitors, a 13% increase from 2006.

Global Insight Inc. is an international economic research, analysis and forecasting company headquartered in Waltham, Mass.

Source: Biz Journal Sept 2008