For a country’s economy to thrive, tourism plays a pivotal role. Not only does it increase the value of your local currency, but it also leads to the inflow of technology and infrastructure development. It also eventually leads to better public health care, public education, more job opportunities for the locals, and an opportunity for the tertiary sector to grow.
Orlando also has witnessed advancement within the tech industry, hospitality sector, state-of-the-art facilities, and infrastructure. It is also currently one of the 6 cities in the world to have Disneyland.
Do you ever wonder how once a military town like Orlando turns into a tourist destination? The answer is simple. With the arrival of Walt Disney in the city, the theme park helped create a boom in the tourism industry. Multiple hotels and resorts saw this as an opportunity to establish their businesses to cater to the growing tourism industry. The gradual increase of tourists and visitors to the city further spurred economic and technological developments.
The article below will unfold the reasons why tourism has successfully driven the city’s economy and increased the development in the city.
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Disney World and Other Destinations
The growth in the tourism industry started with the establishment of Disneyland and soon turned the city into the “theme park capital of the world.” Almost one-third of the economy relies on the revenue generated by tourism in the city. With the influx of roughly 59.3 million tourists each year, the economy heavily depends on the money spent by tourists, which in turn is reinvested in the economy through multiple developmental projects. Orange County, Orlando, let alone generates at least half of the tax revenue from tourists and visitors. That proves tourism has greatly impacted the economy and has helped in all sorts of advancements.
Not only that, but the interconnectedness of Disney, Sea World, and Universal Studios has created an exciting space for tourists to enjoy their time. With the increasing number of tourist spots, visitors are more likely to spend more time in one place. And with the increasing influx of tourists, multiple luxury hotels and resorts have also been established, especially around theme parks and other tourist spots. Hotels and the tertiary sector have also benefited from the heavy stream of tourists.
Lenient Tax Laws and a Tax-Friendly State
For the economy to thrive, increasing economic activities through tourism is important. An increase in the tourism industry means more money flows into the economy. Also, more tourists mean more spending in the country in the form of hotel reservations, food, shopping, and entertainment.
You would be surprised to discover that visitors and tourists pay more than $5 billion yearly in state and local taxes. With the help of the local tax laws, these taxes benefit the local businesses and the residents in the form of better education, a health sector, and strong infrastructure. Not only that, but it is also a tax-free state and does not require any income tax to be paid. The lack of taxation and low sales tax attracts more tourists and encourages them to splurge on their vacation, boosting economic activities in the country.
Additionally, Orlando’s tourist development tax is one of the main sources of tax collection. The owners of the resorts are required to add a 6% resort tax in addition to the sales tax in the bill for guests staying for less than 18 days. This tax is then filed monthly to the tax collector’s office. Almost a fund of $260 million is collected each year from shopping, food, tourist attractions, etc., and is then used to reinvest in infrastructure, health care, and multiple other facilities. A few initiatives the tourist developmental tax achieved was Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the $5 million sports bid fund. Not only has this fund been able to increase cultural dissemination through arts and music, but it has also been able to hold national tournaments and championships like football, basketball, WrestleMania, etc. It will be true to say that the heavy influx of tourism has provided the funds to improve and investment back into the economy.
Traveling for business purposes
Due to Orlando’s warm climate throughout the year and its state-of-the-art facilities, it is known to be USA’s second-largest trade show destination. Thousands of business travelers travel each year to attend various conferences and conventions at this pro-business community location.
Orange County Convention Center is known to hold at least 230 events yearly. Having these many events encourages more business tourism and regular city tourism. Business travel increases economic activities by providing business opportunities. The convention center holds shows and conferences to attract business people to establish their businesses. For instance, boat shows, total tech summits, ICSC Florida conferences, and various other conferences are held yearly to promote business and showcase the business landscape to industry leaders.
Since Florida is a tax-friendly zone, it does not require small businesses to pay income tax on their earnings, and the business regulations are kept to a minimum. These tax laws further attract businesses to establish their offices in the city. It eventually also leads to more job opportunities, more inflow of technology, and more spending within the economy.
Attraction technology and its advancements
With the influx of tourism and business opportunities, Orlando has entered the attraction technology market, including virtual and augmented reality. These technological advancements have proven to be very successful in the hospitality industry. An increase in tourism has also been seen as tourists have started leaning more toward technology-based entertainment. For instance, roller-coasters that use attraction technology to provide unique virtual reality experiences are known to be more famous and sought after.
These innovations in entertainment have increased tourism and subsequently boosted economic activities in Orlando.
Although there are multiple reasons why a city’s economy may thrive, tourism and business travel are the two most important reasons for Orlando’s successful economy. With only a 2.7% of unemployment rate in the city, it has proven to be a thriving economy with the growing influx of technology and a high-tech workforce. Tourism has turned a military town like Orlando into a booming economy.