Mayor Jerry Demings and the Orange County Task Force met today to discuss progress made thus far since the state of Florida had moved into Phase One of reopening this past Monday, May 4th.
While much of the meeting was focused on expanded testing and business compliance under the new distancing guidelines set by Governor Ron DeSantis, there was some discussion about tourism at large and how Orange County is looking at this “pivotal part” of their economy.
When asked about local theme parks, which would include Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld, Demings noted that they “don’t have a timeline yet” for when they will reopen, but stressed the importance of these parks to their local economy.
Demings pointed out that he is encouraged by the news of Shanghai Disneyland, which is set to reopen on May 11th, and will be keeping a “close watch” on their progress once they reopen.
Earlier in the day before Mayor Demings gave his press briefing, the full Orange County Task Force led a meeting to provide insight on the work done thus far and their plans moving forward. The Bringing Back Tourism group noted the “pent up demand” behind the major attractions in Orange County, and the possibility that tourists will be more willing to drive further than they ever have before. It was noted that approximately 70% of the people who visit Orlando have the ability to drive there, when discussing the differences in the market of visitors who fly versus the market of visitors who drive.
George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando, spoke on the significance of Shanghai Disneyland reopening and that the entire world is waiting to see when the Orlando theme parks will follow suit. Aguel went on to say that he expects Americans to take shorter vacations, both from the health crisis and the financial crisis the country is also set to face in the months to come.
Have you been following along with the reports coming out of the Orange County Task Force? What do you make of today’s remarks? Let us know in the comments!
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