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Exclusive: Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer on tourism and the city becoming its own brand
POSTED 13 Dec 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
Orlando’s mayor has spoken about the importance of tourism to the theme park capital’s economy, making the city its own brand with attractions feeding back into its economy.

In an exclusive interview with Attractions Management, Buddy Dyer – who has been re-elected as mayor four times since 2003 – spoke about how Orlando works with its major theme park operators and how that supports the city’s wider development and growth.

“Tourism is the single most important piece of our economic pie, with one in every three jobs touched by our tourism community,” said Dyer.

“You can go anywhere in the world and people will know Orlando. In its own right, it’s a fantastic brand name and that brand is so good because of tourism.”

In 2016, Orlando welcomed a record 66 million visitors, making it the most-visited destination in the US. Of those visitors, 5.5 million were international and 60.5 million were domestic travellers. The volume of visitors has been driven largely by the area’s theme parks, with Orlando boasting six of the 10 most visited parks in the world.

“The market continues to increase in volume and our attractions continue to add to, and renew their offering,” said Dyer. “What they’re in the business of now is not finding the first-time visitor, but bringing back returning tourists.”

Dyer praised major operators such as Disney and Universal, calling them excellent “corporate citizens”, with taxes helping to generate new revenue sources for Orlando.

“Universal is the largest employer and largest taxpayer within the city limits of Orlando, and Disney is the largest single-site employer in the country,” he said.

“I’m interacting with them on a daily basis on things that involve the greater community or the greater region – one, for instance, being the tourist development tax.”

The tax, which applies to all of Orange County, Florida, is a bed tax charged at US$0.06 (€0.05, £0.04) for every dollar earned. That tax generates around US$260m (€221.4m, £194.6m) a year for Orlando.

When the city built its three new venues in the Downtown area – the performing arts centre, the Amway Centre and the Camping World Stadium – about half of the US$1.2bn (€1bn, £898m) capital investment was generated through the tourism development tax.

The area is currently developing US$10bn (€8.51bn, £7.48bn) of transport infrastructure in an attempt to boost transport links domestically and in the city itself – including the redevelopment of Florida highway the I4, the Beltway around Orlando, and an expansion of the SunRail system, which runs from Miami through to Orlando International Airport.

“We continue to improve our tourism infrastructure, which in turn benefits Orlando even more,” said Dyer. “The tourism community has been extremely good to us in terms of supporting community assets. Tourism doesn’t just support tourism, it supports everything.”
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NEWS
Exclusive: Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer on tourism and the city becoming its own brand
POSTED 13 Dec 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
Orlando’s mayor has spoken about the importance of tourism to the theme park capital’s economy, making the city its own brand with attractions feeding back into its economy.

In an exclusive interview with Attractions Management, Buddy Dyer – who has been re-elected as mayor four times since 2003 – spoke about how Orlando works with its major theme park operators and how that supports the city’s wider development and growth.

“Tourism is the single most important piece of our economic pie, with one in every three jobs touched by our tourism community,” said Dyer.

“You can go anywhere in the world and people will know Orlando. In its own right, it’s a fantastic brand name and that brand is so good because of tourism.”

In 2016, Orlando welcomed a record 66 million visitors, making it the most-visited destination in the US. Of those visitors, 5.5 million were international and 60.5 million were domestic travellers. The volume of visitors has been driven largely by the area’s theme parks, with Orlando boasting six of the 10 most visited parks in the world.

“The market continues to increase in volume and our attractions continue to add to, and renew their offering,” said Dyer. “What they’re in the business of now is not finding the first-time visitor, but bringing back returning tourists.”

Dyer praised major operators such as Disney and Universal, calling them excellent “corporate citizens”, with taxes helping to generate new revenue sources for Orlando.

“Universal is the largest employer and largest taxpayer within the city limits of Orlando, and Disney is the largest single-site employer in the country,” he said.

“I’m interacting with them on a daily basis on things that involve the greater community or the greater region – one, for instance, being the tourist development tax.”

The tax, which applies to all of Orange County, Florida, is a bed tax charged at US$0.06 (€0.05, £0.04) for every dollar earned. That tax generates around US$260m (€221.4m, £194.6m) a year for Orlando.

When the city built its three new venues in the Downtown area – the performing arts centre, the Amway Centre and the Camping World Stadium – about half of the US$1.2bn (€1bn, £898m) capital investment was generated through the tourism development tax.

The area is currently developing US$10bn (€8.51bn, £7.48bn) of transport infrastructure in an attempt to boost transport links domestically and in the city itself – including the redevelopment of Florida highway the I4, the Beltway around Orlando, and an expansion of the SunRail system, which runs from Miami through to Orlando International Airport.

“We continue to improve our tourism infrastructure, which in turn benefits Orlando even more,” said Dyer. “The tourism community has been extremely good to us in terms of supporting community assets. Tourism doesn’t just support tourism, it supports everything.”
RELATED STORIES
Disney offers first look at new Disney Springs NBA Experience


Disney has unveiled new details about its upcoming NBA Experience coming at the operator’s Disney Springs leisure district in Orlando, Florida.
Exclusive: Dubai on target to become Orlando 2.0, says Worlds of Adventure CEO


Dubai is still in the early stages but is definitely on track to achieve the status of ‘Orlando 2.0’ – that’s the opinion of IMG Worlds of Adventure CEO, Lennard Otto.
Disney delivers 'the impossible' with debut of Avatar land at Animal Kingdom


Disney has celebrated the launch of its new Avatar land at Animal Kingdom with the operator marking the occasion by hosting a ‘Dedication of Pandora’ at the Orlando theme park.
TEA teaming up with Orlando City for tailgate event


The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is asking its members its members to don the purple of Orlando City Soccer Club next week as it hosts the second annual TEA Tailgates party.
MORE NEWS
New Tate St Ives in the running for 2018 Stirling Prize
Tate St Ives is the only leisure building to find its way onto the shortlist for the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building.
British Museum seeks to acquire 'Trump Baby' for dissent exhibition
London's British Museum is planning to borrow the Trump Baby blimp, which flew over the capital's streets last week in protest against US President Donald Trump's visit last week.
'Jurassic' Jeff Goldblum installation appears on London's Southbank
A giant statue of Jeff Goldblum has become an overnight sensation, after appearing in a tourism hotspot next to London's historic Tower Bridge.
Disability and accessibility over heritage, says Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby – the Archbishop of Canterbury – has said that disability and accessibility should take precedence when it comes to heritage matters.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Visitor Services Supervisor
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Salary: £24,835 per annum
Job location: Wakehurst, West Sussex
Overnight Accommodation Manager
Zoological Society of London
Salary: £31,464 per annum
Job location: London, UK
Forest Centre Operations Manager
Forestry Commission
Salary: £29,695 - £32,811
Job location: Thetford, UK
Marketing Manager
Legoland Discovery Centre
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Marketing Manager
Legoland Discovery Centre
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Melbourne VIC, Australia
Facilities Technician
Legoland
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Winter Haven, Florida, USA
+ More jobs  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

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