The Diagon Alley Effect
Diagon Alley is the latest addition to the theme park arena in Orlando. It is obviously exciting news for Harry Potter fans but it is also great news for Orlando vacation home owners and local businesses.
Visit Orlando announced in April 2014 that the total visitor numbers for Orlando was a record 59 million people. That’s a staggering 161,644 people EVERY DAY who are in town, making Orlando the most visited destination in the nation.
The theme parks are obviously key factors. Drawing 10’s of millions of people each year. The great shopping, entertainment, sports facilities and easy accessibility to the beach all help to top up the visitor numbers.
Orlando visitors spend $91,000,000 daily and create 380,000 jobs in and around the city and giving an economic impact of $54 Billion dollars.
Tourism’s social and economic benefits
Orlando offers a number of benefits and awards for residents. Other than living in the world’s number one tourist hub, residents of Orlando have world class restaurants on their door step, fantastic shopping and immediate access to MCO, one of the most acclaimed and affordable airports in the country; and one that is currently being expanded further, allowing even more tourists to arrive each year. MCO already deals with 795 arrivals and departures every day.
Tourism supports over 380,000 workers in the hospitality and associated industries which include accountants, cooks, cleaners, hotel managers, bankers, landscapers and real estate agents.
Visitors to Orlando provide over $34 billion in spending power. On top of that there are local sales taxes which are spread throughout the region for projects which include schools and infrastructure. Additionally visitors pay tourist development taxes on rooms and vacation homes which they rent during their stay.
Who are the international tourists?
The office of Travel and Tourism Industries has stated in their annual report that Orlando welcomed 768,488 Brazilian visitors in 2013 making Brazilians the number one nationality of visitors to Orlando, marginally outperforming UK visitors who totaled 759,390 in the same period. Perhaps we will start seeing signs for Beco Diagonal which is Brazilian for Diagon Alley.
Expectations for Diagon Alley are already proving to be hitting the mark as crowds gather daily to visit the new park and experience a little Harry Potter for themselves.
In the real world what kind of effect is Diagon Alley expected to have?
Pre- Hogsmeade opening up at Universals ‘Islands of Adventure’, visitor numbers were stable at 4.2 million per year. The opening of Hogsmeade in June 2010 bumped visitor numbers to almost 6 million, representing a huge effect for only 6 months of that year.
2011 total figures showed that 7.6 million people had entered through the gate. Basd on these numbers Universal Studios could be looking at a further 2 million visitors next year, pushing the 2015 numbers to well over 9 million.
All of the above has a relevance to the vacation home industry. These families need a place to stay. Owners of vacation homes within a 30 minute drive can expect to see excellent booking numbers in the coming years, especially those in the Kissimmee, Davenport areas which offer quick access to I-4 or via 192.
Take a look at the Vacation home communities in this key area and start making plans for taking advantage of the increasing tourism levels we are expecting for the foreseeable future.