Visit Orlando has announced a historic milestone in the travel industry, with Orlando becoming the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors.
Orlando welcomed a record-shattering 72 million travelers in 2017, once again making the city America's most visited destination!
Speaking at the official announcement, Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel credited the unforgettable new experiences we've added in recent years for the increased visitation numbers. Keep reading for a look at how much we've grown since 2013, and a peek at what's still to come this year.
In 2017, Orange County collected $260 million in Tourist Development Tax (a 7.9 percent annual increase) and set all-time highs for total attendance (1.53 million, +5.0 percent) and citywide attendance (1.36 million, +8.6 percent) at the Convention Center. Orlando International Airport welcomed a record 44.6 million passengers (+6.4 percent), and Central Florida’s tourism industry employment numbers outpaced the regional average, growing 4.3 percent.
Hotel metrics were up across the board too, with the Metro Orlando market setting annual records in room inventory (surpassing the 120,000 mark), average daily rate ($121.53), revenue per available room ($96.40) and room night demand (34.7 million). In addition, the market achieved its highest occupancy rate (79.3 percent) since 1996 (80.1 percent) and second highest since our data set began in 1979. For context, at the end of 1996, there were 85,994 rooms.