Walt Disney World Resort generated more than $40 billion in economic impact across the state and more than a quarter of a million total jobs in fiscal year 2022, according to a new study from Oxford Economics.
“Disney is an economic catalyst to the state of Florida generating billions in economic activity, either directly, or indirectly through its supply chain and the spending of employees,” said Adam Sacks, president of tourism economics at Oxford Economics.
Disney released the study on Tuesday, a blatant public-relations salvo in the entertainment giant’s ongoing feud with Florida governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis. What began in March 2022 as a dispute over the governor’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida has escalated to dueling lawsuits over the special tax district governing Walt Disney World.
By any measure, the Walt Disney World Resort looms large in the Sunshine State—spanning 47 square miles in Central Florida, or roughly three times the size of Manhattan—with its four theme parks, two waterparks, more than 25 hotels, multiple golf courses and a large shopping and dining district.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District was established in 1967 to help provide services, including power, water, roads and fire protection for Walt Disney World Resort. Earlier this year, the district was renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and re-staffed with DeSantis appointees.
“[The Reedy Creek] district was a cost-effective mechanism throughout its history in ensuring the tax burden for these services did not fall on Orange and Osceola County residents,” Disney argues in a statement. “It allowed Disney to efficiently invest tens of billions of dollars in Florida over the past several decades by maintaining the highest development and service standards on Disney property.”
Meanwhile, the company pulled no punches as to who is responsible for the state’s strong economy, asserting: “Without Disney's statewide job impact, Florida's unemployment would jump from 3% to 5.4%, which would take Florida from the 21st lowest unemployment rate among all 50 states to the second highest unemployment rate in the country.”
“Disney is also vital to the funding of public services, as it generated taxes of $6.6 billion in 2022, including state and local taxes of $3.1 billion generated by Disney, non-local visitors, employees and third-party businesses—equivalent to $379 per Florida household,” the report says, noting that the company directly or indirectly employs more than 263,000 Floridians, accounting for one in eight jobs within the Central Florida Region.
The study, which was commissioned by Disney, includes the economic impact of Disney Signature Experiences in Florida,
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When The Ritz-Carlton, Naples renovated its beachfront property along Florida’s Gulf Coast, it added the new 14-floor Vanderbilt Tower. The space has 70 club-level rooms, including two-story suites, plus a celebratory lobby bar with a menu starring more than 50 champagnes and sparkling wines, as well as a trio of new restaurants.
Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday may be over, but Delta Air Lines is still rolling out the deals for travelers eager to get away. The airline recently published a list of “Fly Into A Winter Wonderland” deals on their website, which offers discounts both in cash and using Delta SkyMiles redemptions for flights both within the United States and internationally. “Redefine the winter blues and take advantage of low seasonal fares to destinations from cozy cities to tropical escapes and alpine adventures,” Delta shares on their website about the sale. Travel + Leisure spotted deals from nearly every one of Delta’s hub cities in the United States. The current promotion offers deals between December 2023 and January 2024. The lowest miles fare was 14,000 miles and $12 for a round-trip flight from Seattle, WA, to San Francisco, CA. Some of the other top flight deals include:
Around the holiday season, Disney becomes a magical experience. At Walt Disney World, fans can see 1,300 decorated trees and 8.5 million lights throughout the resort, according to The Walt Disney Company.
With warm, sunny weather and plenty of tropical pre-holiday cheer, now’s a great time to visit the Florida Keys and Key West. From Key Largo to Key West, the 2023 holiday season features spirited events such as lighted boat parades, only-in-the Keys frivolity, sparkling waterfront celebrations and other island festivities. Here’s what visitors to the island chain can expect in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.
Over the past decade the global wellness tourism sector has gobbled up a huge segment of the travel industry’s market share. Its size was valued at $814.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.42% from 2023 to 2030, according to Grand View Research. Wellness tourism includes activities aimed at improving and enhancing an individual's physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Tourists indulge in physical, spiritual and mental activities by practicing yoga, spas, meditation and Pilates, and by visiting hot spring resorts. The trend of interacting with the locals of the destination who have visited and experienced different cultures promotes personal well-being.
Allegiant is filling in its route map, adding 12 new routes and one new airport. The additions — which all start in May 2024 — will beef up the carrier's presence at 22 airports from Los Angeles to Newark.
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