Recently, there have been many news reports about tourism shortfalls across Florida, including Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. The causes mentioned/ intonated include high inflation, high ticket prices, high temperatures & humidity, high temperatures between the Governor and Disney’s CEO, consumers waiting for the new Universal theme park Epic, and the normalization of travel to markets beyond Florida (which gained disproportionate market share in 2021 and 2022).
As shown below, overall visits to the Orlando market have been more significantly than the visitation declines for Miami and Clearwater/Tampa.
We then examined visitation trends to the big Orlando theme parks (filtered by visits longer than 2 hours) and a regional benchmark, Adventure Island near Tampa (filtered by visits longer than one hour) on a year-over-year and year-over-four-year basis. From this analysis, we see a few telling trends: (1) Universal Studios Orlando has the largest year-over-year decline, suggesting the forthcoming Epic is holding some families back from traveling this year; (2) The downshift in Adventure Island suggests the weather is impacting visits from locals and non-locals; (3) The outperformance of SeaWorld on a year-over-year and year-over-four-year basis suggests that its more moderate price increases have positioned it to be an increasingly more affordable option (SeaWorld’s average admission price is up +$10 from 2019 compared to +$40 at Disney's parks).
To help put some additional context on what is happening in Florida, Placer.ai has a launched a new Travel & Tourism Report. The Travel & Tourism Report provides insights on short-term travel for tourism or business purposes and to assess the economic impact on a region over time. The report presents a variety of metrics, including the number of travelers, CBSA they came from, number of nights stayed, as well as their income to indicate the potential impact of tourism from different CBSAs.