Florida has been at the epicenter of a COVID-19 surge in the United States, logging at least 10,000 new cases a day since mid-July. And unfortunately, it looks like these high numbers are keeping some tourists away. In a report published today by the Orlando Sentinel, a representative for Visit Florida, the state's official tourism agency, said that, " People are concerned about the delta variant [and] that is having an impact in the short term on people’s travel plans." However, these slowdowns are expected to be temporary, with the state's tourism numbers projected to get back on track in the months ahead.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association has also noted that leisure travelers are scaling back travel plans as COVID-19 cases increase, and is looking for industry relief as the bounce back for the hospitality industry has slowed.
These guest slowdowns come at a pivotal time for theme parks in Florida, especially Walt Disney World, which is kicking off its 50th anniversary celebration in just a few weeks on October 1, 2021. Universal Orlando Resort is also hosting its 30th anniversary edition of Halloween Horror Nights, and SeaWorld is set to kick off its very first Howl-O-Scream event this weekend.
Though we haven't seen attendance figures just yet, it will be interesting to see if any of the theme parks notice slowed down attendance figures in their forthcoming quarterly reports, which should be released later this fall. Have you been to the theme parks in Florida recently? Have you noticed any slowdowns in recent weeks?