Orlando is the nation’s top tourist destination this summer, according to a new report published by Wallethub. The growing metro area, home to a variety of theme parks and entertainment options, expects to draw more than 3 million visitors between June and the end of August.
In order to determine the best summer vacation spots, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated metro areas across six categories: travel cost, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety. Orlando placed highly in several methods, including activities, of which it took the top spot in the country, attractions, and safety, while remaining in the upper end of the realm of local cost, placing 25th.
Despite already being known as a tourism hub, Orlando experienced a tourism boom as the country exited COVID-19 regulation. SeaWorld reported increased attendance so far in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels while Disney’s Parks, Experience and Products division generated a higher-than-expected total revenue of $6.7 billion in the second financial quarter of 2022, more than double that of the same period last year, per the company’s earnings report.
“There is much pent-up demand to travel,” said Jeffrey C. Kreeger, Director of Tourism & Hospitality Studies at Central Connecticut State University. “Americans have patiently waited for the ’14-day’ lockdown (that spread to over 1-1/2 years) to be over and many are long overdue on taking a vacation. Once the kids are out of school, I believe families will hit the road and/or skies to destinations they have been dreaming of for the past two years.
To lure in the international tourist market Visit Orlando, the city’s tourism management branch. is running an ad campaign on TV and digital in the U.K., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, through June, which NBC reports cost the agency roughly $18 million.
Florida fared well in the remainder of the report, with Tampa-St. Petersburg area ranking 4th overall, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale at 11th, and Jacksonville shoring up Floridian cities in the top 15, holding the 14th spot.
The Sunshine State as a whole ranked highly in the safety metric, with 4 Floridian cities within the top 5. Cape Coral took first, with Tampa just behind at second. Deltona brought Florida back into the list at 4th, and North Port closed it out at 5th.