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Did Closed National Parks Send Tourism Dollars to Orlando?

October 17, 2013 | WMFE--The federal government might be open, but hotels and restaurants near national parks and museums are still recovering from lost revenue. Orlando's theme parks, on the other hand, remained open through the shutdown.

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It’s too soon to know if that sent tourists to Central Florida.  The best guess from University of Central Florida Economist Sean Snaith is: it depends.  He says tourism doesn’t suddenly shift after a certain time, so the shutdown's duration is a factor in the equation.

“These kinds of trips to Yosemite or to a theme park are something that, you know, is planned ahead of time, not something that’s necessarily a spur of the moment trip,” he says.  He thinks anecdotal evidence will indicate some extra tourists in Orlando but that most people who can’t go hiking in Arizona are more likely to go to the movies than to Florida.

As for future vacation plans, Snaith says, “I can’t see people factoring the shutdown now into trips they’re planning three, six, nine months from now.”


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