The White House announced on Friday that the United States will open its borders to fully vaccinated international travelers on November 8.
The announcement caused a deluge of calls and emails to Go Travel in Longwood.
“It’s more than what we normally see because everyone is reacting,” said Bob Cook, sales manager at Go Travel. “It was about time – it was time for this to happen. “
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is also expecting a rush for business.
“We see pent-up travel demand as a global phenomenon. We look forward to the return of transatlantic air service in the coming weeks, ”GOAA CEO Phil Brown said in a statement.
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Orlando International Airport has already been informed by several international carriers of their intention to resume flights to the airport in November, according to a press release. Additional advice on the relaxed rules is expected on October 25.
According to Visit Orlando, international tourists contribute $ 6 billion to Central Florida’s economy each year.
The news comes just two days after the United States announced it would reopen its land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel in November.
Vehicle, train and ferry travel between the United States and Canada and Mexico has been largely limited to essential travel, such as commerce, since the early days of the pandemic. The new rules, announced on Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the United States regardless of the reason for travel from early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is expected to take effect for air travel in the United States. the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the United States, such as truck drivers, will need to be fully immunized.
Central Florida tourism executives said it was good news.
“We are delighted to be traveling back, especially for the holiday season,” said Denise Spiegel, of Visit Orlando.
Spiegel said that while our region may not fully recover until 2023, more tourists means more money.
“International visitors before the pandemic spent more than $ 6 billion in Central Florida, so we’re thrilled with this recovery,” Spiegel said.
The Orange County Comptroller’s Office said the August tourism tax collection was more than $ 16 million. That’s down $ 3.5 million from August 2019, but up 184% from August 2020.
Visit Orlando has announced that it will be running advertising campaigns this fall in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico to promote travel to Central Florida.
“We have already started marketing in our international market to have Orlando in mind. We have a campaign going on, so we’re really excited, ”Spiegel said.
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