Spring Break 2021 could be tourism boost Florida needs

Signs of life are returning to the tourist district. Disney is booked solid for most of next week.

It’s Spring Break, but Visit Orlando hopes this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic halting tourism in Florida.

Spring-breakers are still making their way to the Sunshine State this year. As of Monday morning, park pass reservations at Disney World were blacked out on the website for resort guests and theme park ticket guests March 15 through the 18. Hollywood Studios is booked for the rest of the month.

"They continue to operate at reduced capacity, so they’re basically maxing out their reduced levels that they’re currently operating at and that’s an encouraging sign," said Daryl Cronk, from Visit Orlando.

It’s an encouraging sign, especially considering how poor the tourist development tax dollars were for the month of January in Orange County.

"That is the first month-over-month decline that we’ve had in TDT collections since we hit rock bottom in April," said Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond.

Visit Orlando is hopeful with more vaccine supply and Spring Break coming, Florida tourism is about to turn the corner.

"We’re optimistic that we’ll start to see an uptick, perhaps during Spring Break and going into summer, and that should lead into a strong path to recovery in the second half of the year," Cronk said.

Orange County officials are encouraging people to come down for Spring Break but also to remain safe and follow CDC guidelines to avoid another spike in coronavirus numbers.