ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Visit Orlando is about to get a ton of tax money, but does the agency need all of it?
Last year, Visit Orlando received $56 million from the county to go toward marketing the area.
Fox 35 wanted to know could that money be better spent?
Look around. You see the attractions. You’ve heard the numbers. Tourism is big business in Orange County.
“During the summer, there’s already millions of people traveling here to Orlando, so the city does start to feel crowded,” said Jordan Montalbo, who lives in Orlando.
Now, Orange County is trying to bring even more people to the area.
The county voted Tuesday to increase funding through 2023 for Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for Orlando.
The amount of money is based on how much hotel tax is brought in, so it will vary each year based on how much money is made.
Last year, the county gave Visit Orlando $56 million in tourist tax dollars to spend on marketing.
Moving forward, “it’ll reach amounts that are $75 million, $80 million, $90 million, and it’ll grow from there,” said Orange County Fiscal and Business Services Division manager Fred Winterkamp.
For some, that seems like a lot of money to spend on marketing.
“I think it’s a little much. What we could do with $56 million and then what we want to do with $100 million,” Montalbo said.
Orange County is already bringing in millions of tourists and billions of dollars every year.
Some say that money could be better spent, but the county says this is necessary for the local economy.
“We have a $60 billion tourism industry here that supports many corners of our community,” Winterkamp said.
“It’s an investment. This is an investment in jobs, job creation, development,” said Central Florida Hotel Lodging Association President Rich Maladecki.
The county says it makes these adjustments every 10 or so years, and this increase has been in the works for the last several months.