Orlando’s British visitation is set for a major bounce-back in 2022 after a COVID-depressed previous 20 months, according to the authors of the annual “Brit Guide to Orlando & Walt Disney World” guidebook.
Overseas travel to the U.S. had effectively been halted in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and was only restored in November 2021.
The loss of holiday-makers from the U.K. had been sorely felt by major tourist destinations across the country, but especially in Florida, where Britain remains the Sunshine State’s second-largest international market, after Canada.
Orlando is typically the top lure for the state’s one million-plus British visitors — many of whom stay for two or even three weeks at a time — and the loss of all that tourist tax for the past two years has left a major hole in the region’s tourism coffers.
But all that will change this year, with a strong surge in transatlantic travel set to kick in during the coming months thanks to pent-up demand, according to “Brit Guide” authors Simon and Susan Veness, who are celebrating the publication of the 2022 edition of their guidebook this month.
The Orlando-based travel writers believe the combination of the long U.S. travel hiatus and the attraction of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, which is being heavily promoted in the U.K., will make for a powerful incentive.
Simon explained, “We’ve seen and heard all the dismay and disappointment over Orlando being off the travel menu for our readers for so long, but we have already observed extremely strong indications that this year will see a veritable flood of British visitors back to this fabulous destination, despite all the concerns about the virus.”
“Walt Disney World has done a wonderful job of showcasing their 50th anniversary celebration, and this has helped to revive the spirit of imagination and adventure that is at the core of any visit to Orlando.” Susan added. “We think this event will be the driver for a truly golden year in 2022, which is why it’s the undoubted cornerstone of our new edition.”
This year’s publication will be the 27th edition of the award-winning title, which began life as a 180-page volume in December 1995 and has since grown to 350 pages to become the best-selling guidebook in the U.K.
Simon and Susan Veness are also the Florida experts for the Telegraph newspaper in Britain, as well as regular writers for Attractions Magazine, including the popular Table Service column in each edition.