ORLANDO – Central Florida’s very strong tourism economy is likely to recover from the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub near downtown Orlando, said an expert on state and national economic trends.
Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, said its likely most visitors will see the attack on the Pulse nightclub as a one-time event, horrific as it was, and not necessarily as something likely to be repeated.
The same is true, he said, even though it happened two days after the shooting death of a singer from “The Voice,” and one day before a toddler was killed by an alligator at a Walt Disney World hotel.
“I think that is unique,” Snaith said, “although I’m not convinced that visitors or potential visitors sort of link those together in a chain, that it defines the nature of our region. I think they’re all sort of very different – and unlikely to be repeated.”
The three incidents received worldwide press attention, with heavy coverage on local, national and cable news programs. But despite that coverage and often graphic video footage of the aftermath of the Pulse attack, Snaith said he does not expect tourists to suddenly assume Orlando is no longer a safe city to visit.
“You think, of course, of the terror attack at Pulse,” he said. “That’s a pretty difficult event for Orlando to process, perhaps more so for the residents than the visitors, and the toddler at Disney is just such a freak event. It’s not that suddenly everyone thinks if they go to Disney they will be attacked by an alligator. There may be some short term impacts from these events, but by and large I don’t think it’s going to have an impact long term.” Continue reading