Oct 9th 2023

Successful Summer: Experience Kissimmee Celebrates Area’s Remarkable Achievements 

Kissimmee, Fla. – As summer winds down, Experience Kissimmee proudly reflects on a triumphant season that saw growth and accomplishments for both the destination and its partners.

Kissimmee, Fla. – As summer winds down, Experience Kissimmee proudly reflects on a triumphant season that saw growth and accomplishments for both the destination and its partners. Collaborative efforts have brought about exceptional results, highlighting the allure of Kissimmee and the Central Florida region. With a focus on collaboration, innovation and a commitment to excellence, the future shines brightly for this dynamic community. 

Visitation Flourishes 

Experience Kissimmee has achieved success in propelling tourism and bolstering economic growth in the region. Total Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for FY 21-22 reached an all-time high in Osceola County, surpassing $76 million, marking a 25 percent increase compared to the pre-pandemic years of FY 18-19. In addition, Osceola County's appeal continues to grow, having welcomed approximately 9.4 million domestic visitors in 2022—a 4 percent increase from the previous year. 

The influx of visitors was accompanied by a substantial surge in accommodation bookings. Kissimmee, known as the Vacation Home Capital of the World®, experienced a 62 percent rebound in 2022, effectively returning to pre-pandemic levels compared to those in 2019. Moreover, an 8 percent upswing in booked listing nights for vacation homes emphasized the sustained demand. 

The region's sports industry achieved milestones during this fiscal year, generating an economic impact of $200 million, surpassing the previous fiscal year's achievements of $133 million. More than 75 sporting events were hosted, outpacing the total of 71 events in the prior fiscal year. 

Additionally, the Meeting Sales & Services team saw a 107 percent lead volume increase since 2019, booking 172 more meetings from Oct 2022 to July 2023. Contracted room nights through "It Pays to Meet in Kissimmee" rose by 105 percent, and the program now includes Trees4Travel, an initiative to plant a tree for every paid room night as a commitment to sustainability. 

Partner Success 

The tourism industry played a significant role in driving growth and economic vitality, with a range of establishments experiencing substantial upticks in spending. In Osceola County, antique shops were at the forefront of this trend, noting a 26 percent increase in spending compared to the previous year. Noteworthy gains were also recorded in bakeries (+66 percent), bookstores (+17 percent), and jewelry stores (+116 percent), displaying the diverse spectrum of businesses that contributed to the economy. 

"Encouraged by the remarkable growth across diverse sectors in Osceola County, we stand steadfast in our dedication to helping the region thrive,” said DT Minich, President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee. “As we continue to embrace all visitors and to promote Kissimmee as a welcoming environment with positive experiences for everyone, we are proud to be part of a journey that showcases resilience, innovation, and sustainability, all while providing exceptional experiences to our visitors and residents." 

The success in Osceola County extends to its esteemed partners, each contributing to a memorable summer experience. Among them are: 

Brightline: The highly anticipated Orlando station opening is poised to revolutionize regional transportation, connecting South Florida's major cities, including Miami, via high-speed rail service. This seamless connectivity promises convenience, efficiency, and sustainability, further enhancing the region's economic growth through increased tourism and business opportunities. 

ette hotel: This one-of-a-kind establishment continued to be a cornerstone in Kissimmee's upscale and luxury offerings. Notably, Brazilian visitors, one of Kissimmee’s key markets, played a pivotal role in sustaining the region's tourism industry, with their attraction to the hotel's proximity to Disney's Animal Kingdom. 

Gatorland: This historic attraction continued to captivate audiences with new experiences such as Panther Springs and the 32-foot Croc Rock adventure. With accolades like "Best Wildlife Preserve 2023" by Orlando Style Magazine and ongoing conservation efforts, Gatorland thrives and anticipates another record year. 

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center: The Summer of More celebration garnered positive responses, while upcoming events like Goblins and Giggles and "ICE!" featuring "A Charlie Brown Christmas" promise unforgettable experiences. 

Orlando-Vineland Premium Outlets: The outlets remained bustling with international and domestic shoppers alike, supported by exciting developments including a GUCCI expansion and the opening of Caribbean Moonshine Lucciano’s Gelato. 

Sunset Walk Orlando Resort: With thriving attendance and successful events, the entertainment district looks forward to upcoming Fall Special Events and Holiday Celebrations. 

Wild Florida: Amid record-breaking heat, Wild Florida stood as a popular outdoor adventure destination, offering air-conditioned safari experiences and captivating shows. Despite market challenges, attendance and revenue surged, promising an exciting remainder of the year. 

Theme parks: With new attractions like Minion Land and TRON Lightcycle as well as celebratory milestones such as Animal Kingdom's 25th anniversary, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts continued to inspire magical experiences and draw interest from around the world. 



About Experience Kissimmee: 
Experience Kissimmee is the official tourism authority for Osceola County, Florida. Located at the heart of Central Florida, Kissimmee is 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO), minutes from world-famous theme parks and attractions, and nestled in carefully preserved outdoor spaces so visitors can reconnect with nature. Also known as the Vacation Home Capital of the World®, Kissimmee has sprawling resorts with thousands of options ranging from two-bedroom condominiums to 15-bedroom mansions. 

Media Contact: 
Experience Kissimmee Communications Department 
[email protected]