August 24, 2012 | WMFE – Between 50,000 and 70,000 people are expected to fill Tampa’s hotel rooms and restaurants during the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday. But will delegates make the drive to Orlando and boost tourism numbers? One Central Florida economist says it is not likely.
Orlando is not expecting much in the way of tourists coming over from the RNC, says economist Hank Fishkind. They’ve got too much on their minds.
“Those are really politically-focused people, so it’s unlikely they’re going to tack a Disney vacation onto the back of it,” explains Fishkind, though he adds, “I’m sure some will. I think, though, there will be some effect of displacement, in that there would be some business that would’ve occurred in Tampa that’s going to move to Orlando, so it doesn’t conflict with the convention.”
Fishkind says that means some people planning a vacation in Tampa may choose to avoid the RNC crowds and head to Orlando instead. Some Tampa locals may also schedule a trip to Central Florida this week, adds Fishkind, but he expects any effects these visitors may have on the area’s economy to be minimal.