Going to Orlando for Thanksgiving? Expect a busy destination

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thanksgiving holiday travel season is just around the corner and, according to the American Hotel and Accommodation Association, many Americans choose to stay home this holiday season and 61% say no plans to travel for Thanksgiving.

Orlando, however, seems to be an exception.

What You Need to Know

Friday is the official start of the 12-day Thanksgiving travel season

Orlando International Airport officials say they expect 1.63 million passengers during this time, about 2.5% less than pre-pandemic numbers.

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 61% of Americans do not plan to travel for Thanksgiving

Friday is the official start of the 12-day Thanksgiving trip. Orlando International Airport expects 1.63 million passengers during this time, which would be nearly 2.5 percent less than the numbers before the 2019 pandemic.

Flying from Utah on Thursday, members of the Price family said they are looking forward to all that Central Florida has to offer over the next week.

“Let’s explore the beach and some of Gainesville,” McKelle Price said at the airport with her four children. “We’re going everywhere, and maybe Legoland, we’ll see.”

Although the American Hotel Lodging Association survey indicates that only 29% of Americans will travel for Thanksgiving this year, Orlando is expected to see a boom. According to AAA booking data, Orlando leads national trips for both Thanksgiving and Christmas trips, but it’s not just people from Turkey who come.

“For both business and pleasure,” said AirSafe CEO Todd Curtis. “This (Orlando) has always been a popular destination both nationally and internationally for decades. For example, many frequent flyer miles, which people can charge for pleasure trips, one of those destinations they go to repeatedly is Orlando “.

Orlando for Price and their four children are all about family, fun and sun.

“Really just the fact that it’s open,” he said. “The fact that we can go and enjoy a lot of things you can’t in a lot of places. That’s great business.”

And area attractions are also doing their part to keep locals and travelers as safe as possible.

“They’re taking action above and beyond,” Curtis said. “Any state mandate that may exist to ensure that its customers and clients and participants are safe.”

What, Price said, is all a mother can ask for when she makes memories that we hope will last a lifetime.

Another promising sign that Orlando is having a big bounce this holiday season doesn’t just come from the number of passengers flying there.

Visit Orlando officials say early hotel bookings for Thanksgiving weekend run around 90% of the same time period in 2019.

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