LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., — On the shore of World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot, Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, joined Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Will Seccombe, President and CEO, VISIT FLORIDA to make an exciting announcement about tourism and jobs in the state.
Chapek welcomed media and distinguished guests by saying, “As home of the most popular theme park in the world, we’re thrilled to contribute to the record number of visitors to Florida — and the jobs and economic opportunities that tourism helps to create.”
Gov. Scott, who personally selected Walt Disney World Resort as the ideal backdrop for the announcement and who recently spent time there with his family, said, “I am proud to announce that Florida has surpassed our tourism goal and welcomed a historic 105 million visitors to our state in 2015. The number of travel-related jobs also reached a record high, with 1.2 million Floridians employed in the tourism industry.” Gov. Scott was also very complimentary of the way in which Disney Cast Members consistently create great experiences for their guests.
This is Florida’s fifth consecutive tourism record. Local officials, several Disney Cast Members, 30 enthusiastic Walt Disney Legacy award recipients, and of course, Mickey Mouse, were on hand to celebrate the announcement.
“Tourism plays an important role in supporting our economy, and we will continue to make strategic investments in the tourism industry to keep Florida on track to becoming first for jobs,” Gov. Scott said.
Walt Disney World Resort is a significant contributor to the economic well-being and vitality of Central Florida. Disney is the largest single-site employer in the United States, employing 74,000 Cast Members in Central Florida, in more than 3,000 different job classifications with total 2015 annual payroll of $2.4 billion.