Believes it still has strong business ties and will be fine
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/23/2013 -- International travelers have been a rare bright spot for the Orlando International Airport; however, it is now facing stiffer competition from other states that are looking to keep up the pace of new international carriers.
Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa International Airport, Joe Lopano, wants to find ways to lure in more international flights to his own airport. He was able to score his first coup of the Orlando by nabbing Edelweiss Air, which switched from Orlando to Tampa last spring.
According to fall statistics, Edelweiss had more passengers on their flights to Tampa than to Orlando.
The company is but one carrier, and Orlando has seven times more the number of international flights as Tampa currently enjoys. However, the high levels of competition from other states mean Orlando will be looking to use its $115 million in order to speed international passengers through U.S. Customs & Immigration.
The airport is currently looking to spend $400,000 on a test program that will allow international visitors to utilize their U.S. Customs and Border Protection information at available kiosks.
Another clear example of the push for courting international travelers was that seven of the 35 new destinations launched in 2012 for the Orlando International Airport were for international destinations.
While tourists represent a mere 10% of the 35.3 million who travel through Orlando during the fiscal year, those who do come from international destinations boost the annual economy by $2 billion in overall spending.
The flights from international destinations are individuals who want to take in the American sites, sounds, and culture. They are also often those who want to pay top dollar to experience the lifestyle.
Tampa is now offering $464,000 in wash and waived fees to land Edelweiss. Orlando believes it still maintains a stronger business case for courting many international flights, and thus big-spenders.
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