Work has this week begun on a $1.1billion extension and improvement works for Orlando International Airport (MCO) that is set to help further increase passenger numbers.
The news comes as Orlando International Airport is attracting record 37.5million passengers in the year to August 2015, a 6.81% annual rise, officials have announced.
The extension scheme, which is due to be finished in 2017, includes $470million to improve the people mover system and provide a 3,500-space garage, $120million on a new south terminal and $114million to boost international traffic flow.
And once the improvements are in place and bedded in, by 2020 Orlando International Airport hopes to increase its capacity and attract up to 45 million travellers a year.
Year-to-date 2015 traveller totals are up 7.41% to 26.1million. The uplift in August numbers to 3.2million passengers was due to more domestic and international visitors spending their summer vacations in Central Florida.
Leading the way was international travel which was up 18% for the month to more than half a million travellers – 501,980. Domestic travel rose 4.2% to around 2.7milion.
More than 167,000 seats into Orlando were provided by five major airlines including Frontier, Spirit, Delta, American and jetBlue.
In 2014, Orlando attracted more than 62million tourists from around the world, overtaking New York as the number one US visitor destination and helped by increased air travel, tourism chiefs are aiming to break that figure in 2015.
The more travellers that come to Florida, the higher the demand for real estate, whether it be vacation homes, retirement properties or buy-to-let investment.
Garrett Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of leading Central Florida developer, Feltrim Group, says, “The international airport expansion work and passenger figures prove that Orlando is set to retain its crown as the number one tourist destination.
“When visitors come to the area they see the wonderful lifestyle that Central Florida offers, along with its world-class theme parks, attractions, restaurants and shops, and many make the decision to look into moving here and contact agents like Feltrim Group.
“With real estate prices rising every month for the last four years, but some way of peak prices, there is still plenty of room for growth.
“For buyers from international markets where values are also rising, such as the UK where Feltrim is currently exhibiting at the Luxury Property Show, Central Florida property prices are very competitive.”
Among new Feltrim developments that are being promoted at the show, is the prime lakeside project, Balmoral at Water’s Edge, which features bespoke homes in a lake and garden setting much admired by UK buyers.