Recently, at a meeting of area business leaders, I was asked about Orlando’s economic outlook, particularly as it relates to our region’s No. 1 industry: tourism.

Our forecast at Visit Orlando calls for cautious optimism. Despite a projected slowdown in national economic growth — in addition to a strong dollar and potential headwinds in our core international markets — our destination is positioned to continue positive growth in 2019, although at a more moderate pace.

At the same time, our industry continues its tradition of investing for the long term. Our theme parks are maintaining their schedule of rolling out new attractions, our hotel supply is growing at its fastest rate in 20 years, our airport is expanding to meet increasing demand, and the Orange County Convention Center is launching a five-year capital expansion plan.

Put it all together and there’s plenty of reason for excitement about what the future holds. 

-- George Aguel