On the occasion of this extended Valentine’s Day weekend, here are four things I love about tourism in Orlando:

1. It’s our region’s economic engine. Tourism generates $70 billion in annual economic impact, supports 41 percent of the workforce and accounts for half of Orange County’s sales taxes.

2. It gives us access to world-class amenities. Thanks to tourism, almost everything you can wish for is right in our backyard — from amazing theme parks and attractions to abundant shopping options and celebrity restaurants. 

3. Sharing the fun and excitement. I enjoy taking friends and family around to experience what’s new in our community, since there always is something new!  

4. The hospitality of our employees. I appreciate being able to engage so often with the many employees who work in our industry, who have a special way of showing the hospitality we are famous for.