RICHARD BILBAO, Staff Writer
Mention the word "Orlando" to pretty much anyone, and you'll get The Same response every time: Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter and Shamu.
Orlando is home to more than 367, 000 tourism-industry professionals and generates more than $ 32 billion in economic impact.
The region is home to three of the world's largest theme parks in Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, Which Helped Attract 56 million visitors to Central Florida in 2012.
Each of Those theme parks is part of publicly traded companies - The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Which owns Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS).
Those three resorts welcomed more than 66 million annual theme park guests, Typically the visitors make a stop at each park.
Also serves the Orlando market is nearby the main attractions, such as Kennedy Space Center , Legoland Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa.
And that's not even taking into account another huge economic driver: meetings and conventions.
Orlando's conventions and meetings industry uses the 2 million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center among other meeting spaces throughout the region and accounts for more than $ 2 billion in economic impact alone, drawing major conventions for industries such as health care, defense, technology, tourism and more.
Housing All Those visitors to the region is Orlando's hospitality industry, with more than 456 hotels, including hotel companies such as Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt.
All of visitor activity que leaves another important community footprint as well: It generates funds for public infrastructure projects via the tourist development tax collected on hotel or motel rentals.
The Central Florida region collected more than $ 216.1 million in tourist taxes in 2012, Which Helped fund large-scale projects such as the Amway Center , Which is home to the NBA's Orlando Magic, the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the renovation of the Florida Citrus Bowl stadium.
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