the mass shooting of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June, and a
deadly alligator attack of a 2-year-old boy at Walt Disney World that same
week, security heightened and travel insurance purchases spiked, but
travelers appear to be undeterred in their Orlando vacation plans.
shooting tragedy in Orlando occurred on Sunday, June 12. On Monday and Tuesday
[June 13 and 14], we saw significant increases in traffic and new users to the
site,” said Stan Sandberg, co-founder of travel insurance comparison site
TravelInsurance.com. Sandberg noted that when compared to the prior four
Mondays and Tuesdays, TravelInsurance.com experienced a 47% increase in traffic
and a 64% increase in new users on June 13 and 14.
travel insurance inquiries may have been on the rise post-Orlando attacks,
travel sellers reported that families were still going ahead with their planned
vacations to Orlando, home to numerous popular theme parks including the Walt
Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld.
just made a Disney booking yesterday, for 2017, and the subject never came up.
Most people I have talked to realize that this was an unforeseen, isolated
incident and I do not expect this to affect Disney or Florida bookings,” said
Joseph Hurley, owner of Forest Hill, Md.-based Hurley World Travel, who
was referring specifically to the alligator incident.
McAlpin, a family travel specialist at Birmingham, Ala.-based McAlpin Travel,
said she too hadn’t heard from any clients with concerns or cancellations for
Orlando or the theme parks. “In fact, I have a family of five at the Grand
Floridian right now,” said McAplin.
Graves, a 2-year-old boy from Elkhorn, Nebraska, was snatched by an alligator
and dragged underwater while wading in the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney
World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on Wednesday, June 15.
after the attack, the Walt Disney World Resort began installing signs and
barriers along its beaches that specifically warned of the dangers of
alligators and snakes in the area, and to stay away from the water. The old signage in the
area had simply warned against swimming.
has also increased its security presence at the parks following media reports
that the Pulse nightclub gunman, Omar Mateen, conducted what authorities
labeled as surveillance trips at the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment
complex before ultimately carrying out his attack at the Pulse nightclub near
have increased our security measures across our properties, adding such visible
safeguards as magnetometers, additional canine units, and law enforcement
officers on site, as well as less visible systems that employ state-of-the-art
security technologies,” Jacquee Wahler, vice president of the Walt Disney World
Resort, said in a statement.
vigilant security measures has helped Sue Pisaturo of Disney specialist agency
Small World Vacations thwart any concerns expressed by nervous clients about
heading to Disney World.
Pisaturo, “We’ve had only a few guests who contacted their agents about the
tragedies. We assured them that Disney's No. 1 priority is safety. No one has
cancelled or changed dates.” She noted that requests for price quotes slowed
down a bit during the week after the attacks but that the following week, when
Disney released its 2017 Walt Disney World travel packages, business was busy