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by Matt Alderton | April 09, 2015
In 2014, Orlando welcomed 62 million visitors, up 5 percent from 2013 and more than any other U.S. destination -- ever, according to Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel, who announced today that Orlando is the first-ever U.S. destination to surpass 60 million annual visitors.

"This historic milestone is the latest testament to Orlando's leadership in tourism," Aguel said in a statement. "It's a tribute to the steadfast commitment and continued investment by our tourism community, the special brand of service that greets our visitors, and the global marketing and sales efforts of our Visit Orlando team and member companies."

Orlando's blockbuster visitation produced a record 32 million room nights sold in 2014, generating for the first time over $200 million in bed tax collections for Orange County, FL.

"The impact of tourism on our community is remarkable, and in fact, the travel and tourism industry is the largest generator of jobs and economic impact for our region," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. "In addition to delighting visitors and families from around the world, our travel and hospitality industry helps to support a great quality of life for Orlando's residents, including our amazing new performing arts center and outstanding sports venues."

Orlando credits for its growth numerous new attractions that came online last year, including Walt Disney World Resort's New Fantasyland and Universal Orlando Resort's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.

"Passing the 60 million annual visitors mark is a significant achievement for Orlando and the U.S. travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy each year," concluded U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, who congratulated Orlando on its achievement. "Thanks to the close partnership among members of Orlando's tourism community and strong leadership by public officials and Visit Orlando, this popular destination known around the world is well positioned to continue setting records in tourism."