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UCF Expert: Tragedy Won't Detour Tourists

Multiple tragedies made headlines in Orlando last weekend, but that won’t significantly slow tourism, says a University of Central Florida professor.

Keven Murphy, chair of the hospitality and management division, says the bulk of summer vacationers booked reservations long before the nation’s worst mass shooting, a deadly alligator attack at Disney World and the murder of a singing.

“People plan their travel, plan their hotels, plan their tickets. Even now, they’re making reservations for their restaurants and things like that.”

Murphy says Disney and state tourism officials plan for recessions, hurricanes and other adverse events. He predicts they will step up generic promotional campaigns and offer deep discounts to counter the recent bad news. Last year, Florida boasted a record 101 million visitors.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.