Central Florida’s labor problems were exacerbated on Friday when SeaWorld officially let go of all its furloughed employees. The move was felt across nearly every department at the Orlando-based chain but especially at SeaWorld's Orlando parks.
When the COVID-19 related closures first struck the tourism industry in mid-March, SeaWorld Parks furloughed nearly their staff. Since reopening a few months later, the company has worked to adjust its hours and operations to adequately address the softened demand. In places like Orlando and Las Vegas, which rely heavily upon out-of-town visitors, recovery has been weak, as many people still express concerns regarding traveling during a global pandemic, though recent surveys have shown a vast majority of Americans do plan on traveling within the next six months. Officials at Walt Disney World confirmed that half of all visitors there are locals from Florida, while Universal Orlando has begun offering massive discounts in an attempt to attract locals.