By GABRIELLE RUSSON | MAR 03, 2020
With the growing uncertainty of the coronavirus, Disney World is adding more hand sanitizers at its theme parks and resorts, the company said Tuesday.
Disney is also reminding employees — who make up Central Florida’s largest workforce — to take preventative steps, such as washing their hands and keep their work areas sanitized.
The company is monitoring the situation at the state and federal level similar to what Universal and SeaWorld have said they are doing.
Disney was unable to say how many hand sanitizers had been put out.
At Legoland, employees are not allowed to travel to high-risk countries and, they are doing “enhanced cleaning regimes” at the attractions at the Winter Haven park.
“The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure their continued welfare,” said Merlin Entertainment spokeswoman Julie Estrada in a statement. “Like many businesses, we continue to monitor the situation closely and are in regular contact with local authorities so we may respond quickly to any developments.”
Orlando-based ITEC Entertainment has a footprint all over the world as employees work on theme park, retail and other projects. The company does planning, creative design, entertainment technology and other services.
But right now, travel to Asia is put on a temporary hold.
Instead of flying, people Skype.
“Business in Asia has not decreased but the situation is forcing us to slow the progress on anything in Asia and also causing us to be creative in the development of work around plans such as frequent teleconference calls at all hours in the night and searching for alternate air routes for planned trips to and through Asia,” the company’s president Bill Coan said in an email.
But Coan isn’t deterred. The company’s projects are for the long-term and “will survive through vaccine discovery phase,” he said.
So far, there have been three cases of the coronavirus in Florida, with the latest revealed Tuesday.
Some experts have voiced concerns about what the virus could do to Orlando’s tourism industry, which draws millions of people from across the world. Orlando is the most visited city with 75 million visitors in 2018.
The virus also known as COVID-19 is already affecting Walt Disney Company’s bottom line.
Currently all of its Asian theme parks have closed which will hurt Disney financially, costing the company millions of dollars.
“It’s really difficult because this hasn’t really happened before, nothing of this magnitude,” UCF Rosen tourism professor Alan Fyall said Monday about the impact of the coronavirus and the uncertainty over how it will impact the tourism industry and the country. “It could be really bad or not bad at all.”