Walt and Ron Disney, in putting together the world-famous theme park Disney World Orlando – which has been populated for years by lovable, iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse, as well as kids of all ages – were vanguards in the field of sustainable tourism, according to an internationally recognised naturalist.
Speaking to the 18th annual Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference in Queensland, Australia, Professor David Bellamy lauded the company’s pioneering efforts to make the region a sustainable destination for holidays in Florida.
Disney World has long been a favourite for family holidays in Orlando, with millions flocking through the park’s gates every year. The attraction has expanded consistently over the decades as well, including new features such as Epcot and Animal Kingdom Park.
Bellamy said the Disneys, when planning the park, chose land that had been damaged significantly by local farming, but put in strong efforts to make it more hospitable.
“The lake in the middle was so polluted it had to be drained and detoxed before Tinkerbell, in the guise of Mother Nature, came to the rescue,” he said.
“The result was the mother honey pot of mass tourism, creating thousands of worthwhile jobs across the full spectrum of the nascent hospitality industry, while attracting talent from around the world to put ‘wow’ into the experience.”
Disney World Orlando helped return a large part of the surrounding swamps to their natural, healthy state, and preserved a haven for local flora and fauna, the expert said.