Today marks the opening of a long-awaited, thrilling addition to Orlando’s arts & cultural landscape: Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
This architectural marvel is one of the world's most acoustically perfect spaces, with a one-of-a-kind multiform theater that can transform to accommodate a variety of art forms and events. Such a prestigious venue elevates Orlando as a hotspot for connoisseurs of art, music and theater, enhancing our reputation as a diverse, world-class destination.
Supporting the success of this endeavor is a strong link between tourism and the arts, specifically through the collection of Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax. For every overnight stay, a portion of TDT goes toward developing Orlando’s arts and culture offerings.
In recent years, more than $40 million in TDT has supported organizations such as the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Science Center, Orange County Regional History Center, and many others. In addition, $45 million from TDT funded Phase II of construction at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Steinmetz Hall.
I encourage you to see this incredible new venue for yourself during a free open house today and tomorrow. Then, experience it in action, with upcoming artists who include Michael Feinstein, The Royal Ballet & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jennifer Hudson, Lyle Lovett and others.
TV Partnership with VISIT FLORIDA
We’re partnering with VISIT FLORIDA on a TV campaign targeting travelers across the Southeast and key markets such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The campaign launched Monday and runs through Feb. 27, driving spring travel demand by reaching an estimated 12.7 million consumers. Check out the ad above.
PCMA Convening Leaders 2022
Our team was busy sharing all the reasons why Orlando is a great choice to hold meetings and conventions, networking with meeting planners to plant the seeds for future bookings in numerous ways, including a buyer luncheon we hosted for over 40 clients. Alongside OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester, I also had the opportunity to join the main stage and speak on how Orlando has emerged as a recovery leader, continuing to move forward with high standards in safety and service. Read more on the event here.
Revamped Orlando Travel Academy
We recently launched a reimagined Orlando Travel Academy featuring new interactive sales tools, resources for travel advisers and a corresponding app. This digital program is one of the primary ways we help professionals around the globe discover, promote and sell Orlando — and this update ensures the freshest, most convenient (and fun!) educational experience on the destination.
33rd Annual ZORA! Festival
ZORA! Festival — Eatonville’s signature event — is expanding to a year-round calendar season, with events slated for January, June and October. Highlighting this month’s activities, the Outdoor Festival of the Arts takes place Jan. 28-30 and features an Africa – America Women’s Trade Expo, fine arts walk, international food court and marketplace, live performances from national and local artists, and many other historical and cultural offerings. Check out the full schedule here.
Welcome New Members
For the week ending Jan. 8, Metro Orlando hotel occupancy was 58.8%, a significant drop from last week, but still far ahead of where we were this time last year. Average daily rate dropped $60.26, back down to $130.70, after the holiday peak.
Across the Industry
OBJ: Group travel looks most promising to start 2022, says Visit Orlando
The Daily Mirror: Universal Orlando's best new attractions, including a Jurassic World rollercoaster
Go Brightline: Brightline to begin crew training runs between West Palm Beach and Cocoa
The Sun: The best holiday destinations for some last-minute winter sun
Groups Today: Orlando makes a splash in 2022
Walt Disney World Resort: New ticket options for Florida residents
UCF: Registration deadline Monday, Jan. 24 for employers interested in job shadow program
TSNN: Trade show industry leaders share their hopes and goals for 2022
In your service,
Casandra Matej | President & CEO