Elevating the perception of Orlando as a quality dining destination is a key priority for Visit Orlando. We’ve worked hard to create new opportunities to shine a light on Orlando's award-winning, diverse and evolving culinary community.

We pitched Phil Rosenthal, host of Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil” and creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” to film his unscripted culinary travel adventure around Orlando. The new season 7 begins today, with a dedicated Orlando episode showcasing restaurants in Mills 50, the Milk District, Parramore and more.

“I’m here to maybe change your mind about Orlando itself,” Rosenthal says in the episode. “It’s a city created around entertainment, yes, but it has its own story beyond the theme parks.”

The episode airs in more than 190 countries in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

In addition, we secured television opportunities in the U.K., Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. We partnered with VISIT FLORIDA on a food and travel series, Jimmy’s Taste of Florida, airing on the UK’s ITV network. The episode features Chef Mike Collantes from Soseki Modern Omakase.

In Latin America, we partnered with NBC to produce five television spots in Portuguese and Spanish highlighting several dining and nightlife spots including Four Flamingos, The Ravenous Pig and The Bandbox. The spots aired in 2023 in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia and refreshed spots will air again this year.

Beyond television projects, the team works with journalists and influencers from key markets throughout the year to secure third party endorsements of our destination’s culinary scene. A recent big win was a Food & Wine feature. And, last October, WalletHub named Orlando the No. 1 food city in America recognizing the diversity and quality of our restaurants.

We look forward to continuing the momentum we’ve been building over many years of dedicated efforts. From bringing the James Beard Awards to Orlando for their semifinalist announcement in 2014 to the MICHELIN Guide to Florida and now Somebody Feed Phil, your Visit Orlando team will continue to uncover opportunities to showcase our Unbelievably Real destination.

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Members of Visit Orlando’s board and team members met with local Black artists during a series of engaging Black History Month events

Celebrating Black History Month through Art, Culture and Cuisine

Visit Orlando's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee organized a month-long Black History Month celebration highlighting African American arts, culture and cuisine. Throughout the month, the team coordinated events showcasing local talent, including painters, muralists and artists demonstrating their creativity through painted canvases, custom clothing and live painting sessions. The artists included Ridge Bonnick (Ridge Bonnick Art), Sharard Saddlers (SharardXArt) and So Tea (The Artist). The commemorative celebration also included black history videos and a curated list of recommended books by Black authors. The closing week featured authentic soul food from a Black-owned food truck Momma’s Pantry by Chef Leah Givens.

Data & Trends

Metro Orlando’s hotel occupancy rate for the week ending February 24, 2024, was 81.3%, up from 78.3% the prior week but down 6.4% from the same week last year. This was the highest occupancy rate for the destination since March of last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $228.87, down from the prior week’s $232 and down -0.4% from the same week last year.

Across the Industry


Members of Visit Orlando’s marketing team celebrate two new awards

We Celebrate: Visit Orlando’s Unbelievably Real Campaign received two silver award honors in Marketing Effectiveness and Integrated Campaigns in the w3 Awards. The w3 Awards celebrate digital excellence by honoring outstanding work across websites, marketing, video, mobile sites and apps, social, podcasts and emerging technology. In addition, the team was awarded two Bronze Adrian Awards by HSMAI, a global organization of sales, marketing and revenue management professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. The awards recognized our Unbelievably Real mural unveiling and the Unbelievably Real new global brand campaign. 
Marketing and Communications Summit: Visit Orlando’s Director of Marketing Misty Goff attended Destinations International Marketing and Communications Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event connects marketing, communications and public relations professionals dedicated to helping destination organizations thrive through interactive roundtable sessions, networking opportunities and panel discussions on topics ranging from digital marketing trends to crisis communication strategies. 
TDC Presentation: Visit Orlando provided its quarterly update to Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Eatonville Angie Gardner and members of the Tourist Development Council this week. We presented a year-end recap of destination performance for 2023, along with an outlook for 2024. We also shared an update on recent initiatives such as our Winer Doesn’t Exist campaign running in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, a recap of our presence at PCMA Convening Leaders and recently booked business for our destination.

Visit Orlando Engaged!


Visit Orlando team members pose alongside International LGBTQ+ Travel Association representatives at a luncheon event 

IGLTA Retreat: We welcomed the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) with a luncheon and presentation to educate the group on Orlando's LGBTQ+ initiatives as a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community. IGLTA leads the global network of LGBTQ+ welcoming tourism businesses, providing free resources and promoting equality and safety in LGBTQ+ tourism worldwide.

Our Chief Sales Officer Mike Waterman, Marketing Manager Melissa Alexander and Public Relations Senior Manager Leo Salazar highlighted the variety of experiences for the attendees to communicate to its network of LGBTQ media and buyers in countries throughout the world.

Kickoff to Soccer Events: As part of a series of 10 events to celebrate 10 years of Major League soccer in Orlando, Orlando City SC hosted a Kickoff to Soccer luncheon. Visit Orlando attended to hear from Club officials and team staff about the upcoming Orlando City and Orlando Pride seasons. The events culminated at the Orlando City season opener on Feb. 24 against CF Montréal. Orlando Pride will also host five events ahead of its March 22 National Women's Soccer League home opener. Learn more here.


Visit Orlando’s Carolyn Martin with event planners from the American Academy of Dermatology

AAD Site Visit: The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) planning team came to Orlando for a site visit ahead of its March 2025 convention, estimated to bring 19,000 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center. Visit Orlando’s Destination Experience Senior Manager Carolyn Martin escorted the group on a tour of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Discovery Cove, Universal CityWalk Orlando, ICON Park and Hard Rock Cafe Orlando/Hard Rock Live Orlando for potential venues for their Welcome Member Reception and Faculty Appreciation Reception. AAD selected Orlando as its 2025 host city because of the extensive options to accommodate their conference attendance.

In the News

ConventionSouth: Tammy McCormick joins Visit Orlando as director of destination experience
CTV Kingston: Tips and trends to keep in mind while visiting Orlando, Florida
Southern Living: The 14 most beautiful places In Florida, according to a native Floridian
Orlando Sentinel: ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ features ‘The REAL Orlando’

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