As part of Visit Orlando’s year-round multicultural campaign “Orlando For All” our team developed several unique initiatives to reach LGBTQ+ audiences this fall, inspiring future travel to Orlando and supporting our local community.
We partnered with PASSPORT Magazine on a comprehensive nationwide multimedia campaign across its digital platforms, highlighting Orlando as inclusive and welcoming for travelers of all backgrounds. PASSPORT released a video featuring a lesbian couple with two children sharing their Orlando vacation experiences, launched a LGBTQ+ Family vacation contest running through Oct. 31 and published a LGBTQ+ Orlando Travel Guide on the magazine's website. The collaboration also includes Orlando for All banner ads, e-newsletter sponsorships and extensive social media posts, culminating in an estimated reach of 4.5 million impressions.
This week, Visit Orlando attended the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association’s (IGLTA) 40th Anniversary Global Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. IGLTA is the world's leading network of LGBTQ+ welcoming tourism businesses. It’s important we attend this event to learn best LGBTQ+ practices, make direct connections for business growth, network with industry leaders worldwide and to take part in supporting the LGBTQ+ community and its businesses.
At the convention, we partnered with Experience Kissimmee, The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visit Tampa Bay to showcase our cities to buyers and suppliers. Our team conducted appointments with more than 50 media and content creators to pitch story ideas to help shape future coverage.
Coming up on Oct. 21, we are proudly participating in Orlando’s Come Out With Pride Festival's The Most Colorful Parade. We will have a themed float with dozens of walkers, and in partnership with iHeartMedia, the team from Jonny’s House on XL106.7 will join us on the float to bring the fun!
We will have a booth for attendees to learn more about Visit Orlando and the destination, provide a chance to spin a "Wheel of Fun" and win coupons with prizes from Visit Orlando members.
Additionally, we’ve invited more than a dozen media and influencers from U.S., Canada, UK, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia to participate in the Come Out With Pride festivities and experience the diversity of our destination through a press trip.
At Visit Orlando, we are proud of our commitment to ongoing storytelling that showcases our diverse, welcoming and inclusive destination.
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Tourism Matters Newsletter (visitorlando.com)
The Black Travel Guide with Travel Expert Kellee Edwards
In May, Visit Orlando collaborated with Kellee Edwards, an award-winning travel expert, journalist and television host, to promote Orlando and connect authentically with our key diverse audience segments. This video segment provides a look at Orlando’s must-see attractions and rich African American history and runs through the end of the year across Urban One TV and digital channels targeting Black travelers. Additionally in our new blog, The Black Travel Guide, Kellee shares how residents and travelers can experience the trip of a lifetime with adventures, dining and experiences beyond the parks.
August 2023 TDT Collections
Orange County's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for August came in at $22.1 million—a 5.6% decrease compared to August 2022. In comparison to last month, collections were lower by $5 million but higher than August 2021 collections by $5.6 million.
Orange County government designates TDT funds for specific purposes, including promoting tourism, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), sports stadiums and arenas, performing arts venues and museums.
The softer performance and decline in TDT for August are a result of increased competition with the global travel market fully open and demand redistributing to markets that did not experience a surge from pent up travel demand in 2022. As the lead times for planning and booking remain short (well under 10 weeks), that leaves ample time for short-term bookings for the last quarter. Visit Orlando has robust campaigns in key markets underway to drive those short-term bookings.
Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending Sept. 30, was 66.2%, slightly up from last week's 65.5% and up 4.4% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $175.63, down from last week but up 4.6% from the same week last year.
Across the Industry
Exclusive Brightline Event: Visit Orlando hosted an exclusive Brightline train ride and lunch for Orange County and City of Orlando commissioners, Visit Orlando board members and clients to celebrate its official opening and make sure community leaders had the opportunity to experience this exciting development for our destination. Brightline recently announced it will now run 30 total train trips per day—with 15 daily departures from Miami and Orlando—from its initial 12, resulting in additional opportunities for Orlando to welcome international visitors and our south Florida neighbors. To book a trip and learn more about the Orlando station, click here.
Around the Destination
TDT Funds Approved for Projects: Earlier this week, Orange County’s Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for a $560 million Phase 5A expansion of the Orange County Convention Center. The approval of this project was an important step forward for our industry and we thank the Board of County Commissioners for supporting the largest asset that our team sells in the meetings and convention space. Other projects approved include: $90 million UCF Stadium Tower, to fund the Application Review Committee (ARC) and increase funding for Arts and Cultural Affairs. These projects certainly will benefit our entire community, whether it's booking meetings and conventions or enjoying our arts community performances, or concerts and sporting events. Read more here.
Hispanic Heritage Month: Visit Orlando collaborates with influencers to expand our reach and help showcase Orlando’s diverse talent. To help provide content for Hispanic Heritage Month, we recently partnered with social media influencer Laurita Tellado to explore Hispanic and Latin-influenced ongoing exhibits showing in the Orlando Museum of Art. The art showcase presents aspects of Hispanic culture, including symbols, sculptures and thought-provoking canvases. Learn more about her visit here.
UK & Canada Press Trip: Visit Orlando’s public relations team hosted a What’s New press trip for UK and Canada media, showcasing our destination’s newest theme park attractions, neighborhoods and extensive food scene, including Dezerland Park Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Bombay Street Kitchen, Rosa Mexicano located in Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort and more. Participating media outlets included Air Transat Experiences, Daily Hive, Post Media (The Sault Star), Daily Mirror Online and Reach PLC brands, including Daily Express, Daily Star, Hello Online and Mail Online.
Visit Orlando Engaged!
Dallas Sales Mission: Visit Orlando hosted our annual Dallas Sales Mission to connect our members with 60 clients and help ensure Orlando is the first choice when deciding where to host their next convention or event. Visit Orlando hosted three events over two days, in partnership with six Visit Orlando members, including Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orange County Convention Center, Signia By Hilton Bonnet Creek, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Evermore Orlando Resort and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes.
Visit Orlando Hosts LATAM Super FAM: Visit Orlando recently hosted 25 tour operators from across Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, for a Super FAM, an Orlando immersion to experience first-hand Orlando’s theme parks, attractions and world-class shopping and dining. The Orlando Magic hosted a marketplace mini-trade show providing one-to-one meeting time and networking opportunities for clients and more than 40 members.
Seminole County Chamber: The Seminole County Chamber gathered over 100 business and government leaders to discuss marketing to the LGBTQ+ community. Visit Orlando’s Senior Director of Marketing, Misty Goff, joined a panel discussion with a representative from the Pride Chamber and other community members, discussing the importance of being authentic and relevant with segment marketing and how to lean into storytelling by showcasing Orlando’s inclusive and welcoming culture. An example included our custom article with Passport Magazine profiling Orlando’s incredible LGBTQ+ chefs.
In the News
Orlando Magazine: 50 most powerful people of 2023: Tourism & transportation
ABC News: How Disney turned Halloween into a money-making machine
Tinybeans: Best thing to do in Orlando, Florida with kids
Weather.com: The best US cities to celebrate halloween
Prevue Meetings & Incentives: Brightline doubling service between Miami and Orlando