As we approach the last few weeks of the year, Visit Orlando gathered over 900 Central Florida tourism industry professionals to celebrate the accomplishments of 2022 during our Year-End Celebration Luncheon at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando.
We heard from Amazon and Tripadvisor thought leaders on how to navigate the new digital advertising landscape to reach next-gen travelers.
Keynote speaker Chris Robinson, EVP at The Maxwell Leadership Entrepreneurial Solutions Center, and the GURU of attitude, shared how attitude is a critical starting point for success.
We also announced that through Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, we raised $186,805 for local organizations that support workforce development in Central Florida!
These funds will benefit The Able Trust, an organization that helps create employment opportunities for people with disabilities, while six other local charities — BIG SIS Inc., Central Florida Urban League, HOPE CommUnity Center, PACE Center for Girls, Rebuild Self Care and Society of St. Vincent de Paul — that share a similar mission, will each receive a $2,000 donation.
Board of Directors Updates
On Dec. 1, we held our final board of directors meeting of the year where Visit Orlando's executive management team shared results from 2022 and plans for 2023. The board approved the proposed 2023 budget and voted on changes to Visit Orlando's bylaws.
Today, at Visit Orlando's Annual Business Meeting and Year-End Celebration Luncheon, Terry W. Prather, COO at LIFT Orlando, was appointed chair of the board for 2023-2024, and the 2023 board members were voted into positions.
In addition, we recognized the contributions of five outgoing Visit Orlando board members:
- Don Engfer, principal at Engfer & Associates
- Harold Mills, CEO at VMD Ventures
- John Arie Jr., CEO at Fun Spot America Theme Parks
- Thibaut Van Marcke, senior VP at Orlando Health Southeast Region and president at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital
- William A. Davis, former president and CEO at Universal Orlando Resort.
We appreciate their leadership and service to Visit Orlando, our destination and industry.
A Special Thanks to Board Chair Brian Comes
We also want to extend our appreciation to Brian Comes, area vice president at Hyatt Regency Orlando, and Visit Orlando’s board chair from 2021-2022. We are grateful for his dedication and service in propelling Visit Orlando forward during his two-year tenure.
October TDT Collections
Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for the month of October came in at $31.4 million — a 46.6% increase over October 2021, $23.7 million higher than October 2020 earnings and the highest October collections on record.
October marked the fifth consecutive month of Metro Orlando’s hotel demand exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 levels, up 5% compared to October 2019. In addition, Metro Orlando’s occupancy rate for October was 78%, the highest October level since 2017.
Weekly Lodging Results: For the week ending October 3, 2022, Metro Orlando occupancy was 67.9%, up from last week’s 63.6%, but lower than the same week in 2019 (75%). Average daily rate grew to $155 from $145 last week and remains higher than pre-pandemic rates ($139 for the same week in 2019).
Across the Industry
Friends Fly Free Promotion: Call your besties and have them pack their bags! Visit Orlando, in partnership with Frontier Airlines, is offering an exclusive Friends Fly Free promotion. Discount Den Members who buy one Discount Den Fare will get one free to Orlando. The purchase must be made by Dec. 13 for travel between Jan. 4 and Feb. 28 using the promo code: FLYFREE.
REAL ID Act: The Department of Homeland Security recently announced its intent to extend the REAL ID full enforcement date from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025. Now, states have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. Read more here.
Visit Orlando Activities
Sales Mission: Visit Orlando's Meetings and Conventions Sales team hosted a "Winter Mingle" sales mission in Tallahassee which included more than 120 meeting professionals from all sectors including Government and Associations. The event offered several Visit Orlando member companies the opportunity to meet with planners and network with clients amidst holiday festivities.
TDC Presentation: Today, Visit Orlando provided a quarterly update to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and the Tourist Development Council.
State of Downtown: Visit Orlando team members attended Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Downtown Orlando Partnership’s annual State of Downtown event at Luminary Green this week. From improved walkability to increased retail and dining options, Mayor Dyer showcased how our government, business and community leaders are charting the course for downtown to ensure it has something for everyone.
Welcome Reception: This week, Danielle Hollander, Visit Orlando’s chief marketing officer, attended a welcome reception for Deborah Bowie, the new executive director at onePULSE Foundation.
In the News
USA TODAY: New site highlights those affected by travel visa wait times
WESH: Best cities in the world report: Orlando ranks as no. 40
The Points Guy: The 18 best places to travel in 2023