This week, your Visit Orlando team, along with 18 members showcased Orlando during the nation’s largest travel trade show, U.S. Travel Association’s IPW. Held in San Antonio, Texas, for 2023, IPW experienced strong attendance with more than 5,000 attendees, including nearly 1,400 international travel buyers and media.
During the three-day show, your Visit Orlando team conducted over 130 appointments with key travel clients and more than 50 media appointments. In partnership with Experience Kissimmee, we hosted a media and client event with more than 700 attendees.
And we closed out the show with a press conference where we updated more than 300 media on the latest news from Orlando, from new attractions, top restaurants and Michelin-starred dining to arts & culture and our tools for the travel industry.
The press conference and evening event featured a performance by the City of Orlando's Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome, who shared his poem, "Unbelievably Real."
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Tourism Matters Newsletter (visitorlando.com)
Orlando Named #1 Meetings Destination
Cvent has named our destination the number-one Meeting Destination in North America! We are the perfect destination for planners looking to host unforgettable experiences offering endless possibilities for meetings and events. In addition, Cvent placed several Orlando hotels and resorts on their list of Top 250 Meeting Hotels in North America. Congratulations to our destination, valued members and area hotels on this outstanding recognition!
Memorial Day — Orlando Top Destination for Travel
I’m excited to share that Orlando is once again a hotspot destination for Memorial Day holiday travel! According to AAA, 42.3 million Americans will likely travel 50 miles or more from home, a 7% increase from last year. Also, air travel is expected to surpass pre-pandemic numbers as flight demand soars.
Recent Travel Advisories
As you know, Florida has been making national and international headlines recently and not for the reasons we hope for. The NAACP, Equality Florida, Florida Immigration Coalition and the League of United Latin American Citizens have issued travel advisories spurred by recent state legislation. At Visit Orlando, our role is to tell the story of what we know to be true in Central Florida: Orlando is diverse, welcoming and inclusive. And, we need to continue telling that story of our community and destination. A member toolkit will be available soon with fact sheets on recent legislation, as well as messaging. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Visit Orlando member representative with any questions.
Multicultural Productions Across Orlando
As part of our domestic multicultural marketing efforts, we collaborated with key media partners and influencers over the past month to develop custom content from across Orlando to connect one-on-one with our multicultural audiences. The content will be used throughout the year to promote Unbelievably Real Orlando experiences through integrated multichannel media programs to drive visitation from key audience segments including U.S. Hispanic, African American, LGBTQ+, and Asian American Pacific Islander. Stay tuned for the final videos as they are released in June!
Key Tourism Indicators
For the week ending May 20: Metro Orlando occupancy was 67.9%, up from last week's 64% but down -6.7% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $193.74, up 7.8% from last year.
Industry Employment: The Leisure and Hospitality sector within the Orlando MSA gained 500 jobs from March to April and is now at 103% of pre-pandemic employment. The sector is comprised of three areas:
- Food Services and Drinking Places decreased by -0.2% from March to April. The sector is currently at 106% of February 2020 employment.
- Arts, Entertainment and Recreation grew by 0.4% from March to April. The sector is currently at 105% of February 2020 employment.
- Accommodations grew by 0.4% from March to April. The sector is currently at 94% of February 2020 employment.
Across the Industry
Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: As we approach the end of the monthlong celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), we want to continue amplifying Orlando’s AAPI history & culture, landmarks, events, offers and dining. Visit our consumer blog to read about unique AAPI restaurants, shops and annual celebrations available all year.
Mayor Dyer’s State of the City: On Wednesday, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer provided his annual State of the City Address, where he highlighted "The Promise of Orlando," a city where everyone can thrive. Mayor Dyer also spoke on public safety, quality of life and providing opportunity for all. Learn more and watch the full Address here.
TDT Citizens Advisory Task Force: Orange County's TDT Citizen's Advisory Task Force heard pitches from several organizations hoping to be considered for future unallocated Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues that meet current guidelines in Florida Statutes. TDT revenue is generated by a 6-percent tax on hotel stays and other short-term rentals under six months. More organizations will present to the Task Force on June 7 and 16. Learn more here.
Visit Orlando Engaged!
I-Drive Chamber Luncheon: Visit Orlando team members attended International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce’s general luncheon. This month’s presentation focused on SeaWorld, including updates on their newest attraction, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, which launches tomorrow.
Eagle Awards Gala: This past weekend, Visit Orlando team members attended the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida’s (AACCCF) Eagle Awards Gala. The awards celebrate Central Florida’s entrepreneurs and growing businesses and honor large corporations and organizations that positively impact the community. The Orlando Magic was honored with the Corporate Recognition Award which recognizes an organization that demonstrates the highest commitment to business and social responsibility.
ConnectDTO: This week, Downtown Orlando Partnership hosted ConnectDTO for Orlando’s business professionals and emerging leaders to participate in educational sessions, tours, and small group setting conversations with city leaders. Visit Orlando participated in a panel on issues impacting hospitality and tourism with representatives from Good Salt Restaurant Group, University Club, Greenery Creamery & Sampaguita Ice Cream and Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando.
El Josco Awards: The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida hosted its annual El Josco Awards, honoring outstanding individuals of Puerto Rican/Hispanic descent who demonstrate leadership and expertise in education, health, entrepreneurship, communications and business. Diana Font, Visit Orlando board member and president at DMFont Events, was a finalist in the community service category. Congratulations to all the honorees and winners for their significant contributions to our Orlando community.
In the News
Travelweek: Visit Orlando updates online training platform for agents
Smart Meetings: Cvent's top meetings and destinations lists return
MeetingsNet: New hotel with meeting space comes to Disney World
Yahoo: SeaWorld Orlando: Pipeline roller coaster’s opening day approaches
ShermansTravel: The best LGBTQ+ Pride events at theme parks for 2023