As we enter the fall season, Visit Orlando launched the second flight of our Canada campaign to drive travel demand in our top international market.
New research from XBorder Canada 2023 Travel Intentions report shows that 22% of Canadians are likely to visit the U.S. in the next 12 months. This campaign is critical ensure that Orlando welcomes our fair share of Canadian visitors, as we are still working to fully recover to visitation levels from 2019.
Fortunately, it's becoming easier for our visitors from the north to travel to Orlando. This month, expanded flight service will connect more major Canadian airports with Orlando, including:
- Canada Jetlines — four weekly flights from Toronto
- Porter Airlines — daily flights from Toronto and Ottawa
- Lynx Air — multiple weekly flights, connecting Orlando with key hubs in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver
Visit Orlando’s campaign, under the “Unbelievably Real” brand, will target Toronto, Ontario and our newer markets in Montreal and Quebec through TV, digital display, online video, paid social, out-of-home advertising and search engine marketing. In addition, patrons of Toronto's popular Distillery District will find a takeover of our creative on wind barriers and lamp post banners, while they dine and shop.
To broaden the message and reach even more of our key audience, Visit Orlando negotiated a month-long promotion with Canada's No. 1 rated "The Morning Show" that included hosts Jeff McArthur and Carolyn MacKenzie and her family coming to the destination to experience many of Orlando's offerings.
The show taped six segments showcasing Orlando's outdoor adventures, Michelin dining, unique attractions and entertainment across Orlando's neighborhoods. The weekly segments will air from Oct. 5 to Nov. 9 nationally on Canada's Global News Network.
Strong international visitation fuels our local economy as visitors support local businesses, pay sales tax and drive tourist development tax collections. And because of tourism, households in Orlando save more than $7,500 in annual taxes. Learn more here.
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Tourism Matters Newsletter (visitorlando.com)
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Univision
As part of Visit Orlando's annual Multicultural campaign, we partnered with Univision to create a custom video series honoring Orlando's diverse Hispanic food and music in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The vignettes will run on Univision’s “Despierta America” TV show and social channels through October.
Final Weekend to Participate in Visit Orlando's Magical Dining
Last call! We've reached the final weekend of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining. Make your dinner reservations before the program ends on Oct. 1 and access the new restaurant checklist to make your selection process easier. Bon appetite!
Epic Paddle Adventures Video Spotlight
Our tourism industry is essential to our economy, generating $87.6 billion in economic impact and supporting 450,000 jobs, from architects to zoologists and every position in between. Orlando’s tourism industry provides creative career paths and opportunities for individuals with diverse interests. In the latest episode of our video series to showcase these careers and small businesses, Jenny Brown, owner of Epic Paddle Adventures, shares her inspiration for starting her company, mentions its rapid growth and hopes to expand into the corporate world of events and experiences.
Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending Sept. 23, was 65.5%, up from last week's 63% but down 10% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $177.87, slightly up from last week but down 5.4% from the same week last year.
Across the Industry
OBJ Power Players: Congratulations to Visit Orlando board members, Robert Agrusa, president and CEO at the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association; Tim Giuliani, president & CEO at the Orlando Economic Partnership; and Chris Mueller, general manager at Hilton Orlando. for being named an Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) Power Player. The award recognizes community and industry leaders who help grow and innovate the way business is done throughout the region. See the full list of recipients here.
Around the Destination
State of Downtown Address: Visit Orlando team members attended Downtown Orlando Partnership’s State of Downtown address at Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The program, which brings together hundreds of Central Florida’s influential stakeholders and downtown supporters, featured a keynote address by City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and networking opportunities. Mayor Buddy Dyer shared his vision of growing Downtown Orlando into a neighborhood that belongs to everyone—an initiative called Project DTO 2.0. The main areas of focus are creating: a safe downtown, a downtown for everyone and a downtown that diversifies and strengthens our economy. Watch a recap here.
USHCC National Conference: We recently had the honor of hosting the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Conference in Orlando at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. This event stands as the largest assembly of Hispanic business leaders in the United States, bringing together corporate partners to promote Hispanic economic growth for the greater American economy. Thank you to Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe for providing remarks at the Presidents Roundtable and to all our elected officials, including both Mayor Jerry Demings and Mayor Buddy Dyer, for their support of this important event.
NAACP Awards Luncheon: This week, the Orange County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted its “Together We Thrive” Membership & Awards Luncheon at Rosen Centre Hotel. Several Central Florida community leaders were honored for their extensive work. LIFE Members of the Orange County Branch were also recognized for their commitment to the NAACP and civil rights.
Ohtli Award: Congratulations to Richard D. Debler for receiving the Ohtli Award from the Consulate of Mexico. The award is an honor the Mexican Government provides to Mexican citizens who work in the United States or other countries based on their promotion of Mexican Culture and assistance to Mexican Citizens. Richard receiving this esteemed award is a testament to the endless possibilities available for individuals within travel, tourism and hospitality.
Visit Orlando Engaged!:
Skift Meetings Forum: Visit Orlando was invited to the inaugural Skift Meetings Forum, an exclusive event for top-tier business events professionals and high-level suppliers. During the event, Visit Orlando joined President & CEO of New Orleans & Company, Walt Leger, and President & CEO of Visit Baltimore, Al Hutchinson, on a discussion about "The Role of Politics and Perception on Site Selection" session, exploring the dynamics that go into destination decisions in 2023 and beyond.
Meeting with Senator: Congratulations to Senator Geraldine Thompson, who became the chair of the African American History Museum Task Force this week. The task force will plan the construction, operation and administration of a museum celebrating Black history in the state. The group is looking at options for the museum's location, including historic Eatonville, Florida. Visit Orlando representatives met with Senator Thompson to discuss cultural tourism opportunities and critical research to assist the task force.
UK Trade Partners: Visit Orlando's travel industry sales team collaborated with Brand USA and JetBlue to co-host trade partners from the UK. Through a unique scavenger hunt created with Visit Orlando's core values in mind and a trail of eight miles on foot, the group visited popular tourist locations, including the Unbelievably Real mural in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola, historic Winter Park and International Drive. The experience cultivated a fun and unique way to explore the city while creating a lasting memory.
Annual Golf Classic: The West Orlando Chamber of Commerce hosted its signature Annual Golf Classic at the West Orange Country Club, connecting business leaders for a lively afternoon of relationship-building. The team comprised Senior Advisor at Lift Orlando and Visit Orlando’s Board Chair, Terry Prather; President and CEO at ICON Park, Chris Jaskiewicz; and Visit Orlando’s Chief Operating Officer, Mario Bass and Chief Sales Officer, Mike Waterman.
Children Celebrity Golf Tournament: City of Orlando Commissioner Bakari Burns’ FORE! Children Celebrity Golf Tournament also took place this week, benefiting Central Florida’s community programs, current and future college students, grade school students and seniors. The team comprised President and CEO at Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, Robert Agrusa; Business Owner at Buckalew Hospitality, Dave Buckalew; General Manager at Hilton Orlando and Visit Orlando Board Member, Chris Mueller; and Visit Orlando’s Business Development Specialist, Justin Leonard.
In the News
Click Orlando: Long-awaited multicultural center opens in Orange County’s Pine Hills
The Frugalista Life: A guide to 90 days of Orlando halloween celebrations
WESH2: 'Orlando for All' campaign aims to show a welcoming community
Travel + Leisure: The most affordable destinations for a fall getaway
Orlando Business Journal: Visit Orlando in Florida says its influencer campaigns are data-driven