Please join Visit Orlando for our Year End Celebration Luncheon on Friday, December 8, at the Hilton Orlando! 
 
During this annual event, we celebrate the destination's achievements, present a glimpse of what's in store for 2024 and announce Visit Orlando Magical Dining's donation to this year's charity beneficiary, The Lifeboat Project
 
Our keynote speaker, American restaurateur Will Guidara, will share an inspirational message on what he calls Unreasonable Hospitality, the power behind giving people more than they expect. At twenty-six years old, Guidara found himself leading Eleven Madison Park, a struggling two-star brasserie. Under his leadership and through his unique brand of hospitality, eleven years later, the restaurant was named the best in the world. Join us as he shares his stories, insights and method to create unforgettable experiences.  
 
Register today and take advantage of the networking opportunities with industry professionals, business leaders and community members. Contact our member recruitment manager, Kelly Kinney, to purchase corporate tables. 

Mark your calendars and secure your spot now! 


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Come Out With Pride Festival

Last Saturday, Visit Orlando partnered with iHeartMedia on a colorful #OrlandoForAll float in Orlando's Come Out With Pride parade, which more than 220,000 people. Over the summer, Visit Orlando showcased floats in the Dallas and Chicago Pride Parades earlier in the year. Nearly 50 Visit Orlando team members, iHeart staff and Visit Orlando member organizations joined the Johnny's House crew from XL 106.7 for the 1.2-mile parade route through downtown Orlando.

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Visit Orlando parade walkers wore red t-shirts featuring the headline "WHERE DRAGONS COASTERS AND PRIDE FLAGS FLY."  In addition, Visit Orlando's Come Out With Pride booth featured interactive games, including a Spin to Win wheel, where visitors won prizes provided by Visit Orlando members.

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Partnership with the Orlando Magic

Visit Orlando teamed up with the Orlando Magic as the presenting sponsor for the Magic's International Games Series. The first game took place last Friday at the Kia Center (Formerly Amway Center) against the Brazilian team Flamengo, and the next game is on Nov. 9 in Mexico City against the Atlanta Hawks. This partnership leverages the Orlando Magic's global popularity in two key tourism markets for Orlando - Brazil and Mexico. To complement this partnership, we also launched targeted marketing campaigns with TV signage during the televised games and extensive social media campaigns across various Orlando Magic platforms. Leveraging partnerships like this help keep Orlando top-of-mind with potential visitors to influence their vacation plans to our destination. Learn more about this partnership here

Hotel Metrics

Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending Oct. 21, was 74.7%, up from last week's 70.2% but down 10.4% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $205.57, up from the previous week's $184.89 and slightly down -1.1% from the same week last year.

Across the Industry

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Supplier of the Year: Visit Orlando received PriceTravel's 2023 "Supplier of the Year" award at the annual recognition award event in Cancun, Mexico. PriceTravel is one of the leading online travel agencies in Mexico. The award recognized the collaboration of Visit Orlando's Travel Industry sales team with PriceTravel on a sales and marketing campaign, which was their most successful campaign in North America based on overnight leisure sales results.

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World Travel Awards: Orlando has been nominated for the 30th anniversary World Travel Awards. The honor celebrates excellence across the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Nominations and categories include:

  • World's Leading Theme Park Destination 2023 — Orlando, FL
  • World's Leading Airport 2023 — Orlando International Airport
  • World's Leading Theme Park Resort 2023 — Walt Disney World Resort & Universal Orlando Resort

Voting runs until midnight on Nov. 17, and I encourage you to vote for Orlando by clicking here.

Around the Destination

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District 1 Tour: Visit Orlando team members joined Orange County's District 1 Commissioner Nicole Wilson and her staff on an educational tour of District 1. The itinerary included exploring Oakland Nature Preserve, a walking tour of Plant Street Market and lunch at Pammies Sammies in Winter Garden. The tour provided insights into the hidden treasures unique to this district that capture the attention of both residents and travelers. Thank you to Commissioner Wilson and her team for showing us around their district!

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Congratulations, Terry Prather: Visit Orlando Board Chair Terry Prather was honored as a Diversity Game Changer during the Orlando Magic's season game opener. He was presented with a Magic jersey from Florida Blue Market President Tony Jenkins and Orlando Magic's Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Esu Ma'Aht. The Orlando Magic and Florida Blue teamed up to create the Diversity Game Changers to honor local leaders who have made a difference in social justice and equality. Terry was recognized for his dedication to the community and his leadership roles with LIFT Orlando and Dr. Phillips Charities. We are so proud to have Terry serve on the Visit Orlando Board of Directors.

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50 Most Powerful People: Orlando Magazine hosted a reception honoring the "50 Most Powerful People of 2023." Honorees represented a select group of leaders spanning various fields, including education, public service, philanthropy, business, arts and culture, tourism and transportation, sports and the LGBTQ community. I was in good company with International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce President Maria Triscari, who was also received this honor in the tourism and transportation category. Congratulations to all the recipients, including Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Senator Geraldine Thompson, and Visit Orlando Board Members Kevin Thibault, CEO at Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and Mark Tester, Executive Director at the Orange County Convention Center. For a more in-depth look at these influential individuals and their achievements, read here.

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Golden Dragon Awards: Visit Orlando team members attended the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida's Golden Dragon Awards. The awards are presented annually recognizing outstanding leadership, initiatives, contributions and positive impacts to our Central Florida community. Categories for recognition include the Rising Star Award, Diversity Champion Award and AACC Entrepreneur of the Year. Congratulations to all honorees and the chamber for putting together an impressive program.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

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AAA FAM: Visit Orlando hosted 40 AAA Travel Advisors from the AAA Western & Central New York Club for a FAM tour. The advisors explored Universal Orlando Resort, ICON Park, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Port Canaveral. They also met 14 Visit Orlando members during an Orlando Member Marketplace event at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. The AAA Western & Central New York Club has over 887,000 members representing major metro areas, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

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Halloween Golf Outing: The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association organized a Halloween-themed golf outing at the Legends Course within Orange Lake Resort. It was my pleasure to join Steve Hogan from Florida Citrus Sports, Dennis Quinn representing Universal Orlando Resort and Elizabeth Caldarelli from the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

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LGBTQ+ Global FAM: Visit Orlando's public relations team hosted 11 journalists and influencers representing media outlets from the US, Canada, UK, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia for our first global LGBTQ+ FAM. The group stayed at the AC Hotel Downtown Orlando and the Lake Nona Wave hotel and enjoyed exploring what's new at our theme parks. For beyond-the-park-experiences, they enjoyed lunch at Hamburger Mary's, participated in Pride-related activities, including the Come Out With Pride Festival, and a visit to the onePulse Foundation Memorial & Museum.