At Visit Orlando, part of our role as the Official Tourism Assocation for Orlando is serving our members. As of this month, we are privileged to support nearly 1,500 member companies who rely on our benefits and services.
Visit Orlando’s membership is made up of a wide range of companies representing all segments of the tourism industry. From major theme parks and hotels to museums, parks and even service providers for conventions like photographers and florists. In fact, out of our nearly 1,500 members, more than 600 are small businesses.
Visit Orlando supports our diverse membership by serving as:
- Connector — building bridges to foster mutually beneficial business relationships and driving business directly to members through sales leads.
- Educator — delivering industry news and information, professional development programs and marketing support.
- Champion — creating resources that help our members grow and succeed.
And, what we are probably most known for, Promoter. As a destination marketing organization, Visit Orlando's role is to promote the entire region, including theme parks, arts & culture, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, local neighborhoods, public parks and historical sites.
ICEBAR Orlando is one example of a small business located in the heart of International Drive. Listen to owner Thomas Kerr on how tourism supports his small business.
And you can also check out past highlights featuring Steven Lewis, owner and creator of Gideon's Bakehouse, and Barb Bowden, area managing director of Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort.
If you have any interest in sharing your story to inspire future leaders and entrepreneurs in our industry, please submit your nomination today. Your story can help them see all that is possible.
Stay informed with Visit Orlando news and the latest destination updates by signing up for Tourism Matters, Visit Orlando's President & CEO's weekly newsletter.
Tourism Matters Newsletter (visitorlando.com)
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Checklist Available
To help residents and travelers track their favorite Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining experiences, we released a new blog containing Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining checklist. The tool includes all participating restaurants on an interactive map, lists their pricing tier of $40 or $60 and notes which venues are first-time participants or MICHELIN Guide restaurants. Make your reservations now before the program ends on Oct. 1.
July 2023 TDT Collection
Orange County's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for July came in at $27.1 million—a 5.2% decrease compared to July 2022. In comparison to last month, collections were lower by $2.9 million but higher than July 2021 collections by $2.5 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.
Several factors contributed to the decline in TDT collections over the past couple of months. Last year’s summer season was strong for our destination as we benefitted from pent-up demand driven by revenge travel. This was not sustainable as global travel and the cruise industry have also returned creating greater competition for our destination.
We expect demand in August, and the early fall, to lag 2022 levels, but we still anticipate growth as we look ahead into 2024. Projections from STR and CBRE show hotel demand for Orlando will likely increase by 3%.
Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending Sept. 2, was 57.8%, down from last week’s 60.8% and down 5.2% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $158.67, up from the same week last year.
Across the Industry
Publisher's Award: Congratulations to Terry Prather, senior advisor at Lift Orlando, chair at Dr. Phillips Charities and Visit Orlando board chair, on winning the ONYX Magazine’s Men of Honor Publisher’s Award. The award honors Florida’s most impactful and influential men. ONYX Magazine is a premier publication celebrating black achievement throughout Florida. We are all proud of Terry for being a trailblazer in Central Florida.
Around the Destination
Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism: VISIT FLORIDA's annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism took place this week at Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel. As a premier educational conference for the Florida tourism industry, nearly 1,000 tourism industry professionals, advertising agencies, travel experts and state leaders attended to network, learn from dozens of specialized speakers and explore the latest trends and opportunities within the tourism industry.
During the conference, VISIT FLORIDA announced the recipients of the 2023 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame and Flagler Awards. Congratulations to Visit Orlando board member Claudia Menezes for GoPegasus's Art on Wheels initiative, which received a Flagler Award for Tourism Advocacy.
As one of our industry’s leading events, it was my honor to provide welcome remarks during the Chairman’s Dinner. I shared how tourism strongly benefits our communities and the importance of organizations, colleagues and industry partners across the state coming together to learn from each other and discover ways to collaborate.
FCS Kickoff Game: It was a touchdown for Orlando this past weekend. More than 65,000 people filled Camping World Stadium to watch the Florida State University Seminoles take on the Louisiana State University Tigers and 9.1 million spectators saw the broadcast live. During the game, Visit Orlando's Unbelievably Real campaign had presence within the stadium, including on-field graphics and engaging visuals on the scoreboard, with a QR code for attendees to share their Orlando experience. In addition, our 30-second commercial shot ran twice during the live broadcast. According to the City of Orlando, the game was expected to generate $30-plus million in local economic impact and 45,000 hotel room nights through Labor Day weekend.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando Visit: The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort invited Visit Orlando’s destination experience managers to lunch at Plancha in Tranquilo Golf Course. During the meeting, team members previewed Ravello’s private event space which includes a demonstration kitchen and Capa, a Michelin One Star rated rooftop restaurant with views of Disney World’s fireworks.
Visit Orlando Engaged!
Visit Orlando's Annual Adopt-a-Station: Each year in honor of 9/11, Visit Orlando provides meals to local fire stations in Orange County through the Adopt-a-Station Program. This year, Visit Orlando adopted Orange County Fire Stations 53 and 72 in Commissioner Mayra Uribe’s district near Florida Mall and Orange County Fire Station 55 in Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero’s district near the Orlando International Airport. Team members visited each station sharing our ongoing appreciation for our destination’s firefighters and their commitment to Central Florida’s residents and millions of visitors.
Membership Power Lunch: Our membership team hosted a Power Lunch celebrating the 18th year of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining at participating restaurant and Visit Orlando member Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse. Visit Orlando’s Power Lunches are a new initiative to encourage member connections and provide learning sessions across several engaging topics.
Local Influencer Gathering: Members of Visit Orlando’s public relations team invited local Brazilian influencers, digital creators and visual storytellers representing Re Criando Magia, Orlando No Limits and Andreza Dica & Indica, to attend the grand opening of Chima Steakhouse. Their visit garnered multiple social media posts and stories, including Chima Steakhouse by Renata Rabelo, New Brazilian Steakhouse in Orlando by Andreza Trivilin and Incredible experience at Chima Steakhouse by Silvia Cervi.
In the News
People Magazine: PEOPLE's fall 2023 travel guide for food lovers
Orlando Business Journal: Honoring Orlando's 2023 Best Places to Work
Vacationer Magazine: Celebrate fall in Orlando with over 90 days of halloween thrills, food festivals, and cultural events
Cosmopolitan: Orlando travel guide: Where to stay, what to do and the best restaurants on offer
Southern Living: 9 southern destinations to visit by train