This week, Visit Orlando scored big by joining the Orlando Magic in Mexico City to promote our destination’s sports, entertainment and more as the Magic faced off against the Atlanta Hawks as part of the NBA’s Global Games series.
The game was broadcast live on ESPN, Star+, TUDN, NBA League Pass and Mexico City's local market, reaching fans in over 200 countries.
To capture the attention of these audiences and expand our reach with destination messaging, we launched targeted marketing campaigns with signage during the televised games, television commercials on ESPN and extensive social media promotion.
In the arena, fans were also treated to a ride on Visit Orlando’s virtual roller coaster and the team distributed nearly 2,000 giveaways as part of the activation.
Our promotional advertising and strategic marketing efforts help our team keep Orlando well-positioned for potential visitors across various sectors, including leisure, business and sports. It also plays a pivotal role in embedding Orlando's Unbelievably Real experiences in the minds of adults and families in these international markets considering traveling to the U.S.
Beyond the game and arena activation, while in Mexico City, Visit Orlando used the opportunity to connect with travel agents and media to educate them on our destination’s newest developments, from Michelin-dining and theme parks to attractions, outdoor adventures and unique experiences. Activities included:
- An exclusive Agent Training Event with the Orlando Magic, featuring STUFF—the Orlando Magic’s official mascot—and a special appearance by the Magic’s 321 Hype squad, educating over 200 travel agents on all aspects of Orlando.
- A VIP reception alongside the Orlando Magic for 27 tour operators and media partners, prior to the basketball game.
- Meetings with over 20 media publications, including El Heraldo, Forbes Life México, GLAMOUR, Travesias, LADEVI, ESPN and ELLE.
These creative collaborations allow us to highlight Orlando uniquely to reach new audiences that ultimately drive visitation and contribute to advancing Central Florida’s economy.
Learn more about Visit Orlando’s and the Orlando Magic’s partnership by clicking here.
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Tourism Matters Newsletter (visitorlando.com)
Connect with Visit Orlando on Friday, December 8
Join us on Dec. 8 for Visit Orlando's Year End Celebration Luncheon at the Hilton Orlando—an opportunity you don’t want to miss! We’ll unveil the charitable contribution from Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program to this year’s beneficiary, The Lifeboat Project, and celebrate our destination’s successes. Our keynote speaker, the renowned restaurateur Will Guidara, will inspire us with his message on "Unreasonable Hospitality," the power behind giving people more than they expect. To reserve corporate tables, contact Visit Orlando’s member recruitment manager, Kelly Kinney.
September 2023 TDT Collections
Orange County's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for September came in at $24.6 million—a 0.8% increase compared to September 2022. Collections were higher than August 2023 by $2.5 million and higher than September 2021 collections by $8.2 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, museums and events.
September saw an increase in group business attendance due to several large events: Surf Expo, Ace Hardware and Grace Hopper, boosting the OCCC’s citywide attendance to 52% year-over-year growth. As a result, the OCCC is well on its way to establishing a new record for citywide attendance in 2023, with an estimated total of 1.39 million visitors.
So far this year, your Visit Orlando team has booked more than 950 events for 2023 and beyond, with an estimated economic impact of $2.5 billion for our community. Additionally, holiday travel is trending favorably, with advance leisure hotel bookings for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend outperforming 2022 levels by 10%, and the Christmas period, from December 25 to January 1, is up by 5%.
Key Tourism Indicators
For the week ending November 4, 2023: Metro Orlando occupancy was 64.8%, down from last week's 70.8% rate and down 7.7% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $176.68, down from $188.79 last week and down 5.5% from the same week last year.
Industry Employment: The state labor report for September showed a slight increase in overall employment in the Orlando MSA, with a gain of 2,500 jobs (0.2%) from August’s report. The Leisure and Hospitality sector within the Orlando MSA lost 900 jobs from August to September and is now at 102% of pre-pandemic employment. The sector is comprised of three areas:
- Food Services and Drinking Places grew by 0.9% from August to September. The sector is currently at 106% of February 2020 employment.
- Arts, Entertainment and Recreation fell by 1.4% from August to September. The sector is currently at 100% of February 2020 employment.
- Accommodations fell by 1.2% from August to September. The sector is currently at 96% of February 2020 employment.
Awards & Galas
2023 Pride in Business Awards Gala: Visit Orlando attended the Pride in Business Awards Gala this week. Organized by The Pride Chamber, the event honored our region’s LGBTQ+ and Ally business owners, professionals and community leaders. The winners were selected for their visible support of the LGBTQ+ community, exemplified the highest standards and success in their profession and promoted equity, diversity, equality and inclusivity in the workplace or a professional capacity.
Lifeboat Yacht Rock Gala: The Lifeboat Project, an organization that raises awareness on the issue of human trafficking, hosted its third annual Yacht Rock Gala at The Alfond Inn. Visit Orlando received the ”Guardian Award,” honoring Visit Orlando for showing leadership to provide visibility to this important topic by selecting The Lifeboat Project as this year‘s charity for Visit Orlando‘s Magical Dining. Area Managing Director at Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando and Visit Orlando Board Member Barb Bowden accepted the honor on our behalf. Learn more about The Lifeboat Project and its local impact here.
Orange County ACT Awards: This week, the inaugural Orange County ACT Awards (Arts, Culture, and Tourism) occurred at the Orange County Multicultural Center. The event highlighted Orange County’s strategic investment of $4.2 million in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds to support the local arts & culture sector. Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the Orange County Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs honored over 40 organizations with cultural tourism grants made possible from TDT funds. Visit Orlando’s Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander joined Orange County Government District 6 Commissioner Mike Scott, Director of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Terry Olsen and community leaders and professionals for the awards event. Learn more about the award ceremony here.
Around the Destination
City of Orlando Elections: Congratulations to City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 2 City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, District 6 City Commissioner Bakari F. Burns and District 35 State Representative Erika Booth for maintaining their respective positions following the 2023 election cycle! You can learn more details about the election in this article.
Orlando City Soccer: Orlando City and Visit Orlando joined forces on an exclusive ticket offer for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. The Lions will go head-to-head with Nashville SC at Exploria Stadium this Sunday at 5 p.m. Take advantage of his offer to see our first home playoff game in person since 2020! With this special offer, tickets start at just $18 each and can be purchased by clicking here. If you would like to buy tickets for a group of 10 or more, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NFL Pro Bowl Games: For the first time in three years, the NFL Pro Bowl Games will return to Orlando with skills showdowns and a highly anticipated flag football game. Make plans to support your favorite NFL players as they show off their talents at our very own Camping World Stadium on Feb. 4, 2024. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.
Visit Orlando Engaged!
Florida Executive Women Luncheon: Visit Orlando participated in the Florida Executive Women's luncheon. The organization meets to support and empower like-minded leaders in the community and hosts monthly luncheons to foster relationships and discuss business trends. During the luncheon, we provided insights on how business owners can collaborate with Visit Orlando to drive new business. Additionally, we shared tips tailored for women-owned businesses and professionals.
Lynx Air Inaugural: Visit Orlando team members joined Lynx Air at the Orlando International Airport to celebrate its new nonstop service between Calgary, Alberta, and Orlando, Florida. As Orlando's top international market, this new route from Canada provides a more accessible, efficient and affordable means of travel for Canadians.
Travel Media Meetup: Our Public Relations Senior Manager, Dipika Hernandez, attended the Southeast Tourism Society’s Travel Media Meetup, where she connected with nearly 30 Atlanta-based travel journalists and influencers. This event engages destinations with prominent media professionals through networking sessions and one-on-one interactions to pitch story ideas and potentially secure feature articles about our destination.
In the News
Forbes: Orlando: five places to visit off the beaten track
FamilyVacationist: 7 best Orlando water parks for all ages (2023)
TravelPress: Canada Jetlines takes off to Orlando
Travel And Tour World: Orlando allures tourists for 2024 tourism season