I'm excited to share that Visit Orlando was named one of the “Best Places to Work in Central Florida” by the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ)! Based on an employee satisfaction survey, Visit Orlando was recognized for cultivating an exceptional workplace.
According to the OBJ, the program aims to identify exceptional workplaces whose offices and operation centers boast leaders who go above and beyond to ensure they provide their employees with a fulfilling place to work.
Back in 2021, when we developed our 2022–2024 strategic plan, becoming a top place to work in Central Florida was a target we established. Since then, as an organization we created new core values, enhanced benefits and offered ongoing opportunities to gauge employee feedback.
This recognition is a testament to the progress we have made to firmly establish Visit Orlando as a leader in the travel and tourism industry. If you know anyone looking to join our award-winning organization, we have several full-time positions open and are recruiting now for fall interns. Find out more on our careers page.
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)
Honoring the 49 Lives Lost Through Pulse Remembrance Events
It’s been seven years since the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. As a community, we will continue to remember the victims and support their family members, Pulse survivors and the first responders who made sacrifices to assist all individuals involved. To honor the 49 lives lost, Orlando’s community celebrated Orlando United Day and several Central Florida organizations hosted programs and ceremonies.
The onePULSE Foundation held a Seven-Year Pulse Remembrance Ceremony in Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, One Orlando Alliance encouraged the community to act, love and give through their annual Acts of Love and Kindness program and the Orlando Museum of Art showcased the Inspiration Orlando United mural. View more Pulse Remembrance events and activities here.
Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending June 10, 2023, was 67.4%, down from last week's 63.3% and down 7.6% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $183.28, down 1.3% from last year.
The softening continues to be more pronounced in the leisure segment. Advance hotel bookings are pointing at about a 5% lag in transient (leisure) pace for the summer period from last year's strong performance. Diminished pent-up demand, high travel prices, and elevated competition could all contribute to shifts in leisure travel trends this year. Speaking of competition, U.S. Citizen departures to international regions, including Canada and Mexico air, have exceeded the same time period in 2019 through May 2023.
Group bookings, on the other hand, continue to pace ahead of last year, balancing out softer leisure demand and smoothing out weekday valleys.
Around the Destination
I-Drive Chamber Luncheon: Visit Orlando team members joined community leaders and business professionals at the I-Drive Chamber's "Heart of I-Drive" luncheon to celebrate the multitude of ways our tourism industry gives back to the local community, from volunteering and mentoring youth to financial and in-kind donations.
As part of the celebration, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) was honored with the chamber's Harris Rosen Philanthropic Award, given annually to a business that demonstrates exceptional philanthropic work, making our community and the world a better place. Congratulations to Visit Orlando board member and OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester and the entire team at the convention center!
Sports Tourism Alliance Award: Congratulations to Robert Agrusa, Visit Orlando board member and president at the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA), for being the first recipient of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission's 2023 Sports Tourism Alliance Award. This award recognizes an outstanding executive in the tourism industry who demonstrates exceptional leadership and support for sports tourism in Greater Orlando.
Orlando Family Stage: Congratulations to Orlando Family Stage, formerly known as Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando REP), on its new name. Announced on June 15, its updated name speaks to who they are as an organization, its aims to serve and goal to be more discoverable to its demographic. Read more here.
Advancing DEI in Orlando: The Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) hosted “Critical Conversations: Celebrating Freedom and Advancing DEI in Orlando” for leaders and attendees to engage and openly share in meaningful conversation on topics that impact our business and community. The panelists included Tim Giuliani, president and CEO at OEP; Migdalia Figueroa, president & general manager at Telemundo Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers; Hope Newsome, co-founder & managing partner at Virtus LLP; and District 6 Orange County Government Commissioner Mike Scott. Their conversations featured leading with intentionality, operationalizing diversity and inclusion and what businesses can do to impact the Orlando community.
Visit Orlando Engaged!
TDT Citizens Advisory Task Force: Orange County's TDT Citizen's Advisory Task Force continued to hear pitches from several organizations hoping to be considered for future unallocated Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues that meet current guidelines in Florida Statutes. The Task Force will make recommendations to the Tourist Development Council on July 18 and the Board of County Commissioners on July 25. Learn more here.
WEC23: Meeting Professionals International (MPI) hosted its annual event World Education Congress (WEC), a conference that provides education and facilitates business connections for meeting and event professionals, planners and suppliers across the globe. Visit Orlando’s national accounts director, Kenyetta Peterson, highlighted Orlando to ensure our city is well-positioned in meetings and events.
In the News
Orlando Business Journal: Orlando Magic, Fairwinds among 2023 Best Places to Work winners in Central Florida
Travel Weekly: A thrilling time for theme parks
The Frugalista Life: Where to eat for Father's Day in Tampa Bay and Orlando
Yorkshire Evening Post (UK): Florida’s Walt Disney World: fun for adults too