Expect a surge in visitors, starting with Memorial Day weekend
With so much pent-up travel demand, we anticipate a considerable influx of visitors over the next few months.
At Orlando International Airport, nonstop domestic seat capacity from June through August is actually 7% higher than summer 2019, and June hotel bookings are only about 25% below where they stood at this point in 2019 — tremendous progress, all things considered.
In addition, Orlando is AAA’s top destination for Memorial Day, WalletHub ranks us the nation’s best summer travel destination, and U.S. News & World Report lists Orlando/Disney World as its top family vacation spot for 2021.
With the new CDC guidance on masks and social distancing for vaccinated individuals — coupled with our theme parks raising capacity levels — Orlando is on a path to full recovery.
April Best Month in over a Year for Metro Orlando Lodging Sector
These positive developments come on the heels of Metro Orlando's best monthly occupancy rate (60.2%) and average daily rate ($114.51) since the pandemic. These figures are noteworthy because spring break patterns usually lead to more hotel stays, and higher room rates, in March. Year over year, April demand also jumped nearly seven-fold — meaning Orlando had 2.1 million occupied room nights compared to 318,000 in April 2020.
For the week ending May 15, occupancy remained mostly unchanged: 55.2% vs 55.9% the previous week. Average daily rate fell $1.72 to $106.15.
Connecting and Reconnecting
At Visit Orlando, we’re making a big push to connect with as many community and industry leaders as possible, from local nonprofits to state and national trade groups.
Over the past few weeks, my team and I have had the pleasure of presenting to the Orlando Economic Partnership, travel publisher Lonely Planet, the Central and North Florida Business Travel Association, and the Urban Land Institute.
And I’m excited to announce that on Wednesday our board of directors voted to rejoin Visit Florida, the state’s destination marketing organization.
By opening new avenues of collaboration, Visit Orlando can capitalize on opportunities to share knowledge and build partnerships that boost our local economy.
Strategic Plan Development
I’m excited to announce that we’ve kicked off the process to develop Visit Orlando’s three-year strategic plan. Next week, we’ll be emailing a survey to help inform our goals and priorities, and your input is very important. Thank you in advance for participating, as together we strive to become an even better organization and destination.
New Visit Orlando.com Social Wall
We've added a fun new feature to the Visit Orlando website: a social media wall of user-generated content. Designed to show people enjoying the entirety of our destination, the wall includes real-life experiences in Orlando that have been shared across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. People who tag #visitOrlando will have the opportunity to be featured on our channels and the wall.
Celebrating Asian Culture in Orlando
As we continue to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Visit Orlando is spotlighting opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy our Asian dining scene. Check out our press release, blog and video featuring Orlando food blogger Ricky Ly for some ideas on what you’ll want to try next!
Now Accepting Charity Applications for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining
We are now accepting applications from local nonprofits for Visit Orlando’s 16th annual Magical Dining, which runs Aug. 27 through Oct. 3. Last year’s program raised a record $345,378 for Feed the Need Florida. This year, donated funds will be focused on organizations helping to combat homelessness, offer rental assistance and/or assist with affordable housing.
Eligible nonprofits are encouraged to apply online no later than June 1. Questions can be directed to community relations manager Kristin Westover.
Across the Industry
Disney World, Universal and SeaWorld all drop outdoor mask rules
Lester Holt anchors NBC ‘Nightly News’ in Orlando
Orlando’s tourism comeback amid the pandemic
Orlando innovates for safe meetings
U.S. screened 1.85M at airports on Sunday, most since March 2020
Developer aims to open public access Crystal Lagoons in Orlando
7 best water parks in Orlando for every age group and interest
I-Ride Trolley resuming limited service May 27
In your service,
Casandra Matej | President & CEO