On Thursday, 1,000 leaders across our tourism industry and community gathered for Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting & Luncheon, a fitting way to put the finishing touches on a stellar 2018. We certainly had a lot to celebrate including:
-- The tourism industry grew at its fastest pace since 2014, adding nearly 13,000 jobs.
-- The average daily room rate set at an all-time high, occupancy levels continue to be well above state and national averages, and hotel construction is on the rise.
-- Orange County had its best fiscal year ever for collections of tourist development tax.
-- And Orlando International - which is now the state's busiest airport - saw passenger traffic rise more than 5 percent.
Add it all up and it's been a very strong year for Orlando's No. 1 industry. In fact, we fully expect the good news will translate to another historic visitation total for 2018 - but we'll be able to make the official announcement in May during our next signature luncheon event.
Until then, happy holidays, Orlando and all of Orange County! Congratulations on another excellent year.
-- George Aguel