April 17, 2020, 3 p.m.:

I want to share with you today one of our most important initiatives launched just this week, the Tourism Help Hub. In the short time it has been live, the hub has received a great level of response and interest.

As the challenges to our industry continue, we remain focused on the many resources we can provide to support local businesses and their employees, as well as keeping Orlando top of mind with consumers, rescheduling and booking new conventions, and developing destination recovery plans. As always, our team stands ready to be of assistance for any additional insights or questions you may have.

Visit Orlando In Action

Tourism Help Hub: Our website now contains a page dedicated to the most relevant news and resources for individuals and businesses in need. The Tourism Help Hub includes information on financial relief resources, food assistance, employment opportunities and even special offers our members are giving healthcare workers and first responders. To assist with business planning, the hub will also provide access to Visit Orlando’s industry insights, webinars and opportunities to join campaigns  that are helping to keep Orlando top of mind with consumers. Please check it out, and I invite you to email us with any comments, suggestions or info from your own business.

Zoom Backgrounds: For the exploding number of virtual business meetings and family gatherings, we recently created Orlando-specific Zoom custom backgrounds. From theme parks and attractions to neighborhood hangouts and peaceful landscapes, there’s a “thrill" or “chill” for every Orlando fan.

Webinars: This week, we hosted the second installment of our Wednesday Webinar series. More than 200 people logged in to hear our Tripadvisor partner discuss current travel insights, no-cost activities and examples of tourism businesses doing good deeds around the globe. Join us for our next webinar, April 22 at 10 a.m., as the CEO of Sparkloft Media gives insights into "the mindset of the (post-)crisis consumer.” You can register and view previous webinars here.

Virtual Learning: To help millions of parents juggling triple duties of working, sheltering and now teaching from home, we’ve compiled several free, online learning activities for every age and interest — all with an Orlando theme. From science lessons about living in space, to art classes that teach how to draw Mickey Mouse, and plenty of other captivating stops along the way, kids will be entertained, engaged and (before they know it) educated.

Restaurant Support: We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on our #OrlandoToGo and #407Days campaigns, and this week we kept the momentum going with a fun new twist. Our Instagram stories now feature a “This or That” template which allows followers to choose what type of cuisine they want from local takeout and delivery options — tacos or pizza, salad or wrap, etc. Already, these posts have generated over 1.2 million impressions while promoting 80-plus restaurants.

Rescheduling Conventions: Our convention sales team continues to work alongside the Orange County Convention Center and member hotels to reschedule impacted groups. As of Thursday, 16 conventions with an estimated economic impact of $392 million have rescheduled for 2020 or 2021.

Community & Health

Stay-at-Home Order: The statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect until May 1. For information on how it impacts personal mobility and business operations, please refer to this updated and extended FAQ. For the most critical local health and government updates, visit Orange County's coronavirus webpage.
 
Face Coverings: While not a mandate, Orange County strongly urges individuals to wear a mask or facial covering when out in public and at essential businesses.

Testing Info: There are now four coronavirus testing sites in Orange County: the Orange County Convention Center, UCF’s main campus, the Mall at Millenia and 12050 E. Colonial Drive. More information, including testing criteria, can be found at ocfl.net/coronavirus. The Florida Department of Health plans to open five additional mobile testing sites by April 20.

Call for Masks: Orlando Health is now accepting homemade masks. Donation specifics and locations can be found here.

Stay safe,

George Aguel
President & CEO