In another positive sign for our destination’s slow, steady recovery, I’m happy to share that Orlando’s tourism industry recorded a very strong Labor Day weekend.
Parks at Universal and Disney reached their limited-capacity thresholds, and Metro Orlando’s hotel occupancy hit 42.2% on Friday and 58.9% on Saturday, by far our best weekend since the onset of the pandemic.
In addition, our region continues to do an excellent job reducing the prevalence of COVID-19, which is crucial to attracting more visitors and accelerating our economic recovery. Orange County’s positivity rate, which now stands below 5%, has been trending downward since late July, and no COVID-19 outbreaks have been traced to Orlando’s theme parks.
Building on these positive indicators, Visit Orlando continues to promote our destination in key drive markets across Florida and the Southeast U.S., with numerous offers making this an especially attractive time to visit. Below are a few of the many other ways our organization is keeping Orlando top of mind as we head into the fall season.
#LoveOrlando: Our #LoveOrlando campaign continues tapping into the passion people have for our destination, turning our fans into ambassadors on social media. Special thanks to our many member companies encouraging their guests to share their recent Orlando experiences using this hashtag. Area residents are joining in too: “Even though we are locals,” one user wrote, “visiting a local resort makes us feel like we are thousands of miles away from home. It’s the perfect staycation and break from regular life! #LoveOrlando”
Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining: If you haven’t made reservations yet for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining — our $35, three-course option at more than 70 of Orlando’s finest restaurants — you’d better act fast! Response to this year’s program has been terrific, with several restaurants even filling every available time slot through Oct. 4. Our publicity team has generated more than 100 stories about Magical Dining in local and state media, including dozens of features on participating restaurants, like this FOX 35 segment on Menagerie Eatery & Bar. View all Magical Dining menus and book your reservations here.
Best Girlfriend Getaway: Orlando recently made Travel + Leisure’s list for best girlfriend getaways, thanks to our publicity team arranging a destination visit in February. The journalist experienced not only our theme parks, but our restaurants and other activities as well. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also ran a follow-up version of the story too.
Ribbon-Cutting at Tru by Hilton: Visit Orlando Chief Sales Officer Mike Waterman recently joined the team at Hilton to celebrate the opening of its latest property, Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center. The 259-room hotel is located at 6461 Westwood Blvd., between the Orange County Convention Center and SeaWorld.
Sharing Best Practices: Daryl Cronk, Visit Orlando’s senior director of market research and insights, shared key travel industry indicators, forward-looking data and how consumer sentiment could impact fall travel with more than 40 community and business leaders yesterday. The Greater Orlando Sports workgroup, composed of venue leaders from across the destination, meets regularly to share best practices on reopening safely.
Research & Insights
Hotel Metrics: Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Sept. 5 was 30.9%, up from 27.2% the previous week. Average daily rate rose $5.73 to $85.97. The gains were primarily driven by strong demand over the Labor Day weekend.
Summer Travel Recap: According to a recent study, 35% of Americans took a leisure trip this summer. About half reported it made them feel more confident that it is possible to travel safely during the pandemic, and only 6% said it made them less confident. Florida was the top destination for summer leisure trips (13%), followed by California and Texas. Read more
Stay safe, everyone.
President & CEO