While this has been an extremely challenging year throughout the U.S. tourism industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors has been meetings and conventions.
The good news, however, is that Orlando continues to be a model for the safe return of in-person events. December marks the Center’s busiest month since March, with seven events expected to draw 60,000 attendees and generate over $100 million in economic impact. Equally encouraging is the amount of live events planned for the first quarter of 2021.
Building on this momentum, Visit Orlando continues to work closely with meeting planners on dozens of new and rescheduled bookings. In addition, we’re proactively communicating our many recent hotel openings, renovations and expansions, as well as our destination’s commitment to healthy business travel.
Orlando: A Top Christmas Vacation Road Trip
Our publicity team recently worked with Parents Magazine, securing Orlando a spot among this year's top holiday road trips for families. The article features fun Christmas vacations in destinations that “cater to COVID-19 restrictions" and includes a list of not-to-be missed holiday activities for Florida residents.
Florida Marketing Campaign Extended
Our Off to Orlando “state-cation” campaign, launched in mid-September, has been extended through Dec. 20. The campaign highlights resorts, theme parks, attractions, outdoor adventures and holiday activities, and promotes more than 200 member offers through our paid advertising, social media, positive publicity stories and more. Through targeted social and digital ads, we have generated nearly 800,000 visits to our website and initiated over 200,000 hotel searches.
Social Media Broadcast Showcases Orlando for Groups
Visit Orlando convention sales expert Travis Binkley recently joined Hilton Orlando on a "Digital Destinations" livestream, hosted by Meeting Sites Pro, about Orlando for conventions and groups. The conversation showcased multiple topics including our destination-wide health and safety measures, appeal of the Convention Center District, affordability, accessibility, and outdoor and unexpected locations for group activities such as our theme parks, Orlando Science Center, Winter Park, Dr. Phillips Performing Art Center, Top Golf and downtown Orlando.
Tourism Research and Insights
Hotel Metrics: Buoyed by Thanksgiving holiday travel, Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Nov. 28 was 38.8%, the highest it has been since early March and up from 32.5% the previous week. Average daily rate rose $8.52 to $90.01.
Traveler Sentiment: While the surge in national COVID-19 cases continues to disrupt short-term travel, research shows that 80% of American travelers have already begun planning future trips, with June and July 2021 reporting the highest monthly percentages. Nearly half of those surveyed by Destination Analysts (44.2%) say their first trip after a vaccine becomes available will be a major vacation far from their home.
Last Chance to Register!
Register now for Visit Orlando’s Annual Meeting, held virtually Dec. 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. Prepare for an engaging online experience that includes important industry updates, how Visit Orlando plans to support you and your business in the coming year, and an exciting community donation to this year's Magical Dining charity, Feed the Need Florida.
Mourning the Loss of AAU’s Roger Goudy
In closing, our Visit Orlando team is heartbroken by the recent passing of Dr. Roger J. Goudy, president and CEO of the Orlando-based Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
Having served on Visit Orlando's board of directors since 2016, Dr. Goudy was highly engaged in our community and a strong advocate for our destination. Sports were his passion, but his legacy extends well beyond the playing field. Under his leadership, the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships grew to become the largest annual event at the Orange County Convention Center, drawing 150,000 athletes, coaches and spectators and generating $108 million in economic impact. His passion and dedication has helped build Orlando as the premier destination for combining youth sports with an unforgettable vacation experience.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Dr. Goudy’s family, friends and associates at AAU.