As the weather heats up, so does the demand for an Orlando vacation.
So far, spring break season has been very promising, highlighted by strong travel indicators and positive global publicity. For example, TravelPulse recently named Orlando the No. 1 spring break destination in the U.S., Orlando International Airport is projecting near-record passenger traffic through April 19, and hotel occupancy for the week ending March 12 was 80.6% (our second-highest level of the year and well above the 55% during the same week in 2021).
For context, it’s worth noting that this is shaping up to be our first “normal” spring break season in three years, as the pandemic closed theme parks at this point in 2020 and we were still in the early-to-middle stages of recovery in 2021. But today is a new day, and we’re projecting the next few weeks will be nearly on par with what we experienced in 2019.
Read on for ways Visit Orlando is working to drive visitation and keep our destination top of mind, this spring break season and beyond.
Boosting U.S. Marketing Efforts
Our domestic Wonder Remains campaign is shifting into high gear, with TV and out-of-home ads running throughout the month to capitalize on short-term bookings and plant the seed for summer travel. This boosts our existing paid search, social and digital display media efforts, which have been running since January. Target markets include New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.
Promoting International Travel
As international travel ramps up again, we’re targeting our key markets of Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the UK with efforts that span publicity, marketing and travel industry sales.
Publicity: We’ve homed in on markets that have the most flexibility and demand to travel, sending staff to connect with top journalists in-market, rebuilding relationships and educating them on our destination. Several of these media missions are planned over the next couple of months in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, including stops in Mexico, Canada, New York City, Brazil and London.
Marketing: Partnering with Brand USA, we re-launched our successful Wonder Remains campaign in Mexico and the UK, with fully integrated media targeting adults and families. We are also excited to return to Brazil with an integrated media campaign that pushes to our Portuguese website. And in Canada, we’re focused on warm-weather messaging that spotlights outdoor adventures.
Travel Industry Sales: In addition to relaunching our online Orlando Travel Academy earlier this year, we’re partnering with our theme parks and major airlines on webinars and in-person events that train travel professionals across all our key markets. Coming up, we’ll be hosting a media and client breakfast at WTM in Brazil, traveling to Canada for a sales mission, teaming up with UK clients on co-op campaigns, and preparing to welcome the global travel industry to Orlando June 4-8 for IPW.
Praise from Southern Living
Orlando is featured prominently in the latest edition of Southern Living, a result of our publicity team working with a reporter to provide detailed information on top attractions, restaurants and resorts. Not only did the magazine feature a story on “Family-Fun Things to Do in Orlando Beyond the Theme Parks,” it also named us the “South’s Best Family Getaway” for 2022.
Spread the Word: Virtual Travel Show with AAA
On March 26, Visit Orlando is partnering with AAA to host a first-of-its-kind, single-destination booking event for consumers, and we need your help to spread the word. This virtual travel show will help generate sales to Orlando, using AAA as the exclusive booking partner. It’s also a unique opportunity for our members to connect with future visitors like never before. If your friends or family are thinking about a visit to Orlando, please share the link!
Save the Date
Visit Orlando’s Travel & Tourism Event will take place May 5 at the Orange County Convention Center. More information on this event coming soon!
Welcome Back, HIMSS!
This week, Orlando hosted The HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition, bringing an estimated 26,000 attendees March 14-18. This healthcare convention is notable not only for its size, but also as a milestone in our recovery. Two years ago, HIMSS was the first to cancel an in-person event at the Orange County Convention Center amid growing concerns over COVID-19. Now we’ve come full circle, and we look forward to even more rebookings as safety concerns and travel restrictions ease. Read more.
Welcome New Members
Please join me in recognizing our newest members. These companies are committed to working with us to brand, market and sell our destination, and we welcome their engagement!