This week I joined Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and other area leaders as we revealed this colorful new billboard on wheels, a testament to our entire community's commitment to following COVID-19 guidelines. Encouraging people to "Do Your Part: Mask Up," the bus will attract plenty of attention on routes downtown and in tourism areas.
Why is this campaign important? Apart from obvious health reasons, research shows that consumers not only want to support businesses that employ visible safety measures, they actually favor visiting destinations that require face-mask usage.
Thank you to LYNX for providing the bus wrap free of charge, becoming the latest organization to donate in-kind services to our campaign. If your business would like to showcase its safety measures, I encourage you to utilize the tools available at DoYourPartORL.com.
Research & Insights Webinar: Interested in what the future of Orlando tourism might hold? I encourage you to join us Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 10 a.m. as Daryl Cronk, Visit Orlando's senior director of market research and insights, reviews key travel industry indicators, forward-looking data and how evolving consumer sentiment could impact fall travel. Click here to register.
June TDT Collections: While Orange County's Tourist Development Tax, charged on short-term rentals, was only $2.63 million for June (an 89.2% decrease from June 2019), it does represent a sizable increase from May. Universal and SeaWorld reopening in June helped drive collections, and July's figure should be boosted even more by Disney's reopening, as well as the impact of amateur and professional sports holding events at the Orange County Convention Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, respectively.
Hotel Metrics: Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Aug. 1 was 30.3%, slightly down from 32.0% the previous week, and average daily rate fell $1.61 to $84.00. Visit Orlando is tracking that, across our destination, about 86% of hotels are open, representing about 75% of the region's total hotel room inventory.
Training Travel Advisers: Our travel industry sales team recently updated nearly 1,000 domestic and Canadian tour operators through our "ReBound & ReDiscover" webinar series, which shared destination updates and new safety measures from our theme parks, attractions and hotels. The three-part series featured Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, SeaWorld Orlando, Westgate Resorts, ICON Park, Orlando Magic and Gatorland. Travel advisers play an important role ensuring visitors feel confident in resuming travel to Orlando, and they rely on Visit Orlando as a trusted source for information and updates.
NOW OPEN: OFFICIAL VISITOR CENTER
Visit Orlando's Official Visitor Center on International Drive is now open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees and visitors are required to wear a mask and follow social distancing while inside, and only credit card payments will be accepted. Our vacation guides are also available via phone at 407-363-5872 and live chat during business hours.