Check out below to see how our marketing efforts are reaching more consumers in key regions of the country, and catch up on important events here in our destination.
Largest-Ever U.S. Campaign Includes 3 New Markets
I'm excited to share that we launched our largest-ever domestic marketing campaign last week, adding Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, to extend our reach into even more markets across the U.S. Expected to generate over 500 million impressions over a five-month period, the campaign is also running in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta and Florida. The campaign encourages consumers to "Forget the winter blues" and "Escape to Orlando," while creating memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Excellent December for Orlando's Lodging Industry
If December seemed really busy at area hotels, there's a reason. Orlando's lodging industry ended the year in strong fashion, supported in large part by group business related to meetings and conventions. In December, hotel occupancy (75.5%) rose 1.8%, demand increased 4.0%, average daily rate ($135.54) went up 5.6% and set a monthly record, and revenue per available room jumped 7.5%. In an upcoming issue, we'll look at how our lodging sector fared, overall, in 2019.
Inaugural State of I-Drive Next Week
I invite you to join me at Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings' inaugural State of I-Drive, which takes place Jan. 31 at the Orange County Convention Center. Open to the public, the event will discuss innovative new projects planned for I-Drive, as well as the district's positive impacts on Orlando's economy. Register here.
NFL Pro Bowl Is Sunday at Camping World Stadium
Pro football fans from across the nation began arriving in Orlando this week for the NFL's fourth consecutive Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium. Kickoff is at 3 on Sunday, and tickets are still available. Since Wednesday, our team has been at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex (site of the Pro Bowl Experience, Skills Showdown and practices) to interact with visitors and help them discover all our destination has to offer.
Festival Spotlights Eatonville Heritage
Starting tomorrow, the annual ZORA! Festival will begin celebrating the life and work of 20th-century writer Zora Neale Hurston and her hometown of Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African American municipality. The weeklong event features museum exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops and concerts, culminating with a street arts festival Feb. 1-2.
OTHER NEWS FROM VISIT ORLANDO
» Visit Orlando joined locally renowned chefs and industry professionals at the Orlando World Center Marriott yesterday as more than 300 high school students participated in the annual Central Florida NAF Hospitality & Culinary Competition. Through a variety of cooking demonstrations and contests, the event helps prepare high school students for careers in culinary arts and hospitality.
» Last weekend, our team had the pleasure of joining hundreds of community and business leaders at the African American Chamber's annual awards gala. Special thanks to President Tanisha Nunn Gary for her hard work in helping Central Florida's African American business community continue to succeed, and congratulations to the award winners!