From greater vaccine distribution to heightened travel readiness among consumers, the future of Orlando's tourism industry grows a little brighter every day with incremental, but positive, progress toward recovery.
Orlando's successful return of safe meetings and conventions — in our hotels and the Orange County Convention Center — is a great testament to the trust that clients and attendees have in Orlando businesses and our community leaders. In fact, multiple events are relocating this year from other cities to the OCCC, with one of the most prominent being Vision Expo East in early June. Our collective commitment to the highest health standards — whether a large-scale event or small — is gaining recognition across the country, and our team at Visit Orlando weaves in this strength throughout all our sales, advertising, publicity and visitor services outreach. For instance, these recent articles from Meetings Today and Prevue Meetings & Incentives show a bit more about how we're working closely, and in new ways, with clients to generate much-needed economic impact across our region.
If you're interested in learning more about how safe, live events are happening in Orlando, don't miss our upcoming virtual industry panel next week. More details below…
Feb. 23: Discover the Template for Hosting In-Person Events
Join us Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m., for a case study in how to hold a successful in-person event. Jody Mosley, operations director of the recent Surf Expo that attracted over 3,000 buyers and exhibitors, will outline the steps they took to develop and execute a productive show at the Orange County Convention Center. The virtual panel, hosted by Visit Orlando Chief Sales Officer Mike Waterman, will also include representatives from Orlando Health and OCCC, and I will provide opening remarks. Register today.
Spring Break Forecast
Visit Orlando's senior director of market research and insights, Daryl Cronk, was recently interviewed for this WESH story, as well as NBC News online, about consumers' travel plans in 2021. "The region expects 2021 spring break travel to mirror the Christmas and New Year holidays, when occupancy reached 50 percent," he said. "This would be a significant improvement over last year's 12 percent, one of the lowest points of the year."
The Wonder Remains
The launch of our new marketing campaign, The Wonder Remains, continues to receive strong coverage by the media, and I want to thank the Orlando Business Journal for publishing an in-depth article on it yesterday. Check out the story for details about the campaign's target demographic, markers of success, funding and more.
To help celebrate Black History Month, influencer @isntlifedandy recently took over our Instagram channel for a day, bringing us a closer look into Eatonville's history, culture and cuisine. Check out the video above for some inspiration on where to grab your next meal in the nation's oldest Black incorporated municipality.
Weekly Occupancy Rate
Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Feb. 13 was 43.9%, up from 35% the previous week, thanks to the long weekend for Presidents Day. This is the second highest weekly occupancy we've seen during the pandemic. Average daily rate rose $9.45 to $91.59.
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!