Visit Orlando is developing its next 3-year strategic plan to keep Orlando the destination that is sought after for leisure travel, meetings and conventions, as well as growth in amenities and jobs. We need your input and feedback.
We have contracted MMGY NextFactor for the use of their diagnostic tool, DestinationNEXT, in gaining valuable feedback from key stakeholders in tourism, business, education and government, as well as media, meeting planners, travel professionals and more. The company has worked with more than 200 destinations globally in this type of process.
We know the results of this survey will spark a thoughtful, productive conversation about the destination. That's why it's vital for us to hear your candid (and completely anonymous) opinions about what we do and what we could be doing better. In order to develop the most accurate picture, we ask that you answer the survey as you see Orlando today.
This is an important step in our continual journey towards recovery, and I urge you to set aside just 25 minutes to complete the DNEXT Survey. This will remain open for your feedback until June 30, but we suggest you complete it sooner rather than later, so that it doesn't fall off your radar.
Thank you in advance for your time and invaluable shared perspectives.
Upcoming Orlando Meetings
With dozens of high-profile meetings and events scheduled for the rest of 2021, activity at the Orange County Convention Center is about to take off in a big way. In fact, this is set to be one of the best summers for attendance. From May through the remainder of the year, the OCCC has 83 scheduled events with $1.58 billion in estimated economic impact.
Here are some highlights over the next two months:
June 4-6: Vision Expo East
June 6-10: North American Veterinary Community – VMX
June 16-18: InfoComm (Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Assoc.)
June 18-29: AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships
July 7-9: Coverings and Wood Flooring Expo
July 17-23: ICAST (American Sportfishing Assoc.)
Tourism Employment on the Rise
Orlando tourism industry employment has rebounded to about two-thirds of where it stood pre-pandemic, reflecting trends seen across other key indicators such as hotel occupancy and air travel.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, leisure and hospitality employment in April rose by 2.5% from March, outpacing the 0.6% increase in total Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) employment. That translates to 4,600 added jobs and 70% of the MSA's total job growth.
Of leisure and hospitality's three industry sectors, restaurants/bars are at 85% of February 2020 employment levels, followed by arts/entertainment/recreation (56%) and accommodations (47%). Accommodations employment rose 10.8% from March to April.
Priming the Pump by Connecting with U.S. and Global Travel Professionals
As competition heats up among travel destinations, our team has been hard at work promoting Orlando at highly attended trade shows such as AAA Escapes and Back to Travel. We've also been educating and training industry professionals across the globe for when international travel returns.
These activities include: a 950-person webinar with Inteletravel, the largest host travel agency in the U.S.; partnering with Disney Destinations sales on a virtual training seminar that reached nearly 600 travel agents across 16 Latin American countries; and hosting a thank you event for The Day of Travel Agents in Brazil, "Dia do Agente de Viagens," with over 460 in attendance.
In addition to helping travel professionals sell Orlando to their clients, these events allow us a better understanding of what topics are the most important to consumers in key markets.
Believe it or not, summer is nearly upon us, but we're not complaining, and neither are our Instagram followers. Check out our most recent blog post to learn what Orlando fans are most excited to do this summer.
Destinations International CEO Summit
This week, I had the pleasure of attending the Destinations International CEO Summit, where leaders across the destination-marketing industry come together to network, collaborate and share ideas. Seminars focused on a variety of topics, including leadership development, innovation, recovery and the future of travel.
State of the County Address set for June 4
I encourage you to watch Mayor Jerry Demings' State of the County address June 4 at 9 a.m. This annual speech highlights the accomplishments and challenges faced by Orange County government, our residents, businesses and community partners — and also looks toward the future to build a community that works for everyone. Read more and watch live here.
For the week ending May 22, occupancy remained mostly unchanged: 56.5% vs 55.2% the previous week. Average daily rate also stayed level, up just $.36 to $106.52.