To view past issues of Tourism Matters, click here.
Visit Orlando Tourism Matters

June 10, 2022


We’re excited to share that 34 Orlando restaurants will be included in the inaugural edition of the Florida MICHELIN Guide. The selection is comprised of four Starred, seven Bib Gourmands and 23 Recommended

Yesterday’s announcement at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, serves as another milestone in the evolution of Orlando’s world-class culinary scene — seasoning up even more reasons for travelers to choose (and thoroughly enjoy) America’s most visited destination. The inaugural class includes:

One Star Award

  • Capa — Steakhouse
  • Kadence — Japanese/Sushi
  • Knife & Spoon — Steakhouse
  • Soseki — Sushi/Fusion 

Bib Gourmand Designation

  • Bombay Street Kitchen — Indian  
  • Domu — Ramen  
  • Papa Llama — Peruvian
  • The Ravenous Pig (Winter Park) — Gastropub  
  • Strand — American
  • Swine & Sons (Winter Park) — American  
  • Z Asian — Vietnamese

Recommended Restaurants

  • Bacán — Latin American
  • Black Rooster Taqueria — Mexican
  • California Grill (Lake Buena Vista) — American  
  • Cítricos — American, Regional Cuisine
  • Four Flamingos, A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen — Contemporary
  • Hawkers — Asian
  • Kabooki Sushi — Japanese, Sushi
  • Kai Asian Street Fare (Winter Park) — Asian
  • Maxine’s on Shine — American
  • Morimoto Asia (Lake Buena Vista) — Asian
  • Orlando Meats (Winter Park) — American
  • The Pinery — American  
  • Pizza Bruno — Pizza
  • The Polite Pig — Barbecue  
  • Prato (Winter Park) — Italiani, Pizza
  • Primo — Italian  
  • Ravello — Italian
  • Sear + Sea — Steakhouse
  • Selam — Ethiopian
  • Se7en Bites — American, Bakery
  • Shin Jung — Korean
  • Sticky Rice — Lao
  • Tori Tori — Japanese 

Congratulations, award winners, for your accomplishments! And a very special thanks for contributing to what makes Orlando Unbelievably Real
Read more about the featured restaurants here.

Pre-departure Testing Requirement for Inbound Air Travelers Lifted

We have just one more bit of news to reveal: Today, the Biden administration announced that the pre-departure testing requirement for inbound air travelers to the U.S. expires Sunday at 12:01 a.m. EDT. 

This news comes right on time for the summer season — one of the most anticipated seasons for travel — and we can expect to welcome an increased number of visitation from global travelers, business to thrive and a positive impact of our economy. 

Nationally, the U.S. Travel Association predicts an additional 5.4 million international visitors to the U.S. and $9 billion in travel spending.

At Visit Orlando, we’re aiming to reach 80 million visitors by 2024 and are encouraged this news will play a major role in achieving our goal. This is a great step forward for inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the U.S.

We are excited and thank everyone that was involved in making this decision for international travelers and our travel and tourism industry.

2022 IPW recap video.

Orlando Takes Center Stage at IPW

It was a huge week for Visit Orlando and the United States’ travel industry, as together we held a highly successful IPW trade show at the Orange County Convention Center. 
U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, is like the Super Bowl of international travel shows, drawing media, buyers and suppliers from across the globe. This year’s event included over 4,800 delegates representing 60-plus countries. 
Here’s a glimpse of how Visit Orlando showcased our entire destination:

Media pictured at The Hall on the Yard in Ivanhoe Village for brunch.

Media pictured at The Hall on the Yard in Ivanhoe Village for brunch

Travel media pictured at various locations during Visit Orlando press tours.

Travel media pictured at various locations during Visit Orlando press tours

Press Activities: Nearly 400 international travel media joined us for brunch at The Hall on the Yard in Ivanhoe Village before attending one of 12 unique tours across the region. Options included dining and shopping at premium malls, outdoor adventures in Orlando’s local neighborhoods, visits to world-class theme parks and attractions, and more. In addition, our team held over 100 appointments with media to share the latest news in Orlando and help with future stories.

IPW delegates pictured at the Amway Center (Orlando Magic) during a Visit Orlando buyer tour.

IPW delegates pictured at the Amway Center (Orlando Magic) during a Visit Orlando buyer tour

IPW delegates pictured during a Visit Orlando buyer tour.

IPW delegates pictured during a Visit Orlando buyer tour

Buyer Tours: Part of the IPW experience included curated excursions for international travel buyers to visit specific areas of our destination. Tours were provided at I-Drive's ICON Park, Disney Springs, Kennedy Space Center, Wild Florida and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Amway Center hosted by the Orlando Magic.

Opening event at EPCOT®

Opening event at EPCOT®

Destination Downtown event at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Destination Downtown event at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Closing event at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Closing event at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Evening Events: Each night featured an exclusive, Unbelievably Real experience for attendees — from fireworks and cultural tastings at EPCOT® … to live entertainment at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts … to unlimited access to rides and attractions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Thank you to Walt Disney World Resort, the City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and Universal Parks & Resorts for partnering with us on these celebrations.

Visit Orlando team members pictured at OCCC during IPW.

In Summary: IPW wouldn’t have been such a success without the support and hard work of the U.S. Travel Association, Brand USA, Orange County Convention Center, Visit Orlando board and team members, local elected officials and industry partners. The following Visit Orlando member companies also exhibited, taking hundreds of appointments with travel buyers:

  • Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
  • Brightline
  • Caribe Royale Orlando
  • Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort
  • Downtown Orlando
  • Drive Shack
  • Florida’s Space Coast
  • Fun Spot
  • Gatorland
  • GoPegasus
  • Gray Line Orlando
  • Highstar
  • Homebeds
  • ICON Park
  • Kaluah Tours
  • Magic Village Views
  • MCA Transportation
  • Mears Transportation
  • Orlando International Airport  
  • Orlando Magic
  • Orlando Sanford International Airport
  • Ramada Plaza Resort
  • Real Florida Adventures
  • Rosen Hotels & Resorts
  • Rosen Inns by Rosen Hotels & Resorts
  • Signia by Hilton Bonnet Creek
  • Simon
  • Stay Sky Hotels and Resorts
  • The Grove Resort
  • The Mall at Millenia
  • Wonderworks
  • Wyndham Garden LBV 

Visit Orlando received great feedback and we look forward to representing Orlando next year in San Antonio, Texas, May 20-24.

Hotel Metrics

For the week ending June 4, Metro Orlando hotel occupancy was 68.9%, flat from last week’s 68.8% and tracking closely to pre-pandemic levels (70.6% for the same week in 2019). Average daily rate fell $3.08 to $144.60 but remains $28 higher than in 2019.

Across the Industry

Visit Orlando team members pictured at OCCC during Mayor Demings’ 2022 State of the County address.

State of the County Address:
Today, Visit Orlando team members had the pleasure of attending Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ 2022 State of the County address at the Orange County Convention Center. Mayor Demings highlighted the accomplishments of Orange County Government and its regional and local partners over the past year, including Tourist Development Tax collections, expansions at our world-class theme parks, and our region’s new global brand, Unbelievably Real. Watch the full address here.

UCF’s Hospitality Knight:
The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is hosting its Hospitality Knight June 16. The event industry panel will include Visit Orlando CMO Danielle Hollander; Robert Agrusa, president and CEO of CFHLA; Marco Manzie, president at Paramount Hospitality; and Mark Tester, executive director at OCCC. Register here

Brand USA and Disney Partnership: Brand USA and Walt Disney World have teamed up to create a new marketing campaign aimed at international tourists. The effort is part of Brand USA’s United Stories campaign, started three years ago to highlight national landmarks and smaller destinations. See the video here
Secretary Raimondo Announces New Travel and Tourism Strategy: Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a five-year National Travel and Tourism Strategy to attract more international visitors (90 million) to the U.S. by 2027 and generate $279 billion to support domestic travel workers and businesses. Learn more

In the News

Florida Politics: For full recovery of the Orlando brand — luring back international visitors

Travelweek: "It’s so great to see you here back in Orlando": IPW 2022 gets underway

The Capitolist: Orlando listed as top summer destination for tourists

Bizjournals: Outer space bar & more: See what these 3 Orlando tech companies are working on to innovate tourism and hospitality

Casandra Matej
In your service,
Casandra Matej
Casandra Matej | President & CEO
Visit Orlando
Connect with Visit Orlando
The Official Tourism Association® of the No. 1 destination in the U.S.
©2022 Visit Orlando | All Rights Reserved.