To be a top global destination, a solid transportation infrastructure is critical.
As plans move forward on creating a future-ready transportation system that works for all, Orange County Government launched a special dashboard that includes an interactive map of proposed transportation projects, including roadways, bike and pedestrian safety, public transit and more.
The dashboard also highlights priorities of the Transportation Tax Initiative — gathered from hundreds of community meetings and nearly 20,000 residents — that focus on building a mass transit system, maintaining and repairing existing roads and increasing use of new technologies to improve efficiency and safety, to name a few.
In November, Orange County residents will have the opportunity to vote in support of the transportation sales tax referendum. If passed, it will generate $600 million annually to support transportation efforts, with more than 50% of that tax paid by tourists who spend in our destination.
Investing in this initiative will ensure Orange County keeps up with growth, continues to recruit businesses, increases access and guarantees a better quality of life for all residents, including those in our industry’s workforce.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Univision
As part of our fall multicultural campaign, we partnered with Univision on a social media branded content series in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Promoting outdoor adventures, we'll takeover Univision’s Facebook and TikTok with fun videos encouraging families to celebrate with Visit Orlando. The campaign will run through September in our key Hispanic markets of Miami, Houston, Dallas, New York and Chicago.
Visit Orlando’s 17th Annual Magical Dining
Less than two weeks remain for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program, the perfect opportunity to dine for a great cause and affordable price. More than 100 restaurants — including selections from the MICHELIN Guide — are offering three-course, prix-fixe dinners for only $40 per person. Continue making reservations by visiting MagicalDining.com. Remember, through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will support The Able Trust and $2,000 will be donated to one local nonprofit in each of Orange County’s six districts.
Key Tourism Indicators
For the week ending September 17: Metro Orlando occupancy was 67.5%, up strongly from last week’s 59.3%, higher than the same week in 2019 (64.5%).
Average daily rate jumped to $131.29 from $118.70 last week and remains much higher than pre-pandemic rates ($107.94 for the same week in 2019).
Industry Employment: Orlando MSA Leisure and Hospitality sector gained 5,300 jobs from July to August and is currently at 97% of pre-pandemic employment (February 2020). The sector is comprised of three areas:
Food services and drinking places grew 3.2% to reach 106% of February 2020 employment.
Arts, entertainment and recreation grew 0.9% (95%).
Accommodations grew 0.9% (83%).
Around the Destination
TDC: Today, Visit Orlando provided a quarterly update to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and the Tourist Development Council. In addition to discussing Visit Orlando’s sales and marketing efforts and the state of our industry, we also covered results from our community sentiment survey that provided insight on Orange County residents and community leaders perspectives on Visit Orlando, the importance of tourism, how they feel about the region’s tourism industry and more. View the full meeting here.
BOMA Orlando: This week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Orlando chapter membership breakfast. I not only shared how the tourism industry is on the road to recovery and what to expect in the future, but also our Unbelievably Real campaign rollout and ways we can work together to help ensure continued economic growth for our destination.
Member Site Visit: Visit Orlando team members recently visited Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill to view the location, experience its offerings and become educated about their restaurant. Connecting with member companies helps our team create better experiences for meeting planners and their attendees.
FFVA Award: The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) presented 4R Restaurant Group with the 2022 Customer of the Year. The award recognizes the vital role that foodservice and retail merchandising play in the promotion and sale of fresh Florida produce. Congratulations to John Rivers, CEO at 4R Restaurant Group and 4Roots Farm, and the entire team!
Volunteer Event: Visit Orlando’s IT, finance and business affairs teams volunteered at Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit resort for kids with critical illnesses and their families. The volunteer activities included serving food and drinks, making waffles, washing dishes and more.