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Visit Orlando Tourism Matters

September 9, 2022


Orlando’s new brand, Unbelievably Real, has made its international debut with the launch of a fall campaign in Canada this past week.

This rollout builds upon our first announcement earlier this year in collaboration with Orlando Economic Partnership and our domestic campaign already in full swing.

To appeal to all audiences, the “Unbelievably Real” brand platform combines what is both fantastical and authentic about our unique destination to tell a holistic story.

In our largest international market, “Unbelievably Real” will appear on national and Ontario-focused television, social media and search engine marketing, and surface in Toronto appearing in major malls and popular areas like Yonge-Dundas Square.

The campaign will be complemented with publicity efforts, a tour operator partnership with Air Canada and TravelBrands and more to drive engagement and stimulate travel.

We are already seeing positive reception from trade media on the campaign in top Canadian travel trade outlets, TravelWeek, Travel Industry Today and Canadian Travel Press sharing the story.

To continue the momentum, “Unbelievably Real” will debut to our key Latin America markets later this month.

These campaigns are critical to regaining brand position and driving both fall travel and 2023 bookings for our destination.

Earning Streak for Orange County’s TDT Collections

We continue to see evidence of a strong summer for our destination. For the month of July 2022, Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections were yet again historic for the fifth consecutive month.

TDT revenues, which originate from a 6% levy on short-term lodging, for July 2022 totaled $28.4 million, the highest July collections on record. Earnings this month also increased 15.2% over July 2021 and $23.3 million higher than July 2020.

Fiscal year-to-date, collections totaled $288.4 million through July 2022 — the highest recorded for Orlando — beating the previous mark of $284 million for the year 2018-19.

Weekly Lodging Results: For the week ending September 3, 2022, Metro Orlando occupancy was 60.6%, down slightly from last week’s 63.8% but up 15 percentage points from the same week last year (45.8%).

Average daily rate was flat at $120.35 from last week’s $122.13 and remains much higher than pre-pandemic rates ($98.58). 

Visit Orlando’s 17th Annual Magical Dining Program

Coverage from Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining continues to pour in from more than 170 positive stories and driving traffic to the program’s website. With over 519,000 web sessions and 2.6 million pageviews, the interest in this year’s program has been strong.

Continue to visit to see menu options, make reservations and view participating restaurants. As a reminder, the program runs until Oct. 2 and features three-course, prix-fixe dinners for $40. Bon Appétit!

My Visit to Z Asian Vietnamese Kitchen

Recently, I joined Ricky Ly, founder of food blog Tasty Chomps, at Z Asian Vietnamese Kitchen, a participant in this year’s Visit Orlando Magical Dining program and recipient of the Michelin Bib Gourmand. Restaurant founders, Hien Q Pham and Huong Nguyen, created a fantastic dining experience and we discussed Orlando’s diverse culinary scene and ways to continue to build upon the momentum that the recent Michelin recognition has created.

Team Member Testimonial 

Visit Orlando prides itself on the great exposure we bring to the destination. A huge portion of this stems from our hard-working team members that are actively involved in the community and representing Orlando. In this video testimonial, Collette Johnson, national accounts senior manager, shares her involvement with Religious Conference Management Association and what makes Orlando a great place to conduct meetings and conventions.

Honoring Britain’s Longest-reigning Monarch

We are saddened to hear the news that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away yesterday and join the British nation in mourning. Our deepest condolences are extended to the Royal Family during this difficult time.

Around the Destination

New Terminal Sneak Peek: In celebration of Terminal C opening Sep. 20, the Orlando International Airport hosted a pre-opening community partners breakfast. Several of our executive leadership team members got a first glance. We are so excited about the many benefits Terminal C will bring to our destination including more travelers, photo ops, additional dining, shopping and experiences. Learn more.

Award Announcement: Christopher Thompson, president and CEO at Brand USA, was recently inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame — an honor that recognizes its recipients whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on Florida’s visitation. Thank you, Chris, for your contributions within our industry and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

New Deputy Director: The Orange County Convention Center recently announced Eric Blanc as their new deputy director where he’ll oversee sales, marketing, event management and exhibitor services divisions. The Visit Orlando team is excited to collaborate even more as we work together to drive meetings and conventions business to our destination. Congratulations to Eric on this promotion.

Adopt-a-Station Program: In honor of 9/11, Visit Orlando adopted Orange County Fire Stations 55, 71 and 73. To show our appreciation, we provided meals and expressed our gratitude for their dedication to providing safety for our residents and travelers. On behalf of Orlando's hospitality and tourism industry, we extend our deepest appreciation. We are forever grateful! 

We are Champions: On Wednesday, over 25,000 fans cheered at Exploria Stadium for Orlando City SC as they were crowned the 2022 U.S. Open Cup champions. This is a huge win for our destination and we are proud to celebrate this milestone with the entire team, Orlando residents and fans. Read more here.

In the News

Skift: Meetings and events forecast to fully recover next year

MSN: Travel better in these US cities with destination-specific apps

WESH 2: Florida tourism on the rebound despite inflation

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando airport’s new Terminal C has a new car smell worth billions

ConventionSouth: Everest Group begins work on $1 billion resort project in Osceola County, Fla.

Orlando Business Journal: Florida's Universal Orlando's possible Epic Universe hotels names 

Casandra Matej
In your service,
Casandra Matej
Casandra Matej | President & CEO
Visit Orlando
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