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December 15, 2023


Visit Orlando and 12 members traveled to Canada, Orlando's top international market, to host a Canada Sales Mission named "The Orlando Canadian Sunshine Tour 2023." During this annual event, travel advisors gain crucial first-hand Orlando knowledge through fun, engaging education sessions to help clients plan their own Unbelievably Real Orlando vacation itineraries.

In Montreal and Toronto, our public relations team connected with 10 key media outlets, including the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and National Post, to discuss Orlando story ideas for 2024. These meetings are critical for ensuring Orlando remains top of mind and a focus for stories in top Canadian magazines, newspapers and broadcast channels.

Throughout the week, our travel industry sales team educated more than 300 travel advisors through training sessions in Calgary, Halifax and Toronto. They also met with key industry partners, sharing what's new, including theme parks and attractions, Michelin-starred restaurants and exciting experiences in Orlando's historic neighborhoods.

Since October, opportunities for Canadian travel have increased. Several Canadian airlines announced new flight service between Canada's main airports and Orlando. This includes Canada Jetlines flying from Toronto four times weekly, Porter Airlines flying from Toronto and Ottawa seven times a week and Lynx Air connecting Orlando and major hubs in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver several times a week.

Along with the new increase of routes expanding Orlando's connectivity, your Visit Orlando team's participation in sales missions helps positively impact Orlando's tourism landscape.

Visit Orlando Partners with Amazon for Holiday Promotion

Arriving on doorsteps this holiday, Amazon shoppers in eight key markets will unwrap Orlando branded polybags promoting the destination's recent The Wanderer Orlando episode. The Amazon bags will run this month with 1.6 million impressions in the following markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Washington DC and Baltimore. The promotion also includes a Wanderer Sweepstakes with a trip for two to experience everything seen in The Wanderer Orlando Episode 5, including flights by Frontier Airlines, a 4-night stay at The Ritz Grande Lakes, experiences at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center Complex, hang gliding, kayaking, Michelin dining, an air boating adventure and a night out at Tori Tori in the Mills 50 district.

New Visit Orlando Websites Coming Soon

One of Visit Orlando's most important tools to showcase our destination is getting a makeover! We are excited to implement a new 2024 project: completely redesigning our many websites. The new developments started with research conducted by an Orlando-based vendor, C3R, stakeholder feedback and strategic planning. All of the findings are being included in a design implemented by local firm Purple Rock Scissors. The website will include exciting visuals, simplified navigation, interactive maps and an organized flow to appeal to our audiences and provide ease of use for site visitors. You can enjoy this special sneak peek of what to expect when the site is unveiled in 2024.

Hotel Metrics

Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending December 9, 2023, was 69.8%, up strongly from last week's 60.7% rate, but down 7.4% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $198.81, up from last week's $178 and up 2% from the same week last year.

Across the Industry

IAAPA Meeting:
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' (IAAPA) public affairs team united federal executive officials representing the Department of Commerce, Department of State and Department of Homeland Security with IAAPA leadership, key local attractions industry professionals and a variety of public and private sector leaders representing Central Florida's travel and tourism industry to discuss issues impacting the region.

The meeting focused on topics, including ongoing visa processing challenges for travel and workforce development purposes, the benefits of adequately and consistently funding Brand USA, the operational challenges of growing inflationary pressures, the importance of protecting the airspace above fixed site facilities from the unauthorized use of drones, the need for more customs officers at the Orlando International Airport, and the positive impact of Central Florida's travel and tourism industry on the Florida and national economy. The meeting concluded with a tour of IAAPA's global headquarters.

Ecuador Road Show:
To support new direct air service from Ecuador, Visit Orlando partnered with Disney Destination Sales to attend the Ecuador Road Show sponsored by popular tour operator Galaxy Vacations. The road show helped educate travel agents on how to better sell Orlando and increase awareness on how their clients can benefit from the direct flight to our destination. Avianca launched the new service between Quito, the Capital of Ecuador, and Orlando on Oct. 29 with two weekly flights.

Around the Destination

Holiday Showcase:
Visit Orlando's Director of Community Relations & External Affairs Kristin Westover served as a guest judge alongside representatives from Universal Destinations & Experiences, UCF‘s Rosen College, &Barr and Chick-fil-A at the Rosen Hotels & Resorts Holiday Showcase. The annual event gives back to various local nonprofits, including previous Visit Orlando's Magical Dining recipients: Russell Home for Atypical Children and Edgewood Children's Ranch.

Don Quijote Awards:
Visit Orlando attended the 26th annual Don Quijote Awards Gala, co-hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Metro Orlando and Prospera at Epcot's World Showplace Pavilion. Recognized as the premier event for the region's Hispanic business community, the event honored businesses and individuals who embody the enduring qualities associated with the classic Don Quijote literary character: vision, courage, and a profound impact on the community. Congratulations to all award recipients.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

Hospitality & Tourism Research Summit:
The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management hosted the 7th World Research Summit for Hospitality and Tourism this week. The event offered opportunities to unfold and embrace resilience, recovery and reshaping in the hospitality and tourism industry. During the summit, Visit Orlando's Chief Operating Officer Mario Bass presented to the group, sharing Visit Orlando updates, insights on the hospitality and tourism industry and the future of the industry to attendees representing several countries. Additionally, Visit Orlando's Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander provided welcome remarks at the opening reception.

IAEE Expo:
Visit Orlando teamed up with the Orange County Convention Center at this week's IAEE Expo! Expo! in Dallas, securing future events for our destination by connecting with meeting planners from across the globe. In addition to networking opportunities, the tradeshow provided a forum for us to share best practices and engage in learning opportunities with other industry leaders.

Germany FAM:
Visit Orlando's travel industry sales team hosted a FAM tour for 10 travel professionals from Germany. The group visited SeaWorld Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures and ICON Park. Additionally, the group experienced their first NBA basketball game and had an exclusive meet and greet with German brothers and Orlando Magic teammates Moritz and Franz Wagner. The highlight of the evening was an Orlando Magic win!

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