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March 10, 2023

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort


As we enter the busy spring break season, Orlando is topping several lists for travelers.

For the eighth consecutive year, Allianz Partners has named Orlando the top domestic spring break destination for American travelers and Family Travel Magazine lists Orlando as one of its best spring break destinations for families.

At Visit Orlando, we've been working hard to drive spring travel demand through our new brand, "Unbelievably Real." We recently partnered with ABC on a local broadcast integration hosted by Emmy Award-winning storyteller Danielle Bellini.

The 5-minute segment was featured on top-rated ABC-TV morning news shows in our leading broadcast markets — New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. A 60-second digital video follows the feature and will be broadcast through March 23 in the previously mentioned markets, with Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis and Washington DC included.

Over the next several weeks, our roads, restaurants and attractions may be busier, bustling with visitors from around the world. Remember that travel makes a significant impact on our local economy, with tourists typically accounting for over 50% of all sales tax revenue. Without tourism, each household in Orlando would need to be taxed an additional $6,412 to replace the taxes generated by visitor activity in Orlando.

While it may be active around Orlando this spring break, a healthy influx of travelers during this season brings many benefits for our community.

Corporate Sponsorships Available for Signature Luncheons

Visit Orlando's first Signature Luncheon of 2023 has been scheduled for May 11 at the Orange County Convention Center and corporate table sponsorships are now available. A corporate table sponsorship is an excellent way to promote and increase awareness about your organization and includes: upfront seating for eight, your logo on event signage as well as on-screen, complimentary general session admission for your attendees and more. There are two sponsorship options for either one luncheon or for the entire three-part series. Please contact for more information.

Visit Orlando Attends Leading Travel Tradeshow - ITB Berlin

Visit Orlando partnered with Disney Destinations International, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and Ramada Plaza Resort & Suites to attend ITB Berlin. The team connected with conference delegates to conduct one-on-one meetings at our branded Orlando-themed booth which showcased how Orlando is "Unbelievably Real". This is the world's largest travel tradeshow, and it brings thousands of delegates from global markets to network, negotiate and conduct business in the travel industry. Elaine Blazys, VP of travel industry sales, and Phil White, travel industry sales director, represented Visit Orlando.

Pictured from left to right: Visit Orlando's VP of travel industry sales, Elaine Blazys; Visit Orlando board member and founder of onePULSE Foundation, Barbara Poma; Visit Orlando's travel industry sales director, Phil White; and United States Ambassador to Germany, Dr. Amy Gutmann, at ITB Berlin.

Visit Orlando board member and founder of onePULSE Foundation, Barbara Poma, also represented Orlando at ITB Berlin, delivering a keynote address on "The Journey of Pulse Nightclub and its Place in LGBTQIA+ History". She also participated in a panel discussion about LGBTQ+ tourism and resilience.

Hotel Metrics

For the week ending March 4, 2023, Metro Orlando occupancy was 77.6%, down from last week's 86.9% and flat from last year. The average daily rate was $209.98, up 10.8% from last year.

Across the Industry

Florida Legislative Session Updates: Florida's annual legislative session is underway in Tallahassee. We will provide weekly updates on issues that impact our industry. Later this month, I will join a statewide delegation of colleagues to speak on behalf of the travel industry.

Visit Orlando's chief marketing officer, Danielle Hollander, and director of community relations & external affairs, Kristin Rothbauer-Westover, at OEP's BBQ in the Park event.

Around the Destination

BBQ in the Park: Visit Orlando's chief marketing officer, Danielle Hollander, and director of community relations & external affairs, Kristin Rothbauer-Westover, joined Orlando's top business leaders and elected officials on Tuesday evening at Orlando Economic Partnership's (OEP) BBQ in the Park. Thanks to OEP for a fun event on the lawn of Luminary Green Park at Creative Village and the opportunity to connect with the community.

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony:
Expedia celebrated the opening of its Orlando market office with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Expedia's commitment to our area is essential to connecting with the industry and community by promoting local food and beverage inclusion. Expedia is one of Visit Orlando's top partners in advancing travel from the U.S. Our team
 also met with Expedia at the Amway Center to discuss future business opportunities while cheering on the Orlando Magic.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

Promoting Cultural Tourism: Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosted a leadership session with Danielle Hollander, who participated in the Leadership Winter Park World Class Cultural Tourism panel. She discussed our strategies for promoting cultural tourism and shared details about our membership, services and publicity initiatives that support art and cultural events. The panel also highlighted the arts and cultural community through their varied types of performances, international artists, and unique offerings and how they help global visitors experience something new.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women:
In honor of International Women's Day, I participated in the West Orange Chamber's "Celebrating Extraordinary Women" alongside Carolyn Fennell with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Laura Kelley with the Central Florida Expressway Authority and Karem Rodriguez, owner of The Modern Host. I was honored to share my story and hear so many words of encouragement and support. The valuable advice that resonated for me was that we should set priorities, make time for ourselves and a reminder that words can leave a lifetime impression. Thank you to Yamile Luna with AdventHealth for moderating this panel discussion.

Hospitality Workforce Roundtable: Visit Orlando joined Chris Thompson, president & CEO at Brand USA, in a workforce-centric roundtable discussion at Valencia College. Industry leaders and college faculty discussed workforce-related challenges and opportunities. The group also enjoyed a lunch catered by Valencia College's School of Culinary and Hospitality students and took a tour of the downtown campus.

Global Marketing Meeting: The Visit Orlando Global Marketing Committee held its first in-person meeting in two years. The group is senior-level marketers that provide feedback and professional insight to the Visit Orlando team in branding and marketing. They represent all aspects of Visit Orlando's membership, including accommodations, dining, arts and culture, entertainment, shopping, transportation, theme parks and attractions and community partners.

OBJ Business of Sports: Visit Orlando's chief sales officer, Mike Waterman participated in the Orlando Business Journal's 2023 Business of Sports panel to discuss challenges and opportunities our destination has to offer for future sporting event pursuits. Panel participants included president & CEO at GO Sports, Jason Siegel; president of business operations at Orlando City SC, Orlando Pride and Exploria Stadium, Jarrod Dillon; and director of esports and project development at Full Sail University, Sari Kitelyn.

In the News

Casandra Matej

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