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January 26, 2024


Visit Orlando launched its Winter Doesn't Exist campaign in the UK, Orlando's top overseas market, to inspire travel to Orlando during the cold months. The campaign includes the debut of The Wall of Warm, an interactive heated Orlando mural on display through early March.

Located at 83 Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, London, the mural encourages passersby to feel the warmth of Orlando and pose for a photo giving the impression they are floating down a lazy river enjoying a sunny Orlando day. They can also submit their picture on the Visit Orlando landing page for a prize drawing. The warm, lucky winner along with 3 guests will receive flights provided by Norse Atlantic Airways, hotel accommodations at Evermore Orlando Resort and a $2,000 gift card to use on Orlando experiences.

Visit Orlando's public relations team partnered with several local UK influencers to promote the wall, while also generating media coverage across several UK outlets, including Travelmole, London TV and Made in Shoreditch Magazine.

The broader UK Winter Doesn't Exist campaign includes targeted digital and social media activities and high-impact out-of-home advertising placements through February.

Additional Winter Doesn't Exist campaigns are underway in the U.S. and Canada. In February, Visit Orlando is set to host a Family Ice Skating Night activation at Bryant Park in New York City for the second year in a row to inspire vacation plans in Orlando.

Board of County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting focused on Visit Orlando, as part of recent discussions around the usage of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds. Orange County government designates TDT funds for specific purposes, including promoting tourism, the Orange County Convention Center, sports stadiums and arenas, performing arts venues, museums and events. The result of the meeting was a successful step forward with our negotiations with Orange County around Visit Orlando and our funding. The BCC voted in favor of moving forward with the recommendations within a proposal brought forward by Orange County Mayor Jerry L Demings. We supported the Mayor's proposal and the BCC decisions that were made. Key items included:

  • Total annual reduction to Visit Orlando funding of $15 million annually. Out of the $15 million, $10 million will be paid directly from Visit Orlando for the Sport Incentive Committee fund and $5 million for arts and cultural activities through the Application Review Committee (ARC)
  • Appointment of a County Commissioner to the Visit Orlando Board
  • Camping World Stadium funding of $400 million
  • An increase of Operational Funding for Greater Orlando Sports Commission
  • Kia Center (formerly Amway) approved for $226 million

Looking ahead, we'll be negotiating an addendum to our agreement in the coming months, with the final details to be presented before the BCC.

Watch the January 23rd meeting here and find the Visit Orlando section as the 6th item on the agenda.

Visit Orlando Expands German Footprint

Visit Orlando launched a consumer campaign targeting German adults, marking nearly a decade since the organization last dedicated advertising in this region. The campaign includes a new Visit Orlando German landing page and paid search efforts, with online, digital, out-of-home and trade campaigns in collaboration with Brand USA, the organization responsible for marketing the United States. This new campaign complements the new German language module in the Orlando Travel Academy, a training tool and educational resource for travel advisors. In addition, Visit Orlando now has in-market representation through AVIAREPS, which handles trade sales representation, supporting the organization through sales strategies and in-market trainings, ensuring the trade is updated on all things Orlando.

Hotel Metrics

Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending January 20, 2024, was 67.5%, down from the prior week's 71.5% rate and down 4.4% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $197.39, down from $209 the prior week but up 2.6% from the same week last year.

Across the Industry

National Plan for Vacation Day: On January 30, take some time to plan an upcoming vacation as part of National Plan for Vacation Day. To participate in the trend and encourage travel to Orlando, Visit Orlando's Vacation Planning Services team created a unique video exploring Orlando's Unbelievably Real experiences.

Public Survey: The Department of State recently distributed a Florida Museum of Black History Task Force Public Survey. The survey was created to gather stakeholder input on the proposed Florida Museum of Black History. Please consider providing your valuable feedback before the survey closes on Feb. 29.

Around the Destination

CFHLA Annual Summit:
The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) and CareerSource Central Florida held its State of Hospitality and Tourism Summit. The inaugural event highlighted current industry trends, career development success stories and included roundtable discussions to drive the tourism industry forward. The Visit Orlando team connected with industry professionals, including President & CEO at CFHLA Robert Agrusa; President & CEO at CareerSource Central Florida Pamela Nabors; former President & CEO of U.S. Travel Association Roger Dow; Area Managing Director at Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando and Visit Orlando Board Member Barb Bowden and more. Watch the event recap.

Outdoor Festival of the Arts:
The ZORA! Festival' of Seasons' "Outdoor Festival of the Arts" is underway in Eatonville. Today marks the start of "Education Day" for K- 12 students, followed by "Family Day" on Saturday and a "Day of Reflection" on Sunday. It'll be a full weekend of live musical performances, arts and master craft booths, an international marketplace and enlightening cultural activities. 

MEGACON Orlando: Thousands of attendees, including fan-favorite celebrities, are expected travel to Orlando Feb. 1-4, for MEGACON, one of the nation's largest national comic, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming events at the Orange County Convention Center. Read all about MEGACON, including a full lineup of events.

Support The Orlando Valkyries:
Professional volleyball joins Orlando's roster of sports teams with the addition of the Orlando Valkyries, a member team of the Pro Volleyball Federation. Their inaugural game is tonight at 7 p.m. where they'll take on the Atlanta Vibe. Learn more about the team and purchase tickets here.  

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Grand Opening: Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff of the Magnet Academy of Culinary Arts at Wekiva High School on its special Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and Grand Opening. They recently announced the addition of the following: Mustang Pizzeria, in partnership with the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association and Snowball Pizza; Mustang Creamery, in collaboration with Duke Energy and the Florida Dairy Council; and unveiling the Mustang Events Catering Trailer, provided by Orange County Public Schools.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

This week, Visit Orlando participated in a panel discussion as part of Downtown Orlando Partnership, ConnectDTO, a program for Orlando's business professionals and emerging leaders to participate in educational sessions, tours and small group setting conversations with city leaders. Visit Orlando's Chief Operating Officer Mario Bass shared insights on the hospitality industry and how we must continually evolve, innovate and reinvest to stay ahead of the competition.

International Media Marketplace:
This week, our public relations team attended TravMedia's North America International Media Marketplace in New York. They connected with nearly 60 media, including freelancers, editors and content creators, representing numerous outlets from the U.S. and Canada to pitch story ideas for future media coverage.

In the News

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