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March 15, 2024

Orlando International Airport (MCO)


Orlando's travel industry is springing into action with several positive indicators for the 2024 spring break and overall spring season.

  • No. 1 Spring Break Destination: According to Allianz Partners, Orlando is the No. 1 domestic spring break destination. The results came from an analysis of more than 3.4 million flight itineraries for spring break trips, with Florida boasting five cities in the top 10.

  • Leisure Hotel Bookings Up: Recent hotel booking activity for travel to Orlando through May is mostly in line or ahead of the same time last year. In fact, leisure hotel bookings for the core spring break weeks are pacing 15% ahead of the Easter period in 2023. So far, April is the only exception to the rule.

  • Early Easter & Solar Eclipse Impact: April's lag in pace can be mostly attributed to an early Easter, resulting in a compressed Spring Break period. Another factor partially contributing to April's softness could be the total solar eclipse that will be experienced in some U.S. cities on April 8. This very rare occurrence is generating high travel demand to direct path locations like Dallas and Indianapolis. Orlando won't land on the path of totality until August 12, 2045.

  • March and April typically account for nearly 20% of all domestic leisure visitation to Orlando, setting the tone for the rest of the year. Present indications suggest a promising 2024 for Orlando's travel industry.

As we enter spring, these positive signs are great for the overall community as tourism significantly benefits our local economy by providing funding for essential community services and supporting local arts, culture, and sports venues through the Tourist Development Tax.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour advertisement.

Orlando Takes Spotlight as Exclusive Destination Category Advertiser

For the first time, the No. 1 concert film of all time, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor's Version), will be exclusively available on the Disney+ streaming platform starting March 14. In partnership with Hulu and Disney+, Visit Orlando received the exclusive opportunity of being only one of 10 advertisers to have 30-second Premium Video/TV spots during the movie, with Orlando taking the spotlight as the exclusive destination category advertiser.

This nationwide campaign spans six weeks (March 14-April 21) and will be combined with a Premiere Weekend Blitz and supporting media plan on Hulu and Disney+. The campaign is expected to deliver 61 million total impressions. Orlando spots will also be included in a first-to-market expansion for Hulu and Disney+ in the European, African and Middle East (EAME) region. With perfect brand alignment among our core family audience, this opportunity creates a way for the destination to capitalize on the Taylor economy, and it strategically positions us to drive demand for the summer travel season.


Savannah Boan, Crocodilian Enrichment Coordinator at Gatorland.

Celebrating Women's History Month in Orlando

In celebration of Women's History Month, we're spotlighting Orlando's women-owned attractions, restaurants, retailers and special events. Meet Savannah Boan, an incredible woman in Orlando who advocates for alligator and crocodile protection. Savannah is the Crocodilian Enrichment Coordinator at Gatorland, "The Alligator Capital of the World," and the International Ambassador for Gatorland Global®, a dedicated conservation program for Gatorland. Watch Savannah in action with her reptile friends, and check out Visit Orlando's blog titled, "A Celebration to Cherish: Women's History Month in Orlando," which includes an interactive map of events and women-owned businesses only available in Orlando.

January 2024 Tourist Development Tax Collections Chart. Source: Phil Diamond, CPA – Orange County Comptroller

Data & Trends

Metro Orlando's hotel occupancy rate for the week ending March 9, 2024, was 82.0%, up from 78.6% the prior week and up 2.9% from the same week last year. The average daily rate (ADR) for the week was $224.02, up from the prior week's $209 and up 0.5% from the same week last year. Room night demand surpassed the previous year by 3.9%.  
There has been a second consecutive week of year-over-year improvements for all occupancy, ADR and demand metrics. This was the highest occupancy rate for Orlando hotels since March 2023, thanks to several events, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Sunshine Classic. Among the top 25 domestic markets, Orlando's occupancy rate was the third highest.  
January 2024 TDT Collections: Orange County's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for the January 2024 TDT collection month were $30,493,100. January 2024 collections were higher than January 2023 collections by 5.0%. Room night demand for Orlando hotels saw a slight uptick of +0.8% from last year. Notably, Orange County Convention Center's surrounding hotels drove the rise in room night demand, with large events such as VMX, PGA Show and All Out Nationals, each attracting between 27,000 to 33,000 attendees.

Across the Industry

World Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Awards:
Congratulations to Hilton Orlando for winning the World MICE Awards in the Florida's Best MICE Hotel 2023 category. This achievement recognizes Hilton Orlando's excellence in providing memorable service for its meetings and events. The World MICE Awards, affiliated with the renowned World Travel Awards™, is dedicated to honoring excellence in MICE tourism while also promoting global growth, innovation and best practices within the industry.

Representatives from Visit Orlando, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, Orlando World Center Marriott, Marriott Village Orlando, JetBlue Vacations, Get Away Today and Melia Resorts.

Destination Training: In collaboration with Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, Orlando World Center Marriott, Marriott Village Orlando and Melia Resorts, Visit Orlando conducted destination training in Salt Lake City, Utah, for JetBlue Vacations and Get Away Today. JetBlue Vacations has over 450 weekly flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and generated more than 44,000 room nights in 2023. Get Away Today initially focused on West Coast theme park packages but diversified during the pandemic by selling Orlando packages. Last year, Get Away Today booked approximately 5,000 room nights, generating an annual estimated revenue of $8.5 million. Year to date, they have already booked 3,000 room nights, with projected revenue surpassing 2023.

Around the Destination

Visit Orlando's Casandra Matej; Roseann Harrington, Orange County Government; and other local leaders attend Evermore Orlando Resort and Conrad Orlando's grand opening ceremony.

Grand Opening Event: The grand opening celebration of Evermore Orlando Resort and Conrad Orlando took place yesterday evening under the theme "A Grand Affair: Celebrating an Evening of Elegance in Paradise." Attendees enjoyed a performance by the renowned American rock band, the Goo Goo Dolls, and engaged in networking and fellowship with local community and industry leaders. This event marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the resort, promising unforgettable memories for its guests. We extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Evermore Orlando Resort and Conrad Orlando as they officially open their doors.

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer sign The Central Florida Pledge alongside students, elected officials and religious leaders.

Central Florida Pledge: Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recently celebrated the launch and ceremonial signing of The Central Florida Pledge, a community-driven initiative to combat hate and discrimination in the region. The Central Florida Pledge is a call to action for residents to create a safe and inclusive community for all. The pledge urges residents to treat all people with kindness and respect, especially those with whom they disagree. Click here to view pictures from the event.

Orlando Economic Partnership hosts BBQ in the Park at Luminary Green Park at Creative Village.

BBQ in the Park: On Tuesday evening, Visit Orlando participated alongside business leaders and elected officials in the Orlando Economic Partnership's (OEP) 34th annual Barbecue in the Park. Attendees enjoyed live music and food from 15 local vendors at Luminary Green Park in Creative Village. A big thanks to OEP for organizing such an enjoyable event that fosters community connections.

I-Drive Chamber Luncheon: Kevin Thibault, Visit Orlando board member and executive director at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, presented an update on Orlando International Airport activities and future projects during the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The Florida Department of Transportation also provided crucial updates on the I-4 and Sand Lake Road Interchange Construction Project. To learn more about the project, click here.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

Maria Henson presents current travel trends during Walt Disney World - Marketing the Magic with the support of Visit Orlando team members.

Marketing the Magic: Maria Henson, director of market research & insights at Visit Orlando, donned her Belle-inspired costume to deliver insights into travel trends and visitor forecasts for our destination at Walt Disney World's Marketing the Magic event. Disney Destination clients and cast members gained valuable insights into visitor travel patterns and the factors shaping the travel industry.

Visit Orlando's Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander speaks on a panel alongside United Arts, Creative City Project and several arts organizations.

Promoting Cultural Tourism: Visit Orlando participated in an informative discussion during Leadership Winter Park's World Class Cultural Tourism panel. The conversation focused on how we work together with organizations like United Arts, Orlando Philharmonic, Orange County Regional History Center, Creative City Project and the Orlando Opera to promote cultural tourism. Discussions also emphasized the diversity of performances within the arts and cultural community and underscored the unique offerings that contribute to our visitors' rich tapestry of experiences.

Visit Orlando team members are all smiles while attending the HelmsBriscoe's Partner Appreciation Day event at Conrad Orlando.

Partner Appreciation Day: HelmsBriscoe's Florida team hosted its Partner Appreciation Day at Conrad Orlando with nearly 60 HelmsBriscoe associates, the largest number of participants to date. During the event, Visit Orlando introduced "Orlando Bingo," an interactive educational game inspired by the traditional BINGO with meeting and convention facts about Orlando. HelmsBriscoe is a global leader in meetings procurement and is instrumental in bringing meetings and conventions to Central Florida.

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