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March 8, 2024

Visit Orlando team members attend ANATO trade show in Colombia.


We recently attended ANATO, a top industry trade show hosted by the Colombian Association for Travel Agencies and Tourism, to drive visitation to Orlando and promote the destination to key clients and media. Premiere trade shows like ANATO are ideal platforms to educate travel advisors, connect with key travel trade players and showcase Orlando's full scope to both familiar and untapped markets.

Across three days, our team connected with over 150 industry professionals, including airline partners and media, promoting Orlando. This year, ANATO welcomed over 50,000 attendees with 1,200 exhibitors from 20 countries, a 24% increase from last year.

In partnership with Disney Destinations and Experience Kissimmee, we hosted over 150 clients and over 35 media and content creators at international Latin singer Carlos Vives' Cumbia House restaurant, where Disney brought a Live "Encanto" musical. The team also participated in VISIT FLORIDA's reception and was interviewed by Colombian TV network Caracol TV. Our public relations team secured media coverage in leading publications, including El Espectador, Report Colombia and Soy Cinefanático

By attending international trade shows, we connect with travel buyers worldwide and create opportunities for Visit Orlando member organizations to promote their unique offerings and book future business.

So far this year, your Visit Orlando team has attended leading industry trade shows, including Florida Huddle, Brand USA's Trade Mission to Goa, India, and IFEMA MADRID's FITUR 2024. We also partnered with the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) to lead a familiarization tour offering education and hand-on experiences in Orlando for student and youth focused tour operators.

With Orlando ranked one of the top five domestic student travel destinations, we recently launched a new Student and Youth Travel Specialization module within the Orlando Travel Academy. The online training resource platform provides travel advisors with an additional tool to boost their knowledge of Orlando.

Since its launch, the team has garnered strong media coverage in U.K. and Canada trade publications, including Travel Weekly UK, Canadian Travel Press and more.

Visit Orlando team members attend the Orlando premiere of the Brazilian movie Dois é Demais em Orlando at Universal Orlando Resort.

Orlando Featured in New Brazilian Movie

In partnership with Universal Orlando Resort, MPC Filmes/Globo Filmes/H2O Films launched a Brazilian movie titled 'Dois é Demais em Orlando,' known in English as 'Two is a Crowd in Orlando.' The film follows the story of João, an amusement park enthusiast who fulfills his dream of vacationing in Orlando. However, there's a small twist: he must bring his boss's son along. The duo faces hilarious adventures in the parks, marking a milestone as the first film to be almost entirely shot in Orlando at Universal parks. The movie also showcases scenes on International Drive. Set to be released in Brazil on March 28, it will be featured in movie theaters, on streaming TV platforms and eventually broadcast nationally on Globo TV.

Visit Orlando collaborated with Universal to craft an exclusive 30-second movie trailer spot, showcasing the film and other Orlando locations such as the Orlando Sign at Luminary Green Park, Lake Nona and ICON Park's Star Flyer and Madame Tussauds Orlando. The trailer emphasizes to the Brazilian audience that Orlando is everything they imagined and more — and watch the movie then experience the destination. Watch the trailer here.

Visit Orlando's marketing strategy for the movie launch integrates various advertising components, including digital campaigns, movie theater trailers, trade initiatives, training opportunities, e-newsletters and premiere events in Orlando, Sao Paulo and Rio. At the Orlando premiere event held March 5, at Universal Orlando Resort, Visit Orlando secured notable Brazilian influencers like Cesar por Ai and over five local Brazilian influencers to maximize visibility and engagement. Additionally, local influencer Carolina Grabova interviewed celebrities to share their thoughts on Orlando's shopping, sports, dining, lazy rivers and neighborhoods.

Florida Legislation Session & VISIT FLORIDA Budget Update

Today marks the last day of Florida's Legislative Session. Throughout the period of meetings, one impactful update was VISIT FLORIDA's budget. The Senate and House agreed to fund VISIT FLORIDA at $80 million, with the entire amount set to recur for the next fiscal year. While the total funding remains consistent with the current fiscal year, it signifies a substantial increase from the existing $30 million recurring budget. This decision ensures that VISIT FLORIDA will now operate with a minimum annual budget of $80 million moving forward, representing the highest appropriation in its history. This is great news for their organization and the state of Florida!

Data & Trends

Metro Orlando's hotel occupancy rate for the week ending March 2, 2024, was 78.6%, down from 81.3% the prior week but up 1.3% from the same week last year. The Average Daily Rate for the week was $209.17, down from the previous week's $229 but up 1.2% from the same week last year. Room night demand surpassed the previous year by 2.1%.

Around the Destination

Visit Orlando team members wear Orlando Pride scarves to celebrate their upcoming soccer season.

Pepsi Scarf the City: Were you lucky to find an Orlando Pride scarf around the city this past Wednesday? For the fifth year, Orlando City SC distributed 3,000 scarves around Orlando to help raise awareness for the upcoming Orlando Pride soccer season beginning on March 22. Learn more about the upcoming season here.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women: This week, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce hosted two events focused on empowering and building relationships among women. Visit Orlando's Maria Henson, director of market research & insights, and Elaine Blazys, VP of travel industry sales, attended to support the Chamber's efforts to advance community, collaboration and leadership for its member businesses in Central Florida.

Denise Spiegel, Visit Orlando's VP of Communications, and Isla Spiegel attend LEGOLAND Florida Resort's grand opening event for LEGO Ferrari Build & Race.

New LEGOLAND Attraction: Today marks the opening of LEGOLAND Florida Resort's newest attraction, LEGO Ferrari Build & Race! The indoor attraction features a life-size Ferrari made from LEGO bricks, a 'build zone' to create LEGO Ferrari race cars, the 'test zone' to fine-tune vehicle performance and the 'virtual race zone' for customization and racing. Click here for additional details.

L to R: Visit Orlando's Jasmin Hough, Danielle Hollander, Shannon Parker, Kathy Brown and Dipika Hernandez attend LeadHER Forward Networking Night, presented by Women United & Girls Scouts of Citrus Council.
Women Empowerment Event: Visit Orlando team members attended the Women United and Girls Scouts of Citrus Council's LeadHER Forward Networking Night at the Women's History & Cultural Center to celebrate International Women's History Month. The event celebrated the impact of women in our community and showcased the "Legacy of Excellence: Phenomenal Black Women in Central Florida" exhibit.

Visit Orlando Engaged!

The Orange County Convention Center's Eric Blanc and Visit Orlando's Mike Waterman share industry insights during International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce's Tourism Orlando™ Leadership Program.

I-Drive Chamber Tourism Orlando Class: Mike Waterman, Visit Orlando's chief sales officer, and Eric Blanc, deputy director at the Orange County Convention Center, shared destination insights and industry trends with the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce's Tourism Orlando™ Leadership Program participants. The 14-month program educates program participants about the many facets of the tourism industry and offers networking opportunities with other professionals. Learn more.

Visit Orlando hosts several meetings and convention events in Philadelphia for a sales mission.

Sales Mission: A delegation of 17 Visit Orlando members participated in a strategic sales mission in Philadelphia with the primary objective of engaging key clients in the meetings and conventions sector. Our team orchestrated exclusive experiences, including hosting 22 prominent meeting planners at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game and entertaining 38 clients at a Neiman Marcus meeting & convention travel-specific fashion show. Among the esteemed organizations represented were the American Association for Cancer Research, Maritz Global Events and Cvent. Sales missions play a pivotal role for Visit Orlando and its members, providing a platform to disseminate updates about our destination and foster connections that drive future business to Orlando. The overarching goal of these events was to network with both new and existing clients, offering an opportunity for education on the latest developments in Orlando.

Visit Orlando attends the Aer Lingus Taste of America 2024 Roadshow.

Taste of America 2024 Roadshow: Visit Orlando joined Irish airline Aer Lingus for its Taste of America 2024 Roadshow. Beginning in Belfast, the roadshow included events in Dublin, Limerick and Cork where our team provided updates and sales tools on Orlando to more than 350 travel agents. According to National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) data, Ireland saw a 23% increase in arrivals to the US in January 2024 compared to January 2023.

L to R: Gene O'Neil, North American Veterinary Community; Casandra Matej, Visit Orlando CEO; Terry Prather, Visit Orlando Board Chair; and Ed McNeil, Premiere Beauty.

Arnold Palmer Invitational: This Monday kicked off the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. A highlight of the PGA tour, the tournament runs March 4-10 and attracts some of the greatest names in golf. It is a unique opportunity to showcase our incredible golf destination to the world. Visit Orlando maximizes the event by hosting clients who are considering Orlando for future business.

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