Despite larger economic headwinds, Orlando is poised for another strong year.
To view past issues of Tourism Matters, click here.
FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
Outlook for 2019: Strength amid Uncertainty
One month into 2019, the foundation of Orlando's tourism industry remains strong, as evidenced by steady growth in key indicators such as air passenger traffic, job creation, visitor-driven tax revenue and average daily hotel rate.
Uncertainty on a larger scale, however, is worth monitoring, especially when it comes to some recent decline in U.S. consumer confidence and business investment, slower growth projected for international travel, and general talk of a cooling economy.
How these developments may or may not impact Orlando is something we track closely — but the good news is that our outlook for 2019 remains promising. We believe that our destination's ongoing product investment, coupled with our strong global marketing efforts, will continue to drive positive levels of demand — this year and beyond both on the leisure and convention sides.
President & CEO
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Leisure and Hospitality Employment Up 3.8%
According to the latest stats from December, employment in Orlando’s leisure and hospitality sector has grown by 10,100 jobs over the past 12 months, a 3.8 percent increase. Hospitality remains the largest employment sector in the Orlando metropolitan statistical area.
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
East Orlando Chamber
Hears Value of Tourism
Visit Orlando Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander spoke to more than 75 business leaders at January’s meeting of the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce. She highlighted the importance of the tourism industry, ways we market America's most-visited destination and how local businesses can benefit from partnering with Visit Orlando. Pictured: Hollander with Andrew Cole, president, East Orlando Chamber.
Visit Orlando Celebrates
30 Years of ZORA!
Visit Orlando and other partners joined The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community to market and kick off the 30th annual ZORA! Festival. The festival is a weeklong celebration of the life and work of 20th-century writer Zora Neale Hurston and her hometown of Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African-American municipality. Attracting thousands of local residents and tourists, ZORA! features museum exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops and concerts, culminating with a street arts festival Feb. 1-3.
‘New in Orlando’
As a result of Visit Orlando’s “New in 2019” press release, Newsday published an article exploring new and upcoming additions to Orlando, from dining and attractions to accommodations. The article is expected to generate over 1 million impressions.
Best Health Promotes
Visit Orlando achieved coverage in Best Health Magazine, published by Reader's Digest Canada, as a result of a recent destination orientation. The timely story angle, which focused on "Reasons to pick Orlando for your next wellness vacation," coincides with a key booking period. The article highlighted activities ranging from paddle boarding and hot-air ballooning to spas and enjoying the Orlando sunshine.
Best Value in UK
Orlando was named “Best Value Long-Haul Break” for winter sun in the latest UK Post Office Travel Money report. Thanks to pick-up over the UK wire, these results generated 400 million impressions for Orlando in hundreds of publications, including major outlets like The Independent, Daily Mail and The Sun. Visit Orlando helped drive this coverage by supplying insight to the Post Office survey questions. These stories provide credible third-party insight, giving our destination great support for our value message during a key booking period.
with AMEX Planners
Visit Orlando — along with Disney Meetings & Events, Hello! Destination Management, Hilton Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, Westgate Lakes Resort and The Escape Game — recently attended the American Express INTER(action) Tradeshow in San Diego. Hundreds of AMEX associates worldwide attended the four-day program, which included networking opportunities and one-on-one appointments.
PGA Show Teams With
Racquet & Paddle Sports
The Professional Golfers Association Merchandise Show, alongside the inaugural Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference, brought more than 43,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center Jan. 23-25. The combined event allowed the industries to address common challenges, as well as share ideas and best practices to help drive business.
to Bring 29K Attendees
Executive team members from the American Society of Hematology recently visited Orlando for a preplanning meeting. Their conference will be held in Orlando Dec. 7-10, with more than 29,000 attendees. It is expected to generate $57 million in economic impact for our destination.
Universal Orlando Resort has partnered with Orange County Public Schools for 25 years to provide an on-site, alternative style of education to high school students. Students attending the Universal Education Center work at least 15 hours a week in the theme park. Read More
IN THE NEWS
THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD Debuts March 27
LEGOLAND’s largest expansion features three new rides and numerous attractions. Read More
Margaritaville Opens with Island Feel
The $800 million hotel, entertainment and water park complex is located southwest of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Read More
Airbnb Contributes $2.4M to Orange County
The company’s 2018 tax bill represents the fourth largest in the state. Read More
'World's Tallest' Thrill Ride Planned at O-Town
The $1 billion project is slated to include a 250,000-square-foot, tourist-centric complex called The Boardwalk at O-Town West. Read More
7 Orlando Hotels Recognized by TripAdvisor
The Traveler's Choice Awards are based on millions of reviews worldwide. Read More
Bid Being Submitted to Host WorldPride 2026
The multiweek event could attract nearly 1 million attendees, 10 years after Pulse. Read More
VISIT ORLANDO EVENTS
Power Hour Lunch
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Noon to 1 p.m.
Get your business cards ready and register to attend next week's Power Hour lunch at Ocean Prime. You'll have the opportunity to share your 10-second elevator speech and make valuable business connections over a three-course lunch from Restaurant Row's Ocean Prime. Register here.