Global event management company analyzed booking data from 5,000-plus U.S. cities.
To view past issues of Tourism Matters, click here.
FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
Orlando: the Nation’s No. 1 Meetings Destination
Everyone recognizes Orlando as America’s most visited destination, Theme Park Capital of the World® and the perfect place for an unforgettable vacation experience
But did you know our success extends to business travel as well?
For the seventh time in eight years, Orlando has been named America’s No. 1 meetings destination by Cvent, an industry-leading global event management company that analyzed booking data from more than 5,000 U.S. cities.
We lead the pack for a variety of reasons. Affordability, accessibility, quality and variety of facilities, positive brand awareness about Orlando, and our culture of service and hospitality all come to mind.
Of course, these things all contribute to making Orlando a popular destination for business and leisure travel alike. And even though, as you’ll read below, we have experienced some headwinds this summer in the lodging sector, it’s important to note that Orlando’s overall growth this year is very encouraging … and that we will continue to lead the way for all types of travel, no matter your itinerary.
President & CEO
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Hotel Performance Slides in Recent Weeks
Orlando’s hotel industry enjoyed a relatively strong performance in April, thanks in part to the later date for Easter and corresponding spring breaks. In recent weeks, however, key hotel indicators have trailed prior-year levels. The hotel occupancy rate is down for six consecutive weeks, as is occupied room nights (aka hotel demand), and the average daily rate is down five straight weeks. These results make it likely that collections of Orange County’s tourist development tax for June will fall below prior-year collections.
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
Visit Orlando Voted
Cvent’s ‘Best in the U.S.’
Visit Orlando won the “Best in the U.S.” award July 9 at the annual Cvent CONNECT event technology conference in Las Vegas. The award recognizes Visit Orlando’s “top performance in utilizing Cvent technology to drive positive business results” and our “integral role in positioning the city as a premier choice for corporate meetings and events.” Six member companies joined Visit Orlando at the four-day conference, which featured 4,000 meeting, event and hospitality professionals.
Visit Orlando Welcomes
Dual-Branded I-Drive Hotel
Visit Orlando Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander joined Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Florida Sen. Victor Torres and industry leaders at a groundbreaking ceremony for the dual-branded Aloft and Element Orlando hotel June 27. Located near SeaWorld on International Drive, the hotel is scheduled to open in mid-2020. L to R: Hollander, Sen. Torres, Mayor Demings, and representatives from AD1 Global.
Visit Orlando’s Magical
Dining Begins Aug. 23
Start planning your dining adventures now! With more than 120 member restaurants offering three-course, prix-fixe meals dinner menus for just $35, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining returns Aug. 23 through Sept. 30. Go to OrlandoMagicalDining.com to view menus and explore Orlando’s diverse culinary scene.
Campaign Heats Up
Visit Orlando has launched a new way for people on social media to unite over their love of our destination. Our #FantasticOrlando
campaign, which started May 27 and runs through Aug. 31, is based on fans’ photography and popular hashtags. Its goal is to showcase real and exciting experiences through the eyes of our visitors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Blanketing the UK with
Radio and Print Publicity
Nearly 1.5 million listeners tuned in to radio interviews June 14 across 10 national and regional radio stations in the UK. The segments focused on how Brits love to revisit places where they have traveled, with an emphasis on Orlando. Our spokesperson was frequent Orlando visitor Laura Hamilton, a British TV personality and host of Channel 4’s “A Place in the Sun.” Visit Orlando’s publicity team also worked to secure UK coverage in Woman's Own magazine ahead of a key booking period. The story highlighted why Orlando is the perfect destination for families.
Magazines Feature Dining,
Culture in Winter Park
Visit Orlando’s publicity team secured coverage in both Palm Beach Illustrated and Naples Illustrated, for the July/August issues. The direct result of a February destination orientation, these articles will generate significant exposure in two important drive markets. Both articles covered dining and culture in the Winter Park area.
Photo by The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida
Visit Orlando Hits the
Road for Industry Events
Visit Orlando and member companies cohosted the MPI World Education Congress networking dinner (pictured) June 16 in Toronto. Attendees represented key groups that drive convention business to our destination. On June 20 in Chicago, more than 600 people joined Visit Orlando at the annual Association Forum Gala to celebrate the achievements of association professionals and industry partners. Visit Orlando presented the Inspiring Leaders Award to Karen Horting, executive director & CEO of the Society of Women Engineers.
Teaming Up with OCCC,
Universal at PCMA
Visit Orlando attended PCMA EduCon, a conference uniting event marketers, designers and business strategists from around the world, June 25-28 in Los Angeles. As part of the event, Visit Orlando cohosted a client dinner for key decision-makers with the Orange County Convention Center and Universal Orlando Resort. The conference helped Visit Orlando build relationships and drive potential business to our destination.
IN THE NEWS
Disney Hires 1,700 Employees for Star Wars Land
About 60% are transfers from other positions, and 40% are new hires. Read More
Seasonal Air Service Links Tel Aviv with Orlando
The nonstop flight will operate once a week during July and August each year. Read More
Aerolineas Begins New Flight Schedule to Orlando
The Argentine airline’s three weekly flights start Dec. 9. Read More
Gondolas Take Flight Sept. 29 at Disney
Visitors will be transported to Epcot, Hollywood Studios and several resorts. Read More
VISIT ORLANDO EVENTS
Business Insights Luncheon
& Economic Forum
Thursday, Aug. 22
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Join us for an economic forum followed by a luncheon at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Understand how to better prepare for budget season by learning about economic and travel trends. Register here.
General Council of the Assemblies of God
Estimated Attendance: 25,000
DID YOU KNOW?
Orlando International ranks in the top 10 of the nation’s most affordable airports for international flights, according to research by travel deals website Scott’s Cheap Flights. “Thank that famous mouse for the airport’s robust service,” the website reports. “All those flights mean a lot of potential for deals, and Orlando sees 18-19 per month, on average.” Read More
Connect with Visit Orlando
Official tourism association of the No. 1 destination in the U.S.