Yes, it's the heart of winter … but you'd never know that in Orlando. Here's how we market our destination to Canadians this time of year.
Where Would You Rather Be?
The weather is anything but warm right now in Orlando's top international market, and we leverage those chilly conditions by encouraging Canadians to "forget the winter blues" and "escape to Orlando." In addition to high-impact billboards in greater Toronto (pictured), our campaign, which runs through March 29, features ads in the city's subways, trains, pedestrian tunnels and downtown squares. It also includes national TV, digital and social media spots. Complementing these efforts, our public relations team secured syndicated travel coverage last week in 46 Canadian publications, including the Toronto Sun and National Post.
Lodging Sector Maintains Momentum
Following a busy December, Metro Orlando's lodging sector has carried its momentum into 2020. In January, hotel occupancy (77.1%) was up 3.5% from the same month last year, while average daily rate ($131.53) increased 1.1%. Revenue per available room climbed 4.6% and demand increased 5.5%. Looking ahead, advance hotel bookings are also pacing ahead of last year through the first half of 2020, fueled by strong demand among leisure travelers.
Showcasing Our Destination to Global Travel Writers
Our publicity team has been working to help travel writers from across the globe experience our destination, ensuring we start the year with positive media coverage. We recently welcomed journalists from Mexico and Brazil for stories on LGBTQ+ travel, weddings and luxury travel; and Gransnet, the top online community for UK adults age 50-plus, wrote an article on why active empty nesters should visit this winter. Upcoming in-market orientations will include travel website Matador Network, Hemispheres (United Airlines' in-flight magazine) and Netmums (one of the UK's largest networks of moms).
Elevating Orlando's Dining Scene
Last week, our marketing team hosted Emmy Award-winning TV show Atlanta Eats for a special "On the Road" edition. Airing in March, the segment will showcase Orlando's dynamic dining scene, covering everything from classic, high-end steakhouses to local sandwich shops. A series of short videos will also appear on Atlanta Eats' social media channels to help drive overnight visitation to our destination.
Visit Orlando board member Fred Sawyers has been appointed managing director for Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando. He will oversee the management of daily hotel operations, development and execution of strategic sales and marketing initiatives, and financial planning and analysis for the 1,500-room resort complex.
OTHER NEWS FROM VISIT ORLANDO
» At Visit Orlando, we regularly partner with our member companies on strategic and cost-effective advertising campaigns. This year, we're providing opportunities to target leisure, LGBTQ+ and luxury travelers through multiple platforms in our core markets of the U.S., Canada and Brazil. To learn more, contact our member development team.
» On Feb. 5, our meetings and conventions team attended Destination Showcase in Washington, D.C., connecting with more than 1,000 event planners and emphasizing the importance of working with destination organizations such as Visit Orlando.
» Next week, the Global Pet Expo and Orgill Spring Dealer Market returns to the Orange County Convention Center, with more than 39,000 attendees contributing an estimated $97.2 million in economic impact.