Excitement is building over our region’s new global brand, Unbelievably Real, launched last week as a collaboration between Visit Orlando and Orlando Economic Partnership. We’ll be rolling out multiple components of the brand in the coming months, but here’s an update on two key initiatives as we start the process:
Domestic Media: Two-minute, tourism-focused segments began airing this week on NBC morning shows in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas and Atlanta. Areas of focus included Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Winter Park, Lake Nona, new hotels and restaurants, and more. Check it out here. In total, our domestic media campaign will generate an estimated 390 million impressions across TV, online search, social media and digital display.
Local Resident Sweepstakes: Because our new brand is interactive and community-focused, we’re asking local residents to submit a photo of what they believe makes Orlando unbelievably real. One winner, chosen at random, will receive an unbelievable staycation to include a three-day, two-night stay at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, complimentary poolside cabana, two one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper tickets and a Visit Orlando swag bag. Hurry! Deadline ends May 31.
AAA: Orlando No. 1 for Memorial Day Weekend Travel
I’m happy to share that AAA is predicting more people will travel to Orlando for Memorial Day weekend than any other destination in the U.S. This will kick off what’s shaping up to be a strong summer, as advance hotel bookings for June and July are exceeding 2019 levels, as is domestic seat capacity into Orlando International Airport.
Nationally, 39.2 million Americans are forecast to travel 50 miles or more for Memorial Day weekend, an 8.3% increase from last year. Learn more here.
For the month of April: Metro Orlando ranked No. 2 among the nation’s top 25 markets for occupancy, coming in at 79.4% — down slightly from 82.5% in March but very close to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019 (80.9%). Room night demand increased 45% from the prior year and surpassed April 2019 by 3.4%, a first since the pandemic. Average daily rate hit $169, a 48.2% increase over the same month in 2021 and 24% over 2019.
For the week ending May 14: Metro Orlando occupancy was 68.3%, virtually unchanged from the previous week’s 67.8%. Average daily rate dropped slightly to $146.05 from $149.29. A dip in occupancy in May is normal before the summer season kicks off with the Memorial Day weekend. In fact, leisure advance hotel bookings for the holiday weekend are pacing at 97% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
Around the Destination
MegaCon Orlando: If you notice an uptick in visitors along I-Drive this weekend, MegaCon is probably the reason why. As one of the nation’s largest national comic, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming events, it’s expected to bring over 100,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center.
IGNITE Luncheon: On Wednesday, Visit Orlando team members attended the Hispanic Chamber’s 2022 IGNITE Luncheon. Leadership panelists from the City of Orlando, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties highlighted the strategies and opportunities each county has to support growth in the areas of community engagement and economic impact. Also, congratulations to the Ignitor of the Year honorees!
North I-Drive Business Roundtable: Yesterday, the I-Drive Business Improvement District and Orlando City Commissioner Bakari Burns met to discuss the future of North I-Drive. Topics included area growth, economic development, public safety and transportation.
Culinary Medicine Conference: The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is hosting its 8th annual Health Meets Food: Culinary Medicine Conference June 9-12. The event will explore culinary medicine as a means to build healthier menus, develop diet plans and create care beyond prescriptions.
Welcome New Members
Please join me in recognizing our newest members. These companies are committed to working with us to brand, market and sell our destination, and we welcome their engagement!