November 8 is just around the corner, and Orange County residents will have the opportunity to vote in support of the transportation sales tax referendum.
We can all agree getting to work on time is becoming more difficult and frustrating in Orange County and everyday life has become less affordable. The $600 million generated annually for transportation projects will give residents more reliable ways to access jobs, education, housing and healthcare — with or without a car.
The funding will double the current transit system, creating more frequent and reliable service for those who depend on it. And increasing transit ridership will reduce congestion on roads, helping everyone, including drivers who never use transit.
Plus, tourists and visitors will pay 51% of the sales taxes which will minimize the tax burden on residents.
I encourage you to learn more about the Move Orange County Forward campaign, and dive deeper using the interactive map of proposed transportation projects. There is also a new toolkit available to help educate and engage your employees. Most importantly, don’t forget to vote!
Hurricane Ian Resources
To assist with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian, several resources and volunteer opportunities remain readily available. They include:
After a successful summer promotion, we continue our partnership with Frontier Airlines to drive incremental fall and winter visitation to our destination. In October and November, we are running a joint marketing digital campaign “Fall for Orlando’s Endless Summer” offering flights as low as $29. Later in December, a “Friends Fly Free” week and trip giveaway promotion will run to drive early 2023 bookings. The campaigns will target key markets of Atlanta, Washington, D.C., NYC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Hartford, Cincinnati and St. Louis, and deliver an estimated 10 million impressions.
Visit Orlando Hosts Key Media
Our public relations team hosted seven media from key international markets of Canada, UK, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia on a dining-focused press trip, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA. The press trip highlighted Orlando’s culinary offerings, including Michelin-ranked Capa (One Star) located at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and BACÁN (Recommended) at the Lake Nona Wave Hotel.
Colombia Road Show
Visit Orlando recently held a Colombia Road Show in partnership with the Association of Colombian Travel Agencies. In three secondary cities — Barranquilla, Medellin and Cali — approximately 400 travel advisors attended to learn how to better sell Orlando.
For the week ending October 15, 2022, Metro Orlando occupancy was 80.8%, up strongly from last week’s 73.6% and flat from the same week in 2019 (80.5%).
Average daily rate jumped to $161.37 from $147.42 last week and remains much higher than pre-pandemic rates ($138.34 for the same week in 2019).
Around the Destination
Transportation Roundtable: Hosted by U.S. Rep. Val Demings, I was honored to participate in a roundtable discussion with Department of Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, and several of our local government officials today. Secretary Buttigieg gave an overview of the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, and we were able to share observations, concerns and needs with the Secretary for his consideration. We are fortunate to have major public and private entities continuing to work together to improve transportation and infrastructure for residents and visitors alike.
Sharing the Importance of Travel: I had the pleasure of speaking at the Rotary Club of Windermere’s weekly meeting sharing information on our region’s new global brand, Unbelievably Real, how the tourism industry is on the road to recovery and more.
Come Out with Pride Orlando: Visit Orlando team members volunteered at the Come Out With Pride Orlando festival at Lake Eola. As one of the largest Pride celebrations in the southeastern region of the U.S., this year consisted of live entertainment, cultural food options, vendors and the popular event, “The Most Colorful Parade.” Learn more.
20 Years of Style and Influence: Visit Orlando team members celebrated "20 Years of Style and Influence" at Neiman Marcus Orlando’s 20th anniversary celebration. During the ceremony, Mayor Buddy Dyer made opening remarks and I joined a panel of female business leaders to have a conversation on the impact of women leaders in our various industries.