Over the past year, our destination has advanced a collaborative, regionwide approach to mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 through our highly successful Safer, Stronger, Together educational campaign.
Today, that campaign — a joint effort between Visit Orlando, Orange County government and the Orlando Economic Partnership, as well as numerous businesses, healthcare providers, media outlets and community partners — has been honored with the PRSA Silver Anvil for integrated communications.
This national award, one of the most coveted in the field of public relations, recognizes initiatives that "successfully address challenging issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness."
Our win is a testament to Orlando's strong commitment to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community, including the millions of people who visit here each year, and I couldn't be prouder of our collective leadership in this area. As one of the judges wrote, "Campaign evaluations tend to cite numbers of page views or media clicks, but you literally saved lives."
Congratulations, everyone! This is a well-deserved honor we can all share.
Communities Across Orlando Ready to Celebrate Juneteenth
Tomorrow is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. As this day of recognition continues to grow in popularity — and is now recognized as a federal holiday — Visit Orlando has published a new blog spotlighting unique ways visitors and residents can celebrate locally, including events in Winter Park, Maitland, downtown Orlando, Windermere and the I-Drive district.
Keeping Travel Advisers Up to Date on Our Destination
Love and Learn Orlando: Recognizing webinar fatigue, we've launched an on-demand video training series for travel advisers, called Love and Learn Orlando. Content includes three categories — accommodations, attractions and outdoor adventure — offering a brief but informative look into some of Orlando's most popular experiences.
Global Forum: Visit Orlando recently participated in a virtual conference hosted by Lufthansa City Center, a global network of more than 500 travel agencies. CMO Danielle Hollander served as a panelist in a forum on the future of America's travel and tourism industry, where she discussed air travel to Orlando, the return of convention business and hotel occupancy trends. Over 100 travel professionals from 25 countries attended.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Job Fair
Getting people back to work is crucial to our destination's full economic recovery. If you or someone you know is seeking employment, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando will be hosting a free job fair June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3201 E. Colonial Drive. Registration is required. Businesses seeking employees can also register to have a booth at the fair, for a fee.
Time is Running Out …
Industry Insights Roundtable: Only a few days are left to reserve your spot at our Industry Insights Roundtable, June 22 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This session will feature an update from our market research and insights team, followed by discussion with fellow members in the accommodations industry. The cost is $10 per person, and the event is located at Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center Area, 6461 Westwood Blvd.
Visit Orlando Survey: We need your honest opinions about Orlando as we develop our three-year strategic plan. Through June 30, please share your feedback by taking 15 to 20 minutes to complete our DestinationNEXT survey.
Key Tourism Indicators
Key indicators continue to provide a positive forecast for summer travel to Orlando. Advance hotel bookings for leisure travel are showing marked improvements for June and July, with the gap in pace compared to the 2019 levels shrinking substantially. Direct domestic seats into Orlando are expected to surpass 2019 levels this month, with September capacity being 13% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
For the week ending June 12, hotel occupancy rose to 64.5%, up from 61.8% the previous week. The average daily rate fell by 60 cents to $114.50.
Remembering Pulse: 5 Years Later
Finally, I was honored to attend the Five-Year Pulse Remembrance Ceremony June 12 along with thousands of others, including (L to R) Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, mayoral special assistant Marc Espeso, Deputy County Administrator Darren Gray and Orlando resident Gregory Broner.