Visit Orlando's Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon is May 9, and Mayor Jerry Demings will give his first State of the County address May 16.
To view past issues of Tourism Matters, click here.
FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
Big Events on Tap for Tourism and Orange County
In May, area leaders will converge on two important events that bring out the best of who we are as a community … while exploring what the future might hold.
First, on May 9 at Hilton Orlando, Visit Orlando’s Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon will share the trends and innovative practices shaping our tourism landscape. We'll also look back at our destination's success in 2018, revealing how many visitors came to Orlando. Sign up today, because seats always fill fast.
A week later, on May 16 at the Orange County Convention Center, Mayor Jerry Demings will give his first State of the County address, highlighting recent accomplishments and outlining ways we can continue building a community that works for everyone.
On behalf of Orlando’s tourism industry, we’re proud to count our new mayor among the many elected officials whose support helps keep our region’s No. 1 economic engine running strong.
President & CEO
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Demand Holds Strong, Occupancy Dips Slightly
In March, Orlando's room night demand was unchanged from the same month last year, but growth in room supply caused a slight dip in occupancy levels (down 0.6% to 88.9%). The later timing of Easter this year impacted many schools’ spring breaks, and the shift likely affected room rates as well, which declined 2%.
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
Well-Deserved Honor for
Orange County Mayor
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel was on hand last week at the Amway Center to congratulate Orange County Mayor Demings for being honored at the Metro Orlando Golden Eagle Dinner. More than 1,000 business, civic and political leaders attended the event, which benefitted the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America. Demings, who was previously Orange County sheriff, earned the recognition for his many years of service to the community.
Feature Your Shopping
Deal in Brazil Campaign
Interested in promoting a shopping deal to Brazilians? Visit Orlando recently launched a marketing campaign in Brazil to promote our destination's many shopping venues during a key booking period. The first phase of the campaign – which includes TV, print, online videos, digital display, social media, content amplification and search engine marketing – runs through mid-June. If you would like to feature a shopping deal in our campaign, contact
Visit Orlando’s publicity team generated regional Canadian TV coverage through a seven-segment media tour, resulting in more than 12 million broadcast/online impressions. Travel expert Maureen Dennis outlined her top “parenting hacks,” with Orlando being mentioned as “a quintessential vacation destination” offering family-friendly accommodations, great deals and something for everyone.
Record Attendance at
Annual UK Roadshow
The 12th annual Visit Orlando roadshow took place this spring in cities across the UK (Orlando’s No. 1 overseas market), with a record-setting 820 travel advisers. Informative presentations and one-on-one meetings helped attendees increase their knowledge of our destination, which will aid them in booking visitation to Orlando.
Brings 13K to OCCC
For the first time, more than 13,000 attendees converged on Orlando April 6-9 for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The conference, booked by Visit Orlando and held at the Orange County Convention Center, generated more than $25 million in economic impact for our destination.
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel welcomed digitalNow – the premier meeting for CEOs and volunteer leaders from American associations – to the Orange County Convention Center last week. More than 250 executives shared open dialogue to better prepare for industry-related challenges and critical issues facing association leaders in the digital age.
Networking with Key
Planners in Kansas City
Visit Orlando and 88 meeting planners from association, corporate and intermediary accounts attended a special Global Meetings Industry Day celebration April 3 in Kansas City. Events such as these enable Visit Orlando to make valuable connections and generate future meetings and convention business for our destination. Pictured: Mike Chamberlain and Barb Boggs, Grant Professionals Association, and Barb Balaguras, Visit Orlando.
No. 1 Scottish Paper
Touts Orlando for Adults
Visit Orlando secured coverage in The Scottish Sun, generating 4 million impressions, following a recent group destination orientation. The story highlights Orlando for adults, from the theme parks to experiences off the beaten path. It also promotes Orlando’s accessibility from Scotland, including a package with direct flights from Edinburgh.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Travelocity, Orlando is among the nation’s top 10 destinations for “voluntourism,” the trend of mixing vacations with volunteering. A recent survey found more than a quarter of U.S. travelers report they plan to volunteer during a trip this year.
IN THE NEWS
New Epcot Nighttime Show to Debut Oct. 1
“Epcot Forever” will feature fireworks, lasers, special-effects kites and more. Read More
Uber, Mears Team Up on New UberTaxi App
Partnership puts Mears’ 650-plus Orlando drivers onto the Uber app. Read More
GOAA Employee Named Businesswoman of the Year
Vicki Jaramillo honored by OBJ for helping grow airport’s services to more than 157 destinations. Read More
Sanford Airport to Begin Search for President & CEO
Diane Crews, current head of the airport, is set to retire in September 2020. Read More
This year's keynote speaker will share the importance of collaboration in the travel and tourism community and how it will make our future stronger. Network with hundreds of fellow members and be on hand when we announce our 2018 visitation number. Register here.