A record 75 million people visited our destination in 2018.
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FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
75M Visitors: A Historic Milestone for Orlando
Take a bow, Orlando. Every year, we just keep raising the bar!
At our industry’s Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon today, we revealed the news everyone’s been waiting to hear: In 2018, a record 75 million visitors came to Orlando (4.2% more than last year), once again keeping us the most visited destination in America.
Domestic and international visitation both posted solid gains, with particularly strong visitation from Latin America.
As we stand on the edge of a new decade, it’s amazing to consider that visitation to Orlando has risen 61% since 2009. That’s a gain of more than 28 million people, equal to the population of Texas!
What does this mean for our community, for our quality of life? In short, every new visitor is a reason to celebrate, as tourism supports 41% of our region’s workforce, generates over $70 billion in annual economic impact and provides $5.5 billion in local and state taxes.
Many factors contribute to our destination’s ongoing success, but product investment, strategic marketing initiatives and a world-class hospitality culture are at the heart of it. Together, these things provide a winning formula to help us maintain our No. 1 position well into the future.
President & CEO
NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK
Celebrating Tourism's Widespread Impact
Visit Orlando marked National Travel & Tourism Week (May 5-11) with a luncheon where industry and community leaders celebrated our destination’s record 75 million visitors in 2018. Also, Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel joined CFHLA President & CEO Rich Maladecki at the Orange County board chambers to receive a proclamation from Mayor Jerry Demings and commissioners (pictured).
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
Aguel to Promote Impact
of Tourism on Fox 35
Tune in Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. as Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel appears with host Ryan Elijah on “Orlando Matters,” Fox 35's community affairs show. Aguel will discuss the impact of domestic and international visitors to our destination in 2018, and the exciting new tourism developments taking place in Orlando in the coming months.
Mayor Dyer to Recieve
Early Learning Award
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will be honored June 8 by the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County at EPCOT’s World Showplace Pavilion. Dyer, who established the Orlando Cares program, will be receiving the 2019 Toni Jennings Early Learning Champion Award. Read More.
WTM Latin America Hosts
Record 19K Attendees
Visit Orlando attended World Travel Market Latin America, a leading global business-to-business tradeshow, April 2-4 at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo. The event, which featured 600 exhibitors representing 50 nations, included a record 19,000 participants. Brazil is a core international market for Orlando, and our presence with members plays an important role to support key clients and partners and drive visitation.
Advisers in São Paulo
A day after WTM Latin America, Visit Orlando and member companies hosted a marketplace and destination training April 5 for more than 400 travel advisers at the Renaissance São Paulo. Brazilian travel advisers heard updates about our destination and were provided tools to help sell Orlando to clients. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Kennedy Space Center, Legoland, Simon shopping centers and American Airlines participated.
30K Attend Coverings
Tile and Stone Exhibition
Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, took place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center. More than 1,100 exhibitors from 40-plus countries showcased their latest products, connected with suppliers from around the globe and discovered groundbreaking techniques, tips and tricks. The event included an estimated 30,000 attendees and generated over $59 million in economic impact.
LGBTQ Events Coming
to Orlando this Summer
This summer, several large-scale LGBTQ events will take place in Orlando: “Tidal Wave” (May 30-June 2), “Girls in Wonderland” (May 30-June 3), “One Magical Weekend” (May 31-June 3) and “Gay Days Orlando” (Aug. 13-19). Visit Orlando distributed a national press release promoting these special events, which has generated more than 68 million impressions so far. For more information, check out VisitOrlando.com/LGBTQ.
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Putting March’s TDT Revenue into Perspective
Collections of Orange County's Tourist Development Tax rose 0.3% in March to $31 million, compared to the same month in 2018. The year-over-year comparison, although positive, was dampened somewhat by the later date of Easter this year, which pushed back many schools’ spring breaks. Conversely, April's occupancy rates — a factor in TDT revenue — are trending ahead of prior-year levels. March 2018 and 2019 remain the only two months where TDT revenue surpassed $30 million.
IN THE NEWS
Disney Gives a Peek at Its 270-Acre Solar Facility
Goal is to reduce company’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent. Read More
Fun Spot’s New Ferris Wheel to Debut Early June
The Technical Park Wheel will be 98 feet tall and have LED-equipped gondolas. Read More
Midpointe Hotel Adds 222 Rooms
Rosen property consolidates with the former Clarion Inn & Suites on I-Drive. Read More
For Memorial Day Weekend, Orlando Is No. 1
We’re the most-booked domestic destination for online travel agency CheapOair. Read More
Marriott Launches Upscale Homes & Villas Program
Airbnb-like rental service to offer premium and luxury homes in more than 100 cities. Read More
VISIT ORLANDO EVENTS
Power Hour Lunch
Wednesday, June 12
Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Noon to 1 p.m.
Register today to enjoy a tapas-style lunch on Church Street in downtown Orlando and make valuable business connections with fellow members.
These upcoming events at the Orange County Convention Center will generate a combined economic impact of more than $90 million.
Estimated Attendance: 68,000
National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition
Estimated Attendance: 9,000
Blue Prism World
Estimated Attendance: 3,000
DID YOU KNOW?
Need your daily dose of caffeine? According to Apartment Guide, Orlando is one of the “10 Best Cities for Starbucks Lovers in America.” Orlando came in No. 5 based on the number of Starbucks, per capita.
Connect with Visit Orlando
Official tourism association of the No. 1 destination in the U.S.