Today's the big day. Have you made your reservations yet?
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining is officially back for its 15th year, running through Oct. 4 with amazing three-course meals at dozens of our community's finest restaurants. For only $35, it's the best deal in town!
As always, $1 from every meal will benefit a local charity. New this year, we are allowing diners to voluntarily increase their donation. Please be generous, as proceeds will support Feed the Need Florida, which helps many members of our community who are struggling to access healthy food options during COVID-19.
Also new this year, we're expanding the program to include takeout and delivery options — so there's more ways than ever to enjoy a real magical dining experience, all while supporting these hospitality businesses and giving back to those in need. I'm off to one of our Magical Dining member restaurants tonight with my family and can't wait!
Speaking of dining, I'm happy to share that recent research showed half of American travelers have dined out at a restaurant in the past two months. Of those, fewer than 5% reported they felt unsafe.
Along these lines, it's also great to see Orange County's daily positivity rates for COVID-19 continue their downward trend over the past several weeks. Without a doubt, this success is a result of our destination's enhanced safety measures and commitment to following recommended guidelines.
Promoting Special Offers: As part of our Off to Orlando campaign, we continue to promote our destination's special offers and enhanced safety measures to encourage visitation. I'm happy to share that Visit Orlando's publicity team has secured national coverage in top media outlets including Forbes, as well as MSN and Yahoo News, with more to come.
#LoveOrlando: Our #LoveOrlando campaign continues to tap into the passion people have for our destination, with fans sharing their positive, fun-filled experiences on our social media channels. Since its recent launch, the campaign has generated more than 1.2 million impressions worth of attention.
Hotel Metrics: Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Aug. 22 was 29.3%, slightly down from 29.9% the previous week. Average daily rate fell $1.29 to $78.96. Bookings for August and September increased 21% and 10%, respectfully, from the previous week. This follows a new, pandemic-era trend of travelers favoring a last-minute approach to vacation planning.