Across our destination, I'm encouraged by the progress we continue to make on several fronts, from the reopening of all our theme parks to last week's return of the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships at the Orange County Convention Center. Underlining these developments is an industrywide commitment to ensuring the best possible health-safety measures.
At the same time, we all know that our state and region now face their biggest challenge ever when it comes to COVID-19. To keep our economic momentum heading in the right direction, it's imperative that every resident and business do their part to stem the tide of this pandemic in our region.
That was the message last Tuesday during our Safer, Stronger, Together webinar with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and the Orlando Economic Partnership. More than 300 participants learned how they can be part of this new campaign, and I invite you to do the same by viewing the presentation here.
In the coming days, you'll probably notice more and more businesses posting images like the one above, which you can download here along with other collateral in Spanish and Creole. Whether you're a resident or business owner, please join us in the fight to keep Central Florida safe and strong.
Supporting Our Community: During Friday's quarterly presentation to Orange County's Tourist Development Council, I discussed some of the ways Visit Orlando has pivoted to address the rapidly changing dynamics brought on by COVID-19. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few highlights of our team's efforts from this earlier this spring, including campaigns that supported our community while generating record reach for Orlando in both publicity and social media. Video recap
"Off to Orlando" Campaign: Last week, we launched our new "Off to Orlando" state-cation campaign to drive summer visitation among Florida residents. Research shows that people will feel most comfortable first venturing out for travel getaways that are close to home. Our new campaign showcases fresh-air vacation experiences, from soaring on a coaster to playing in a water park, as well as emphasizing offers and affordability, through social media, publicity, online and direct-to-consumer platforms.
Roadmap to Recovery Webinar: Join us Wednesday, July 22 at 10 a.m. as Gordon Liametz, founder and CEO of Digital Escape, shares a COVID-19 roadmap-to-recovery toolkit for hotels, with actionable steps on how to audit digital channels and create a simple, yet effective, growth plan. Click here to register or view our previous webinars full of current industry insights, research and best practices.
Training Travel Professionals: Since the pandemic, our Travel Industry Sales team has trained over 11,000 travel professionals in domestic and core markets while working with key stakeholders, airlines and tour operators by request. This week, we're also set to take part in the virtual "All American Roadshow" of 5,000 tour operators, media and travel advisors, representing Orlando through both one-on-one appointments and by hosting a group session.
Hotel Metrics: Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending July 11 was 28.9%, down from 29.3% the previous week but more than double our low in early April. The weekly decline, which mirrors state and national trends, can be attributed in part to a natural dip from the July Fourth holiday weekend, as well as the gradual reopening of more Orlando-area hotels and publicity from Florida's rising number of coronavirus cases. Average daily rate fell about $6 from last week to $83.89.
Travel Spending: Travel spending in the U.S. for the week ending July 4 expanded for the 10th consecutive week, hitting $13.2 billion, up from the low of $2.6 billion the week ending April 25. Travel spending in Florida was $1.14 billion, a drop of 47% from the same period last year but an increase of $4 million from the previous week.
COMMUNITY & HEALTH
Please remember that, per Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings' executive order, every person working, living, visiting or doing business in Orange County is required to wear a facial covering, consistent with CDC guidelines, while in public. For more on how businesses and individuals can play a role minimizing the spread of COVID-19, visit DoYourPartOrl.com. And a special thank you to all the leaders and businesses that have joined our effort.