Discovery and recovery. These are two of my biggest priorities as the new president and CEO of Visit Orlando.
On a personal level, every day I get the joy of discovering something new about what makes our destination great — from visiting our member companies to meeting community leaders and sharing industry updates with local and national media.
On the recovery front, I'm pleased to announce that our organization's new leisure campaign, The Wonder Remains, has already reached 200 million impressions and generated $2.1 million in visitor spending. With the campaign now extended through June, expect the economic impact to accelerate as we enter the spring break and summer seasons.
Orlando is excelling in the meetings arena too, as you can see in the video above. In-person events have picked up significantly this year, thanks to our destination's commitment to industry-leading health and safety measures. Also driving this success, Visit Orlando's convention sales team has been hard at work rebooking more than 20 events from other cities (the graphic below highlights a few of the biggest) — and this is setting the stage for a very strong second half of 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center.
It's encouraging to see our destination's recovery gain momentum, and I'm proud of our team, member companies and community partners for inspiring the kind of confidence in safety that makes us a top choice for leisure and business travel. As vaccines roll out and people increasingly feel more comfortable to travel, it's safe to expect visitation will only continue to rise.
Work Resumes on Universal Orlando's Epic Universe Theme Park
Big news this week from Universal Orlando Resort, which announced that work is resuming on its widely anticipated new theme park, Epic Universe, after construction had paused in July. In addition to giving consumers yet another excellent reason to visit Orlando, Epic Universe will generate billions in economic impact and create more than 14,000 permanent jobs.
Several Big Anniversaries Across Our Destination in 2021
Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary will generate tremendous publicity for our destination this year, but did you know that some other major milestones are also on the calendar? Here's a look at a few of our biggest anniversaries in 2021:
60 years: Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Harry P. Leu Gardens
50 years: Orange County Historical Society
40 years: Orlando International Airport
35 years: Old Town, The Florida Mall
25 years: Orange County Convention Center, phases 3 & 4
20 years: Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
15 years: Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
10 years: LEGOLAND Florida Resort
5 years: OnePulse Foundation
Visit Orlando's Pinterest Account Is Back!
We recently re-activated our Pinterest account, updating our content boards to feature seasonal activities, diversity and equity, member highlights, safety, and travel planning. New pins are being shared weekly to promote timely content and informative pages from our website. This social network is just one more way to reach consumers, helping them gain inspiration for future trips.
Call for Event Submissions
Hosting an event that visitors should know about? It's easier than ever to promote festivals, concerts, sports and other consumer-facing events on VisitOrlando.com with our new Submit Your Event webpage. This intuitive tool has everything you need to tell the world about your next happening, and listing events with Visit Orlando is always free.
Weekly Occupancy Rate
Metro Orlando's occupancy rate for the week ending Feb. 27 was 44.9%, down from 50.3% the previous week. Average daily rate fell $2.69 to $89.22.