While February marks Black History Month, a national celebration to honor the legacy and achievements of African Americans, in Orlando, our recognition and celebration of Black History continues year-round.

At Visit Orlando, one way we enhance travel to our destination is by promoting the diverse cultural aspects of our city.

We do this by highlighting Orlando’s historic neighborhoods, restaurants and events as well as through valued partnerships, media visits, familiarization tours and much more.

For example, we collaborated with Ericka Dunlap, an Orlando native and the first and only African American woman to be named Miss Florida, to share Orlando’s rich African American history and culture in this video.

We also keep our consumer blog and calendar up to date with the events and businesses that help impact the popularity of our destination. In this African American History blog, events taking place in February, and all year long, are listed with an interactive map showing their locations.

Orlando’s African American culture and history are the roots of our city’s growing, diverse community.

I encourage you to take time to experience the historic locations, cultural events and black-owned businesses. You may learn something new to share with family members, friends and peers.


Travelers Encouraged to Plan Vacation in Orlando

On Tuesday, we participated in National Plan For Your Vacation Day — a day for Americans to plan their vacation days for the year and inspire domestic travel. To encourage travel to Orlando, we created a Frequently Asked Questions blog and video to help answer any common inquiries. The page also educates site visitors on our unique (and free) Vacation Planning Services readily available to provide guidance on creating the perfect Orlando itinerary.

National Plan for Your Vacation Day may have passed however, it’s never too late to connect friends and family members with our vacation planners to help plan an “Unbelievably Real” vacation.

U.S. Travel Association Supports Bill Ending Vaccine Mandate

U.S. Travel Association announced their support of H.R. 185 to end the required vaccine mandate for international visitors. Currently, the U.S. remains as the only country with a public health emergency stipulation for travelers visiting internationally, which costs valuable visitor spending and a delayed effort to reignite inbound travel. Read more.

Hotel Metrics

For the week ending January 28, 2023, Metro Orlando occupancy was 75.4%, up almost five percentage points from last week and up 31.2% from last year. The average daily rate was $202.52, up 28.7% from last year. 


Across the Industry

Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists:
 Congratulations to Henry Moso, chef at Kabooki Sushi, who is in the running for ”Best Chef: South,” and Jimmy and Johnny Tung, in the ”Outstanding Restaurateur” category for the James Beard Awards. The awards recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and talent in the culinary and food media industries across the country. Read more.


Around the Destination

Women of the Year Reception: This week, Orange Appeal hosted their 2023 Women of the Year reception to honor leading, accomplished women professionals in Central Florida. I’m grateful to be included among the honorees recognized as a Vibrant Visionary and to be featured in their first magazine of 2023.

It has been an amazing two years serving in this community, and I take pride in being a travel industry representative. While I may have received the award, it is really the combined effort of the entire Visit Orlando team truly being honored.

Influencer Katrina Dandridge visits Wells’Built Museum

Black History Walking Tour: In partnership with the African American Chamber of Commerce, VyStar and Florida Technical College, Visit Orlando will host the second annual Black History Walking Tour in the Parramore neighborhood of downtown Orlando. The tour sheds light on Orlando’s rich African American history and culture, showcasing the Wells ‘Built Museum and more.

Casandra Matej's photo and signature for Tourism Matters