Visit Orlando is now accepting applications from nonprofit organizations for the highly anticipated annual Visit Orlando Magical Dining program.

Through Visit Orlando, $1 from every meal served during Magical Dining benefits one or more local nonprofits that help our community members who are in need. In addition to offering outstanding meals at outstanding prices, the program encourages Central Florida residents and travelers to support essential community causes.

Last year, we donated $186,805 to our 2022 charity beneficiary, The Able Trust, an organization that helps create employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Central Florida, and six local organizations — BIG SIS Inc., Central Florida Urban League, HOPE CommUnity Center, PACE Center for Girls, Rebuild Self Care and Society of St. Vincent de Paul — that share a similar mission.

This year‘s donated funds will focus on organizations that provide services and resources to abuse survivors.

Eligible nonprofits are encouraged to apply online by April 7. Questions can be directed to Visit Orlando’s director of community relations & external affairs, Kristin Westover.


Register for Visit Orlando's Signature Luncheon

Registration is now open for Visit Orlando’s Travel & Tourism Event & Luncheon on May 11 at the Orange County Convention Center. This year’s theme is Moving Travel Forward. During the event, we will share the many exciting things Visit Orlando is doing to promote the destination, provide information about what’s relevant to our travel and tourism community and celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being.

Single or 3-series corporate table sponsorships are available and include upfront seating for eight, your logo on event signage and on-screen, complimentary general session admission for your attendees and more. A corporate table sponsorship is an excellent way to promote your organization during our signature event. For additional information, contact Visit Orlando’s member recruitment manager, Kelly Kinney.

Wall of murals in Eatonville

CBS News Sunday Morning Features Eatonville, FL

This Sunday, March 19, at 9 a.m., tune in to CBS News Sunday Morning, which will feature a segment on the historic city of Eatonville, FL. This provides an incredible opportunity to introduce viewers to our destination's intriguing history and diverse culture. It also encourages residents and travelers to learn more about Eatonville's heritage, education and cultural arts.

Also, coming up is Eatonville's signature ZORA! Festival featuring its 2023 Africa America Women's Economic Forum — a 3-day series beginning March 31. Panel sessions will include topics like "Trust as an Essential Component of Leadership" and "Opportunities Abound - Being Prepared" which focus on preparing for international business. Learn more and register today.

Hotel Metrics

For the week ending March 11, 2023, Metro Orlando occupancy was 79.6%, up from last week’s 77.6% but down 1.1% from the same week last year. The average daily rate was $227.38, up 13.8% from last year.


Visit Orlando Engaged!

Social Media Conference: This week, Ragan Communications hosted a social media conference engaging professionals on how to enhance their social media reach, captivate their audiences and transform social media results. Representing Visit Orlando, director of social media & content, Adeta Gayah, spoke on the "Fostering Feedback: Formats for Constructive Conversations" panel and social media senior manager, Ian Suarez, provided insights during a discussion on "Small But Mighty: Shoestring Social With a Tiny Team."

Insights shared during the discussions included best practices and tips on maintaining organized and efficient projects, strategizing and launching pulse surveys for high engagement and moderating tough conversations around interpersonal conflicts and personal struggles.


Leadership Conference: Maxwell Leadership hosted its International Maxwell Conference in Orlando this week. Many industry professionals, including Visit Orlando team members, joined and gained tips on effective leadership and community methods. Conference keynote speakers defined the qualities, challenges and habits that a great leader should possess. The International Maxwell Conference will return to Orlando in August.


As president and CEO of Visit Orlando, I prioritize ensuring leadership development opportunities are available to our team members. We consistently seek ways to implement and inspire creativity, expand knowledge, challenge current ways of thinking, seek different perspectives and most importantly, help our organization grow.


Hurricane Preparedness: We hosted our first power lunch this week, connecting nearly 100 Central Florida industry professionals to have crucial conversations on disaster preparedness. Visit Orlando’s director of community relations & external affairs, Kristin Westover, shared Visit Orlando’s role in crisis management to protect our destination, members and residents to position our industry and our community for success. She also shared how Visit Orlando works closely with the Orange County Office of Emergency Management and other community partners before, during and after crises. Guest speaker Jason McMillan, emergency management specialist at Orange County Government, was also present and shared best practices for preparing homes and businesses for disaster readiness.

Key takeaways included:

  • Having an emergency kit that includes important legal documents, like insurance policies, family records and passports.
  • Organizing a list of proper supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, portable radios, disinfectants and toilet paper.
  • Creating a business continuity plan incorporating risks, potential impact, preparedness and response actions, roles and responsibilities, communications, testing and training practices.
  • Keeping a list of Orange County emergency shelters, including general population, special needs and pet-friendly shelters. 

With the approaching hurricane season upon us, I encourage you to prioritize your family and business emergency preparedness. You can get started by accessing Orange County Government’s Hurricane Safety Guide for detailed information on how to properly plan for storm season. If you are a Visit Orlando member, be sure to email our member relations team at to update your emergency contact information.

Casandra Matej's photo and signature for Tourism Matters