I’m excited to introduce Terry Prather, COO at Lift Orlando, as Visit Orlando’s new board chair, and the several community and business leaders who are joining our 2023 Board of Directors.

Terry is committed to collaboration and service to our community and has extensive experience in the travel and tourism industry.

Terry will spearhead the 2023 board comprised of industry professionals to help execute Visit Orlando’s three-year strategic plan, strengthen the travel and tourism industry and showcase the wide-ranging opportunities the tourism industry provides for people of all backgrounds. He is Visit Orlando's first Black board chair.

I'm looking forward to working in partnership with Terry and our 2023 board of directors to further Visit Orlando’s mission to be the most visited, welcoming and inclusive travel destination in the world.

Provided below are the new elections to the 2023 board:

New Board Chair to serve through December 31, 2024

Terry Prather, Chief Operating Officer, Lift Orlando

New Board Directors

  • Chris Mueller, General Manager, Hilton Orlando
  • Claudia Menezes, Vice President, GoPegasus
  • John de Armas, CEO, ProfitLand Partners
  • Chris Jaskiewicz, President & CEO, ICON Park
  • Karen Irwin, President & Chief Operating Officer, Universal Orlando Resort
  • Brad Gilmour, Vice President of Operations, Aquatica & Discovery Cove

Executive Committee

The following is the slate of Executive committee members to be ratified by the board in early 2023:

  • Chair-Elect: Barb Bowden, Area Managing Director, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Atish Shah, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc.
  • Past Chair: Brian Comes, Area Vice President, Hyatt Regency Orlando
  • Elected Director: Charlie Freeman, President of Business Operations, Orlando Magic
  • At-Large Director: Paul S. Mears III: President & CEO, Hello! Destination Management
  • Non-voting member: Casandra Matej, President & CEO, Visit Orlando

View the complete list of the 2023 Board of Directors on our website.


A Busy Bowl Season for Orlando

Orlando has been welcoming energetic football teams and fans in our home stadiums for College Football Bowl season. In December, the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl took place at Exploria Stadium, while the Cheez-It Bowl — hosted in Orlando for 22 years — was played at Camping World Stadium. The Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, also held at Camping World Stadium, took place this past Monday.

But wait, there’s more! Orlando will also host the Hula Bowl, SPIRAL Tropical Bowl and Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in the coming weeks. Learn more here.


November 2022 TDT Collections

Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for the month of November came in at $30.9 million — a 23.3% increase over November 2021, $22.1 million higher than November 2020 earnings and the highest November collections on record.

November recorded healthy hotel demand (99% of November 2019) and an average daily rate of $151. Metro Orlando’s occupancy rate for November was 72.6%, higher than November 2021 (63.4%) and slightly below November 2019 (76.5%).

The impact from Hurricane Nicole to our region was softened by successful events such as Electric Daisy Carnival in downtown Orlando and events at the Orange County Convention Center throughout the month, including Kidney Week 2022, National Association of Realtors Annual Convention and IAAPA Expo 2022.

Weekly Lodging Results: For the week ending December 31, 2022, Metro Orlando occupancy was 79%, jumping up from last week’s 59.4%. Orlando’s occupancy far surpassed the U.S. average occupancy (54%) and was the third highest of the top 25 U.S. markets. 
Average daily rate (ADR) was almost $200, up from $148 last week, and was the highest weekly ADR on record for Orlando — surpassing the same week in 2021, the previous record weekly high.