Supporting Orlando’s local businesses is key to the health and unique personality of our destination. That’s why we continue to uplift initiatives like #407Day, which is back for a third year next Thursday, and bigger than ever. 

We're partnering with Orange County and the City of Orlando to stretch the program beyond the dining industry. Now, residents can celebrate and support all kinds of local businesses as part of #407Day, including shops, boutiques and services. And to encourage participation, we’re working with local food blog Tasty Chomps to launch a #407Day social media giveaway for anyone who shares posts and photos of their local purchases on April 7, using hashtag #407Day. Ten winners will be awarded giveaways that are also from local businesses and organizations — a win-win for the destination. 

We hope you’ll join in to celebrate our hometown businesses and continue to support these local companies and organizations as they, too, work towards recovery. After all, who doesn’t enjoy an excuse for a delicious meal or shopping spree?

Movement in the Meetings World

Speaking of important events on April 7, you might recall that Global Meetings Industry Day is also taking place. Stay tuned for how we’re spotlighting the benefits of meeting face-to-face here in Orlando, the No. 1 destination for safe, successful, in-person events. 
In other Meetings industry news, our team recently attended The PCMA Foundation’s Visionary Awards honoring exceptional stars in the industry. The event served as a great opportunity to network with key clients and build further relationships. We also attended the International Association Exhibition & Events (IAEE) Women’s Leadership Forum last week along with Orange County Convention Center and Universal Orlando Resort. The Leadership Forum focused on topics that are unique to women in the exhibitions and events industry, and it offered a chance to both network with this target audience and learn key strategies we can apply for business growth.  

Finally, last week we joined the OCCC sales team at Destination Showcase. Presented by PCMA and Destinations International, this one-day event allowed for yet another way to connect and meet with meeting planners.

Register for Visit Orlando’s Travel & Tourism Event

Registration is now open for Visit Orlando’s Travel & Tourism Event, held during National Travel and Tourism Week – an annual industry tradition celebrating the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, personal well-being and beyond. Join us on May 5 at the Orange County Convention Center to discuss topics related to this year’s theme, The Future of Travel. Plus, you’ll learn about exciting things Visit Orlando is doing to promote the destination. You won’t want to miss it!

29th Annual World Travel Awards

Visit Orlando and several of our member companies are nominees in the 29th annual World Travel Awards, with representation in categories that include North America’s Leading: “City Destination,” “Airport” and “Tourist Board.” Some of the major nominations for Orlando include:

Theme Park: Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

Resort: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin.

New Resort: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel.

Wedding Hotel: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.

Voting is open through May 3, should you like to support the Orlando nominees listed above, as well as many more in other categories. 

Drowning Prevention and Pool Safety

Year-round pool weather is a huge draw for our destination, but that also comes with increased risks for less experienced and young swimmers. To help elevate pool safety and prevent future tragedies, the Orange County Sherriff’s Office has created a helpful awareness video for residents, visitors and tourists. A big thanks to Rosen Shingle Creek for offering their pool as a filming location, although this video works for any hotel property, teaching viewers to always keep an eye on children when in or near water.

CFHLA Cares Collection Drives for Homeless Students

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association has initiated a Cares Collection Drive in support of the homeless students of Central Florida. The collection takes place on Apr. 26 at Caribe Royale Orlando. Items needed include toiletry and hygiene products as well as school supplies. Please consider helping out with this worthy cause! 

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series

Registration is now open for the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series on April 5, held at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. This session, titled “A Perspective on Partnership: Harris Rosen & UCF” will feature an amazing panel discussion with Harris Rosen, University of Central Florida President Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright and Rosen College Dean, Professor Youcheng Wang. Secure your spot now, or, if you are unable to attend the event in person, you can watch the lecture via the Rosen College YouTube livestream.

Hotel Metrics

For the week ending Mar. 26, Metro Orlando hotel occupancy was 83.5%, down from last week’s 90.5% but still the third highest occupancy for the destination since the onset of the pandemic.

Average daily rate fell $18.41 to $176.89, but remains far above pre-pandemic levels. 

In the News

Orlando Weekly: 91 new restaurants to enjoy in Orlando this year

Bay News 9: Hotel occupancy hits record highs in metro Orlando 

WPTV: Florida hits 90% one-shot vaccine percentage for adults 

Brightline: Orlando high-speed rail extension will be fully American-made

Mercado & Eventos (Brazil): Average price and searches for international flights up in March 

Hotel Online: U.S. Travel: International delegates return in strong numbers for IPW 2022 

Northstar: Orlando meeting guide 

Bungalower: Packing District picks operator for new food hall

Orlando Weekly: Top chef winner Hung Huynh joins Orlando's Omei Restaurant Group

Casandra Matej

In your service,

Casandra Matej

Casandra Matej | President & CEO
Visit Orlando