This week, Orlando was named the Top Meeting Destination in North America by Cvent, an industry-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider. This is the ninth time Orlando has been recognized by Cvent as the No. 1 meetings destination in the country.

The globally recognized Cvent Top Meeting Destinations lists evaluate and rank cities that are successfully engaging event planners and attracting group business. Rankings are determined based on sourcing activity through the Cvent Supplier Network, one of the world’s largest venue-sourcing platforms.

Additionally, 16 Orlando convention hotels were named as a Top Meeting Hotel in North America with 11 being ranked in the Top 100. The list includes Hilton Orlando; Hyatt Regency Orlando; Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress; JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and more. Read more: Orlando Named the Top Meeting Destination in North America by Cvent

Group business is vital to our destination as they support our local businesses, vendors and hospitality workers, and they also make an indelible impact on our community through charitable donations and endeavors. Meetings and conventions, including city-wide and in-house events, booked by the Visit Orlando convention sales team in 2023 and beyond, will bring an approximately $4 billion impact on the local economy.


On top of Cvent’s meetings destination announcement, Visit Orlando was named CVB/Destination of the Year by HelmsBriscoe, a global leader in hotel site selection and the placement of meetings and events. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and destination marketing organizations. And earlier this year, Visit Orlando was presented with the ConferenceDirect CVB of the Year (Major Market) Award.

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Gearing up for National Travel & Tourism Week – May 19-25

Sunday marks the start of National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual commencement of the industry’s critical role in powering economies, communities and connections. To showcase how Visit Orlando is helping our economy, member companies and area residents, we have several activities and events on tap.

Monday, May 20: Visit Orlando will share activity updates, including a new campaign focused on how Tourism Benefits You, to several regional and diversity chambers of commerce during an event at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

Wednesday, May 22: We will recognize and thank frontline employees at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration, as well as the Tourist Oriented Policing Squad first responders of sectors five and six.

Thursday, May 23: We will host our annual Travel & Tourism Event at the Orange County Convention Center with an official proclamation from Mayor Jerry L. Demings. During the event, we will celebrate the 40-year anniversary of Visit Orlando membership, and Phil Rosenthal, creator of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and host of the Netflix hit show, "Somebody Feed Phil," will join us as our keynote speaker.

Friday, May 24: To end the weeklong celebration, we’re holding a Visit Orlando staff appreciation event as our team members are our most important asset, and they are critical to driving success to advance the Orlando brand.

To learn more about NTTW, including how you can join us in promoting it across your network, check out this toolkit from the U.S. Travel Association.

Data & Trends

Metro Orlando’s hotel occupancy rate for the week ending May 11, 2024, was 75.7% which was up 18.6% from the same week last year. This was at least partially driven by NPE: The Plastics Show at the Orange County Convention Center pushing I-Drive hotel occupancy up 25% versus the same week prior year. Room night demand was also significantly above the prior year (19.8%).

The average daily rate for the week was $212.49, up 8.6% from the same week last year.

Across the Indsutry

FAA Reauthorization: The House and Senate voted to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024, which is a critical step towards modernizing the air travel system. The bill will now be moved to the President’s desk for final passage. The five-year reauthorization includes:

  • Increased air traffic control staffing
  • Investments to modernize air traffic control technology
  • Expanded workforce development grants for pilots, mechanics and manufacturers
  • Increased funding and flexibility for airport improvement grants

The effort to pass the Act successfully blocked an amendment to the FAA bill that would have limited the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of facial recognition technology, undermined national security and slowed checkpoint screening. We are so grateful for those of you that helped advocate on behalf of the tourism industry to block the amendment. Learn more.

Visa Milestones Support U.S. Economy and Global Ties: The U.S. Department of State provided an update on how they’re facilitating travel, promoting people-to-people ties and bringing economic benefit to local communities and key sectors across the United States. In the first half of fiscal year 2024 (October 2023 to March 2024), the U.S. Department of State issued a record number of nearly 5.2 million nonimmigrant visas, more than in any previous year over the same period. International visitors have in recent years contributed as much as $239 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 9.5 million American jobs, including the travel and tourism industry, which is crucial for U.S. job growth.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of State issued nearly 4.1 million B visitor visas (and border crossing cards) for tourists and temporary business travelers worldwide, particularly in countries like Mexico, India and China. To keep up with high demand, they are using new technologies and simplifying processes while ensuring security. This helps strengthen U.S. global connections and economic health. Read more.

Around the Destination

Members of the Cultural Tourism Steering Committee meet to discuss ways to appeal and attract visitors through arts & culture.

Cultural Tourism Steering Committee: Visit Orlando and United Arts of Central Florida are teaming up to create a formal cultural tourism program. This initiative will highlight existing products and experiences while developing new ones to enhance our tourism appeal and attract more visitors. The program aims to drive visitors to arts, culture and history experiences, showcasing vibrant local productions and exhibitions, mainly by nonprofit organizations. A Cultural Tourism Steering Committee has been established to support this initiative with members from the transportation and hospitality sectors, as well as the arts, culture, and history industries, such as performing arts, museums, galleries, cultural and film festivals, and teaching artists.

Members of Visit Orlando’s public relations and social media teams attended Hotel Landy’s grand opening celebration.

Hotel Landy Grand Opening: Hotel Landy, a Tribute Portfolio hotel, officially celebrated its grand opening this week, welcoming industry professionals to experience live entertainment, food tastings and property tours. Located on Universal Boulevard, the vibrant new hotel is minutes away from theme parks and attractions, the Orange County Convention Center and Orlando International Airport (MCO). Attending site visits help our team gather content for social media and gain insights for media pitching, positioning Orlando as accommodating for all travelers.

L to R: Visit Orlando’s VP of External Affairs Stan Rubins; Gatorland’s President & CEO Mark B. McHugh; and Aide to District 4 Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero, Ada Pacheco-Camacho.

Gatorland Celebrates 75 Years: This year, Gatorland, the "Alligator Capital of the World," celebrates its 75th anniversary. To mark this milestone, Gatorland hosted a special event for community members, industry professionals and media. Gatorland first opened in 1949, as one of Central Florida's first attractions. Visit Orlando's VP of External Affairs Stan Rubins joined City of Kissimmee Mayor Olga Gonzalez; Director of Community Engagement for the City of Orlando Doug Richards; President & CEO of Experience Kissimmee D.T. Minich; Regional Partnership Manager, Central East Region, of VISIT FLORIDA Melissa Brooks; President & CEO of The Osceola Chamber John Newstreet; and Aide to District 4 Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero, Ada Pacheco-Camacho in a ceremony to mark the significant milestone.

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Visit Orlando’s Director of International Marketing Wesley Costa; City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; City of Orlando District 6 Commissioner Bakari F. Burns; João Lucas Quental Novaes de Almeida, Consul Geral of Brazil; and João Vitor N. Menin T. de Souza, Inter&Co and Banco pictured with local business leaders at Inter&Co.

New Inter&Co Lounge: Visit Orlando team members attended the grand opening of the Inter&Co lounge on International Drive. With a significant influx of Brazilian tourists to Orlando each year and a sizable local Brazilian community, the lounge positions itself as a key focal point for both visitors and residents. Offering essential services such as money transfer and financial consultations, the lounge aims to cater to the practical needs of its clientele.

Visit Orlando team members alongside a member delegation hosts sales mission in New York for meetings and conventions clients.

NYC Sales Mission: A delegation of 27 Visit Orlando members took part in a strategic sales mission in New York, targeting 85 clients in the meetings and conventions sector. The main goal was to engage key clients by orchestrating exclusive experiences, such as hosting a reception and attending The Great Gatsby Broadway show. Customers representing corporate, third-party, association and city-wide accounts attended from all around the tristate area, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Sales missions like these are crucial for Visit Orlando and its members, providing a platform to share updates about our destination and build connections that drive future business to Orlando. The primary aim of these events was to network with both new and existing clients, offering an opportunity to educate them on the latest developments in Orlando.

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