To help Central Florida residents recover from damage caused by Hurrican Ian, Heart of Florida United Way has activated the United Way Recovery Fund. All donations help residents in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties in need of assistance following the storm. A disaster response team is also available to help answer calls and assist as needed.

In addition to United Way’s initiatives, Volunteer Florida has several volunteer opportunities for Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. For additional details, check their website here

2022 Unbelievably Real mural on Thomas Street in the UK

Continuing our “Unbelievably Real” International Rollout

Our region’s new global brand, Unbelievably Real, has successfully rolled out in Canada, UK, Ireland and Latin America (LATAM) markets of Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

The extended campaign follows the first announcement made in partnership with Orlando Economic Partnership in May, the rollout of the U.S. campaign and Unbelievably Real fall domestic campaign launch in August.

Our UK, Ireland, LATAM and Canada markets will showcase experiences found only in Orlando. Here’s how:

  • UK and Ireland: As our largest fall UK and Ireland campaign to date, “Unbelievably Real” will appear on high-impact advertising placements across London, including on key television networks and for the first time, video on demand. The campaign also features the Unbelievably Real mural, digital branding across London’s famous black cabs and an immersive wrapped corridor at Waterloo. Creative is running across 12 major cities, with billboards and advertising at the Piccadilly Lights, a landmark in London.
  • Mexico: The campaign targets families and adults traveling without children nationally on television, social and digital, and focuses on future visitors during the busy shopping season in high-impact commercials in malls like Interlomas and Perisur in Mexico City. 
  • Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile: Each market will experience “Unbelievably Real” advertising creative showcasing everything from Orlando’s 365 days of fireworks to rocket launches, zip lining over alligators and hang gliding without mountains. The focus is connecting with audiences who have shown interest in traveling to the United States through primarily digital channels.
  • Canada: In our largest international market, “Unbelievably Real” will appear on national and Ontario-focused television, social media and search engine marketing, and surface in Toronto appearing in major malls and popular areas like Yonge-Dundas Square. The campaign will be complemented with publicity efforts, a tour operator partnership with Air Canada and TravelBrands to drive engagement and stimulate travel. 

Since our international rollout, we have seen positive reception from trade media on the campaign in the UK, Ireland, LATAM and Canada travel trade outlets, with Trade NewsTravel WeeklyCanadian Travel Press and Travel Bulletin sharing the story.

We look forward to the positive benefits our fall international campaign will have on our destination for the rest of 2022 and throughout 2023.

August 2022 TDT Chart

August TDT Collections

Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections for the month of August came in at $23.4 million — a 41.1% increase over August 2021, $17.6 million higher than August 2020 earnings and the highest August collections on record.  
TDT revenue, which originates from a 6% levy on short-term lodging, is a vital funding stream for the Orange County Convention Center, tourism promotion, and sports and cultural venues.     
August’s TDT success can be attributed to a combination of strong monthly performance in both leisure and convention group segments. In August, travelers took their final summer vacations, and the Orange County Convention Center welcomed the World Discipleship Conference, Fine Arts Festival and Isagenix Celebration event. 
Weekly Lodging Results: For the week ending October 1, 2022, Metro Orlando occupancy was 63.6%, down from last week’s 72.2% and lower than the same week in 2019 (70.3%). Average daily rate fell to $130.45 from the previous week’s rate of $142.28.

Chef Yisus U.S. Hispanic August 2022

U.S. Hispanic Fall Broadcast Spotlights

To reach the U.S. Hispanic audience as part of our fall multicultural campaign, we continued our partnership with Univision with two broadcast opportunities. Airing today, a national broadcast integration will feature our destination in the Desperita America morning show. On Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, a local broadcast integration will highlight Orlando in the premiere of the popular Mira Quien Baila show — the Hispanic version of Dancing with the Stars — voiced by celebrity chef Yisus.

The local broadcasts will run in our key U.S. Hispanic markets including Miami, Houston, Dallas, NYC and Chicago, and the fall integrated campaign will be complimented with TV, digital and social brand takeovers totaling 26.9 million impressions. View the video here.

Rodizio Grill carving pineapple

Visit Orlando's 17th Annual Magical Dining

Our entire team is appreciative of everyone who participated in and helped promote Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program and contribute to its special cause. As a reminder, this year’s charity beneficiary is The Able Trust, an organization that helps secure employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Also, $2,000 will be awarded to local nonprofits — BIG SIS, Inc.Central Florida Urban LeagueHope CommUnity CenterPace Center for GirlsRebuild Self Care and Society of St. Vincent de Paul — in each of Orange County’s six commission districts. Be on the lookout for this year’s program update!

Brand USA Visit October 2022

Across the Industry

Brand CEO Summit: Last week, Brand USA hosted its exclusive C-suite program. The event connects leading U.S. partner CEOs to Europe, supports meeting trade and consumer media and provides insight of the latest industry insights. Learn more about Brand USA Travel Week U.K. & Europe 2022.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando October 2022

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando: We partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to bring the excitement of the destination to the 1,200 delegates in Phoenix. We were excited to promote this prestigious group meeting in Orlando next September.

Around the Destination

Orlando Magazine Feature: Orlando Magazine’s annual feature of the 50 Most Powerful in Orlando 2022 was recently released, and I was honored to be included along with many other industry professionals. Thank you for recognizing the accomplishments of many Central Florida leaders involved in tourism and transportation and sharing our commitment to sustaining Orlando as the most visited destination.

Celebrating Women in Sports: Visit Orlando team members attended the 2022 Celebrating Women in Sports luncheon presented by Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute. The luncheon’s speaker was Jennifer Rizzotti, president at WNBA's Connecticut Sun. Congratulations to all award honorees!

All FORE Pace!: Visit Orlando team members joined Pace Center for Girls, Orange for a fun teambuilding event at TopGolf Lake Mary. Pace provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy, and received a $2,000 donation as part of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining this year.

Alfond-Inn-Winter-Park October 2022

In the News

Award-winning Hotel: Congratulations to the Alfond Inn for ranking second in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards of top 10 hotels in Florida. The publication noted, “this art-filled hotel, a chic, artsy enclave, is the ideal location for a grown-up detour from Orlando’s tourist hub.” Learn more here.

Orlando Date Night Guide: 10+ celebrity-owned restaurants in Orlando for date night 

Orlando Business Journal: Florida's Creative Village in downtown Orlando to get new projects

TreasureCoast: Best of both worlds for family reunion staycations

ChooseVeg: New research reveals 2022’s most vegan-friendly U.S. cities

Bungalower: Mills 50 main street named as semifinalist for great American main street award

Casandra photo and signature for TM