This week, U.S. Travel Association hosted its premier legislative fly-in, Destination Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C.

As part of the delegation, Visit Orlando joined industry leaders across the country in speaking with members of Congress about key issues confronting the growth of domestic and international travel, including:

  • Fully funding the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism
  • Lowering visitor visa wait times
  • Rebuilding the workforce through H-2B cap relief
  • Reauthorizing FAA to support air travel initiatives

Travel plays an essential role in our state and local economy. According to U.S. Travel, domestic and international travelers spent an estimated $122.9 billion while visiting Florida last year.

Locally, each visitor to our destination provides about $1,000 in economic impact, creating revenue that supports our schools and parks, public safety, arts and sports venues, and infrastructure. Each household in Orlando would need to be taxed an additional $6,412 to replace the taxes generated by visitor activity in our destination.

I encourage you to learn more about U.S. Travel’s policy priorities to support legislation that positively impacts the travel and tourism industry. Learn more here.

Downtown Orlando M&C Unbelievably Real UR campaign

Orlando Featured in Top UK Newspaper: The Telegraph

The public relations team worked with local Orlando writers Simon and Susan Veness on a five-part Orlando series highlighting “the perfect holiday in Orlando” for one of the UK’s top newspapers, The Telegraph. Featuring Orlando hot spots for diningattractions and nightlife, the stories helped showcase a wide variety of Visit Orlando members’ activities beyond the world-famous theme parks, with additional syndication on Yahoo UK and MSN UK. Former UK residents, the Veness’ are also the authors of “The Brit’s Guide to Orlando”— the best-selling Orlando UK guidebook.

Visit Orlando's Signature Luncheon

Registration remains open for Visit Orlando’s annual Travel & Tourism Event and Signature Luncheon on May 11, our largest industry outreach during National Travel & Tourism Week.

The general session will highlight Inclusivity in Travel: A Profile of Travelers with Disabilities & LGBTQ+ Travelers by Chris Davidson, EVP of travel intelligence at MMGY. Visit Orlando's director of market research & insights, Maria Henson will provide information on trends, performance and an outlook for 2023. At the luncheon, two-time Emmy Award-winning TV personality and travel expert Samantha Brown will explore the emotional value of travel.

Purchase single or 3-series corporate table sponsorships through Visit Orlando‘s member recruitment manager, Kelly Kinney.

Hotel Metrics

Metro Orlando occupancy for the week ending April 15, 2023, was 75.7%, down from last week’s 77.6% and even with the same week last year. Average Daily Rate for the week was $225.32, up 7.9% from last year.


Across the Industry

Media Mission: VISIT FLORIDA hosted a Domestic Media Reception this week in New York City for their industry partners. Visit Orlando’s public relations senior manager, Dipika Hernandez, represented our organization by pitching story ideas—including what's new in Orlando, the arrival of Brightline, our destination's Michelin recognized dining scene, outdoor activities and more—to top travel journalists, influencers and content creators of the greater NYC area. The reception included three media events with 50 combined media guests, including MSN, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, Thrillist, AFAR, Ebony and more.

World Travel Awards: Be sure to vote for Visit Orlando and the Orlando destination for the 30th anniversary World Travel Awards. The awards celebrate excellence across key sectors, including the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Voting is open until midnight on July 9, 2023. Our nominated categories are:

  • North America's Leading City Break Destination 2023: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • North America's Leading City Destination 2023: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • North America's Leading Tourist Board 2023: Visit Orlando

Around the Destination

DECA Volunteer Opportunity: DECA is requesting Orlando-based volunteers beginning this Sunday for their International Career Development Conference. The event helps prepare high school students into emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. Many volunteers are needed for Monday, April 24. View this video to learn how to volunteer as a DECA competitive event judge and sign up here. Please share this great service opportunity throughout our industry.


Brightline Orlando Station: Brightline unveiled a first look at its Brightline Orlando Station located inside the Orlando International Airport (MCO) next to Terminal C. Service is expected to begin this summer, connecting Central and South Florida. Visit Orlando’s chief marketing officer, Danielle Hollander, and VP of marketing, Toni Caracciolo, joined the president at Brightline, Patrick Goddard, CEO at Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Kevin Thibault, and many community members at the celebration. Learn more about the Brightline Orlando Station Experience, opening schedule and planned routes in this press release.


Visit Orlando Engaged!

Maritz Global Events FAM: Across four days, our team hosted a familiarization tour (FAM) for 17 professionals of Maritz Global Events, one of the world’s leading events companies in incentive travel, corporate meetings, pharmaceutical and association meetings. Visit Orlando FAMs are signature destination orientations that showcase our beautiful city and provide a platform for Visit Orlando members to connect with top-producing meeting planners and learn about their products.


CLIA Cruise360: Visit Orlando’s travel industry sales team attended Cruise Lines International Association’s Cruise360, one of the premier educational conference and trade shows for travel professionals in the United States. The event was an opportunity to meet with and train more than 1,500 agents and travel advisors on Orlando’s newest developments, our destination and the Orlando Travel Academy.


Connect Sports Spring Marketplace: Last week, Visit Orlando team members conducted nearly 100 signature one-on-one appointments at the Connect Sports Spring Marketplace in Las Vegas to drive bookings into the Orange County Convention Center and area hotels. The marketplace brings together active planners, suppliers and experts across the sports events industry to learn how to keep attendees safe and advance their careers and business through professional development and events excellence.

Casandra Matej's photo and signature for Tourism Matters