The great return ? Visit Orlando expects a lively spring break

The CEO of Visit Orlando is expecting a lively spring break in the theme park capital of the world.

The tourism industry is still recovering from the pandemic, but early signs show travelers will return to Orlando this spring during what is a major holiday season for hotels and attractions, the president and CEO said. from VisitOrlando. Casandra Matej.

“We are excited about what we are seeing ahead of the Spring Break season,” Matej said in a statement released Thursday. “Current advance leisure hotel bookings for Orlando travel in March and April are at 82% and 88% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively.”

But Matej acknowledged that the situation can also change quickly, as in the case where concerns over the omicron variant forced many people to cancel or delay their travel plans in January.

Revenue from Orange County’s hotel tax is one way to gauge whether tourists are coming, and for January, the 6% surcharge on short-term rentals generated $22.4 million.

“Month-over-month, January collections were lower than December by $5.8 million and lower than January 2020 by $3.6 million,” the county comptroller said. ‘Orange. Phil Diamond said in a statement.

In January, hotel occupancy in Metro Orlando averaged 59%, compared to around 75% in January 2019 before the pandemic, according to Visit Orlando.

But February is more promising, Matej said.

“Despite a slower start to the year, we saw in February that the decline in omicron, winter vacations in the northern states and the holiday weekend helped boost accommodation performance in ‘Orlando,” Matej said.
“Advanced hotel bookings suggest February 2022 will reach 82% of pre-pandemic levels, with leisure bookings at 92% of pre-pandemic levels.”

Thousands of visitors also helped boost hotel occupancy by attending two major trade shows at the Orange County Convention Center in early February. The NAHB International Builders’ Show and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show drew 70,000 attendees to the convention center, according to Visit Orlando.

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