With a large expansion in the works, the Orange County Convention Center is preparing to build even more momentum for Orlando as a convention destination. But that's just part of our industry's growth story. See which other capital projects are transforming local tourism, and learn how Visit Orlando is working to leverage these assets to drive visitation in leisure and business travel.
Convention Center Posts Strong Year for Attendance
The stats are in for 2019, and I'm pleased to report that the Orange County Convention Center enjoyed another strong year for total attendance (1.425 million). Even more important, the Center represented some $3 billion in economic impact and is breaking ground this year on a major expansion (pictured) that will grow our competitive advantage to attract and retain top-flight events. As the organization that works closely with industry planners to select our destination for their meetings and conventions, Visit Orlando is proud to play a key role in the Center's ongoing success.
ARA Show an Example of Orlando's Success as a Convention Destination
Speaking of good news at the Convention Center, last week I had the pleasure of welcoming 15,000 attendees to the ARA Show, the world's largest equipment and event rental convention and tradeshow. The show has a long history in Orlando, dating back to 1998, and thanks to the efforts of our sales team and Center staff, it will return every three years through 2035, generating over $38 million in economic impact each time.
Capital Projects Will Continue to Transform Tourism in 2020
Our destination is always growing and evolving to exceed visitors' expectations. As we embark on a new decade, Orlando's tourism industry is investing in the future with bigger and better attractions, hotels, meeting spaces, cultural venues and transportation networks. To learn more, check out our feature on Six Capital Projects Transforming Orlando Tourism in this month's edition of i4 Business magazine.
Winter Campaign Drives Visitation from Top Overseas Market
Last week, we wrapped up our strongest-ever winter campaign in the United Kingdom and Ireland, our top overseas market. Running across TV, cinema, digital and social media during the key January planning period, the six-week campaign encouraged families to book their Orlando holiday.
OTHER NEWS FROM VISIT ORLANDO
» Danielle Hollander, our chief marketing officer, spoke to the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday, providing industry updates as well as Visit Orlando's sales and marketing efforts for 2020. She outlined how we are helping to secure future business in the corridor by promoting the Orange County Convention Center's upcoming expansion among key event planners and decision-makers. Mango's Tropical Café hosted the event. Pictured: Maria Triscari, I-Drive Chamber president and CEO; Danielle Hollander; and Tammy Bateman, I-Drive Chamber chair.
» Our publicity team worked with a reporter for CTV Ottawa, a leading news station in our target market of Ontario, on a segment highlighting Orlando as a top destination for March break. In addition to promoting our theme parks, attractions and weather, the reporter encouraged viewers to take advantage of exclusive ticket discounts available to Canadians through VisitOrlando.ca.
» To drive future business to our destination, our convention sales team networked with event organizers, planners and incentive program professionals at a conference hosted by Northstar Meetings Group. They also attended the Financial & Insurance Conference Professional's annual winter symposium, meeting with dozens of the industry's top event planners.