Featured Event

Aug. 20
Visit Orlando's
Business Insights Summit

presented by Emirates

Steve Forbes

The event will feature keynote speaker Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in the Valencia Ballroom in the West Building.

9-10 a.m.
Registration & Networking Breakfast

10-10:30 a.m.
General Session #1 Daryl Cronk, Visit Orlando Sr. Director of Market Research and Insights

10:30-11:30 a.m.
General Session #2 Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group

12-1:30 p.m.
Luncheon and Keynote Speaker Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

Register Now


Visit Orlando Events

Aug. 13
Business Referral Group
Fulton's Crab House

1670 Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Cost: $25, inclusive, limited to 60 people
Click here to RSVP

Aug. 20
Business Insights Summit, presented by Emirates

Register Now

Sept. 3
Member Orientation
Click here to register. 

Member Presents
Members interested in targeting the meetings and convention market can present their products or services during monthly, 30-minute sessions with Destination Meeting Services. Click here to schedule a session.

Member-to-Member Offers

Through August 16, enter for a chance to win the Hilfiger Home Game Sweepstakes, sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger. Prizes include four tickets to the Aug. 29 home game of Orlando City Soccer vs. Chicago; access to a postgame autograph session; an Orlando City prize pack; plus a $250 shopping spree at any Tommy Hilfiger Company Store. Click here to enter.

Inspire your employees and staff this summer with Marc Mero's Dream Big Presentation, described as life-changing! Through August 28, Champion of Choices - Marc Mero is offering a 30 percent discount. Click here for more information or call 407-448-9956.

LTC Language Solutions is excited to invite new clients to try its language services! Learn a new language, utilize an interpreter, have a document translated, or just learn more about other cultures. Through October 1, receive 10 percent off of your first-time purchase. Questions? Please click here.


Regal Oaks - A CLC World Resort is offering an exclusive rate for Visit Orlando members of $99 per night for a two-bedroom townhouse, Sunday through Thursday, and $119 per night, Friday through Saturday; based on availability. The offer is good through Dec. 15. For more information, call 407-997-9478 or click here. Reference offer code: VIOR15.

Industry Events

Aug. 20
CFVRMA Monthly Meeting
Treasure Tavern Dinner Theater

Aug. 20
West Orange Chamber of Commerce presents "Lead and Feed"
Fresco Cucina Italiana

Sept. 9-11
VRM Xtravaganza
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

VRM Xtravaganza

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Nov. 7
2015 VRM Awards Gala
Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa

Community Events

Through Aug. 8
Summer Nights & Island Nights
SeaWorld® Orlando & Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™

Through September 30
School Supply Drive
Osceola County Welcome Center, History Museum and Pioneer Village

Through Nov. 29
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition
Orlando Science Center

Aug. 14-15
Anime Festival Orlando
Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive


Aug. 15-16
21st Annual Harvest Grape Stomp
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Aug. 15
Art & Wine Stroll
Artegon Marketplace Orlando

Aug. 24-Sept. 30
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month
Select Restaurants

Magical Dining

Aug. 25
Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce's
Veterans Business Initiative
National Entrepreneur Center

Sept. 4-6
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Amway Center

Sept. 12
O-Town MacDown, Benefiting Give Kids the World
Osceola Heritage Park

Sept. 23
21st Annual "Salute to COMPACT" Awards Banquet
Rosen Centre Hotel

Oct. 17
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando's
Savor the Night
City Hall Rotunda & City Commons Plaza

Oct. 17
Music of the Americas
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Oct. 18
Latin Food & Wine Festival
Dr. Phillips Center for the performing Arts, Seneff Arts Plaza

Oct. 24
2015 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Charity Championship Golf Tournament

to benefit Give Kids the World Village
Metrowest Golf Club

Oct. 30-31
6th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Food and Wine Classic

Nov. 7
Eighth Annual 5K Run for The Gift
Southwest Aquatics

Nov. 13
American Lung Association's
SeaWorld Orlando - Sea Harbor Pavilion and Ports of Call

Nov. 14
5K Gingerbread Run
Give Kids The World Village

President & CEO's Message
August 7, 2015


George AguelI recently heard a presentation made by a top executive in one of the travel industry's fastest growing firms in which he used the term "bleisure" (i.e., the mixture of business and leisure). It reminded me how fortunate we are in Orlando to represent a destination that is so strong in both markets.

We all know that no place else comes close to challenging our leadership position as the most popular family destination. Being the theme park capital of the world, however, can overshadow the fact that we're also a very serious place for business. Thanks in large part to the Orange County Convention Center and our 37 convention hotels representing 34,000 rooms, we compete aggressively with the nation's top cities for business travel - Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City.

Convention organizers who bring their meetings and events to Orlando consistently see a meaningful increase in attendance when they come here. Our community is not only attractive to meeting planners because we have air service, hotels and restaurants that can fit into whatever budget they are working with, but also because their delegates are personally attracted to Orlando because they can take time ahead of their business trip or afterward to enjoy all that our destination has to offer.

So, whether a visitor comes to Orlando for business (and spends more than the average person) or leisure (and brings several family members or friends along), the math works out very favorably for our community - business + leisure = $60 billion of economic impact for our local economy.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Slow Economy not Slowing Tourism

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the latest news from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While below expectations, the second quarter did represent an acceleration in growth following the first quarter's lackluster 0.6 percent increase. However, modest economic growth has seemingly had little impact on Orlando's tourism industry. Room night demand was up 5.7 percent year-to-date through June, and passenger traffic at OIA rose 7.5 percent through the first half of the year.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Incentive Cover

Visit Orlando Wins Coveted 23rd Annual Platinum Partner Award

Incentive magazine has recognized Visit Orlando with a 2015 Platinum Partner Award in the Domestic Convention & Visitors Bureau category. Readers, who are incentive meeting professionals, voted on the motivational appeal of the destination, quality and professionalism of the service and degree of creativity and promotional support. This award goes to travel suppliers that have displayed the highest-quality products, professionalism and exceptional customer service in 2015.


Top Brazilian TV Show Films Episode About Orlando

Brazil's "Viagem Cultural" TV show, with a weekly estimated audience of 600,000 viewers, broadcasted its first episode about Orlando on Rede TV, featuring attractions and entertainment venues such as I-Drive 360, including The Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Orlando. The 27-minute segment, which also showcased Bush Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando, mentioned Orlando as a fantastic destination to visit more than once. The show also provided tips about flights from Brazil, car rentals and detailed information about the theme parks. "Viagem Cultural's" visit to Orlando has also been documented in their social media sites with images and videos, including Facebook (89k fans) and Instagram (73K followers). To see the video, click here.

Forward Thinking 2016

Hotel Executives Think Forward to 2016

Visit Orlando's Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Courtenay recently spoke at the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association's Forward Thinking 2016 luncheon, alongside Kathie Canning with the Orange County Convention Center and Paul Phipps from VISIT FLORIDA. More than 350 hotel and lodging executives heard how Central Florida is on track to break yet another visitation record, as well as information about various marketing strategies being implemented to ensure that our visitors—both leisure and business—keep coming back.

Convention Sales Hosts Top Clients at MPI's WEC

Visit Orlando, along with partners from Rosen Hotels and Resorts, SeaWorld Orlando, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Hello Florida and the Orange County Convention Center, hosted a night out on the bay in San Francisco during Meeting Planners International's (MPI) World Education Congress (WEC) this week. Guests enjoyed a sunset tour of the bay aboard the Empress Yacht for sightseeing, networking and dinner with 50 top clients.


Experient E4

Orlando Represented at Experient's E4 Event in Austin

Visit Orlando attended Experient's E4 event this week in Austin, Texas. More than 240 clients participated in the four-day event, which offered a combination of great networking opportunities, educational sessions and learning technology labs. Above, from left: Celeste Frucht, Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Vickie Keliher, Visit Orlando; and Kathy Hastings with Teradata

Virtuoso Travel Week

Visit Orlando Gears Up for Virtuoso's Travel Week

From August 9–13, the Travel Industry Sales Team will be attending the 27th Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, where we will conduct over 400 appointments and host a table at the gala dinner. With more than 4,800 attendees—nearly 2,300 Agency participants—it will be the largest attendance in the history of the event. Virtuoso® is the industry's leading luxury travel network. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 330 agencies with more than 7,200 elite travel advisors in 20 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. Above: Visit Orlando's Canada rep Anita Walker (on right) with Juliana Raiton with Travel Security S.A.

Team at Kellen 2015

Business Development Team Networks with Kellen Management Team

Director of Business Development Michael Townes and Account Manager Aitza Diaz recently conducted sales calls and participated in the Kellen 2015 Manager's Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. They networked with more than 200 Kellen professional association management team members representing 180 meetings and 75,000 room nights annually in the U.S. Above, from left: Kriston Ewoldt, Michael Townes, Kelly Kizer, Aitza Diaz and Emily Brochstein

Newly Redesigned MyVisitOrlando.com

The Newly Redesigned MyVisitOrlando.com Set to Launch Soon!

The Member Relations & Development team is excited to announce that the totally redesigned member website will launch soon! On the new site, members can respond to their E-LEADS and marketing opportunities, manage their account profile, publication and web listings and images, access Market Research & Insights' reports, register for member events, submit member news/offers, and more. (Please note that there will be a brief period of time that members will not be able to access the website during the transition and all members will receive a new username and password when the site is launched.) Check your inbox and future editions of Tourism Matters for additional details on the launch date for the new website.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Orlando Gift Show Annual Aug. 8 Aug. 10 6,500 $12,805,000
Zumba Fitness Annual Convention Aug. 13 Aug. 15 8,000 $15,760,000

Orange County Convention Center

Orange County Convention Center to Welcome 78K attendees in August

The Orange County Convention Center is set to welcome more than 78,000 attendees during 21 events in August.

Read More

Disney Theme Park Biz Up in Q3

The Walt Disney Co.'s theme parks experienced a strong fiscal 2015 third quarter, ended June 27.

Read More

International Drive to Gain Cambria Hotel in 2017

Orlando's set to gain 140 new hotel rooms in 2017. A new Cambria Hotel & Suites is to be built at the intersection of International Drive and Central Florida Parkway, said Robert McDowell, Choice Hotels' senior vice president of marketing and distribution.

Read More



LEGOLAND 1st Fla. Theme Park to Have Official Currency Listed on Exchange Board

LEGOLAND Florida has entered into an exclusive partnership with Travelex to list the resort's official LEGOLAND Dollars on Travelex's currency exchange boards at 55 participating Travelex locations.

Read More

Orange County Convention Center Exec Hints at Master Plan Choices

It seems four areas of improvement have been selected as the main points of focus at the Orange County Convention Center. Kathie Canning, the convention center's executive director, said connectivity and ballroom space need to be addressed to keep the center competitive.

Read More

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Industry News


Biz Travel Spending and Trip Length on the Rise

Business travelers are spending more per trip and traveling for longer periods of time than they were a year ago, a Travel Leaders Corporate analysis of its clients' activities shows.

Read More

Free Skift Report: What Millennials Want in Meetings

Millennial meeting attendees value face-to-face networking at meetings and events just as much as previous generations. Recognizing this, forward thinking industry stakeholders are implementing next generation meeting design and event technologies that are more aligned with Millennials' generational preferences.

Read More

Report: Travel Employs Six Times More People Than Auto Industry

Travel and tourism in the United States generates nearly six times more jobs than automotive manufacturing, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council, released earlier this month at the Destination Marketing Association International Annual Convention in Austin, TX.

Read More



Global Entry: Costa Ricans Could Soon Apply for a Fast Pass through U.S. Customs

Costa Rica could soon join the short list of countries whose citizens can apply for customs and immigration pre-approval for low-risk travelers to the United States. If approved, the expedited process could ease travel for the more than 200,000 Costa Ricans who visited the U.S. last year.

Read More

It's Time for the Uber of Air Travel

Airbnb changed the hotel industry. Uber changed ground transportation. So why can't the same change happen for air travel?

Read More

After Lapses, T.S.A. Will Target Screening in Overhaul

The new administrator of the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration said the agency would make several changes to security and screening procedures as part of an overhaul to address glaring lapses over the past few months.

Read More

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Corporate Ambassadors
ARDA Bags BB&T British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor
Darden Fairwinds Credit Union Florida Distributing Company Florida Hospital The Florida Mall
Lufthansa The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Development Commission Orlando Health Orlando International Airport
Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets O'Town Television OUC Smart City
Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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