Save the Date!

Annual Meeting and Luncheon


#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Orlando Story of the Week

Addison's First Trip to Disney

This is a father/daughter moment that my family will cherish forever. Although my daughter may not remember her first trip to Disney, she'll have this photo to show her how happy she was and the love her father has for her.

story of the week

Stories shared on OrlandoStories.com and using #MyOrlandoStory on social media may be featured as the Story of the Week.

Visit Orlando Events

Dec. 8
32nd Annual Visit Orlando Meeting & Luncheon
Presented by Emirates
Rosen Shingle Creek
Click here to register.
Click here for sponsorship benefits

Dec. 10
Business Referral Group

Ocean Prime
7399 West Sand Lake Road
Cost: $25 Inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Feb. 4
Member Orientation
Click here to register.
Please note: Member Orientation will not be held in December or January due to the holiday season. The next session will be held February 4, 2016.

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

Congratulations Members

Congratulations to Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar, which was among the 100 restaurants on OpenTable's list of hot spot restaurants in the U.S.

Rosen Shingle Creek won a 2015 Orbitz Worldwide Best in Stay Elite Award for being the highest-rated hotel in Orlando.

Member-to-Member Offers

It's that time of year again. With fall in the air and Thanksgiving just around the corner, now is the time to take advantage of special rates at The Palms Hotel & Villas. Visit Orlando members and their families and friends will receive a rate of $55 plus tax and $10 resort fee. Offer expires Dec. 15.

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.

Visit Santa Holiday Island Family Fun and save up to 10 percent now through Dec. 21. Experience dancing elves, Rudolph the Reindeer, live music, falling snow, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and photos taken with Santa at Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort. Call Rich at 407-477-7021 and ask for code IPKGV.

Book your next staycation at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, located in the Downtown Disney® Resort area, and receive 30 percent off of the best available rate. Relax poolside with a refreshing beverage from the Oasis Bar & Grill while the kids have fun at the aquatic playground. Then, enjoy a great night's sleep in one of the spacious guest rooms. For reservations, call 800-624-4109 and mention this offer. Seven-day advance booking required. Subject to availability. Rate code: DISVOMD. Offer valid through Dec. 24.

The Church of Life has expanded its preschool by 1,000 feet! Through Dec. 31, Visit Orlando members can enjoy 50 percent off of the registration fee, as well as 15 percent off of the weekly fee. For registration information, please click here.

America's Escape Game revolutionizes a rising industry by creating an immersive experience that takes the escape room attraction to a new level. Through Dec. 31 receive 20% off as a Visit Orlando member. Please use the code VOMember15 in the coupon code section of the website or mention this offer.

Lovespoon Candles offers locally produced soy candles that make unique, special gifts. Visit Orlando members are invited to enjoy a special price of $17 each, tin or jar (regular price $27.95 and $23.95, respectively), through Dec. 31. Click here for more information.


OrlandoConventionPhotographers.com, which provides creative, experienced and professional photography services, is offering Visit Orlando members a great deal for the holiday season. Through Dec. 31, receive 25 percent off of photography for your holiday party. For more information, click here.

The Florida Association of DMOs is seeking brief news items of 75 words or less for the "Quick Trips" section of its newsletter, Tourism Marketing Today. Please send submissions with a photo (if available) and a caption to editor.trainor@gmail.com. The deadline is Jan. 21 for the February edition.

Now through March 30, 2016, experience the nostalgia of driving a classic car or the thrill of driving a sports car for $25 off of any rental. Happy Dog Motors offers unique rental cars for a truly memorable visit. Take a day trip to the beach, explore some of the small towns outside of Orlando or just go cruising. Show this offer on your phone/tablet or print a copy to redeem on site.

Industry Events

Dec. 15–19
3rd World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality and 1st USA-China Tourism Research Summit: Transforming Partnerships
UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management

International travel to the United States generated $220.8 billion in 2014, supporting 1.1 million jobs. China is an important contributor to those numbers as the No. 2 country for visitor spending to and within the United States in 2014, with an estimated $23.8 billion spent on travel and tourism. With this backdrop, the 1st USA-China Tourism Research Summit is being designed by UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management and Elsevier to support and promote the dynamic hospitality/tourism business growth and exchanges between USA and China. Industry experts, leading scholars, and government officials from both countries will offer cutting-edge insights through keynote speeches, panel discussions, open forum discussions and more.

Community Events

Through Jan. 3, 2016
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour
Bok Tower Gardens

Through Jan. 3
Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Through Jan. 3
Light Up UCF
CFE Arena

Through Jan. 8
Connecting to Cuba
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

President & CEO's Message
December 4, 2015


George AguelWith only a few days left before Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Dec. 8 at Rosen Shingle Creek, I want to personally encourage you to join us for what's shaping up to be one of our best events yet.

This year has brought much success and prosperity to our destination, a bright spot in a world that's seen its challenges as of late. Keynote speaker Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will share with us his thoughts on how current events are shaping our future. Few individuals in history have walked the world stage as Mr. Gingrich has done throughout his lifetime. We look forward to the first-hand insights and guidance he will share with us.

Additionally, we plan to recognize our volunteer leadership that gives so much of themselves to help steer us toward the path to success, as well as acknowledge all that our tourism community has accomplished. After all, it's together—as "brand Orlando"—that we stand to represent to our visitors a destination that's so much more than the sum of its parts.

Register today to network with your friends and colleagues, help us celebrate another great year for tourism in Orlando and witness a keynote presentation that will long be remembered.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Hospitality Industry Leading Central Florida Job Growth

October employment in the area's Leisure & Hospitality industry was 16,600 greater than the same month last year, an increase of 7.1 percent. The Hospitality industry was the largest employer in the Orlando MSA, accounting for 21 percent of total nonagricultural employment in October. The industry was also the fastest growing, adding more jobs and growing at a faster rate than any other industry.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Canada TV

Orlando Featured on Top Canadian Morning Show

Canadian family travel expert Angie Campanelli appeared on "Breakfast Television Toronto" in support of a partnership with Travel Brands and Visit Orlando. The segment highlighted the wide variety of family travel experiences in Orlando, positioning the destination as an ideal destination to visit this winter, and drove viewers to Sunquest.ca to book travel deals to Orlando.


"Emeril's Florida" Films Upcoming Show

All this week, Emeril Lagasse's production team, in partnership with Visit Orlando, were in town filming an upcoming episode of "Emeril's Florida" that will air on the Cooking Channel in early 2016. While in town, Emeril showcased famed chefs that are celebrating second-concept restaurants in the area. The show featured Melissa Kelly's restaurant Primo, Chef Morimoto's (from Iron Chef America) restaurant Morimoto Asia, and locally celebrated Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers BBQ with his new restaurant, The Coop.


Brazilian Newspaper Covers a Disney Tradition

Adriana Garzón, director of the travel section of El Tiempo, the No. 1 newspaper in Colombia, published a story in the print and online following her first visit to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in early November. The story, titled "Enjoy Christmas Night Disney's Style," covered full details on how to enjoy the famous event at the Magic Kingdom.


Visit Orlando Has Presence at NBAA Convention & Exhibition

Destination Services recently represented Visit Orlando at the NBAA2015 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas. The group met in Orlando in 2014 and will return in November 2016.



Canadian Winner Touches Heart of Listeners

To promote new nonstop service from Canada, Visit Orlando partnered with WestJet Airlines and the Waterloo International Airport on a month-long promotion across three radio stations, in-terminal signage, out-of-home, direct mail, PR, travel trade and much more. While the Southern Ontario city of Kitchener-Waterloo was blanketed in fresh white snow, it was also covered with Orlando messaging and excitement surrounding the chance to win a number of trips on the inaugural flight. Yet nobody could have been more excited than Mrs. Ahrens, the winner of the family vacation to Orlando.

Brazil TV

Brazilian TV Shows Film Segments in Orlando

From Aug. 10–20, Visit Orlando's Public Relations department hosted "O Mundo Segundo Os Brasileiros" (The World According to Brazilians), a Brazilian TV show that airs every Friday on Rede Band and has an audience of approximately 1.2 million viewers. The show taped several segments across Orlando that aired Nov. 19. It showcased different areas, venues and attractions, including Crayola Experience, downtown Orlando, East End Market, I-Drive 360, Lake Eola, Orlando Balloon Rides, Walt Disney World Resort, Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, WonderWorks and much more. To see the video, please click here.

IAEE Booth

Visit Orlando and Members Participate in IAEE

Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center participated in the IAEE Expo in Baltimore, Maryland, Dec. 1-3. Additional members that joined our booth were Centerplate and Universal Orlando Resorts. We had 200 guests stop by to learn about the destination. Our "Celebrate The Season" client event was attended by more than 130 key clients and was held at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Hilton, the headquarter hotel for IAEE. Above, from left: Vice Mayor, Orange County Florida, Scott Boyd; Ryan Strowger, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions; Kathy Hogan, Orange County Convention Center; Christine Flanagan, Reed Exhibitions; Fred Shea, Visit Orlando; Shellie Spear, Orange County Convention Center

Visit Orlando Meets With Financial & Insurance Conference Planners

A member of the Convention Sales team–along with 11 members from Disney Destinations, Four Seasons, Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Grande Lakes Orlando, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando World Center Marriot, Rosen Hotels, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort–recently attended the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners (FICP) Annual Conference. FICP provides access to education, experience and resources targeting the needs of financial services and insurance meeting planners from across North America. The conference grew this year to more than 600 planners and hospitality partners. We were able to engage in one-on-one appointments during The Network, a dedicated event for conference attendees to meet and connect with hospitality partners.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
American Society of Hematology Annual Convention Dec. 5 Dec. 7 19,750 $38,907,500
American Kennel Club Eukanuba National Championship Dec. 8 Dec. 13 25,000 $8,668,000
Orlando Magic Showdown in O-town Dec. 11 Dec. 12 7,000 $433,400


Orange County Approves $500M Skyplex Project on I-Drive

That settles it: International Drive's Skyplex is a go. Orange County commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the $500 million project on the I-Drive and Sand Lake Road intersection that was designed to have the world's tallest roller coaster.

Read More

Orange County's October Tourist Development Tax Rate up 8 Percent

Orange County's tourist development tax collection rate in October was 8 percent higher than the same month last year, county leaders said Wednesday.

Read More


Disney Springs

Ending the Year on a High Note at Disney Springs

A year of grand openings and major progress is coming to a close at the largest renovation on Walt Disney World Resort property.

Read More

Skyplex, Mango's Tropical Cafe's Joshua Wallack Shares Big Plans for December

Developer Joshua Wallack of Wallack Holdings LLC has a lot planned for this month, a time he is calling his "December to remember."

Read More

Inside I/ITSEC: MS&T Conference Shows Off Guns, Cars and Virtual Disasters

The Orange County Convention Center's exhibit floor transformed into a digital battlefield where defense companies showed off their latest in simulation technology.

Read More

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Industry News

US Capitol

Uber Bill Passes First House Panel, Faces Tougher Test in Senate

Legislation to regulate app companies such as Uber and Lyft that provide rides to passengers cleared its first House panel Wednesday, but getting the bill through the Senate could still prove difficult.

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White House Moves on New Visa Waiver Regulations, Asks Congress for More Reforms

The White House got the jump on Congress by announcing changes Monday to the visa waiver program as the GOP House leadership promised a vote on its own reforms before the end of the year.

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How Video Influences Travel Decisions

Google shared some interesting figures on travel and YouTube in November showing how consumers engage with video when researching and planning trips.

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mobile device

Mobile Will Represent More Than Half of all Online Travel Bookings in 2016

Online travel is about to reach a tipping point: 2016 will be the year when, for the first time, more than half of all online bookings for U.S. travelers will be completed on a mobile device.

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What's The Big Deal About Millennials?

They're everywhere: in pop culture, television, movies, magazines, the internet, ads. The Millennials-ages 18 to 34-are examined, studied and, above all, sought after.

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SITE Foundation Validates the Business Results From Incentive Travel

Kurt Paben, outgoing president of the SITE Foundation reveals the importance of the research and education resulting from fundraisers such as SITE Nite, held annually in Las Vegas, in the build up to IMEX America.

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 OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands
United Service Companies
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