Featured Event

July 8
National Federation of the Blind
Guinness World Record Attempt
Rosen Centre Hotel

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the National Federation of the Blind invites you to join a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to participate in a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ record attempt! It will be raising expectations of blind people by raising umbrellas to break the world record for the largest umbrella mosaic, set by PT Philips (Indonesia) in Jakarta in 2012. All you have to do is sign up at nfb.org/gwr; join us at Orlando's beautiful Rosen Centre Hotel at 7 a.m. on July 8; and hold up the umbrella we provide, when instructed, to help form a message that will be viewed from above. There will also be drawings for participants to win fabulous prizes.


Visit Orlando Events

July 9
Business Referral Group
Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown

304 West Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32801
Cost: $17 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

July 9
Member Orientation
Click here to register.

July 15
Visiting Ours

5–6:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 members; $25 non-members;
$20 walk-in (space permitting)
Click here to register.

July 24
Hot Topics! Educational Session – Emirates Routes & Markets
Rosen College of Hospitality Managenent
9-10:30 a.m.
Stay tuned for registration details!

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.

Congratulations Members

Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, is thrilled to announce the official grand opening of The Florida Mall®'s newly added Dining Pavilion and the shopping center's newest attraction, Crayola Experience.

Member-to-Member Offers

On July 11 from 8 a.m. to noon, Florida Tech Challenge Course will waive the 10-person minimum for Visit Orlando members. For more information, call 321-674-8382, option 2, or click here.

Through July 15, Revenue Performance is offering Visit Orlando members 35 percent off of GLO-Get Leads Online, (regular cost $150 per month). Turn anonymous website visitors into qualified sales leads. This software will identify various components of the website visitor such as company, products and services of interest, contact information and length of time on site. Click here for a free 14-day trial. For more information, call 407-909-9036 x1037.

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen has launched a new website! Built to meet the needs of small- and mid-sized businesses that appreciate Barnie's high-quality specialty coffee, the site is tailored for offices seeking quick, easy, cost-efficient solutions. Through July 31, businesses will receive 15 percent off of their first order. Use code: OfficeCoffee15. For more information, click here.

barnies coffekitchen

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.

Industry Events

July 16
CFVRMA Monthly Meeting
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

July 24
Orlando Site Florida & Caribbean Socializer
The Orlando Eye

September 9-11
CFVRMA Xtravaganza
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

October 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

November 7
2015 VRM Awards Gala
Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa

Community Events

Through July 5
Fourth of July Weekend at Orlando Premium Outlets®

Orlando International Premium Outlets®
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®

Through July 6
Independence Week at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Park

Through August 8
Summer Nights & Island Nights
SeaWorld® Orlando & Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark

Through Nov. 29
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition

Orlando Science Center

July 3
Baldwin Park Independence Day Bash 2015

Village Center and Harbor Park Baldwin Park

July 3
Red, Hot & Boom

Crane's Roost Park

July 3-4
Wall St. Plaza's Red, White & Brew

Wall St. Plaza

July 3-5
Celebrate the Fourth of Jul-Eye on The New Orlando Eye

I-Drive 360

July 3–5
Red, Brick and Boom


July 4
The BIG Celebration

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

July 4
Fireworks at the Fountain

Lake Eola Park

July 4
Fourth of July at Omni Orlando Resort

Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate

July 4
Hunter Vision's Watermelon 5k

Park Avenue, Winter Park

July 4
Independence Day at SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld® Orlando

July 4
Independence Day at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort

July 4
A Sci-Fi 4th of July

Celebration Town Center

Saturdays in July – 4, 11, 18, 25
Summer Music Series

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

July 5
Coke Zero 400

Daytona International Speedway

July 8
National Federation of the Blind

Guinness World Record Attempt
Rosen Centre Hotel

July 14-15
Junior Master Model Builder Competition

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

July 25
Idina Menzel on Tour

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

July 31-August 2
Indie Bookfest 2015

Caribe Royale All-Suite Resort & Convention Center

October 24
2015 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Charity Championship Golf Tournament

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

November 7
Eighth Annual 5K Run for The Gift

Southwest Aquatics

President & CEO's Message
July 3, 2015


George AguelAs we wind down the work week and prepare for good times with friends and family over the extended holiday weekend, Orlando's tourism community is preparing for one of its biggest weekends ever.

AAA estimated that roughly 42 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles this weekend, marking the busiest Fourth of July holiday since 2007. On top of that, U.S. Travel Association is estimating that these travelers will spend nearly $16 billion during their trips this holiday, up almost two percent from 2014. This is great news for Orlando's tourism economy. In fact, Visit Orlando's resident economist, Daryl Cronk (Senior Director of Market Research and Insights), is reporting that our advance hotel bookings for the extended weekend are running five to eight percent ahead of last year each day July 2-5. Orlando International Airport alone expects to see 435,000 passengers this weekend.

Talk about fireworks! The first half of 2015 saw incoming airline traffic, hotel demand and tourist development tax all pace ahead of last year's record performance. And it's clear that the start of July is continuing that trend. Orlando is the most visited destination in the U.S. and the most popular family destination in the world. Visit Orlando works hard everyday to ensure that our destination is well positioned to benefit at times like this, and we're looking forward to seeing how tourism continues to benefit our community as the remainder of 2015 unfolds.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Leisure & Hospitality Employment Up 5 Percent in May

The Orlando MSA's Leisure & Hospitality sector employed 243,400 in May, an increase of 12,000 jobs versus the same month last year. Employment in the Leisure and Hospitality sector rose 5.2 percent year-over-year, versus a 4.0 percent increase in the MSA's total nonagricultural employment. The 12,000 new Leisure and Hospitality jobs accounted for more than one-quarter of the 44,000 increase in total nonagricultural employment.


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Visit Orlando Updates

K Restaurant

Orlando's Culinary Scene Highlighted on National TV Show

Last week, Visit Orlando teamed up with the TV show "Dish Worth the Drive" to showcase Orlando's dynamic and ever-growing dining scene. The show is syndicated to air on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations in 55 markets across the Southeast and will air two times this Fall. It is hosted by Food Network personality Steak Shapiro and offers an exposé on the Southern destinations that everyone should know about and the restaurants that make those destinations so enjoyable. The show will feature local award-winning Orlando chefs Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant, Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park and Jason Shapiro of Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, located at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes.

George's Harley

Visit Orlando President & CEO Welcomes Bikers in Style

George Aguel decided to add a personal touch to his welcome video for the American International Motorcycle Expo, which will be here at the Orange County Convention Center October 15–18. Now in its third year here in Orlando, the AIMExpo is one of North America's premier power sports shows. Last year, it drew 500 exhibitors and more than 18,000 attendees from 50 countries.

NY Sales Mission

New York Sales Mission a Success

The Convention Sales team attended the New York Sales Mission on June 24 in New York City at Café Un Deux Trois before enjoying the Broadway production of An American in Paris. A total of 15 members and 100 clients participated in this year's Broadway event, representing a wide range of market segments including Citywide, Corporate, Association and Pharmaceutical. As in years past, this was well received by both clients and members as another successful Visit Orlando event.


Graphic Arts Company

Destination Services Team Hosts Graphic Arts Company, Inc

From June 29 to 30, Graphic Arts Company, Inc. hosted more than 35 of its top exhibitors for its GRAPH EXPO 16 Exhibitor Preview. GRAPH EXPO is being held in Orlando September 25–28, 2016. The attendees toured the Orange County Convention Center, experienced Copper Canyon Grille, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar and BB King's Blues Club at Pointe Orlando. They were also treated to lunch and the ONE OCEAN show at SeaWorld Orlando.

Visiting Ours

Visiting Ours Networking Event at I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing

Visit Orlando members recently enjoyed an evening of networking, racing and networking at I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing! Congratulations to Hadley Winslow with Specialty Incentives, who won the coveted NASCAR jacket, Barbara Kenney of Kenney Communications, Inc., who won the door prize, and Soren Schomburg of Alltour America Transportation, who had the fastest race time! Congratulations!

Visit Orlando Welcomes National Education Association

Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center hosted a client-appreciation event at SeaWorld Orlando for 70 National Education Association (NEA) staff members. NEA is holding its 153rd Annual Meeting & General Assembly through July 6 for 10,000 attendees. Educators from around the country will take part in the world's largest democratic deliberative body at the NEA's 153rd Annual Meeting and 94th Representative Assembly. More than 7,000 delegates will gather to set public education policy and establish priorities that will improve teaching and learning conditions in our public schools.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Youth Basketball of America National Championship July 5 July 18 10,000 $19,700,000
National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention July 6 July 10 3,500 $6,895,000
Florida United Numismatists Incorporated Summer FUN July 9 July 11 5,000 $1,083,500


Orange Convention Center Could Get Major Face-Lift

Recommendations for improvements at the Orange County Convention Center include a new parking garage, a shuttle system and a better connector between the North and South concourses.

Read More

Where Orlando Ranks Among top July 4 Destinations This Year

If you already have your mind on the upcoming July 4 weekend, you're not alone. Heathrow-based auto group AAA expects 41.9 million Americans to travel somewhere this upcoming weekend—the most in eight years.

Read More

Skyscraper Roller-Coaster Plan Clears FAA

The Federal Aviation Authority determined the proposed 700-foot Skyscraper roller-coaster structure, which includes a restaurant and observation deck, poses no hazard to air traffic.

Read More

'Dish Worth The Drive' TV Show to Feature Orlando Eateries

Syndicated TV show Dish Worth The Drive made a trip to Orlando last week to explore a few of Central Florida's favorite independent restaurants.

Read More

I-Drive Traffic Plan Could Include Bike Paths, Expanded Sidewalks

It wasn't until Orange County tourism and business leaders started meeting in January that dedicated bikes lanes were first considered for the district, said Alberto Vargas, the county's planning manager.

Read More


Crayola Attraction

Florida Mall's New Crayola Attraction to Boost Tourism Industry

It may not create as much buzz as a new ride at the big three theme parks, but Crayola Experience will be another tool on Orlando's belt to bring tourism business.

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Disney Taps Christine McCarthy as CFO

The Walt Disney Co. beefed up its C-suite with two promotions Tuesday. Christine M. McCarthy was named senior executive vice president and CFO, replacing James A. Rasulo, who stepped down from the post earlier this month. In addition, Kevin Mayer was named senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer.

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All Aboard Florida Chooses Train Maintenance Firm, Creates 110 Jobs

Siemens has been chosen for a second contract dealing with the $2.5 billion All Aboard Florida intercity passenger rail.

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Orlando Eye: $4 Rides for Kids this Weekend

The Orlando Eye observation wheel will have discounted prices for kids during the Independence Day weekend.

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Disney to Close DisneyQuest in 2016, Rebrand Building as NBA Experience

Sad news for Disney fans on Tuesday as the company announced the famous DisneyQuest area of the park would be closing in 2016.

Read More

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Industry News

business traveller

Survey Shows Business Travelers Are 'Practical, Health-Conscious'

Employees are surprisingly practical and health-conscious when traveling on the company dime, a new survey of business travelers shows.

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July 4 Travel Expected to be Busiest Since 2007

This year's Fourth of July holiday is expected to be the busiest since 2007, with 41.9 million people across the nation traveling 50 miles or more for the extended weekend, according to AAA.

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Proposal to Privatize Air Traffic Control Draws Support

Some might have assumed that the chairman of the House Transportation Committee was courting controversy when he said last week that he planned to introduce legislation to have the country's air traffic control system run by a not-for-profit corporation.

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air travel

Why America's Air Travel Liberation May Finally Take Flight this Year

This year offers the prospect of American air travel liberation, and even a free market revolution, particularly with the new Republican Congress. That is because on September 30, 2015, Congressional authorization for federal aviation programs will expire. So Congress must pass a new deal for aviation in America, to keep the nation's air travel system functioning.

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Spending, Bus Travel Is up for Fourth of July Holiday

Spending is expected to increase during this year's Fourth of July holiday, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

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Obama, Rousseff Turn Page on Spy Spat, Work on Trade, Travel

The presidents agreed to a series of steps to make it easier for people and goods to move between the two countries, including reopening fresh beef trade.

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Survey: Traveling Public Supports Open Skies

A new consumer survey commissioned by the Business Travel Coalition's spinoff group OpenSkies.travel found overwhelming support from respondents who have traveled internationally and support the U.S. government's current Open Skies agreements.

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 Nemours Children's Hospital Orlando Economic Development Commission Orlando Health
Orlando International Airport Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets O'Town Television OUC
Smart City Stay Sky Hotels & Resorts Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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