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Annual Meeting and Luncheon

#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Orlando Story of the Week

Happiest Moment of My Life

I have always loved my holidays to Orlando Florida, but this year was extra special. My boyfriend of three years-knowing how much Florida means to me-took me to the Orlando Eye on the most wonderful night and got down on one knee and asked the question that only requires one answer when you are with your soulmate. The Eye was lit up in all its glory, fountains in the background and the man of my dreams down on one knee in front of me with a box that held the most beautiful engagement ring. Florida was always my happy place-now it's our forever place. When we return each year we will always have a part of Florida where the most magical night of my life happened that we can visit time and time again.

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. 3
Business Referral Group

Buca di Beppo - Maitland
1351 South Orlando Avenue
Cost: TBD
Click here to RSVP.

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

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.

Member-to-Member Offers

The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members 20 percent off of spa and salon services, through Nov. 30. For more information and reservations, call 407-345-4431 or contact Carol Cox.

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.

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.

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

Through Jan. 8, 2016
Connecting to Cuba
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

Through Nov. 21
Artegon Marketplace
Artegon's First Anniversary Celebration

Nov. 13–Jan. 3
Light Up UCF
CFE Arena

Nov. 14–22
29th Annual Festival of Trees
Orlando Museum of Art

Nov. 24–Jan. 3
Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Nov. 27–Jan. 3
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour
Bok Tower Gardens

Nov. 20–22
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Nov. 26–29
Central Florida International Auto Show
Orange County Convention Center

Dec. 2
Christmas at the Casa
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Christmas at the Casa

Dec. 3
63rd Annual Winter Park "Ye Olde Hometown" Christmas Parade presented by Bright House Networks
Park Avenue, from Cole Avenue to Lyman Avenue

Dec. 4
Winter on the Avenue
Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winter Park

Dec. 11–13
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Jan. 23, 2016
Color In Motion 5K
Artegon Marketplace

Jan. 24, 2016
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Red Priest
Rollins College, Tiedtke Concert Hall

President & CEO's Message
November 20, 2015


George AguelLast week's senseless attacks in Paris were tragic and our thoughts and prayers go out to the French people and everyone affected by this terrorism. But unfortunately, this event has resulted in several of our nation's Congressional lawmakers re-examining the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for potential security gaps. It's important during times like this to communicate a better understanding of the VWP, without resorting to a quick overreaction that dismisses the facts about this important program.

The truth is that the VWP not only facilitates inbound travel to the United States but also protects our homeland by requiring pre-screening of travelers who are pre-approved through the program. It also enables greater information sharing through enhanced international partnerships with law enforcement and intelligence services and making passports more secure for participating countries. You can send an email to your Senators and Representative to let them know that now is the time to defend this tried and true security program and champion policies such as the VWP that keep travel safe and secure.

By the way, I would like to remind you that now is also the time to register for Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting and Luncheon, presented by Emirates, on Dec. 8. Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich will deliver a powerful keynote presentation along with other opportunities to reflect on the great year for tourism we've had in Central Florida. I hope to see you there.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Occupancy and ADR Rise in October

The average occupancy rate in Orlando during October was 74.5 percent, up 2.8 percent from the same month last year. Orlando's occupancy rate exceeded the state (68.4 percent) and national (69.1 percent) levels. Occupied room nights increased 3.3 percent to over 2.7 million room nights, a record for the month of October. The average daily rate rose 2.7 percent to $110.60, an October record.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Canadians Receive a Week of Orlando Sunshine

With temperatures in the 40s this week in Toronto, shivering residents received a daily dose of warm Orlando sunshine on their television screens. "CP24 Breakfast Live," Canada's most viewed morning news and entertainment TV show, broadcasted daily from Orlando, showcasing the breadth and depth of the destination, including segments on dining, attractions, eco adventures, sporting activities and even a bit on "Orlando's Cool Pools," hosted by a 12-year-old junior reporter selected as part of a three-week pre-promotion. The week's activities are also highlighted with an additional three-week promotion in which viewers can enter to win a trip to Orlando.

Orlando Featured in Canadian Media Outlets

As a result of a recent group press trip for four Canadian media, Visit Orlando secured two feature stories showcasing the breadth of the Orlando vacation experience. Two articles, one from the Metro and another from The Province, have garnered more than 3 million impressions, with more articles yet to come.

Mexico FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts American Express Vacation Mexico FAM

Last week, the Travel Industry Sales team for Latin America hosted a familiarization tour for 14 top American Express travel agents from Mexico. Approximately 70 percent of the participants were first-time visitors to Orlando. Their schedule included site visits to high-end hotels, theme parks, Winter Park and I-Drive 360.

Colombia FAM

Latin American Team Hosts FAM for Key Colombian Clients

The Travel Industry Sales Latin America team was honored to host one of our key clients from Colombia, Union de Representaciones, on a familiarization tour this past week. The FAM was composed of 13 seasoned travel agents from Aviatur (the largest retailer in Colombia) and the American Airlines in-country sales manager. The purpose of the FAM was to educate agents on Orlando products and award them for being top producers for American Airlines and Orlando. The itinerary consisted of hotel site inspections, theme parks and local attraction visits and trendy Winter Park. The group also enjoyed a great view of the Orlando Magic game at the Amway Center, where they got to see our home team beat the Utah Jazz.

Jay Santos

Visit Orlando Hosts RTO Summit Orlando

Orlando welcomed the 3rd annual RTO Summit Orlando to the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek, Nov. 16 to 17. The event brought together more than 100 U.S.-based receptive tour operator clients and U.S. travel suppliers who participated in an industry symposium followed by a day of scheduled appointment sessions. Panel sessions focused on market trends impacting international inbound travel to the United States. During the event, Jay Santos, vice president of Global Travel Industry Sales, presented Visit Orlando's Step Into Your Never Ending Story brand campaign, and shared destination updates. Above: Photo courtesy Anglo Productions Inc.©


Experient FAM

Convention Sales Trains Experient Meeting Planners

Visit Orlando had the opportunity to host a familiarization trip at the end of a training week for newly hired Experient meeting planners in Orlando. This year, the Hilton Orlando and Rosen Centre served as the host hotels for the associates, who spent two days visiting properties and venues around Orlando to help educate them on what is available for group meetings.

Gold Award Visit Orlando Named Gold Service Elite Award Winner

Visit Orlando has been named a Gold Service Elite Award Winner by the readers of Meetings & Conventions magazine. The 2015 Gold Awards reward excellence in service in hotels, resorts and convention and visitors bureaus.


German Travel Agents Experience Destination First Hand

This week, Visit Orlando hosted the first pre-academy DERTOUR group from Germany. The 25 travel agents stayed at the Ramada Plaza Resort & Suites on International Drive and at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. There was a welcome breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, visits to Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and a shopping trip to the Orlando International Premium Outlets. The group continued its adventure at Busch Gardens Tampa and St. Pete/Clearwater before departing to Las Vegas for DERTOUR Academy.

Canadian FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts Canadian Advisory Board

Visit Orlando recently hosted the Canadian Advisory Board. The group of 17 top-producing agents from Orlando's top feeder market had the opportunity to experience what's new at the attractions and explore the unexpected side of Orlando, including Boggy Creek Airboat Rides and the Artegon Marketplace. The group also took part in a roundtable discussion with Visit Orlando's Canada team, providing great insights into the current state of the Canadian market.

WTM London

Visit Orlando at World Travel Market London

At London's World Travel Market, Visit Orlando showcased the destination with a new booth and robust member participation. In partnership with eight members, Visit Orlando kept a packed schedule of appointments with key accounts and partners to promote future travel from the U.K. to Orlando. Participating members included Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Merlin Entertainments, Fun Spot America Theme Parks, Orlando Magic, Ramada Plaza Resort & Suites International Drive Orlando and The Florida Mall.

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News About Orlando


Azul jet

Azul Launches Service Between Orlando and Belo Horizonte

Azul Airlines has added new air service between Orlando and Belo Horizonte. Azul, one of Brazil's largest airlines, began nonstop service between Orlando International Airport and Belo Horizonte, Brazil's sixth largest city, Monday.

Read More


Orlando Airport, AAA Expect Busier Thanksgiving Season

This year's Thanksgiving holiday travel season is expected to be the busiest in eight years, AAA Travel said in its annual forecast Tuesday.

Read More

Major Tourism Expo IAAPA Kicks off $50M+ Week in Convention Biz

Orlando's International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions is in town, meaning tourism's biggest show is back at the Orange County Convention Center.

Read More

Why Marriott-Starwood Deal Is a Win for Orlando Business Travelers

The $12.2 billion Marriott International Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide deal has yet another great perk for frequent travelers: It combines two of the world's best loyalty programs.

Read More


Great Wolf

Great Wolf Resorts Has Plans for Land Near Walt Disney World

Great Wolf Resorts Inc., the owner/operator of indoor water parks, has its sights set on building its first Florida resort near Walt Disney World.

Read More


A Tall Order for Skyplex Developers

The fate of a proposal to build the world's tallest roller coaster on Orlando's International Drive could be settled by the Orange County Commission on Dec. 1.

Read More

Universal Orlando Offering Limited-Time 'Hero' Ticket

Florida residents can purchase discounted, multi-day Universal Orlando admission under a new Hero ticket that's on sale for a limited time.

Read More

Orange County Convention Center Gets IP Upgrade

Those in town for conventions and meetings at the Orange County Convention Center can expect to find improved Internet access, thanks to an upgrade to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Read More

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Industry News


AAA Forecasts Most Thanksgiving Travelers in 8 Years

AAA Travel forecasts that 46.9 million people will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase from the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most in eight years.

Read More

Global Business Travel Association Addresses Paris Attacks

The Global Business Travel Association has issued a statement in response to the Paris attacks that took place Friday and pledged to work with governments, private industry and business travelers to ensure the future safety and security of the global travel system.

Read More

7 Charts Forecasting the Behavior of U.S Luxury Travelers in 2016

With luxury travelers, having the most exciting experience to brag about to their peers carries more weight than possessing the latest iPhone or Lamborghini.

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vacation Who Is Winning Hotel Booking Battle Between Smartphone Browsers and Apps?

There is an apparent real winner when it comes to a task such as hotel booking.

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Marriott International to Acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Creating the World's Largest Hotel Company

Marriott International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will create the world's largest hotel company.

Read More

The Online Travel Triangle: Mobile, Data and the Customer Experience

"What customers want is communication, information and control."

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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