Save the Date!


#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

White Rabbit

Minion Mayhem

One of my son Sam's favourite films is Despicable Me and as a 10-year-old he obviously related to the naughty minions! This picture is one of my favourites: he saw the huge minion on the wall and ran over to have his photo taken. He ran so fast he didn't stop in time fell over and collapsed in hysterics for about 5 minutes. He was just crying with laughter. Such a beautiful memory from our holiday of a lifetime. He asks us approximately once a week ... When can we go back?

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

Oct. 29
Business Referral Group
Naru Sushi Orlando

8441 International Drive
Cost: $18
Click here to RSVP.

Nov. 5
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.

Dec. 8
Save the Date!

32nd Annual Visit Orlando Meeting & Luncheon
Rosen Shingle Creek
Stay tuned for more 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 Services. Click here to schedule a session.

Congratulations Members

Lisa Williams has been appointed director of sales and marketing for the 248-key SpringHill Suites and the 250-key TownePlace Suites which are located at Flamingo Crossings in Orlando, close to the western entrance to the Walt Disney World Resort slated to open early 2016.

Loews Hotels & Resorts has promoted two of its most seasoned and talented leaders to new roles at the Orlando hotel campus. Barb Bowden has been named complex managing director and Larry Beiderman has been promoted to complex general manager for Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Loews and Universal Orlando Resort plan to operate the two hotels as a complex when Loews Sapphire Falls Resort opens in the summer
of 2016.

Member-to-Member Offers

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, Visit Orlando members are invited to take part in an exclusive presale for the 2016 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship, which will be hosted at the Amway Center, March 10-13, 2016. The event will feature 10 games and three different ticket packages are available. For complete information, visit TheAmerican.org/MBB. To purchase tickets, click here and enter access code VISITORL. The deal expires at 10 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Ticket Offer

Plan your holiday event at Dewey's Indoor Golf & Sports Grill before Oct. 30 and receive 10 percent off of the entire package. Click here for more information.

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Osceola Heritage Park for Plum Palooza and celebrate the release of the new Stephanie Plum novel, Tricky Twenty-Two. Get a signed copy and enjoy food and entertainment. Visit Orlando members will receive 10 percent off of the general admission price. Use code ORLANDO. Purchase tickets here.

Through Nov. 15, Florida HIA (Hospitality Industry Association) is offering discounted rates on membership for Visit Orlando members and their employees of $25 per membership ($5 off regular price) and up to 50 percent off of company memberships. Florida HIA provides members with more than 50 free attractions and hundreds of exclusive discounts around the state. Be a tourism advocate for your employees and encourage them to experience Florida. Click here for more information.

Visit Orlando members are invited to attend the RTO Summit Orlando Symposium and Luncheon, Monday, Nov. 16 at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek for a special price of $395. Panel sessions will feature the latest on the growing Middle East and India markets to Orlando, perspective on the evolving Brazil market, and more. Click here to register.

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.

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

Nov. 4
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)'s
Revenue Optimization Continuing Education and Training (ROCet)
Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando

Nov. 4
Orlando Economic Development Commission's
BBQ on the Boulevard
301 East Pine Street
Orlando, FL 32801

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

Nov. 16
RTO Summit Orlando
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Community Events

Through Oct. 31, weekends
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld® Orlando

Through Nov. 1
Halloween Horror Nights 25
Universal Orlando Resort

Through Nov. 1
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic Kingdom Park

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

Oct. 23-25 and 30-31
Brick or Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Oct. 23
4th Annual Casino Night
Winter Park Community Center

Casino Night

Oct. 24
4th Annual Fore the Animals
Charity Golf Tournament
to benefit Pet Rescue by Judy
Mayfair Country Club

Oct. 24
2015 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Charity Championship Golf Tournament

to benefit Give Kids the World Village
MetroWest Golf Club

Oct. 29
West Orange Chamber of Commerce's Golf Classic

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

Oct. 31
Bonnet Creek BOO-tacular Family Fun Run

to benefit Give Kids The World
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort

Oct. 31
Classic Car Show
Artegon Marketplace Orlando

Oct. 31
Making Strides of Orlando
Lake Eola Park

Oct. 31
Mall-O-Ween at The Florida Mall
The Florida Mall

Nov. 5-8
Friends & Family Tennis Getaway
Walt Disney World Resort

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

Nov. 12-15
International Peace and Film Festival
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal

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

Nov. 13-15
25th Annual Holiday Open House
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards

Nov. 13-15
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

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

Nov. 14
15th Annual Dancing for Diabetes
Seminole High School

Nov. 19
Champion of Choices with Marc Mero - Dream Big Tour
Lake Mary Prep

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

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

President & CEO's Message
October 23, 2015


George AguelI was one of the founders who formed the Meetings Mean Business Coalition in 2009, soon after the financial crisis impacted our industry like never before, to showcase the value that business meetings, travel and events bring to the U.S. economy. We can never forget those years and how important it is that our local tourism community in Orlando doesn't rest on its laurels when it comes to spreading the good word that, like the travel industry, the meetings industry supports millions of U.S. jobs and generates billions of dollars in annual economic impact. Our own destination is a major recipient of this business, having achieved the status of being recognized as the No. 1 destination for meetings and No. 2 for major trade shows. This segment of our tourism business represents nearly $7 billion in economic impact to our community.

Those of us in tourism recognize and appreciate that these conferences and events serve as platforms for professional development and training, as well as for networking and the strengthening of sustainable business relationships, ever so important in today's highly competitive marketplace. But that's not the case for everyone. During the height of the recession seven years ago, many companies made across-the-board cuts, including canceling meetings and restricting travel for their employees. Ironically, according to Oxford Economics, companies that invested more in business travel during the economic downturn grew the fastest.

So, despite the fact that we're closing in on what appears to be another year of record-setting growth for tourism in Orlando, we want to encourage all of the leaders in our community to be champions for the value of conferences, trade shows and client events.

-George Aguel

back to top
From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

September Occupancy Rate Rose 5.5 Percent

Hotel occupancy rates in Orlando averaged 62.8 percent in September, 5.5 percent higher than the same month last year and the highest September occupancy since 2004. Occupied room nights rose 5.7 percent over prior year levels, and the average daily rate was 1.3 percent higher than last September. While September typically posts the lowest occupancy rate of the year due to seasonal travel patterns, the month's results continued the strong year-over-year growth seen all year and brought the year-to-date occupancy rate to 77.7 percent, up 4.7 percent over the same time last year.

back to top
Visit Orlando Updates


Canada Celebrates New Air Service

Visit Orlando teamed up with the Region of Waterloo International Airport and WestJet Airlines to promote its new nonstop service from Southern Ontario to Orlando starting this December. Visit Orlando worked with both the airport and WestJet Airlines to secure a month-long promotion that will be featured across three radio stations, in terminal signage, out-of-home signage, direct mail, PR, travel trade opportunities and more. Two lucky families will win a trip to Orlando on the inaugural flight, which departs for sunny Orlando on Dec. 10.


Orlando Vignette Featured on Major Television Shows

Partnership Marketing is pleased to share the final of three, two-minute vignettes that ran during TV shows "New York Live" and "Atlanta & Co" this week. The vignette showcases Orlando's luxurious and relaxing side, hosted by Emmy award-winner Lilliana Vazquez, a regular on "The TODAY Show," "Access Hollywood," "E! News" and "The Rachael Ray Show."


Orlando Showcased in Prominent Brazilian Publication

The Visit Orlando team secured a feature story in this week's issue of Contigo!, one of the largest celebrity magazines in Brazil. The article features TV host and former Miss Brazil, Natália Guimarães, while in Orlando with her family. As an avid fan of Orlando's famous theme parks, Guimarães told the magazine that her passion for Orlando started 11 years ago, and that she has visited the city every year since then. She would like for her twin daughters to have the same experiences, and described Orlando as a magical place. Click here to read the story.


Visit Orlando Sponsors TravXchange in Canada

Visit Orlando was recently the premier sponsor of TravXchange, Canada's most exclusive gathering of travel agents and travel bloggers, where we trained more than 300 agents in the key markets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The Orlando-themed aisle featured four members, and the Orlando team maximized its time in Vancouver by training product specialists both at Flight Centre's head office and at GoGo's head office, in addition to training agents at Travel Brands' call center. These efforts support the new West Jet direct service from Vancouver to Orlando. Above, from left: Eric Bonesteel of Wild Florida; Visit Orlando representative Melanie Dickey; Felix Vega from Mango's Tropical Café; Gerdia Exinor from Rosen Hotel and Resorts; and Lauren Paffenback, with Merlin Entertainment


Canadian media

Canadian Journalists Explore What's New and Unexpected in Orlando

Visit Orlando hosted four Canadian journalists representing key media outlets: Toronto Star, Sun Media, Postmedia and Metro. The press trip explored new openings in Orlando and unexpected activities that would appeal to Canadian visitors.

Emirates Mega FAM

Visit Orlando Welcomes Emirates Holidays Mega FAM

This week, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Orlando proudly hosted the Emirates Holidays Mega familiarization tour, with participants including 30 Emirates Holidays staff from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Jordan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates. The participants experienced Orlando theme parks, shopping and dining, as well as site visits. The group was accommodated at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.


Travel Industry Marketing Department Hosts Dinner for Emirates Kuwait FAM

This week, Visit Orlando hosted a dinner for the 13 participants in an Emirates familiarization tour from Kuwait, including a New World Travel representative. Their visit also included Orlando theme parks, as well as I-Drive 360 attractions.

back to top
News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists AAPS Annual Meeting and Exhibition Oct. 26 Oct. 28 9,500 $18,715,000
National Facilities Management and Technology Conference & Exposition Conference & Expo Oct. 27 Oct. 28 1,400 $2,758,000


Orlando Airport to Seek New Travel Plaza Bids Soon

Orlando International Airport should have bids out by Jan. 1 for another small piece of its overall multibillion-dollar redesign.

Read More

Mayor Dyer on UCF Downtown: 'We Won't Rest Until This Becomes a Reality'

The UCF Downtown plan is heading to the state Board of Governors in exactly two weeks, said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in his State of Downtown address on Oct. 22.

Read More


Disney Springs

Chef Rick Bayless Opening Disney Springs Restaurant

Chef Rick Bayless will open a location of his Frontera Fresco restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World announced Thursday.

Read More

International Manufacturer Sets Opening Date for Orlando Facility

It's official: An international automobile equipment maker will open its new Central Florida facility in January 2016, creating dozens of jobs in the process.

Read More

back to top
Industry News

business travel

GBTA: US Business Travel Spending Is Slowing Down

The growth of business travel spending in the U.S. will slow in the coming months, according to the results of the Global Business Travel Association's U.S. BTI Outlook for 2015's third quarter.

Read More

Expedia to Reveal Airlines' "Hidden Fees" in New Feature

Expedia will show airlines' extra fees alongside flight prices, in an attempt to present customers a more transparent view of what they are actually paying for airfare.

Read More


exhibit hall

Travel Groups to Congress: Leave Airport Security Funding Alone

The U.S. Travel Association and other travel industry groups are taking aim at a set of bills that threaten funding for both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.

Read More

Don't Take All Your Vacation Days? Three Reasons Why You Should

Here are three basic reasons why you should take all your vacation days.

Read More

back to top
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
back to top