Save the Date!
#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Orlando Story of the Week

Walking Hand-in-Hand Together

Six years ago, we were starting a new life story together blending two families. We wanted to do a destination wedding and thought there could be no greater experience than Orlando for us as a family. After getting married at Leu Gardens, we spent a week exploring Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. We feel like we took in so much of Orlando and yet there is so much more to see and experience. We all have favourite memories and would love to go back to make new ones.

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

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.

Nov. 5
Business Referral Group

I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing
5228 Vanguard Street
Orlando, FL 32819
407-354-3939 (directions only)
Cost: $20 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

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.

Member-to-Member Offers

The Florida Association of DMOs is seeking brief news items of 75 words or less for the "Quick Trip0s" 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 Nov. 13 for the December edition.

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

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

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. 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. 30-31
Brick or Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

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

Oct. 31
Trick or Treat
Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

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. 16
Military Appreciation Day: Festival of Trees
Orlando Museum of Art

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

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

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

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

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
October 30, 2015


George AguelAn uncertain political landscape and a volatile world stage will certainly impact our future business. These are the influences for which we have no real control. So how can we be better informed about the status of important issues such as these?
To answer that question, we extended an invitation to a keynote speaker for the upcoming Annual Meeting luncheon who is a recognized key player on the world stage. A visionary leader with a historic record of accomplishments in economics, policy and world affairs.
I am pleased to announce that our keynote speaker is a man who brings vast knowledge, experience, and inspiration to our event. You know him as former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich is unparalleled as an author, politician, historian, teacher, pundit, and geo-political strategist. The Visit Orlando Annual meeting and luncheon is your special opportunity to hear his insights about these critical issues.
As we end 2015 and look ahead to a Presidential election year in 2016, I strongly encourage you to attend this year's Annual Meeting, Dec. 8, 2015. Register now, and watch your inbox for details.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Orlando MSA Employment for September

The Leisure and Hospitality sector added more than 14,000 jobs in September compared to the same month last year. The 6.3 percent year-over-year increase in industry employment outpaced the 3.7 percent increase in total nonagricultural employment across the Orlando MSA. Job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 14,700 of the 41,400 total increase in nonagricultural employment, nearly 36 percent of job growth.

Orlando MSA Sept. 14 Sept. 15 Change
Total Nonagricultural Employment 1,114,200 1,155,600 41,400 3.7%
Leisure and Hospitality 232,600 247,300 14,700 6.3%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 78,100 82,700 4,600 5.9%
Accommodation and Food Services 154,500 164,600 10,100 6.5%
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Visit Orlando Updates

Orlando Magic Game

Key Client Event Held at the Orlando Magic Game in Brazil

Visit Orlando's Travel Industry team led by Danielle Courtney, chief marketing officer, and Jay Santos, VP of Travel Industry Sales and Trade Relations, hosted 30 of our key tour operators, airline and trade media clients from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to experience the Orlando Magic versus Flamengo game on Oct. 17 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The invitees began their evening with a welcome reception at the Hilton Barra da Tijuca and proceeded to a great Orlando themed evening at the game. The event ended with a photo taken center court.

Canadian Media Reception

Visit Orlando Attends Canadian Media Reception

Visit Orlando attended VISIT FLORIDA's annual Toronto media reception to promote the destination ahead of the winter travel season. More than 60 media attended the reception, including various travel and lifestyle outlets, such as Toronto Star, Porter Escapes, Dreamscapes, Huffington Post and others.

Mexican FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts FAM for Mexican Tour Operator

Visit Orlando's Travel Industry Sales Team hosted a familiarization tour Oct. 19-24 from one of our key tour operators, Ofertur, from Mexico. Fifteen travel agents, tour operator staff and an Aeromexico representative stayed at Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista and visited local venues and attractions, including Downtown Orlando, I-Drive 360, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, shopping and an Orlando Magic game. We wish to thank all of our supporting members that contributed to this FAM's success.

FTI Touristik USA Roadshow 2015

Visit Orlando was represented at the FTI Touristik USA Roadshow promoting summer 2016 products in seven German-speaking cities from Oct. 8-16. The roadshow travelled to Zurich in Switzerland; Salzburg in Austria, as well as Munich, Nuremberg, Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin in Germany. During the seven days, we were able to train 586 travel agents. Evening events involved a one-hour travel market followed by an on-stage interview presenting Orlando's news and the Orlando Travel Academy. At the end of each evening an Orlando vacation was presented as a grand prize.

Top Brazilian Media Outlets Feature Multiple Stories on Orlando

Oct30_Pfmoda_CoverAs a result of a group press trip held Oct. 4-8, the Visit Orlando team was able to secure multiple articles in top newspapers in Brazil, both in print and online. Orlando's top theme parks, restaurants, hotels, shopping venues, Winter Park and attractions such as the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, were featured, as well as tips on how to overcome Brazil's economic situation. Also, this week, after a 10-day photoshoot in September, a multiple-page, fashion editorial was published in Revista Pais&Filhos that included local attractions, dining, shopping, entertainment venues, hotels, and much more. Two more editions on Orlando's top theme parks and upcoming holiday events are in the works. To read the articles online, please visit: Destak, O Globo, Folha de S. Paulo, Portal R7.

Chinese Travel

Chinese Travel Companies Learn the Latest on Orlando

Visit Orlando China representative Frances Wang conducted sales calls and destination training at the offices of key tour operator clients in Beijing, including China Travel Service; China Youth Travel Service; UTour; All America; Alpha Way and Caissa. More than 100 travel professionals were updated on the destination to encourage travel to Orlando during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.

Reader's Choice Award

Visit Orlando Receives Reader's Choice Award from Convention South

Visit Orlando has been named a recipient of ConventionSouth's Annual Reader's Choice Awards as voted on by readers of the magazine. This elite list of the top meeting sites and destinations in the South will be published in the magazine's December issue.

Gold Cup

Visit Orlando and Members Host Clients at Virginia International Gold Cup Races

The Convention Sales team, along with 15 members, sponsored a fun-filled day at the 78th Annual International Gold Cup Races at Great Meadows in The Plains, Virginia. More than 100 clients attended the prestigious steeplechase race that is a time-honored tradition in Virginia horse country. Mid-Atlantic clients dined in a private tent on Members Hill, where activities included a "Who Wore it Best?" hat contest and a terrier race. Clients also enjoyed watching the Visit Orlando-sponsored race in a private viewing area in the grandstand. Participating members included the Orange County Convention Center, Caribe Royale Orlando, Christie's Photographic Solutions, Doubletree Orlando at SeaWorld, Hilton Orlando, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orchid Event Solutions, Orlando World Center Marriott, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Meetings and Events, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and Westgate Resorts.


Destination Represented at Ensemble Travel Group International Conference

The Ensemble Travel Group International Conference was held Oct. 24-28 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate. Approximately 500 retail travel agents from the U.S. and Canada attended the conference, which was themed "Beyond Boundaries." Visit Orlando exhibited at the trade show and also provided airport meet and greets, and dine-arounds to I-Drive 360 and Pointe Orlando. Above, from left: Shannon Graves, Voyageur Trave.ca; Audrey Proulx, Orion Travelinx; Martina Allen, Visit Orlando Travel Industry Sales team; and Welsonne Renior, UCF student and Visit Orlando intern

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
The International Surfaces Event - East The International Surfaces Event - East Nov. 3
Nov. 5
1,500 $2,950,000
Diving Equipment And Marketing Association
Annual National Trade Show
Nov. 4
Nov. 7
13,000 $25,610,000

Orlando International Airport

Federal Government Endorses SunRail Link to Orlando International Airport

SunRail has won the endorsement of the federal government for a spur that would link the commuter train to Orlando International Airport.

Read More

Universal Theme Parks Report Highest Summer Attendance Ever

Comcast Corp.'s theme parks division reported a strong third quarter Tuesday morning, with record attendance driving both revenue and operating cash flow growth of more than 14 percent.

Read More

Starwood Hotels' $1.5B Timeshare Business Sold to Miami Firm

South Miami-based Interval Leisure Group has agreed to buy Orlando-based Vistana Signature Experiences, the $1.5 billion vacation ownership spinoff of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Read More


Chris Christini of Orlando's Christini's Named FRLA Restaurateur of the Year

The veteran proponent of fine dining and customer service received his award at Wednesday evening's Shades of Pink Installation and Awards Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

Read More


Frozen Ride

Frozen Ever After Water Ride Coming to Epcot in 2016

The new Frozen Ever After water ride coming to Epcot in early 2016 will whisk fans away to the kingdom of Arendelle as part of a blizzard of new attractions planned by Disney based on the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

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Skyplex Orlando Will Feature SurfStream Wave Machines

The proposed Skyplex Orlando's Sky Surf Park will feature machinery from American Wave Machines.

Read More

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Finds Partner with I-Drive Nascar

I-Drive Nascar, an indoor, high performance kart racing facility and theme park complex, has joined forces with the Orlando Magic to start a new partnership.

Read More

Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon lands ride at Universal Orlando Resort

Jimmy Fallon and his Tonight Show crew are coming to Universal Orlando Resort in a new attraction, set to open in 2017.

Read More

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Industry News


Upstart Chinese Carrier Plans Flights to the US and Canada

Yet another Chinese carrier is expanding its international presence. Upstart Xiamen Airlines (also known as XiamenAir) has announced that it will be flying its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners across the Pacific starting in 2016.

Read More

Richard Harper

HelmsBriscoe's Richard Harper Appointed Meetings Mean Business Co-Chair

Richard Harper, executive vice president at HelmsBriscoe, has been named co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business (MMB) coalition, a consortium of travel industry leaders dedicated to promoting the value of meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions.

Read More

More Wineries Opening in Florida as Citrus Industry Wanes

Florida's wine industry may not be large enough to compete with California's, but it is gaining momentum quickly.

Read More

Delta, Expedia Team Up to Make Airline Fees More Transparent

The move signifies the latest step in Delta's effort to consistently give customers the information they need to make educated choices about the kind of onboard experience they want, whether buying through delta.com, traditional or online travel agencies.

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Chinese Firms Vie to Buy Starwood Hotels

At least three big Chinese companies are competing to win Beijing’s approval to bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., according to people with knowledge of the discussions, setting the stage for what could be the largest-ever Chinese takeover of a U.S. company.

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Open Skies

As the administration reviews demands from the big three airlines to freeze competitors' air service, there are reports that the Justice Department shares the travel industry’s concern about the potential negative impact on travel and travelers. According to a recent Reuters news report, there are voices within the federal government speaking against opening existing Open Skies agreements. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the strategy for airlines to be profitable should be to grow the pie rather than hoard pieces of it.

Jolt Act

The JOLT Act topped 100 cosponsors last week, with three more legislators signing on: Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL), Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Peter Roskam (R-IL). That brings running total to 101 cosponsors of H.R. 1401. The Senate bill, S. 2091, current has 15 cosponsors.

Future of Food

The Future of Food Tourism Goes Beyond the Restaurant Experience

Experiential travelers engrossed with food want to learn more about how their meals are prepared and where they come from.

Read More

IPW Early-Registration Deadline Is Around the Corner

U.S. suppliers can save time and money, earn priority appointment scheduling and more by taking advantage of early registration.

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Transportation Bill

Travel Community Backs New Surface Transportation Bill

On Tuesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, marking a huge first step in the renewed focus on updating the federal highway programs.

Read More

Expedia Adds Data on Airline Bag Fees

One of the nation's largest online travel search companies has added a feature to make it easier for you to see the true cost of flying.

Read More


TripAdvisor Has Created a Video About the Power of Reviews

TripAdvisor has created a short animated video revealing how travellers use the site to make plans, compare options and book travel. The video showcases key findings from a recent Phocuswright study, commissioned by TripAdvisor.

Read More

Taiwan Global Entry

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), supported by 20 Senate colleagues, recently urged inclusion of Taiwan in Global Entry, a CBP program which expedites clearance into the U.S. for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Including Taiwan would not only ease reciprocal travel, but also enhance law enforcement precautions resulting from Taiwan's participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Currently, citizens of Canada, South Korea, Panama, Germany, New Zealand and Canada can participate in Global Entry.

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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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