#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

His First Kiss

A First Kiss to Remember

We were having our character breakfast in Cinderella's Castle ... and our son received a kiss from Cinderella! He turned as red as his hair but he thought it was very cool and talked about it all day!

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

Sept. 24
Business Referral Group
The Capital Grille

9101 International Drive
Cost: $23, inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Oct. 8
4th Annual Trivia for Charity Night
Howl at The Moon

8815 International Drive
Cost: $25 per person or team of 6 or 8
Click here to register.

Nov. 5
Member Orientation
Click here to register. 

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

Wild Willy's Airboat Tours has made TripAdvisor's Top 10 Tours in the U.S. list!

Member-to-Member Offers

Visit Orlando members who book a Gator Shine Holiday Party at Gatorland before Sept. 30 will receive 10 percent off of the rental fee, which includes access to a conference room and the park after hours. Call Jennifer at 407-856-3249.

LTC Language Solutions is excited to invite new clients to try its language services! Learn a new language, utilize an interpreter, have a document translated, or just learn more about other cultures. Through Oct. 1, receive 10 percent off of your first-time purchase. Questions? Please click here.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Industry Events

Sept. 23
VS Media Group's Annual "In the Know" Trade Show
SeaWorld® Orlando Ports of Call

Sept. 24
West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Business Before Hours
Bella Room, LLC

Sept. 25-26, Oct. 1-3
Hospitality Industry Nights - Howl-O-Scream Unearthed
Busch Gardens of Tampa

Oct. 1
West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Lead and Feed
Hagan O'Reilly's Irish Pub and Restaurant

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

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

Community Events

Through Sept. 20
Art in Odd Places
Downtown Orlando

Art in Odd Places

Through Sept. 24
10th Annual Fashion Week
The Mall at Millenia

Through Sept. 30
School Supply Drive
Osceola County Welcome Center,
History Museum and Pioneer Village

Through Sept. 30
Visit Orlando's Magical DiningSM Month,
presented by American Express
Select Restaurants

Magical Dining

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

Sept. 18-20
Bobcat Goldthwait
Improv Comedy Club

Sept. 18-Nov. 1
Halloween Horror Nights 25
Universal Orlando Resort

Sept. 19
Candy's Cats 6th Annual Wheelin' Dealin' Kittens
Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs

Sept. 19
I AM BRAVE Success Seminar for Women
The Abbey

Sept. 23
21st Annual "Salute to COMPACT" Awards Banquet
Rosen Centre Hotel

Sept. 24
A Very Fashionable Fundraiser

Benefiting Dress for Success and NAPW
Bloomingdale's, The Mall at Millenia

Sept. 24
Go-Kart Racing Tournament

to benefit Simon Youth Foundation
I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing

Sept. 28-Oct. 4
Global Peace Film Festival
Orlando and Winter Park

Global Peace Film Fest

Oct. 2-6
Orange County Convention Center

Oct. 3-18
Brick or Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Oct. 3-31, weekends
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld® Orlando

Oct. 9
Pink Ribbon Bagel Day
Panera Bread

Oct. 10
Cruisin' for a Cure
An American Cancer Society
Relay for Life Fundraiser/
Car Rally & Show
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
8701 Vineland Avenue
Orlando, FL 32821

Oct. 10-11
42nd Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival
Central Park, Downtown Winter Park

Oct. 11
Celebrate the Capen Open House
Historic Capen-Showalter House,
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Oct. 12
39th Annual CFADA AutoClassic Golf Tournament
Falcon's Fire Golf Club 

Oct. 17
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando's
Savor the Night
City Hall Rotunda & City Commons Plaza

Oct. 17
Music of the Americas
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Oct. 18
Latin Food & Wine Festival
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts,
Seneff Arts Plaza

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

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

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

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

President & CEO's Message
September 18, 2015


George AguelNext week, Orlando's tourism community prepares to host the 8th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, Sept. 27-30, at the Orange County Convention Center. And while our local convention industry is healthy and thriving, the arrival of the most comprehensive international healthcare conference and trade show in the industry may be just what the doctor ordered for continued growth.

Orlando's hospitals offer some of the best health care in the world. Combine these facilities and the experts that work in them with the second-largest convention center in the nation and everything else that makes Orlando the No. 1 meeting destination in the U.S., and it's no surprise that medical conventions represent an appealing growth segment for our destination.

As Visit Orlando continues to open new markets and grow overall visitation beyond the record-breaking 62 million visitors in 2014, medical conventions are a targeted approach to leveraging tourism for the economic prosperity and quality of life for our residents.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

2016 Lodging Forecasts Predicts Continued Growth

research chartA recent forecast by the lodging experts at STR anticipates that Orlando's hotel industry will continue to grow in 2016, albeit at a slower rate than in 2015. Occupied room nights (a.k.a. demand) is forecasted to increase nearly 3 percent in 2016. Demand has grown five consecutive years (2010-2014), with a sixth year all but assured in 2015. The forecast for 2016 predicts a seventh consecutive year, a remarkable period for Orlando's tourism industry. The occupancy rate is forecasted to average 76.6 percent in 2015 and 77.1 percent in 2016. Growth in the room inventory will offset some of the demand growth, netting a one percent lift in the occupancy rate from 2015 to 2016.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Delta SKY

Orlando Featured in Delta Sky Magazine

The September issue of Delta Sky magazine showcased five ways to enjoy Orlando outside of the theme parks. The one-day itineraries cover activities tailored to foodies, romantics, family vacationers, sophisticates and hipsters.

Food Journalists

Visit Orlando Promotes Dining at Food Journalists Conference

Recent accolades in Wine Enthusiast and The New York Times haven't diminished Visit Orlando's efforts to raise Orlando's profile as a dining destination. This week, the Public Relations team sponsored an educational panel and met with food editors, writers and bloggers from around the U.S. during the annual Association of Food Journalists Conference.

Austria FAM

FAM Held for USA Austria

This week Visit Orlando hosted a Visit USA Austria familiarization trip. The group included four tour operators, one travel trade press representative, three consumer media representatives, and representatives from Hertz and Visit USA Austria. Their itinerary was full of exciting activitites at Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, I-Drive 360 attractions, outlet shopping and dining. The participants were hosted by the Ramada Plaza Resort & Suites International Drive Orlando.


US Open

US Open a Grand Slam for Visit Orlando

Despite being elusive to Serena Williams, the 2015 US Open Tennis Championships proved to be a grand slam for Visit Orlando in many ways. Over the course of the 14-day event, Visit Orlando engaged with the 700,000+ attendees by inviting them into an interactive booth, as well as showcasing the brand via a courtside logo to more than 200 countries. This year's US Open was broadcast on ESPN and witnessed a surge of 20 percent in viewers over last year, with the men's final on Sunday evening generating a remarkable 43 percent increase in viewers over the previous year, with 3,153,000 viewers in the United States alone. Photo by David Goldman/Associated Press

UK Super FAM

50 U.K. Travel Agents Step into their Never Ending Story

On Thursday Sept. 17, 50 U.K. Travel Agents arrived on a British Airways flight for the Visit Orlando Super FAM. Each of these agents is a graduate of the Orlando Travel Academy, Visit Orlando's online training site. Over the next week, they will experience all that Orlando has to offer, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Parks, and create the next chapter of their Never Ending StorySM to share with clients.

Universal Orlando

Exclusive Preview of Halloween Horror Nights

Visit Orlando recently partnered with travel correspondent Sarah Sekula on an exclusive video preview of Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, HHN begins frightening guests tonight and on select nights through Nov. 1.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
National Black MBA Association Annual Conference & Exposition Sept. 22 Sept. 26 9,000 $17,730,000
Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association The Landscape Show Sept. 24 Sept. 26 9,000 $17,730,000
Medical Tourism Association World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress Sept. 26 Sept. 30 3,500 $6,895,000


Increased Airline Seat Capacity Signals More Travelers Coming to Orlando Soon

Orlando's goal to continue to be the top destination in the world has another travel trend working in its favor: airport seat capacity.

Read More

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to Amp Up Central Florida Space Tourism

Space tourism may have gotten one step closer to reality now that Cape Canaveral can boast landing Blue Origin, another major player in the commercial space industry.

Read More

At Summit, Disney Tech Leader Says Simulation Key to Any Ride's Success

Climb on a ride at Disney World and you're immersed into an intricately planned modeling and simulation success story, according to one of the people behind the simulations.

Read More

Disney Springs, Resort Construction Projects to Begin Soon

Walt Disney World's re-envisioning of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs is getting closer to completion.

Read More


Hangar Bar

Confirmed: Downtown Disney's Indiana Jones-Themed Bar Opens Next Week

The new Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar at Downtown Disney is set to open on Sept. 22.

Read More

Orlando-to-Asia Travel Gets Closer to Reality

Orlando International is continuing discussions with carriers in China in hopes of landing a direct flight with the world's largest populated country.

Read More

Carolyn Fennell GOAA's Carolyn Fennell Honored for Helping Improve the Lives of Florida Women

Carolyn Fennell, senior director of public affairs and community relations for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, was named a 2015 recipient of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women Florida Achievement Award.

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CCRA Names Orlando as a Top 10 City for Fall Travel

CCRA Travel Commerce Network's quarterly travel trend report lists Orlando among the cities with the greatest number of hotel bookings to date from travel professionals through the CCRATravel.com hotel booking engine for fall arrivals between September 23 through December 21, 2015.

Read More

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Industry News


How Travel Is Embracing the Future of Ubiquitous Wi-Fi

As technology becomes more advanced, travelers are carrying more data on their mobile devices. As a result, travelers are demanding higher Internet speeds and easier ways to switch to Wi-Fi networks in airports and beyond.

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Expedia Completes Orbitz Acquisition

Expedia on Thursday said it completed its acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide. Expedia paid $12 a share for Orbitz, or about $1.34 billion. With the acquisition, Expedia lengthens its position over Priceline Group as the world's largest OTA by bookings.

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business travel

Business Travelers Began Returning to First Class in 2015

Business travelers want to fly in luxury, and stay in expensive hotels, even if their corporate travel policy doesn't allow it.

Read More

Meeting Planners More Demanding Than Ever When Selecting a Meeting Site

A study revealed that all but one logistical consideration increased in 2015 when compared to 2013. Furthermore, factors such as access to a destination, facilities and costs surpass all other considerations when selecting a future meeting location.

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 O'Town Television OUC Smart City
Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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