#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Best Road Trip Ever

Best Road Trip Ever

I realized just how much I missed hanging out with my son. We had so much fun at Universal Studios. Being a single mom makes it a bit more complicated to take trips, but after this road trip here we have made promises to do at least one a year. Thanks for bringing me and my baby boy closer 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

Sept. 10
Business Referral Group
Portobello Trattoria

1650 Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Cost: $25 inclusive
Click here to RSVP

Sept. 16
Visiting Ours
Club 39 at The Plaza (Rosen)

5-6:30 p.m.; Cost: $15 members, $25 non-members
Click here to register.

Oct. 1
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.

Member-to-Member Offers

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.

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. 9
Hospitality Industry Night
The Orlando Eye

Sept. 9-11
VRM Xtravaganza
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

VRM Xtravaganza

Sept. 17
Building Business Expo
West Oaks Mall

Sept. 18
HSMAI Chinese Auction
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

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

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

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

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

Magical Dining

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

Sept. 4-6
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Amway Center

Sept. 6
Uno's Pups & Popsicles

to benefit Pet Rescue by Judy
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
12553 SR 535
Orlando, FL 32836

Sept. 10
Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll - Fall-Themed Edition
Park Avenue, in Winter Park

Sept. 12
2015 Greater Orlando Heart Walk
University of Central Florida

Sept. 12
O-Town MacDown, Benefiting Give Kids the World
Osceola Heritage Park

Sept. 12-13
Corks for Cancer Festival
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Sept. 15-Nov. 1
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic Kingdom Park

Sept. 17-20
Art in Odd Places
Downtown Orlando

Art in Odd Places

Sept. 17-24
10th Annual Fashion Week
The Mall at Millenia

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

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

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

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
Classic Car Show
Artegon Marketplace Orlando

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

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

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

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

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

President & CEO's Message
September 4, 2015


George AguelI've been on almost every kind of plane ... but have never seen anything like the A-380, the world's largest passenger airplane and Emirates' flagship aircraft. The airline used it this week to inaugurate daily nonstop passenger service from its hub in Dubai to Orlando. The jet features 500 seats, a lounge for socializing over fine wines, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and delicacies prepared by five-star chefs, as well as two shower spas.

Following touch-down, a series of events fueled days' worth of worldwide attention focused on our destination and tourism community. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Airline & Group, exchanged ceremonial gifts with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando International Airport's Authority Chairman, Frank Krupenbacher, before sharing with the audience that it was consumer demand for our destination that gave Emirates the confidence that a strong market exists for 16-hour flights to Orlando. In addition to hundreds of passengers from 29 countries, the first flight also included a group of top journalists from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Kuwait, which Visit Orlando is hosting for tours of our destination and city. With a style that we're learning to expect from Emirates, the company continued to demonstrate how it is quickly embracing our community by also hosting hundreds of our travel industry and business leaders for a gala dinner at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

With a splash of its red and gold signature colors, Emirates showed in a big way this week how tourism drives our economy and strengthens our community. Literally overnight, the airline made Orlando immensely more accessible for the travelers it serves from the 145 cities worldwide - many of which are located in the fastest-growing populations on our planet. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority estimates that the new service will result in more than $100 million of economic impact and 1,400 jobs in Central Florida. While regular service to Orlando is scheduled to be offered on 777 aircraft seating 266 passengers, I won't be surprised after what I saw this week if by working together with our community and business leaders, Emirates decides to increase use of the A-380 on its route to Orlando in the future.

- George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Tax Collections Soar in July

resesrch chartCollections of Orange County's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) rose 18 percent in July versus the same month last year. The Tourist Development Tax is 6 percent of the nightly rate for short-term accommodations. Collections for the year through July are more than 11 percent ahead of last year's record-setting amount, thanks to a 6 percent increase in the number of occupied room nights, plus a 5 percent increase in the average room rate. Year-over-year growth in TDT collections has exceeded 10 percent in ten out of the past 12 months.

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Visit Orlando Updates
Emirates Celebration

Visit Orlando Hosts Media in Celebration of Emirates' New Orlando Service

In celebration of the inaugural Emirates direct flight between Dubai and Orlando, Visit Orlando hosted 11 media representatives from United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sri Lanka. The five-day press trip showcased Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, shopping at Mall at Millenia, several dining experiences, and accommodations at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. In addition, the media received a tour of Lake Nona's Medical City with educational presentations from Orlando officials.

Orlando Stories Campaign

Orlando Stories Campaign Launches in the United Kingdom

The Never Ending Stories campaign continued its global roll-out this week in the United Kingdom. The seven-week campaign targets families with an integrated media plan including broadcast TV, digital advertising and a one-week mail online takeover. This heartwarming new creative also features a monthly sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando, driving consumers to post a photo, video or testimonial on OrlandoStories.com.

Orlando Stories Campaign Canada

Now Breaking: "Orlando Stories" Kicks Off in Canada

This week marked the launch of the Never Ending Story campaign in Ontario, Canada. The four-month-long campaign will use a variety of digital and OOH executions, including outdoor boards at Yonge & Dundas and Yonge & Gerrard, some of the most heavily trafficked areas in Canada. Visit Orlando has also partnered with TravelBrands and Air Canada Vacations to extend the "Share Your Stories" message and showcase the unique emotions experienced during an Orlando vacation.
Brazilian Magazine

Visit Orlando Hosts Brazilian Magazine for 10-Day Photo Shoot

Visit Orlando is currently hosting Brazilian magazine Pais & Filhos for a 10-day photo shoot for its biannual Fashion Edition to be published in November. The 92-page issue will highlight I-Drive 360 attractions, Crayola Experience, Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, plus a variety of hotels and shopping, dining and entertainment venues in the area. The fashion edition will be complemented by three, eight-page feature stories about Orlando in its October, November and December editions that will also include coverage on the theme parks. The crew has been collecting video of all the locations they have visited to create eight segments for the magazine's YouTube channel, and have been busy posting photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook all week.


Destination Services Team Member Represents Orlando at APCO Expo

Visit Orlando Ambassador Robin Castellano was recently in Washington, D.C. showcasing Orlando at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO International) Annual Conference & Expo. The Florida Chapter of APCO shared Visit Orlando's booth, which had Florida-themed decorations, giveaways and photo opps to get attendees excited about the 2016 conference, which will be held in Orlando.

HB Cares Invitational

Convention Sales and Westgate Resorts Attend 6th Annual HB Cares Invitational

Ken Barnett, director of intermediary accounts for Visit Orlando, and Paul Williams, director of sales for Westgate Resorts, attended the 6th Annual HB Cares Invitational in Wisconsin last weekend. The three-day event brought together 100 of HelmsBriscoe's top planners, along with 100 suppliers, for a weekend of fundraising, networking and CSR activities. Some 3400 hygiene kits from Clean The World were put together for families in need in Wisconsin and surrounding areas. Orlando-based Clean The World was also presented with a check for $60,000, which was generated from the events that weekend. Above, from left: Bill Briscoe, cofounder of HelmsBriscoe; Ken Barnett, Visit Orlando; Roger Helms, cofounder and CEO of HelmsBriscoe; and Paul Williams of Westgate Resorts
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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Imprinted Sportswear Show
Annual Convention
Sept. 10
Sept. 12 2,000 $3,940,000
Surf Expo
SURF EXPO - September
Sept. 10
Sept. 12
26,000 $51,220,000

Emirates' First OIA Flight Draws Water Salute

The first Emirates flight landed in Orlando on Tuesday, making a new connection between Florida and Dubai.

Read More

Rosen Shingle Creek

Rosen Planning Expansions at Three Hotels

Looks like the 1,500-room Rosen Shingle Creek and two other Rosen-owned hotels are about to undergo major expansions.

Read More

Universal Expanding Cabana Bay Beach Resort by 400 Rooms

Universal Orlando will add 400 rooms to its Cabana Bay Beach Resort, bringing the total number of units for the hotel to 2,200, the company announced Monday.

Read More

Could Uber Get Its Way in Orlando by Leaving?

You can't always get what you want, but Uber certainly found a way to do so in Broward County - and its approach may work in Orlando

Read More
International Drive

Orlando's Retail Real Estate Market Thrives With Record Tourism

You may be tired of getting stuck in Orlando's tourist corridor traffic - but the visitors are a big reason that the region's retail real estate industry is booming.

Read More

Orange County's July Tourist Development Tax Outperforms Last Year by 18 Percent

Orange County's July tourist development tax collection rate was nearly 18 percent higher in year-over-year metrics.

Read More

Empire Hotel

Exclusive: New 365-Room Hotel Slated for I-Drive Area

A New York real estate development firm appears to be preparing plans to build a new high-rise hotel on Universal Boulevard just behind the Orange County Convention Center.

Read More

New Flights to Dubai Prompt Central Florida Sales Trip to Mideast

Central Florida businesses are pouncing on a new direct flight between Dubai and Orlando as a new sales opportunity.

Read More
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Industry News
TSA Airport

TSA PreCheck Enrollment Tops 1.5 Million

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Monday that 1.5 million people have signed up for its PreCheck known-traveler program.

Read More

Labor Day Travelers to Spend $13.5 Billion, up 2% From Last Year

Restaurants, gas stations, hotels and other tourism businesses should have a profitable Labor Day weekend, as U.S. travelers are expected to spend an estimated $13.5 billion during the end-of-summer holiday, a 2% increase over the previous Labor Day weekend.

Read More

Rapper Pitbull Teams With Visit Florida to Promote Tourism

Rapper Pitbull is partnering with Visit Florida to promote tourism. The Miami-based rapper will film his upcoming video for "Sexy Beaches" in Florida.

Read More

20 Charts Showing Surprising Trends in Global Last-Minute Travel

People's lives and schedules are often unpredictable and in many cases the days of planning travel several months in advance are long gone.

Read More

Why Travel Needs to Embrace Cross-Device Marketing

The way we advertise to and engage with consumers has changed dramatically thanks to the explosion of mobile.

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How Destinations Are Using the Personal Touch to Draw Visitors Online

A recent white paper supports the notion that travelers respond well to personalized messages from Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).

Read More

2015 Q2 Data Reflects Continued Gains for Exhibition Industry

After a sharp increase in the first quarter, the performance of the business to business exhibition industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, remained relatively strong during the second quarter of 2015, posting a year-on-year gain of 3.8%.

Read More

Why Are More Hotels Heavily Promoting Direct Booking Today?

While more travelers are going online to book hotels these days, that hasn’t necessarily translated to a rise in direct bookings for hoteliers.

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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