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Find out which #UniversalOrl Dragon's Challenge coaster — the Hungarian Horntail or Chinese Fireball — @VisitOrlando Twitter and Instagram followers prefer.

Visit Orlando Events

April 14
Business Referral Group

Bar Louie Orlando
7335 West Sand Lake Road
Cost: $18 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.


April 18
Visit Orlando's 20th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Grand Cypress Golf Club
1 North Jacaranda Street
To Benefit The Mustard Seed of Central Florida.
Tournament Sponsors

May 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

Plan to celebrate with McDonald's - The World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's & PlayPlace at their Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting ceremony on May 14, 4 - 8 p.m.

Member-to-Member Offers

CF Photography is offering a free two-hour photography shoot. Includes image editing, direct link to private on-line viewing gallery, hi-resolution images for printing, and low-resolution images for on-line posting. Contact Chris Figueroa at 718-872-8741 to schedule. The terms and conditions apply.


Holiday Inn Club Vacations® At Orange Lake Resort is more than a stay - it's a place to play. Enjoy seven swimming pools (including a lazy river-style pool and waterslides), mini golf courses, arcades, four golf courses, tennis courts, an 80-acre lake with plenty of watersports, fun zone and more. Visit Orlando members save up to 10% off your stay. Call 407-477-7029 to reserve your stay. Offer expires June 30, 2016.

Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members through Oct. 24, 2016. Click here to download information on group pricing discounts. Contact Christopher Benavides at cbenavides@orlandocitysc.com or call 407-480-4762 for more information.

Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10 percent off all water activities (parasailing, personal watercrafts, wake boarding, water skiing and more) now through Dec. 31, 2016. To claim this offer, call 407-939-0754 or email reservations@sammyduvall.com, and mention the offer code "visitorlando10" when booking.


Masterful Wine Events is offering Visit Orlando members 10 percent off the regular prices of wine, beer and spirit tastings. The venue located in the Church Street Historic District hosts up to 40 people while larger groups can be accommodated in the venue located across the street. Tastings and classes can be designed as spouse entertainment, team building (structured as a competition) or as an enhancement to a dinner or cocktail reception. Tastings can also be held at trade show booths, which has doubled traffic for past clients. To reserve your tasting, call 407-906-8622 and mention Visit Orlando.

ALL4 ONE SPORTS would like Visit Orlando members to experience Bubble Soccer. Enjoy a one-hour party rental at Soccer XL Indoor Soccer Complex for 10 players. Bump the competition and blow off some steam. To redeem this $400 offer, call 386-624-4084 or email all41sports41@gmail.com, and mention the offer code BUMP when booking.

Industry Events

VISIT FLORIDA is currently accepting Committee Applications for its 2016-17 fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA Committees, their value to the industry or to apply to serve on a committee, click here.

Community Events

Through April
Friday Nights at the Morse
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

April 8
Florida Film Festival

April 10
High Tea & Hats
Rosen Plaza Hotel

April 16
Cattle Barons Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Through April 17
Exhibition—Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture 
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

April 20
The 31st Annual Taste of Winter Park presented by CenturyLink
Winter Park Farmers' Market

May 20
Boys & Girls Club "Celebrate the Children"
Orlando World Center Marriott

May 21
Runway to Hope Spring Fashion Soiree
Rosen Shingle Creek

May 21
24th Annual Chef's Gala
Epcot® World Showplace

Through June 5
Behind Closed Doors: The Collection

Art & History Museums – Maitland, Maitland Historical Museum

June 2–4
Hispanic Chamber Business Conference & Expo Revisited
Orange County Convention Center – North Concourse

Through Aug. 31
Conversations: Selections From the Permanent Collection
Cornell Fine Arts Museum 

Focus Exhibition: Tiffany Studios’ Daffodil Reading Lamp
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Permanent Collection of Earl Cunningham Paintings
The Mennello Museum of American Art

Revival and Reform—Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Inside/Out: Steel, Paper, Bronze
The Mennello Museum of American Art

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

Be sure to follow us at @VisitOrlando on Instagram and Twitter, fan us at facebook.com/VisitOrlando or watch us at YouTube.com/VisitOrlando for more insider information about the world's most famous destination!

To sign up for our e-newsletter, click here.



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President & CEO's Message

April 7, 2016

Great Eats in a Great Destination

George AguelWe all know that Orlando has a vibrant dining scene, but lately more and more critics are taking notice as well. With acclaimed restaurants popping up throughout the area and James Beard Award semifinalists dotting the landscape, what has been a tempting culinary destination is now garnering more praise than ever. Visit Orlando has placed added focus to showcase how dining in our destination has become a big attraction.

Since 2014, we have hosted the James Beard semifinalist awards, sponsored the Food Blog Forum and ramped up attention for Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month - all of which have caught the attention of top foodie media outlets both at home and abroad. In fact, just this week Orlando dining was featured by Food Republic, one of the nation's foremost voices on food, drink, design and travel, in its listing of the "12 Dishes You Can't Miss in Orlando, Florida."

From ribs at Morimoto Asia to Cask & Larder's Nashville hot chicken, the list featured a smorgasbord of diverse and exciting recipes. High-end favorites like the tomahawk ribeye at the Waldorf Astoria's Bull & Bear sat alongside roti canai at Mamak Asian Streetfood and the butter chicken tacos at former foodtruck-turned-restaurant, Pig Floyd's. From the Rusty Spoon's take on shrimp and grits to the lomo de cerdo at the Four Season's Capa restaurant, there are many not-to-be-missed dishes in the destination.

The Food Republic article reflects the wide range of price points and restaurant styles that pepper our destination - ensuring that our visitors will always find great eats to fit every budget and craving no matter where their Orlando travels take them. So, the next time the question of where to eat comes up, be thankful we live in a place with so many flavors to explore and tastes to savor.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Orange County TDT Rises 5% in February

Collections of Orange County's tourist development tax totaled $20.8 million in February, up 5.3 percent from the same month last year and a record for the month of February. Collections were up 4.0 percent through the first two months of 2016. Collections of the tax are driven by how many rooms are occupied and the price paid per room. Thus far, in 2016, the primary driver for tax collections was growth in the price paid, up more than 5 percent, while occupied rooms were flat.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Visit Orlando/James Beard Scholarships Available

Visit Orlando, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, is pleased to offer three scholarships of $2,500 each to aspiring culinary professionals. Applicants must be a resident of Florida, have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and be enrolled or planning to enroll in a program of culinary arts, hospitality management, or food and wine studies at either the University of Central Florida or Valencia College. Application forms are available here. All scholarship application materials must be postmarked by May 15, 2016.


"Only in Orlando" Video & Blog Series to Premiere

Visit Orlando's Content & Social Media Team is producing a new point-of-view-style video and blog series to help audiences discover experiences that can only be found in Orlando. Kicking off with a day at Gatorland, each video and blog story will showcase the unique activities to do across the destination. The series is scheduled to premiere next week on visitorlando.com and social media channels.

In the meantime, @VisitOrlando's Facebook and Twitter feeds feature an animated gif capturing ziplining at Gatorland from a unique POV angle.

fresh food

Local Expert Blogs on Area's Culinary Bounty

In support of our unique dining in Orlando, Visit Orlando recently partnered with local dining expert and Canada native Kristen Manieri to guest write a VisitOrlando.com blog about farm-fresh dining across the destination. This story will also be a primary feature in a spring social media campaign in Canada about value and unique things to do in Orlando.

member orientation

March's Membership Orientation Well Attended

Lisa Young, marketing manager of Otown Tours, participated in the New Member Orientation session held at Visit Orlando headquarters on March 11. Forty other members took part in the session to network and learn more about Visit Orlando and how to access the many member advantages. The session is held each month for new members as well as for current members who want a refresher on ways to best leverage their membership. To learn about upcoming sessions, please visit the Events & Marketing Calendar.


Colombia Blanketed With Orlando Media Coverage

As a result of multiple Visit Orlando media relations efforts, Colombia has seen a vast number of national and regional media coverage this past week about Orlando's diversity of attractions. Colombia's RCN Television, which filmed and broadcasted a series of segments for its show "Viaja Por El Mundo con Cris Hurtado", aired a segment focused on Skeletons: Animals Unveiled at I-Drive 360. The segment was also posted on RCN's website and the network's social media channels, with an overall reach of 2.2 million viewers.

Additionally, Colprensa publishing house produced an article titled "Much More Than Theme Parks" that was distributed in all of its seven regional newspapers including El Nuevo Dia, Vanguaria Liberal and La Tarde de Pereira. The article featured the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, I-Drive 360 attractions, I-Dr Nascar, I-Fly and Orlando Balloon Ride. Finally, Boyaca 7 Dias and Llanos 7 Dias published an article for sports lovers highlighting the MLS soccer games and the renovations of the Citrus Bowl. Combined media circulation of the print publications is well over 150,000.


Brazil media

Brazilian Social Media Influencer Posts on Orlando

In partnership with Visit Florida, Visit Orlando hosted Brazilian model, fashion producer and television personality Maria Eugenia Suconic in Orlando April 2-4. Maria visited and posted Instagram photos of the Rosen Plaza Hotel, I-Drive 360 attractions and Mangos on International Drive as well as Park Avenue, the Wine Room and Luma in Winter Park. Besides Maria's successful career and TV following, @msuconic is one of the leading and significant social media influencers in Brazil, with more than 371K followers on Instagram alone.

Arabian travel

Pre-Conference Offers Cultural & Business Insights
for Dubai's 2016 Arabian Travel Market

In preparation for the 2016 Arabian Travel Market trade show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 25-28, Visit Orlando organized a pre-conference meeting with the participating members joining us at the Visit Orlando Arabia Travel Market booth. The March 6 meeting included two guest speakers - Bassem H. Chaaban, a director of outreach for American Islam and Kristen Miller, director of sales for Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort - who provided cultural insights as well as tips on how to conduct business in Middle East.


Chinese Travel Trade Experience Orlando Firsthand

Visit Orlando partnered with America International Travel Service (AITS) to host representatives from 20 Chinese tour companies for an Orlando familiarization tour March 31-April 3. Hosted by the Florida Hotel and Conference Center, the group enjoyed an educational tour of the destination's theme parks and shopping venues. Established in San Francisco in 2003, AITS has grown to be one of the largest wholesalers of U.S. travel products in eastern China, serving more than 20,000 travelers to the U.S. each year. Shown above, AITS China fam group during a visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Chicago lunch

Visit Orlando Co-Sponsors Chicago Travel Trade
Luncheon & Reception

Visit Orlando co-sponsored Visit Florida's Chicago Travel Trade Luncheon and Reception March 22 for 44 agents. In addition, the Travel Trade Team met with key accounts while in the Windy City, including Liberty Travel and Virtuoso agencies to update them on the destination. The team also conducted destination trainings in Milwaukee for 80 agents at Mark Travel's reservation center. Shown, above: Visit Orlando's Cheryl Jones presents during the luncheon.

Orlando Arts

Latest Issue of Orlando Arts Magazine Available

The March/April issue of Orlando Arts Magazine, United Arts of Central Florida's official publication, is now available. Readers can find information on The 25th Annual Florida Film Festival (which starts April 8) and a guide to cultural summer camp offerings for children ages 2 through young adults, and much more.

Produced and published by Visit Orlando bimonthly as part of a decade-long community partnership with United Arts of Central Florida, Orlando Arts Magazine, covers Central Florida's cultural and arts events. Distributed to 19,000 bimonthly, the magazine currently enjoys a pass-on rate to 75,000, with 54 distribution partnerships. To subscribe or to become a distribution partner, call Visit Orlando at 407-354-5552 or contact United Arts of Central Florida. To find out more on advertising opportunities, call 407-363-5826.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
McDonald's USA, LLC McDonald's Corporation Worldwide Conference April 11 April 14 15,000 $29,550,000
Deseret Book Company Time Out for Women 2016 April 15 April 16 1,500 $2,955,000

Duplo Train

LEGOLAND Expands Efforts to Accommodate Guests With Special Needs

LEGOLAND Florida Resort is partnering with Autism Speaks to install autism-friendly activities in the park.

Read More

Hello Kitty Shop Opens at Universal Studios Florida

The Hello Kitty Shop featuring Hello Kitty and Friends recently opened in Universal Studios Florida.

Read More

SeaWorld's Mako Coaster to Open June 10

SeaWorld Orlando has announced that Mako, Orlando's newest, tallest, fastest and longest coaster, will "surface" June 10, 2016.

Read More



Agent call center

Universal Orlando Launches Agent Website

Universal Orlando Resort launched a new travel agent website, including an online certification course for agents interested in becoming "Universal Orlando Resort Specialists."

Read More

New Stage Show Coming to Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World is introducing a new stage show this summer. "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire," will feature characters from some of Disney's newest classics, "The Princess and the Frog", "Tangled" and "Frozen".

Read More

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Industry News


OIA Cited As One of Only Three U.S. Airports That Have Increased Oversight of Airport Employees

According to a recent Skift article, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on transportation security Wednesday, April 6, with a specific focus on performing better vetting of airport employees. In the article, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) states that, out of 300 U.S. airports, only Atlanta, Miami and Orlando have reduced the number of entry points for airport workers and increased security screening.

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Domestic Leisure Travel Remains Strong

Growth in the travel sector of the U.S. economy remains positive despite a continuing decline in business travel, thanks to a consistently strong domestic leisure travel market, according to the U.S. Travel Association's latest Travel Trends Index (February 2015- February 2016).

Read More

Senate Proposes Boost to Transportation Security

According to a Travel Weekly article, Democrats said Tuesday, April 5, they will push proposals to boost security at airports, train stations and other transportation hubs in response to attacks by the Islamic State in Brussels and elsewhere.

Read More



E-Passports to Help Strengthen Travel Security

Effective April 1, the Department of Homeland Security requires the use of more electronic passports, or e-Passports, by all travelers coming to the United States from the 38 countries that participate in our Visa Waiver Program.

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GBTA Urges Fare Transparency Between Airlines & Biz Travel

The buyer members of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) were frustrated with the marketplace news that United, Delta and American all changed fare structures on multi-city trips without any advance communication to corporate travel managers. This represents a major faring change requiring transparency throughout the buyer community.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (April 6, 2016) indicate that zero (0) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 346 travel-associated cases have been reported. For the most current information about the Zika virus, visit the CDC's Zika page.

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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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