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Thursday, August 25, 2016

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In one of @VisitOrlando's latest Facebook posts, Fans "immerse" themselves in a 360-degree, interactive look at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando. Just click on the image and move your phone around (if on a desktop, click and drag your cursor) for an expanded view.

Visit Orlando Events

Aug. 18
Business Referral Group

Taverna Opa
9101 International Drive, Suite 2240
2nd Level of Pointe Orlando
Cost: $20, inclusive.
Click here to RSVP.

Sept. 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


iResponze® responds to online guest reviews on behalf of hotels, while they deliver exceptional guest experiences. Guest reviews, in all channels, are responded to within 24-48 hours with an authentic and engaging voice. For a limited time, Visit Orlando members enjoy an exclusive offer of one free month of services. Call 800-528-3135 or visit iResponze.com for details. Offer expires Aug. 31, 2016.

palms villas

The Palms Hotel & Villas is offering a special rate for members, relatives and friends of $65 plus tax for suites-style condominium, including resort fee. They can accommodate up to six people in each suite. This is based on availability until Dec. 2016. For additional information or to book rooms, call 407-396-2229 ext. 2205.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is offering Visit Orlando Members up to 10% off of their stay. Call 407-477-7029 to reserve. Offer expires Sept. 30, 2016.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows is offering all hospitality employees a $5 discount on any After Hours show. An employee ID or recent paycheck stub is required to receive the discount.

Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College is offering Visit Orlando members $10 off a season subscription. For $55, you'll receive one ticket to The Foreigner, Upton Abbey: An Improvised Comedy of English Manors, A Piece of My Heart, and Urinetown, The Musical. Visit rollins.edu/annie for tickets and use code: VISITORLANDO.

Dollar Off Drinks is extending a 20% discount on their six-month and one-year memberships to Visit Orlando members. To redeem, use promo code: visitorlando.

hard rock

Hard Rock Café Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members free delivery on all offsite corporate catering. This could include breakfast or lunch meetings, customer appreciation events, employee appreciation events, holiday parties, etc. Customizable menus and options are available to fit the event's budget and vision. To claim this offer, email Jaclyn Eiler and reference the Visit Orlando website. Expiration date: Aug. 31, 2016.


Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members. They can go to orlandocitysc.com/visitorlando and use the promo code VISITORL to purchase discounted tickets for any of the last five home games this season.


Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10% 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.

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

Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association's 2016 Patriot Day Breakfast will honor local first responders and security personnel for their service in the line of duty. The event will be held Sept. 9, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, click here. Additionally, CFHLA encourages its members to thank local first responders by providing a meal or snacks to fire and police departments on Sept. 11, 2016.

Marlow's Tavern sets its grand opening date for its newest restaurant location for Aug. 9. The 3,500-square-foot tavern is conveniently located in front of EPIC Theatres in Lee Vista Promenade along Semoran Boulevard at Hazeltine National Drive in South Orlando. Guests are invited to become an Insider for specials and preview event invitations at MarlowsTavern.com.

Community Events

Aug. 13
Telemundo Presents Feria de la Familia Event for the Hispanic Community
Osceola Heritage Park

Through Aug. 14
Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art
Orlando Museum of Art

Aug. 17
OneBlood's Dollars For Dreams Blood Drive Event
Hilton Garden Inn at SeaWorld 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Aug. 20-Oct. 30
The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Orange County Regional History Center

Aug. 20 and 21
World-Renowned Animal Expert Jack Hanna Hosts "Wild Weekend"
SeaWorld Orlando

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

Through Sept. 3
The Hannibal Square Heritage Collection
Crealdé School of Art

Through Sept. 4
Art & History's Untold Stories Exhibition
Maitland Art Center

Sept. 15
Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll
Downtown Winter Park

Sept. 26
CMAA Sunshine Region Charity Tournament
The Country Club of Orlando

Through Sept. 30
Give Kids The World Event Sponsorship
Miniature-golf courses participating around the nation

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

Aug. 12, 2016

Insider's Guide to Innovating Your Travel Business

George AguelTechnology is no longer a choice - it's something we all must embrace in order to stay competitive, create awareness and grow relationships. Today's technology helps us solve problems and gives us the creativity and innovation to anticipate tomorrow's challenges. Every business needs to innovate, but where do we start? No one can answer this question better than Terry Jones who will explore the topic in the upcoming Business of Travel & Tourism Luncheon to be held on Thursday, August 25, at Hilton Orlando, after our economic summit that morning.

Terry will discuss the landscape that led to the founding of online travel agencies and their current effect on the industry. But more importantly, he will present technology as a driver of rapid change and how the cultivating of digital relationships and cultures of innovation will be integral to success.

Terry Jones has served as the founder of Travelocity, the founding Chairman of Kayak and the current Chairman of Wayblazer, a company that specializes in the marriage of innovation and travel. Years ago, this pioneer envisioned what the future of travel would be and continues to set the foundation for where we will be headed tomorrow. You won't want to miss his insightful discussions and insider perspectives on the future of travel and tourism.

Register now to attend this not-to-be-missed event.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Job Creation Accelerated Through the Summer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced payroll employment increased by 255,000 jobs in July, far exceeding economists' forecast for an increase of 180,000. This followed June's increase of 292,000, which also greatly surpassed consensus forecasts. Hourly wages also moved higher, as did the average work week, all positive signs for the labor market. June and July represent the strongest payroll increases all year and provide hope the U.S. economy is gaining some momentum as fall approaches. After growing just 0.8% in Q1 and 1.2% in Q2, the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank is forecasting GDP growth could reach 3.7% in Q3.

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Visit Orlando Updates

magical dining

Magical Dining Month Website Generating Traffic

Not only is Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month sponsored by American Express featuring the largest number of restaurants than ever before, but also traffic to the website is more than double than this time last year, with 360K page views. This means that diners are taking the time to study restaurant menus of participating restaurants before making their dinner reservations between Aug. 29 and Oct. 2.

The 2016 program currently features 95 participating restaurants, including venues in the new Disney Springs area to local favorites across town. One dollar from each meal will also be donated to local charity Russell Home for Atypical Children, with last year's program contributing more than $160,000 - the largest donation to date - to Elevate Orlando. Visit OrlandoMagicalDining.com to view a full list of participating restaurants and menus...and make a difference.

Instagram Stories

Use of Instagram Stories Generates 40K Views

Visit Orlando became early adopters of the new Instagram Stories platform introduced last week, generating 40,000 views of our posts about Universal's new Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Incredible Hulk Coaster and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The new feature lets users share all the moments of their day, not just the ones they want to keep on their profile, in a slideshow format. The photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and won't appear on the user's profile grid or in their feed. Learn more about how to use it here.


An Insider's Look at Universal's Skull Island

Visit Orlando captures an insider's look at Universal's Islands of Adventure's Skull Island: Reign of Kong during a tour of the attraction with Universal Creative's Executive Producer Mike West. Along the way, Mike shares some of the backstory and guest enhancements that were designed to create a one-of-a-kind ride experience from the moment you walk up to the attraction's entrance. Our leisure blog also features information about the ride.


Visit Orlando to Host Sony Channel TV Crew

All next week, Visit Orlando will host a TV crew from the Sony Channel in Brazil for a week-long TV shoot. The crew will film a series of vignettes highlighting the breadth and depth of the destination, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Kennedy Space Center, Orlando's culinary scene and so much more. These destination vignettes will air this fall in Brazil on the Sony Channel and on AXN Network, and will feature co-hosts Carla Fioroni, a popular TV and movie actress, and Mauricio Schuartz, a popular foodie and Brazil's version of American restaurateur and TV personality Guy Fieri.


UK Super Fam

U.K. Travel Agents to Experience Fam Trip of Lifetime to Orlando

Fifty U.K. travel agents have been selected to participate in a "Fam Trip of a Lifetime" to Orlando. This ultimate VIP experience sponsored by Visit Orlando and partners at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment®, Universal Orlando® Resort, and Merlin Entertainments will take place Sept. 19-26. The participating agents will learn about Orlando's most popular theme parks and newest attractions, world-class shopping options and dining experiences.

Good Food

BBC Good Food Generates Good Press for Orlando

BBC Good Food (circ. 233,954), a publication of BBC Worldwide, has published an article about Orlando, in print and online, as a result of a Visit Orlando press trip. The piece covers Orlando's expansive dining options and stylish accommodations. Partners included: STK, Morimoto Asia, Tapa Toro, Cask & Larder, Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, The Alfond Inn and The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek.

Brazil TV

Brazilian TV Show Films at Attractions With Popular YouTuber & Singer

"Hora do Faro," a popular Brazilian entertainment program on Record RV with more than 64.3 million viewers each week, visited Orlando last week for a two-day shoot. Show host Rodrigo Faro, known for his extensive acting career, visited some of Orlando's most exciting attractions, including SeaWorld Orlando, Gatorland, I-Drive 360 and Mango's. Faro paired up with popular Brazilian YouTuber and social media personality Camilla Uckers to film a comedic reality segment at the attractions. Brazilian singer Gusttavo Lima, who performed live in Orlando, also joined Faro for a one-on-one interview before the performance. The two Orlando segments will broadcast on two different episodes later this season. Pictured: The cast and crew of "Hora de Faro"


Mexican In-Flight Mag Tastes Destination's Flavors

V Magazine (circ. 8.4 million), the inflight publication for Mexican airline Volaris, published a seven-page spread about Orlando's culinary scene in the latest issue. The article, Orlando a mordidas, features beautiful photography of dishes at some of Central Florida's unique eateries, including Plant Street Market, East End Market, The Wine Room, Luma on Park and The Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The coverage was the result of a Visit Orlando press trip held earlier this summer.

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News About Orlando


This Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. Club BRP Global Product Reveal Aug. 16 Aug. 16 3,000 $5,910,000
International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. ICSC 2016 Florida Conference Aug. 22 Aug. 23 3,000 $5,910,000


WalletHub: Orlando Most Pet-Friendly City

WalletHub has named Orlando the 2016 Most Pet-Friendly City, with Birmingham and Tampa taking the number 2 and 3 spots, respectively. In order to identify the most pet-friendly cities in America, WalletHub's analysts compared the 100 most populated cities across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health & Wellness and 3) Outdoor Pet Friendliness.

Read More


More News on Pro Bowl Week

NFL's Premier Youth Football League recently announced that they are moving the NFL FLAG Championships and the Punt, Pass and Kick National Championship games to Orlando for the Pro Bowl Week in 2017. Both events will take place at Walt Disney World Resort's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Tickets will be on sale to the general public starting in October. Fans may register on ProBowl.com for exclusive presale opportunities and additional information on Pro Bowl Week fan events in Orlando.

Read More

It's Game On! at Sleuth's

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows recently announced the launch of an all-new dinner show experience. Game On! is a lower-cost, interactive experience designed for the entire family. Contestants are selected from the audience to compete in various wacky games of skill and knowledge.

Read More

Orlando Best Deal for Rental Cars

According to a new survey from CheapCarRental.net, Orlando is the cheapest city to rent a car, with an average rate of only $26 per rental day.

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MCO Begins Makeover of Ticket Lobbies

Work is under way on Orlando International Airport's ticket lobbies, a $146 million makeover meant to expand their size, improve their look and help passengers check in more quickly.

Read More



Video: Re-Vamped Hulk Coaster Now Open

Universal's Islands of Adventure's Incredible Hulk Coaster reopened last week with a brand new storyline, a new ride vehicle and new attraction entrance. Nearly 6K Instagramers have checked out @VisitOrlando's recent video and image posts about @Universalorlando's new Incredible #hulkcoaster.

Read More


Florida First Responders Receive Free Admission to SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando, Firehouse Subs and Coca-Cola are honoring Florida First Responders for their bravery, sacrifice and service. Now through Aug. 31, first responders can register to receive free admission to SeaWorld Orlando through Sept. 30. In addition, they can receive up to four discounted tickets for friends and family for just $49.50 per person, a 50% savings off general admission.

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Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon to Add New Raft Ride

Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon announced plans to open a new raft ride called Miss Fortune Falls near the park's existing Crush 'n' Gusher. It will have a ride time of two minutes, the longest of Disney's two water parks, and is scheduled to open spring 2017.

Read More

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Industry News


Hospitality Industry Adds 45K Jobs in July

The American Hotel & Lodging Association released a statement on Aug. 5 regarding significant job growth reported for the hospitality and leisure sector, where 45,000 jobs were added in July.

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Timeshare Industry Generates Nearly $80 Billion for U.S. Economy in 2015

The U.S timeshare industry contributed an estimated $79.5 billion in consumer and business spending to the national economy in 2015, according to a study conducted by Ernst & Young for the ARDA International Foundation (AIF). This impressive total includes more than 511,000 jobs with $28.1 billion in salaries and wages.

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American Announces Free In-Flight Entertainment

American Airlines will make all of its in-flight entertainment available to all passengers free of charge. Beginning this month, customers will have unrestricted access to the airline's content library from their own device or seatback entertainment systems.

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New Report Reveals Traveler Booking Habits

According to the MMGY Global's latest report, 2016-2017 Portrait of American Travelers, which focuses on travel booking trends, factors such as generation, loyalty program membership and travel agent use are increasingly driving how travelers book travel.

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Average Gas Prices Holding Steady

The national average price of gas has held relatively steady over the past week and has declined on just one of the past four days. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.12 per gallon, which is the lowest price for this date since 2004 and 26 cents below 2016's peak price to date of $2.40 on June 11. Today's price is one cent less than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 48 cents less than the same date last year.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available Aug. 3, 2016) indicate that six (6) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 1,818 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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ARDA Bags BB&T British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor
Darden Florida Distributing Company Florida Hospital The Florida Mall Lufthansa
The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Development Commission Orlando Health Orlando International Airport Orlando Magic
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