Save the Date!

Party at the Pointe

Visit Orlando Events

Jan. 21
Business Referral Group

The Pub Orlando
9101 International Drive
Cost: $20 Inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Feb. 4
Member Orientation
Click here to register.
Please note: through the holiday season, Member Orientation for December and January will not be held. The next session will be held Feb. 4, 2016.

Feb. 24
10th Annual Party at the Pointe
Pointe Orlando

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

Now through March 30, 2016, experience the nostalgia of driving a classic car or the thrill of driving a sports car for $25 off of any rental. Happy Dog Motors offers unique rental cars for a truly memorable visit. Take a day trip to the beach, explore some of the small towns outside of Orlando or just go cruising. Show this offer on your phone/tablet or print a copy to redeem on site.

Community Events

Jan. 14-18
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Legends
Amway Center

Ringling Bros.

Jan. 15-18
10th Annual Otronicon
Orlando Science Center

Through Jan. 16
Florida Sculpture Guild Presents La Creatura
Crealdé School of Art

Jan. 16
32nd Annual Downtown Orlando Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
Lake Eola Park

Jan. 16
The Color Run | Tropicolor
Central Florida Fairgrounds

Jan. 16
Orlando Philharmonic: Brahms Symphony No. 2
Mayor Bob Carr Theater

Jan. 16-17
Central Florida Scottish Highland Games
Central Winds Park, Winter Springs

Highland Games

Jan. 16-31
Wild Days at SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando

Through Jan. 17
Holidays at the Waterhouse
Art & History Museums - Maitland

Jan. 20
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Jan. 23
2016 Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Lake Eola

Jan. 23
Color In Motion 5K
Artegon Marketplace

Jan. 23-31
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts & Humanities
Downtown Eatonville and Various Venues


Jan. 24
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Red Priest
Rollins College, Tiedtke Concert Hall

Through Feb. 7
Dancing Lessons
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Through Feb. 16
Artists-in-Residence: Marie Yoho Dorsey
Art & History Museums - Maitland

Through Feb. 21
100 Years of Hannibal Square: Historic and Contemporary Photographs of West Winter Park
Orange County Regional History Center

Through March 21
Penelope, Princess of the Peacocks
Winter Park History Museum

Through March 26
Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park
Winter Park History Museum

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

Through June 5
Behind Closed Doors: The Collection

Art & History Museums - Maitland, Maitland Historical Museum

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 the19th-Century Environment
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

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

President & CEO's Message

Jan. 15, 2016

The Evolution of Orlando

George AguelEarly this week Expedia named Orlando the "Destination to Watch for 2016." This high praise from the leading online travel company comes as a result of an expansion in leisure services and activities. Long known for theme parks, Orlando is now also being looked at by travel-makers, like Expedia, as a "legitimate foodie destination, a city with actual luxury hotels and a year-round destination where families can have genuine fun..."

Orlando's meteoric rise on the culinary scene comes on the heels of three consecutive years of garnering the most nominations of any Florida destination for the prestigious James Beard Foundation's Restaurant and Chef Award. In fact, five of our area chefs were recognized as semifinalists in the "Best Chefs in the South" category for 2015. Orlando was also named among the "10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2015" by Wine Enthusiast and The New York Times cited the destination's "surprising food scene" when it listed us as one of the "Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015."

Luxury hotels with expanded offerings for couples were another reason for the nod from the online travel giant. Coupled with the emergence of new attractions beyond our famous theme parks, the destination is poised to offer a greater variety of experiences than ever before. In fact, attractions like The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Pointe Orlando and the Orlando Eye were given as examples of why Expedia claims Orlando is "worth a closer look."

As we enter 2016, we are excited the travel industry is once again recognizing what we've long known: Orlando is a world-class destination with a wide variety of experiences and countless reasons to visit again and again.

-George Aguel

back to top
From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

TDT Collections up 8 Percent in November

The Orange County Comptroller announced that November collections of the County's tourist development tax were 7.8 percent higher than the same month last year. Collections through the first 11 months of the year were 11.2 percent ahead of the same time last year. With December collections still to be reported, 2015 collections have already surpassed 2014's annual total, thus guaranteeing a record year for collections.

back to top
Visit Orlando Updates

China viseo

Chinese Video Crew Films in Orlando

This week Visit Orlando hosted a Chinese production crew filming a series of travel shows capturing the breadth and depth of the Orlando destination. Over the course of the week, the crew filmed at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, The Orlando Eye as well as at The Mall at Millenia. The show (named Qu luxing...or translated loosely to "Go/Fun") is hosted by Si Wen Jia, who is a popular talk show host and actress. These travel shows will be seen in China beginning March 2016.

MSN Canada

Destination Story Featured on MSN Canada Reaches 9 Million Unique Viewers

Following an individual press trip hosted by Visit Orlando in October, MSN Canada recently featured a Today's Parent destination story about what to do in Orlando outside of Disney, reaching 9 million unique viewers. The article first appeared online in Today's Parent in late December.


Visit Orlando & Orange County Convention Center Sponsor PCMA Buyers Luncheon

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is the definitive authority in education, business networking and community engagement for leaders in the global meetings, convention and business events industry. With more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers, PCMA is the leading organization for meeting and event professionals. Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center co-sponsored the Hosted Buyers Luncheon at the PCMA's Convening Leaders Conference in Vancouver Jan. 10-13. More than 40 meeting professionals learned about what's new in Orlando during the lunch presentation

Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center also sponsored a client event during PCMA at the Pinnacle Hotel's Vistas 360 venue. We hosted top meeting planners from both associations and corporations as well as media from all over the country at this event. Shown above, left to right: Fred Shea, senior vice president of Convention Sales and Services, Visit Orlando; Kasey McNeil, meeting planner, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Yulita Osuba, deputy general manager, Orange County Convention Center; Yvette Clark, senior meeting manager, American Academy of Otolaryngology; Maureen Feck, director of events, TrueValue; Alex Zapple, senior manager, Meetings, American Society for Nephrology.



Orlando Presence at RCMA Emerge Sees Results

Visit Orlando's Convention Sales team attended RCMA Emerge Conference in San Diego, California, Jan. 5 -7, 2016. RCMA is a nonprofit, multi-faith organization consisting of individuals who are responsible for planning and managing meetings, conferences, conventions, and assemblies for their religious organizations. Collette Johnson networked with 50-plus customers, and received eight RFPs. During the free night, Visit Orlando partnered with the Orange County Convention Center, Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek, and Rosen Hotels to host a dinner for 15 clients at the Hornblower Cruises, and cruised the San Diego Bay.


Check Out Orlando's Theme Park Openings in 2016

Hold on tight! We've got your front row seat to all that's new in Orlando in 2016. From the icy wonders of Disney's "Frozen," the chilling thrills of Universal's "King Kong" to Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster, SeaWorld Orlando's Mako, 2016 is building up to be a year of epic new thrills in Orlando. We've gathered a list of 16 new openings of exclusive experiences mixed with activities specifically for kids and families across the theme park capital of the world.

WDW marathon

Visit Orlando's #WDWMarathon Instagram Post Garners Record Likes

Visit Orlando's social media continues to inspire excitement for Orlando. Last weekend's @visitorlando Instagram post was a favorite among followers. The image posted captured race participants entering the Magic Kingdom during the popular runDisney signature event at the 23rd Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

Mangos Grand Opening

Celebrating Mango's Tropical Café's Grand Opening

Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel (shown above, right) joins Mango's Tropical Café COO Joshua Wallack on stage for the new entertainment venue's grand opening celebration Thursday evening.

back to top
News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Orlando Volleyball Academy MLK Volleyball Tournament Jan. 16 Jan. 18 10,000 $650,000

Orlando City - JetBlue

JetBlue Airways Now Orlando City's Official Domestic Airline

JetBlue Airways becomes Orlando City Soccer Club's first official domestic airline partner. The popular airline will promote the Club's regularly scheduled MLS matches at the Orlando Citrus Bowl through its "Upgrade of the Game" promotion. The promotion launches March 6 at the Club's season opener.

Read More

Frontier Airlines Adds Summer Service From Pittsburgh to Orlando

Frontier Airlines has announced it will offer flights several times a week between Pittsburgh and Orlando, one of five destinations it's adding to its service. The announcement comes on the heels of last week's news that it is adding 42 new routes nationwide this spring (including nonstop service between Austin and Orlando).

Read More

Heavy Convention Center Traffic Expected on International Drive This Weekend

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) recommends alternative traffic patterns this weekend due to expected attendee traffic generated by several meetings being held at the Center Jan 16-17. All OCCC parking lots will be open and shuttle service provided. Click here for parking and shuttle locations.



Orlando Among Busiest Cities With Hotel Construction in 2016

U.S. Today reports that at least 865 hotels, with 103,230 rooms, are currently under construction and scheduled to open across the United States in 2016, according to hotel research firm STR, as developers boost investments to match surging demand. Of the 10 cities with the most rooms under construction, Orlando is expected to add 2,600.

Read More

Orange County Convention Center Shows, Attendees Donated $2.3 Million Locally in 2015

It's estimated that Orange County Convention Center conventions and tradeshows and their exhibitors and attendees donated more than $2.3 million in goods and services were to local organizations.

Read More

Disney Seeks to Add Drones to Shows

Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort has filed for Federal Aviation Administration approval to use drones in the theme park's live nighttime entertainment shows.

Read More

back to top
Industry News

business travel

GBTA: Stable Growth Projected for U.S. Business Travel Spending in 2016

According to the Global Business Travel Association's GBTA BTI™ Outlook - United States 2015 Q4 report, U.S. business travel spending is predicted to grow at 3.2 percent ($299.9 billion) this year and 3.5 percent ($310 billion) next year.

Read More

Skift Releases Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016

Skift Magazine's Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016 is devoted to analysis of 15 big global travel industry trends, from changes in consumer habits and travel brand marketing to changes in use of consumer data to understand the traveler, among others.

Read More

Marriot International & PCMA to Examine Technology's Impact on the Future of Meetings

Marriot International and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) recently announced at this week's PCMA Convening Leaders event that they will partner in reviewing the impact of next generation technology on meetings and events, including technology trends that are influencing daily living and how people interact.

Read More



Survey: Trust Factor for U.K. Travelers When Booking Online Trips

In a survey this month of 355 U.K. consumers, 93 percent of U.K. travelers expect to travel for leisure in 2016. For 60 percent of them, trust is the most important factor in their decision making when booking a holiday online.

Read More

Video on Demand Remains Expected Hotel Amenity

According to interactive content and connectivity solutions provider SONFI Solutions, guests still expect traditional video on demand availability across all hotel segments, with 40 percent of users who browse on-demand content making a purchase.

Read More

REAL ID Deadline Extended to 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has moved the deadline for U.S. Flight passengers to comply with the REAL ID Act to January 2018.

Read More

back to top
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
back to top