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VisitOrlando.com's blog reached 1.75 million unique readers in 2015. Click here for our top 10 blogs in 2015.

Visit Orlando Events

Jan. 28
Business Referral Group

Dexter's of Windermere
4757 The Grove Drive
Cost: $20 Inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Feb. 4
Member Orientation
Click here to register.

Party at the Pointe

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.

Congratulations Members

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of Visit Orlando! Login to MyVisitOrlando.com, click "Connect with Others" and then select "Newest Members" to view the most current list.

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. 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

Feb. 12-14
Winefest XXV
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards

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

March 4
National Academy Foundation (NAF) Dinner Auction
Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside

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

April 8
Florida Film Festival

April 16
Cattle Barons Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

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

Connect With Visit Orlando

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Be sure to follow us at @VisitOrlando.com 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!

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President & CEO's Message

Jan. 22, 2016

The Big Business of Meeting

George AguelThis week 43,000 golf enthusiasts will arrive in Orlando to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the PGA. The organization's annual convention, which has long been hosted in Orlando, is the first of many slated for the destination in 2016. In fact, together with the International Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Expo, next week's attendees are estimated to be more than 100,000 — making this one of the best New Year's starts in recent history.

Recognized as the number one destination for meetings and events in the United States and second for major trade shows, Orlando is positioned to welcome a banner number of conventions in 2016. Some of the shows for the upcoming year include the National Association of Realtors, Microsoft and McDonald's Corporation. Citywide attendance from major conventions is already up 6 percent year over year, and business booked by Visit Orlando for future years has also increased by the same amount.

As we know, conventions equal big business for Orlando, but did you also know that face-to-face meetings result in long-term profit for corporations as well? In fact, nine out of 10 executives say meetings improve their ability to close deals and 97 percent claim they deliver a hefty return on the investment, which is why business leaders are making in-person conventions, trade shows and client events a financial priority for 2016.

The surge in convention and trade show business means more jobs, heightened exposure and nearly $7 billion in economic impact to our community. That's good news for those of us in the tourism industry and all who call Orlando home.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

December Caps Record Year for Lodging

Occupied room nights (aka demand) in December increased 2.5 percent versus the same month last year, setting an all-time high for the month with more than 2.7 occupied room nights. December capped a year in which every single month set a record for occupied room nights. For the year, occupied room nights rose 5.3 percent and exceeded 33 million for the first time. The 2015 average daily rate was $112.00, 4.8 percent higher than 2014 and a record for Orlando. Orlando's occupancy rate averaged 77.0 percent in 2015, up 4.1 percent versus 2014 and the highest annual average since 1997 (79.0 percent).

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Visit Orlando Updates

FL Capitol

Visit Orlando Meets With State Legislators During Florida Tourism Day

Visit Orlando's Larry Henrichs was appointed to the FADMO (DMO) Board and participated in Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol on Jan. 20. The event, hosted by Visit Florida, gave industry representatives opportunities to meet with legislators and visit the Capitol. Henrichs met with Senate President Andy Gardiner and Sen. Darren Soto, and Representatives Matt Gaetz, Eric Eisnaugle, Rene Plasencia and Jennifer Sullivan.

UK Magic Game

Visit Orlando Hosts U.K. Trade Partners at Magic Game in London

The Visit Orlando U.K. team hosted 34 key trade partners at last week's NBA game held at the O2 in London where the Orlando Magic faced the Toronto Raptors. Although the Orlando Magic narrowly lost, it was a big win for Visit Orlando. With two dedicated hospitality suites, attendees ranged from airlines, tour operators, park partners and trade media. The Visit Orlando team was able to network with the industry members in a fun environment showcasing another side of the destination. For many of the guests, it was their first live basketball game so the event was a unique and memorable experience. Outside of this key fixture, the team also carried out an inward mission with dedicated sales calls with top clients BA, Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook, Merlin Entertainment and the theme parks coalition group to discuss the U.K. market and future opportunities to drive the destination top of mind throughout 2016 and into 2017.

Mexico FAM

Mexico Travel Agents Visit Destination for First Time, Thanks to Visit Orlando FAM

One of Orlando's Mexican Tour Operators, GTM Operadora partnered with Visit Orlando to host a familiarization (FAM) tour for its top 11 travel agents along with our new trade representative, Ms. Guadalupe Marquez. The FAM group, composed of agents from the regions of Aguascalientes, Leon and Guanajuato, was introduced to the breadth and depth of the destination's offerings. Ninety percent of the participants were visiting Orlando for the first time. Hosted by the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, a Rosen Hotel, the group enjoyed the three main theme parks, I-Drive 360, shopping venues, and some of the unexpected Orlando, including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. They even received a special invitation to attend Mango's Tropical Café's Grand Opening.

Orlando Dubbed "Florida's Culinary Capital"

The Visit Orlando Publicity team worked with a freelance writer on a U.K. piece highlighting the best restaurants in Orlando featured on Skyscanner.net.


SeaWorld video

Join the Conversation on SeaWorld Orlando's Wild Days Weekend #2

Check out this @VisitOrlando Instagram #wilddays post and let us know what you think! Who doesn't love owls - or penguins - for that matter? This weekend (Jan. 23-24), the second one of the three-weekend event, SeaWorld Orlando's Wild Days Weekends is devoted to Penguin Lovers.

Surf Expo

Surf Expo Riding the Wave, Celebrates 40 Years

This year Surf Expo celebrates its 40th anniversary as the multi-billion dollar surfing industry's largest and longest running tradeshow. The launch of the tradeshow in 1976 coincided with the establishment of pro surfing and a lifestyle that has captured the imagination of the world. Surf Expo & Emerald Exposition has produced their January & September shows in Orlando for 30 years, starting in 1986 at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center and will continue through 2026. Trade Show News Network has also named Surf Expo one of the top 25 fastest growing shows in attendance. Above, from left to right: Roy Turner, senior vp at Emerald Expositions; Jody Mosley, operations director at Emerald Expositions; Lori Jenks, senior vp of Operations at Emerald Expositions; and Sandra LaFrance, operations manager at Emerald Expositions


Social Media Team Launches New Video Series Spotlighting Destination's Outdoor Offerings

From airboating along the headwaters to the Everglades, ziplining among the treetops to waterskiing on the doorstep of the Magic Kingdom, Orlando's outdoors has a lot going for it. Visit Orlando's social media team has launched a new video and blog series hosted by national travel correspondent Sarah Sekula promoting the outdoor thrills visitors can enjoy in Orlando.

Corporate & Incentive Travel Mag Readers Honor Visit Orlando With Award of Excellence

Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine has honored Visit Orlando with an Award of Excellence for "Outstanding Service to the Meetings and Incentive Travel Industry". The Award of Excellence recognizes those hotels, resorts, conference centers and convention and visitors bureaus that have demonstrated their overall commitment to excellence. The 40,000-plus subscribers are offered the opportunity to vote for hotels, resorts, conference centers and CVBs that effectively hosted their meetings and incentive travel programs based on service and support, and a high level of supplier facilities, attractions, transportation and other criteria. Visit Orlando is a 20-time winner of this prestigious award.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition Annual Winter North American Convention Jan. 25 Jan. 27 60,000 $118,200,000
Professional Golfers Association Merchandise Show Jan. 27 Jan. 29 41,000 $80,770,000

Four Seasons

Orlando Hotel Garners AAA Five-Diamond Rating

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort was one of 10 Florida hotels named among AAA's Five Diamond Hotels list. Out of 28,000 hotels only a select few (.04 percent) make the prestigious list.

Read More


WHisper Creek

Travel Weekly Highlights Local Resort's Take on Farm-to-Table Trend

In a recent Travel Weekly news article, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen's Chef Jason Shapiro speaks about the value of farm-to-table produce and Grande Lakes Orlando's 7,000-acre garden that provides fresh produce to the complex's restaurants, including Whisper Creek.

Read More

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Industry News

international travel

International Travel Reached Record 1.2 Billion

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, 2015 saw an increase in international tourist arrivals by 4.4 percent.

Read More

DHS Releases Entry/Exit Overstay Report

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the Entry/Exit Overstay Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.

Read More

Orbitz: "Bleisure" Travel Key Trend in 2016

According to the Orbitz® Insider Index, one of the key trends to watch for in 2016 will likely include a rise in "Bleisure" travel, or mixing business with leisure, among millennial business travelers.

Read More



Survey: Face-to-Face Meetings Priority in 2016

According to a Meetings Mean Business survey of business leaders revealed at the recent PCMA Convening Leaders Conference, "in-person meetings are important to their companies, beneficial to operations and critical to career development."

Read More

Why Some Americans Did Not Vacation in 2015

A Skift survey taken in the beginning of 2016 asked Americans about how much vacation they took last year. Nearly 41 percent of Americans said they didn't take a single vacation day during 2015, similar to the 2014 survey.

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 OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands
United Service Companies
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