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@VisitOrlando checks out the Humpback Whales IMAX film showing at the Orlando Science Center's Dr. Phillips CineDome on Twitter.

Visit Orlando Events

April 7
Member Orientation
Click here to register.

April 7
Business Referral Group

Hurricane Grill & Wings
11048 International Drive
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

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

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida ranks among the top five hospitality and hotel management schools in the world, according to CEOWORLD Magazine. Rosen College ranked No. 5 on the magazine's list of the 50 best hospitality and hotel management schools for 2015.

Pegasus Transportation is the winner of Bright House Networks' Greater Orlando Area 2016 Regional Business Awards - Innovator of the Year. Each year Bright House Networks teams up with local chambers to "recognize outstanding companies and their success".

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.


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.


Holiday Inn Club Vacations® At Orange Lake Resort is a golfer's paradise, with four courses covering 54 distinct holes offering a variety of challenges. Through Aug. 31, 2016, Visit Orlando members receive a 50 percent off golf coupon for play at Legends or The Reserve when you purchase a golf lesson at The McCord Golf Academy. Reserve your golf lesson and tee time at 407-905-1955.

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.

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

April 1
Bacchus Bash
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®

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

March 31, 2016

Value Makes This Summer Hotter Than Ever

George AguelAs our spring break guests return home, we turn our attention to the upcoming summer travel months. While Orlando has long been considered the number one destination for families, it's also being recognized as a great family travel value. Just this week, the UK's Mirror reported that this is "the year to head for Orlando's theme parks," adding that Orlando has been ranked one of the highest value destinations for summer 2016. This is good news and comes at the same time we at Visit Orlando have been keeping the marketing pressure on the British consumer to come to Orlando.

As the British pound has dipped, there is a greater demand for high-value travel — giving international visitors yet another reason to consider Orlando. According to Bob Atkinson of TravelSupermarket, the "narrowing or complete closing of the gap between long-haul and short-haul summer sun prices is part of an incredibly unusual year." This means families who might plan to travel closer to home can now take the kids to our theme parks and attractions for an unforgettable vacation experience that includes an exciting line-up of new attractions, such as Sea World's Mako, Universal Orlando Resort's Skull Island: Reign of Kong, and the Frozen Ever After attraction opening at Epcot.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Consumer Confidence Rebounds in March

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose from 94.0 in February to 96.2 in March. The Present Situation Index, measuring consumers' assessment of current conditions, declined slightly from February. On the other hand, the Expectations Index, which measures expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy, rose in March as turmoil in the financial markets that marked the start of the year appears to have eased. Nevertheless, consumer confidence remains below January (97.8) and well below March of last year (101.4).

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Visit Orlando Updates


A Guide to Adventure Latest in "Outdoor Orlando"
Video and Blog Series

The latest in Visit Orlando's "Outdoor Orlando" series with host National Travel Correspondent Sara Sekula features A Guide to Adventure roundup blog with info graphic and video spotlighting the area's outdoor activities available for visitors to enjoy.

Qual Viagem

Brazilian Media Highlights Orlando's Sports Options   

As a result of a Brazilian media outreach effort, multiple online media outlets dedicated to topics ranging from sports and travel to fashion and news published stories featuring the area's sports scene. The articles, published by Qual Viagem Magazine, Brasil Fashion News, Releases de Turismo, Jornal MG Turismo and Rota 55, highlighted various sports topics and venues, including Orlando City Soccer, Orlando Magic games, the new golf complex and the USTA headquarters.

Chinese Media

Product Updates Shared with Chinese Travel Trade

Visit Orlando's China team joined with Brand USA in March to train 180 Shanghai-area travel professionals on Orlando's tourism offerings. The seminars took place at three of the leading tour operators selling travel to the United States.


Visitors & Attractions Guides Now Available

Visit Orlando's latest Official Visitors Guide and Official Attractions Guide are now available. The Visitors Guide, distributed to 800,000 consumers annually, showcases Visit Orlando member information visitors need when planning and visiting the destination. The 20-page Attractions Guide is distributed within the Visitors Guide and as a standalone through in-market hotels and drive market outlets, reaching 1.8 million annually. Visitors can request and download the Guides here.


Convention Sales Attends EnVision 2016

Visit Orlando attended the Experient EnVision 2016 meeting in Dallas last week. The annual meeting brings together Experient team members and suppliers for a three-day program, including one-on-one business appointments, group appointments, business presentation theaters, and networking meals and receptions. Shown above, from left: Scott Durkin, vice president, Partner Development, Experient; Ken Barnett, Visit Orlando; and Gary Schirmacher, senior vice president, Industry Presence and Strategic Development, Experient.


Daily Express

Orlando Featured on Top U.K. News Site

As a result of hosting an individual press trip, Orlando was featured in a Daily Express online article March 26. "Illusion, Thrills and Good Food: Discover Orlando" highlighted why now is the best time to visit Orlando - from new attractions at the theme parks to the destination's growing culinary scene. The outlet's readership is more than 6 million.


Visit Orlando & OCCC Partner to Host Citywide
Dinner in Chicago

Following the PCMA Spring Educational Program held in Chicago on March 15, Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center teamed up to host a dinner at Chicago's Fig & Olive for key citywide associates at Smith Bucklin to discuss future opportunities for Orlando. Shown above on left side of table: Anita O'Boyle, Parametrics Technology Corp.; Keri Cote, events manager, NAFEM and International Car Wash; Sholeh Munion, events manager, Oracle Users Group (OHUG); Katie Karmowski, convention manager, Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG); Cassie Thompson, events manager, Catia-Software User Group & ASUG Users Group. Shown on right side of table: Kathleen Cotter, Orange County Convention Center; Benjamin Rabe, director, Kehe and AHA programs; Dave Weil, vice president, Event Services of Smith Bucklin; and Hayat Pronovost, Visit Orlando.


Chicago Team Attends PCMA Spring Ed Program

Visit Orlando's Chicago team attended the Greater Midwest Chapter's PCMA Spring Educational Program, "Getting to Success: Embracing Change, Encouraging Disruption, and Incentivizing Innovation," featuring Michele Romanow, Canadian tech entrepreneur, television personality, board director, venture capitalist and founder of SnapSaves. The March 15 program was followed by a networking reception. More than 200 industry professionals, including 65 meeting planners, attended the chapter meeting. Shown above, from left: Gloria Geske, division convention manager, Lions Club International; Sonal Sullivan, principal, Personalized Meetings; Cathy Ryan, senior director, International Events HIMSS; Jenna Cummins, director, Strategic Accounts, Experient, Inc.; Hayat Pronovost, Visit Orlando; Shalini D'Souza, meeting planner, Million Dollar Round Table; Barbara Balaguras, Visit Orlando; and Kathy Gorgan, manager, Convention Registration & Housing, Lions Club International.


CBI Pharmaceutical Show a Success

Visit Orlando, along with Universal Orlando Parks, Play with a Purpose, Rosen Hotels, Hello Florida and the Orange County Convention Center, attended the CBI Pharmaceutical Show at the New York Marriott Marquis, March 21-23. The show resulted in 20 combined scheduled appointments as well as walk through traffic at the booth. About 260 people attended this year's show. Several of our members captured new business opportunities from their meetings and connected with new end-user Pharmaceutical managers that typically are not available for individual appointments.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Lexmark Enterprise Software, LLC Lexmark Enterprise Software's Inspire 2016 Conference April 4 April 5 2,500 $4,925,000
AT&T, Inc. DIRECTV Revolution 2016 April 6 April 6 2,200 $4,334,000

Orlando Scores 2nd Most Shows on
Top 250 Trade Shows List

Trade Show News Network recently released its 2015 Top 250 Trade Shows in the United States list, ranked by net square footage. Orlando scored the second most number of shows on the list, with 24.

Read More


SeaWorld Debuts Guided Tour of Manatee Rehabilitation Area

In conjunction with Manatee Appreciation Day on Wednesday, SeaWorld Orlando opened Manatee Rehabilitation, an area for park guests to see the behind-the-scenes rescue and rehabilitation work SeaWorld does to help save wild manatees. Manatee Rehabilitation allows park guests to step into a working wild manatee acute care facility, come face-to-face with animals that have been ill or injured, and follow their journey to recovery.

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Chocolate Factory to Open at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando Resort announced a new addition to the Universal CityWalk lineup: The Toothsome Chocolate Factory & Savory Feast Emporium. Set to open later this year, the restaurant will bring together a specially created menu and an array of gourmet-level chocolates set in a 19th century-inspired, Steampunk-era chocolate factory.

Read More



MCO's January Passenger Traffic New Record

Daily passenger traffic at Orlando International increased 12 percent in January 2016 compared to January 2015.

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Adventures by Disney Adds New Central Florida Trip

Adventures by Disney has announced a new Central Florida vacation, beginning this summer. During the week-long vacation, families will enjoy unprecedented backstage access and VIP experiences at Walt Disney World Resort, set off on outdoor adventures in the wilds of Florida and thrill in a visit to the "Space Coast." 

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Apopka Recognized As Ecotourism Destination

Nearly 3,400 people attended the 4th Annual Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival and Birdapalooza last month, and more than 200 people participated in interactive tours of the Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Drive led by St Johns River Water Management District and Orange Audubon Society. This year, in addition to the free, family-oriented festival, several well-known birding experts took visitors on wildlife watching tours. Next year's event takes place Jan. 20-21. With more than 360 species recorded, Lake Apopka has the highest identified bird species diversity of any inland site in North America and Audubon Magazine named Birdapalooza as one of the "5 Audubon Birding Festivals To Hit Up This Winter."

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Orlando Among World's Best Destinations

Orlando ranked No. 3 in TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Destinations - U.S. Awards, up 15 spots from last year. The awards recognize the world's most beloved travel spots, based on feedback and booking interest from the TripAdvisor community.

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Industry News


State's International Visitors Spend Nearly
$16 Million in 2015

According to VISIT FLORIDA's preliminary international visitors research, in 2015 the Sunshine State welcomed 15.2 million international visitors from 190 countries who spent nearly $16 million.

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JetBlue & Alaska Air Seek to Buy Virgin America

According to TravelPulse, as early as next week, Virgin could announce that it has been purchased by either JetBlue or Alaska Airlines.

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Airlines Serving U.S. Carried Record Passengers
in 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 895.5 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2015, 5.0 percent more than the previous record high of 853.1 million reached in 2014.

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JW Marriott

Marriott Reaffirms Starwood Commitment

After Starwood notified Marriott that it had received an updated unsolicited proposal from Anbang Insurance Group on March 26, Marriott International, Inc. on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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U.S. Gas Prices Climb Above $2

The national average price of gas climbed above $2 per gallon last Thursday for the first time in 2016, and average prices have increased for 21 consecutive days. Today's average price of $2.04 per gallon is up six cents per gallon on the week and 30 cents per gallon for the month. Despite the recent increase, average gas prices remain 39 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (March 30, 2016) indicate that zero (0) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 312 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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