Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
Signature Event

Celebrating Travel and Tourism Luncheon

Click here to register. 

Join the Conversation
Jimmy Fallon

The Visit Orlando social media insiders give followers a preview of what to expect at Universal Orlando Resort's new ride, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.


Visit Orlando Events


April 26
Power Hour Lunch - Paddlefish Restaurant
Paddlefish Restaurant

1670 Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, FL 32830
Time: 12-1 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Join Disney Springs Marketing Manager Darcy Clark as you discover Disney Springs and learn about the latest developments for this recently transformed retail, dining and entertainment complex that only Disney could deliver. Get a refresher on the newest additions and gain insights into what's still on the horizon. Expect to walk away with details on new guest services, venues set to debut in 2017 and the newly refreshed creative campaign.
Cost: Visit Orlando Members - $25
Click here to register.

May 4
Member Orientation

Recommended for both new members and long-time Visit Orlando members to learn:
• How Visit Orlando markets the area as a convention, meetings and visitor destination;
• The benefits of membership; and
• How to take advantage of the value-added services available exclusively to members.

Click here t
o 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
Orange Lake Golf

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is more than a stay, it is a place to play. Enjoy seven swimming pools, including a lazy river-style pool, waterslides, miniature golf courses, arcades, four golf courses, tennis, an 80-acre lake with plenty of watersports, a fun zone and more. Visit Orlando Members save 20-25 percent off your stay. Call 866-892-5890 to reserve.


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

Citrus Club is offering Visit Orlando members 10 percent off the entire food and beverage total on all new events booked taking place in 2017. If you book two or more events together, you receive 15 percent off total. Call Citrus Club directly to redeem offer. Offer Code: 2017

Orlando Convention Photographers is offering new and current Visit Orlando members 25 percent off photography services for business portraits, services, meetings and marketing materials. Offer code: 012317

Premier Piano Shows is offering Visit Orlando members a $500 vendor discount off of any Corporate Dueling Piano Entertainment package (retail prices range from $3,275-$5,000 for 3-plus hour show). Click here to fill out a contact form with information about your event. Enter Promo Code VO500OFF. Not valid after 4/30/17


Orlando City Soccer Club is offering Visit Orlando Members discounted tickets to upcoming Orlando City and Orlando Pride games. Click here to find tickets and a promotional code!

The Salt Scene is offering Visit Orlando members a 45-minute Salt Therapy session at a special Visit Orlando rate of $15. Mention Offer Code VisitOrlando when booking. Offer expires April 29.

Florida HIA (Hospitality Industry Association) is offering a $5 discount individual membership (normally $25) for Visit Orlando members and their employees through May 31. Company memberships are 50 percent off. Florida HIA provides members with more than 50 free attractions and hundreds of exclusive discounts around the state. Be a tourism advocate for your employees and encourage them to experience Florida. Click here for offer redemption.

Do you have an offer that you would like to see posted? Submit an offer to Visit Orlando Member Relations here!

Industry Events

Join Texas de Brazil - Orlando on April 26 for its Bodegas Salentein Wine Tasting benefiting the American Red Cross Service and Armed Forces. The evening will feature Bodegas Salentein wines and appetizers crafted by Texas de Brazil. A donation of $30 from each ticket will benefit American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, with a minimum commitment of $10,000 from all Texas de Brazil wine tasting events held April 26-28.

The 2017 University of Florida Tourism Summit, taking place April 26-27 at Walt Disney World Resort's BoardWalk Inn, features four keynote speakers discussing the four most disruptive issues the tourism industry faces; crisis management, world economics, political turmoil, and the impact of technology. Register here.

I-Drive 360 Live Join Orlando's top businesses, vendors, and local artists for an evening of fun, food and live music on May 25 and experience Orlando from new heights atop the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. Company Coca-Cola Orlando Eye capsule sponsorships available.

K1 Speed Orlando Monday Night Hospitality Special! $12 races, plus $3 mini bowling. Industry employees must show valid ID or recent pay stub. Offer valid Mondays only.

Texas de Brazil would like to offer $8 off their regular pricing on Hospitality Mondays! Offer valid for up to four guests. This is available for all people within the hospitality industry. Must show business card, check stub, ID, etc. to receive special discount.

Community Events


Through May 6
Pinkalicious: The Musical!
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

April 21
In the Artist's Studio with Merline Labissière
Mad Cow Theatre

April 21 - May 7
Once I Laughed
Central Florida Community Arts

Through April 23
The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine: Selections From the Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum
Orlando Museum of Art

April 26
Bodegas Salentein Wine Tasting
Texas de Brazil - Orlando

April 28 - July 2
Architects as Artists
Art & History Museums - Maitland, Maitland Art Center

April 29
A Gift For Teaching, Back-to-School Blast!
Rosen Shingle Creek

April 29
Science of Wine
Orlando Science Center


April 29
The Ninth Annual Winter Park Paint Out Garden Party
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

April 30
High Tea & Hats 2017
Rosen Plaza Hotel

April 30
Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Through April 30
Dinosaur Invasion
Harry P. Leu Gardens

May 1-June 11
Matthew Weinstein: The Living End
Orlando Museum of Art

May 1-Oct. 15
Tin Can Tourism Exhibit
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

Through May 5
Bo Bartlett: American Artist
The Mennello Museum of American Art

May 5-7
A Cinderella Story - Orlando Ballet
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

May 9-14
Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando: Matilda
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

May 11-12
Wish Upon a Star: A Disney Revue
Central Florida Community Arts, Northland Church

May 11-21
Murder for Two
Winter Park Playhouse

Through May 14
The Black Figure in the European Imaginary
Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Through May 14
Orlando Science Center

Through May 15
Springtime at the Waterhouse
Art & History Museums - Maitland, Waterhouse Residence

June 2-3
Wine Quest Annual Wine Tasting and Auction
Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Connect With Visit Orlando

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President & CEO's Message

April 20, 2017

This Year's Not-to-Be-Missed Event

George AguelThe Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon, held during National Travel and Tourism Week, is one of Visit Orlando's most anticipated industry events of the year, featuring insights from global industry experts plus recognition for the importance of tourism to our region.
I am very happy to announce that our keynote speaker at this year's luncheon is Forbes Travel Guide CEO Gerald J. Inzerillo, who will share insights into the evolving world of travel and tourism. The Forbes Travel Guide, with its prestigious five-star rating system, has defined the best in travel for more than 56 years. His leadership has been instrumental in the successful globalization of Forbes Travel Guide as well as in the conceptualization and operations of breakthrough hotel properties such as Atlantis, One&Only Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels, Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels.
Prior to the luncheon, register for our Learning Lab session on the top meeting trends for 2017. Hear from
Vincent Alonzo, business journalist and editor-in-chief of Successful Meetings and Incentive, which are part of the Northstar Travel Group, on the current opportunities and challenges facing the business events community. During this open-dialogue discussion we'll look at the factors impacting the way today's meetings are sourced, planned and executed, including impacts of the new administration, emerging technologies, the new shared economy and the trend of experiential meetings.
So mark your calendar for Thursday, May 11, at the Hilton Orlando, and register today to reserve your seat!

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Mixed Outlook for Summer 2017

Positive indicators for summer 2017 (June-August) include growing airline seat capacity and attendance at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), while hotel bookings are showing some softness. Total non-stop seats into Orlando International and Orlando-Sanford International airports are 6.9 percent higher than summer 2016. Domestic seats, which account for 85 percent of total seats into Orlando, are scheduled to increase 6.8 percent and international seats are scheduled to increase 7.3 percent. The summer outlook for the OCCC is also positive, with June through August citywide attendance projected to be nearly 9 percent above last summer. On the other hand, hotel bookings for Summer 2017 are more than 6 percent lower than at this time last year according to reservation data from Travelclick.

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Visit Orlando Updates


U.K. Spring Campaign to Drive 2017 Summer Sales

The April/May time period is a key booking time for 2017 summer travel sales in the United Kingdom. To ensure Orlando is top of mind as families book their holiday, Visit Orlando is launching its 2017 integrated U.K. Spring Campaign this week. With an estimated 45 million impressions overall, the campaign's media elements consist of national TV, search engine marketing, online videos, digital display and social media advertising. The U.K. Consumer Landing Page has also been updated to feature this message. In addition, London's Wireless FM will broadcast live from Orlando on May 1-5 and will be syndicated on Manchester's Tower 107.4 FM and Wire 102.4 FM. The live remote will be augmented with outdoor advertising in markets being covered by the broadcast.

top destination

U.K.'s Mirror: Orlando a Top Family Destination

The Visit Orlando Public Relations Team assisted with a "plenty of deals" story in the Mirror online (22 million UMV) featuring favorite family destinations. "The top 5 long-haul destinations for a dream family holiday in 2017" recognizes that while some might not perceive Orlando as the most budget-friendly, it has "plenty of deals and packages that offer amazing value for money." This is a great example of how our team is reinforcing the value message through our ongoing conversations with U.K. media.


WTM Latin America 2017 Participation Up

During this year's WTM Latin America tradeshow, which is considered the leading global event for the Latin American travel industry, Visit Orlando and participating members conducted meetings with key travel trade clients as well as media from Brazil and Argentina. Held in São Paulo April 4-6, more than 600 exhibitors from 50 countries and 9,000 industry professionals, representing a 20 percent increase in participation from 2016, were in attendance. 

Star Wars

The Force Was With Us!

An estimated 60,000 people, wookies and storm troopers emerged at this weekend's Star Wars Celebration 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center. Held April 13-16, this was the third time Orlando has hosted the popular event, and the only city worldwide that this convention has been to three times. May the force be with us!

Pictured, from left, are: Vickie Keliher and Fred Shea, Visit Orlando; Mary Franklin, Reed Exhibitions; Carolyn Martin, Visit Orlando; and Este Meza, Lucasfilm.

UF Summit

George Aguel to Present at UF Tourism Summit

Tourism and hospitality industry experts will gather together at the 2017 University of Florida Tourism Summit, April 26-27, at Walt Disney World Resort's BoardWalk Inn. A roundup of notable speakers - including Visit Orlando's President and CEO George Aguel and Universal Orlando Resort CMO Alice Norsworthy - will discuss issues facing travel and how it impacts the tourism industry. Click here to register.

Visitors Guide

Official Visitors Guide Now Available

Visit Orlando's 2017 Official Visitors Guide has just been released. The guide, distributed to 800,000 consumers annually, is full of information on hotels, attractions, events, area maps and more. Special features on what's new, dining, shopping and other activities will help visitors plan their upcoming trip and learn how this dynamic destination is changing. This free guide can be requested by going to visitorlando.com/vacation-planning-kit.


US Capitol

George Aguel Meets With Commerce Secretary

Recently, Visit Orlando's George Aguel was in our nation's Capitol to meet with the new Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and attend the International Trade Administration's Tourism and Travel Advisory Board (TTAB) meeting. Aguel serves as the TTAB co-chair of the Visa Facilitation Subcommittee. The board met with the Secretary to discuss current industry issues and how they can best work with the new administration on behalf of the tourism industry. Photo by Martin Falbisoner

Green Award

William Dymond, Jr. & Steve Hogan Honored

Hundreds of community leaders joined together to congratulate William T. Dymond, Jr., president and CEO of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., (pictured, center) and Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, as they received the Orlando Economic Partnership's prestigious James B. Greene Award and Chairman's Award, respectively, on April 13. The annual award dinner recognizes individuals whose work has contributed substantially to the economic prosperity of the region.


Showcasing a Healthy Orlando Vacation

Visit Orlando pitched and secured U.S. and Canadian media outlets with a combined six million impressions to visit the destination to create stories on a vacation that involves physical fitness. Media outlets represented included DuJour Magazine (circ. 3,321,978), Best Health Magazine (376,000 UMV) and 29Secrets.com (2 million UMV).

Pictured: Journalists enjoy a golf lesson at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.


Orlando "Home Away From Home"

The Visit Orlando Public Relations Team assisted with a destination experience for a top Canadian family travel influencer, Listen to Lena, resulting in more than 500,000 social media impressions and 50,000 blog impressions. The blog post talks about Orlando's affordability, easy access and activities for everyone.

USA Volleyball

USA Volleyball Championships Celebrates 35 Years

This past weekend more than 23,000 attended the 35th Anniversary of the Florida Region of USA Volleyball Championships held at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The 2017 ASICS Florida Volleyball Challenge featured the Girls' Jr. Regional Qualifier, the Girls' Jr. Regional Championships and the Florida Region Awards Ceremony in one weekend. Although the Florida Region of USA Volleyball Championships has been held in Orlando for many years, this is the second year of the combined event now named "ASICS Florida Volleyball Challenge." They will return to the OCCC again next April.

Pictured, from left, are: Cheryl Shelton, Robert Wood and Rodney Gutierrez, OCCC; Ashley Shewey, Steve Bishop and Heather Belden, Florida Region of USA Volleyball Inc.; Joseph Kempa and Dorothy Kelley, Visit Orlando; Charlotte Chapa, OCCC.


Largest Tile & Stone Exhibition in North America a Success

Coverings'17, the largest annual global tile and stone exhibition in North America, took place in Orlando April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center with approximately 30,000 attendees. Coverings is scheduled to return to Orlando in 2019.

Pictured, from left, are: Michele Nebel Peake, Taffy Event Strategies; Jennifer Hoff, Taffy Event Strategies; and Faye Memoli and Ashley Heling, Visit Orlando.

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News About Orlando


At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
American Telemedicine Association ATA 2017: Telehealth 2.0 2017 April 23 April 25 5,000 $7,880,000
Penton Media, Inc. Aviation Week MRO Americas 2017 April 25 April 27 15,000 $15,760,000
Mack Brooks Exhibitions, Inc. ICE - USA/InPrint USA 2017 April 25 April 27 3,000 $5,910,000
The American Institute of Architects AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 April 27 April 29 16,000 $31,520,000


Food Network Show to Feature Orlando Restaurants

Six Orlando restaurants will be featured in upcoming episodes of The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." This is the first time the show, hosted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, has featured Orlando restaurants.

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STar Wars

Universal's Harry Potter to Transform for Christmas

For the first time at Universal Orlando Resort, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will transform for the most wonderful time of year - Christmas. Festive garland décor, each with its own unique detail, will complement the shops and architecture.

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All-New LEGOLAND Beach Retreat Now Open

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort is now open. The highly-themed village-style vacation resort features 83 brightly colored bungalows grouped into 13 horseshoe-shaped "coves" named after popular LEGO Minifigures.

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SeaWorld Releases Details on Infinity Falls

SeaWorld Orlando has announced its Infinity Falls will debut summer 2018. Thrilling rapids will roar through the brand new rainforest river experience, while adventure-seeking guests plunge down the world's tallest river rapid drop.

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Pet Expo

Orlando Top Summer Destination for Gen Z

Orlando is ranked fourth globally - and the only U.S. destination - among the top 10 summer destinations listed by families with Gen Z children (born 1995 or later), the new travel influencers, according to travel predictor Virtuoso.

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Seven Seas Food

More Star Wars-Themed Land Details Revealed

At a panel discussion during Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this past weekend, creative minds from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering shared additional details about the new galactic lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney Resorts.

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SEA LIFE Announces "Toddler Tuesdays" Program

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium has announced a new initiative for the youngest of underwater animal enthusiasts and their parents. Starting this month, "Toddler Tuesdays" provides a fun, up-close, hands-on experience Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 a.m.

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Community Events Spark MCO Passenger Growth

February continued building upon January's passenger growth at Orlando International Airport (MCO) spurred on by unique Central Florida community events such as the NFL Pro Bowl in January and the Daytona 500 in February.

Read More

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Industry News


Hotel Amenities America's Biz Travelers Prefer

A recent survey by hotel metasearch company HotelsCombined indicates the hotel amenities that U.S. business travelers care about when traveling. Sixty percent considered complimentary breakfast important.

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International Visitors to U.S. Set Record

According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, international visitors spent $21.1 billion in January and $21 billion in February on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States, setting a new record.

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Chinese Tourists Spend More Abroad in 2016

In 2016, outbound tourism from China, the world's leading outbound market, increased. International tourism expenditures grew by $11 billion to $261 billion, an increase of 12 percent. The number of outbound travelers rose 6 percent to 135 million.

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Tourism Groups Issue Welcome Messages

A recent USA Today article includes insights from destination tourism executives, including George Aguel from Visit Orlando, regarding the importance of efforts "to combat a projected drop in international tourists due to new travel policies."

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Growth Continues for U.S. Waterpark Industry

The waterpark industry continues to expand in North America, with more than $550 million worth of new investment in indoor and outdoor waterparks and their related resorts in 2016, and growth expected to continue in 2017.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available at the time of this writing (for the period of Jan. 1, 2015-April 19, 2017) indicate that 223 locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 4,939 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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