Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
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Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and Visit Orlando is ready to chow down at local restaurants offering holiday dinners.


Visit Orlando Events


Jan. 9
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.
• How to take advantage of the value-added services available exclusively to members.
Click here to register.


Jan. 17
Power Hour Lunch

Canvas Restaurant & Market
Location: 13615 Sachs Avenue
Orlando FL 32827
Time: 12 - 1:00 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando Members, $25
The first Power Hour Lunch of 2018 will be at Canvas Restaurant & Market and will feature an update on Orlando International Airport from Carolyn Fennell, Senior Director of Public Affairs for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
Click here to register.


Jan. 25
Member Meet-Up Happy Hour

Location: Disney Springs
1670 Buena Vista Dr.
Orlando, FL 32830
Time: 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando members, $20
Kick off 2018 with happy hour on the top deck of Paddlefish at Disney Springs. Connect with fellow members over refreshments and enjoy the beautiful sunset view.
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

 Orange Lake Golf

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

Citrus Club is offering Visit Orlando members 10 percent off food and beverage on all new events booked in 2017. Book two or more events together and receive 15 percent off the total. Call Citrus Club to redeem. Offer Code: 2017

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


Balmoral Resort Florida is offering stays starting at $99 for Visit Orlando members. Stay at the fabulous new Balmoral vacation home resort at Haines City, just minutes from Legoland. Contemporary homes with private pools and spacious townhomes, just steps from the clubhouse. $99 for townhome, $125 for a pool home. Use code VOM for redemption by calling 866-6-VILLAS or email bookings@feltrimresorts.com. Subject to availability. Some restrictions may apply.

Roy's Restaurant $20 dining credit. May be redeemed for any dining purchase. Valid in main dining room for dinner only. Cannot be used for tax, gratuity or gift card purchases. No cash value. Not valid with any promotional offers, including Aloha Hour. One redemption per table. Provide the offer code: VOMember2Member on Open Table or to the host when making reservations.

Orlando Watersports Complex is offering half-price riding every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to close. For redemption, mention offer code VOM2M

AdOnTheBox is offering a $49/month holiday rate (regularly $99) for those who sign up before the end of the year. That rate can also be locked in for all of 2018. For redemption, call 407-926-4055 or email marketing@AdOnTheBox.com and mention offer code ITouchOrlando.

Radisson Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista is offering a 17 percent discount off best available rates for the remainder of 2017. Subject to availability and blackout dates. Book by calling 407-597-3400 or email rd_lbfl@radisson.com.

ICEBAR Orlando is offering a discount of 20 percent off of all food and beverage (including alcohol) when you book your holiday party with ICEBAR. Just mention that you are a Visit Orlando member. Minimum of 20 guests.

The Escape Game Orlando is offering 15 percent off giftcards and free shipping for Visit Orlando members. Shop now and use code BESTGIFTEVER.

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

Industry Events

Florida Hospital for Children and Walt Disney World have teamed up for a good cause. Enter today for a chance to win a dream-come-true night at #Cinderella Castle Suite at #MagicKingdom and 2-day Disney Park passes for each guest. Visit this page for details.

Jan. 29
CMAA charity golf event benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, at Interlachen Country Club. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Roy Schindele at 407-876-8001.

Community Events


Now through Jan. 3
Christmas at the Leu House
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Dec. 12-17
Book of Mormon
Dr. Phillips Center

Dec. 16
CFHLA Hospitality Gala
Hyatt Regency Orlando

The Nutcracker

Dec. 16-17
The Nutcracker
Linda Chapin Theater at the Orange County Convention Center

Dec. 26-31
School of Rock
Dr. Phillips Center

Nature Connects

Jan. 6 through April 22
Nature Connects® Art with LEGO®
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Jan. 20-28
ZORA! Festival

Feb. 14-Mar. 11
The Lion King
Dr. Phillips Center

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President & CEO's Message

December 15, 2017

What a Year It's Been for Orlando!

George Aguel

Throughout our destination, 2017 has been a remarkable year of records and firsts for our members and Visit Orlando. At the attractions, guests began sliding down an aquatic volcano and soaring on the wings of banshees. In sports, we hosted our first NFL Pro Bowl, welcomed the U.S. Tennis Association, and the International Champions Cup, one of the world's premier soccer tournaments.  And in more than 100 restaurants, diners contributed a record $208,620 to charity during Magical Dining Month - plus, Orlando now has a new "signature dish," the delicious honey nougat glacé dessert.
Of course, no mention of 2017 would be complete without noting how quickly our industry bounced back after Hurricane Irma. As such, our world-class Convention Center and Orlando International Airport are on track to break yearly attendance records, and once again we were named the nation's No. 1 meetings destination.
Before we put the finishing touches on 2017, we shared that advance hotel bookings for the week between Christmas and New Years are 20 percent ahead of this time last year. With New Year's Eve falling on a Sunday, people are lining up to celebrate the extended holiday weekend in America's most popular travel destination. Think of it as one final push as we look to build on the record 68 million visitors who came to Orlando in 2016!
Tourism Matters will be taking a break for the holidays, so happy new year, everyone! We'll touch base again in January.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Industry Employment Grew 3 Percent in October

Orlando's leisure and hospitality employment in October was 3.3 percent higher than the same month last year - outpacing the 3.0 percent year-over-year increase in total metropolitan statistical area employment. During this span, the leisure and hospitality sector has grown by 8,300 jobs, accounting for 23 percent of the increase in total metropolitan statistical area employment.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Orlando's Signature Dish

Orlando's Signature Dish:
Honey Nougat Glacé

Congratulations to Chef Catherine Delrieu of Mon Petit Cheri Café for winning the Orlando Signature Dish culinary competition. Earlier this year, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs challenged the area's culinary community to create a honey-based dessert that would reflect the history and personality of Orlando. Dozens of delicious entries were received, and an expert panel of celebrity chefs chose the winner after public voting narrowed the field to 10 finalists. Melanie Fernandez, managing partner of BDO, tallied the judge's scorecards and presented the results onstage in a sealed envelope. The honey nougat glace features Italian meringue prepared with honey, nougat and fruit confit, on a red berries sorbet.


Students Participate in
Culinary Competition

More than 280 Orange County high school students participated in the seventh annual Orange County Hospitality & Culinary Competition earlier this month. Organized by the NAF Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, students joined in chef demonstrations and case studies and learned about careers in culinary arts and tourism. Industry professionals from Disney, Universal, Loews Hotels, Hilton, Centerplate, AAA National, Visit Orlando and more judged the competition.


UK Winter Campaign
Expands into Ireland

Visit Orlando is set to launch its UK winter campaign, encouraging families to book their next holiday to Orlando. The integrated campaign, which includes TV, outdoor advertising, digital and social media, is being extended into Ireland to grow visitation and airlift capacities from the high-potential market. Expected to generate more than 173 million impressions, brand messaging will also include several 10-second spots with the call to action "Make 2018 a Year to Remember. Visit Orlando."


Dining Coverage
in Orlando

Thanks to the efforts of Visit Orlando's public relations team, the destination was featured in a Bloomberg story (22.6 million impressions) highlighting Orlando's growing culinary scene.

Dress for Success

Helping Others
Dress to Succeed

Visit Orlando recently donated more than 200 convention assistant business jackets to Dress for Success and Jobs Partnership of Florida. The two local organizations empower men and women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help individuals thrive in work and in life.


Chilean Tour Operators
Experience Orlando

The travel industry sales team, in partnership with Copa Airlines, worked with 10 key tour operators from Chile for a destination orientation. Staying at host hotels, Clarion Lake Buena Vista and Coco Key Hotel & Water Resort, the group experienced our theme parks, several attractions on I-Drive, Kennedy Space Center, one of Orlando's many dinner theaters and world-class shopping.



Magical Dining check

Magical Dining Raises
$208,620 for Charity

Visit Orlando's 12th annual Magical Dining Month raised a record $208,620 for two local charities: Freedom Ride Inc. and BASE Camp Children's Foundation. Freedom Ride provides therapeutic horseback riding to people of all ages coping with physical, emotional and learning disabilities. BASE Camp works to ease the stress of children and their families suffering from cancer and other life-threatening hematological illnesses. Watch the charities in action here.

Edelweiss Air

New Direct Flight
from Zurich

Visit Orlando joined Edelweiss and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority at the Hyatt last week to commemorate the launch of a new direct-air service between Zurich and Orlando. An Edelweiss Airbus A330-300 will fly the route weekly starting in January, generating an annual economic impact of more than $35 million. In addition to opening Orlando to Swiss and other European visitors, the new route offers a convenient direct flight for travelers from around Orlando to the heart of Europe.


Travel Influencers
Explore Orlando

Visit Orlando partnered with Simon Malls to work with UK travel and fashion influencers @AmyNevFashionDiaries, @Sabrina_Chakici and the @CollyerTwins in developing stories about Orlando. During their stay, the influencers were able to explore picturesque Winter Park, ride the thrills at Universal Orlando, taste delicious eats at East End Market and experience the night scene downtown while sharing their adventures across multiple social platforms.

Mirror UK

UK's Mirror: Orlando a
Top Destination for Deals

The public relations team assisted with a story in the Mirror online promoting the best inexpensive vacation destinations for January, with Orlando leading the pack. The article touts "Now's the time to make the most of Orlando, with prices having dropped by 40 percent compared to last winter."


Orlando Welcomes Azul
Airlines Inaugural Flight

Visit Orlando greeted passengers during Azul Airlines inaugural ceremony at the Belo Horizonte International Airport in Brazil; celebrating the new flight service to Orlando. Representatives of the United States Consulate and members of the Minas Gerais government as well as other passengers received Visit Orlando bags and Orlando Vacation Guides. Flights during the high summer season will run four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).


Choral Convention to
Bring 10K Attendees

Thirty choral directors from around the country recently attended a destination orientation hosted by Visit Orlando. The 2018 Barbershop Harmony Society Annual International Convention will bring more than 10,000 voices to the Orange County Convention Center, July 3 - 7.


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News About Orlando


At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Varsity Brands, LLC Spirit Cheer 2017 Dec. 16 Dec. 17 5,000 $4,925,000

Orlando No. 1 for
Christmas Celebrations

Artificial tree maker Treetopia compiled data of several popular destinations in the U.S. for celebrating Christmas, and Orlando came out on top. Looking at Google Trends, the company found increased interest in searches using the term "Christmas Orlando" during the past year.

Read More

Orlando Among the Best
Places to Ring in 2018

Orlando is among the Top 10 cities to ring in the New Year, according to the 10Best Readers' Choice. The contest, promoted by USA TODAY, included a panel of travel experts and allowed people four weeks to vote for the destination of their choice.

Read More


Orlando No. 4
for Sports Fandom

Orlando is one of the best cities in America for sports fandom, according to a new report from WalletHub. The rankings were based on more than 50 metrics, ranging from performance level of each city's teams to average ticket price per game.

Read More

Lyft Names Top
Spots in Orlando

The third annual Lyftie Awards named Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk, along with Amway Center, Bahama Breeze, the Beacham night club and Valencia College as some of the top spots in Orlando for riders.

Read More

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Industry News

51 Million Travelers
Forecasted to Fly

Industry trade organization Airlines for America predicts that more than 51 million travelers will fly during the holiday season, and airlines plan to make 91,000 extra seats per day available to accommodate the spike in travel. The estimate represents a 3.5 percent increase over the same period last year, with the busiest days being Dec. 21, 22 and 26.

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3 Ways Digital Affects
Travel-Buying Behavior

Three key factors explain how digital technology is impacting travel-buying behavior, according to a new study from Expedia Media Solutions: It inspires exploration, makes travel planning more accessible, and makes research easier.

Read More


Expedia Survey Sheds
Light on Travel Trends

A new survey by the marketing arm of Expedia shows American, British and Chinese travelers prioritize activities when planning a trip ahead of such other factors as getting the lowest price. The survey also showed that, in the U.S. and China, Millennials travel the most, but in the U.K., Baby Boomers out-travel other generations.

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Will PreCheck and
Global Entry Merge?

With approximately 12 million members combined, PreCheck and Global Entry both ease the airport security process. Many industry experts support the idea of merging the two programs, saying it would simplify things for passengers and reduce duplication.

Read More

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Tourism Ambassadors
Academy Sports ARDA Bags Balmoral Resort BB&T
Best Buy British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor Darden Florida Distributing Company
Florida Hospital The Florida Mall IOA The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Development Commission
Orlando Health Orlando International Airport Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets OUC
Orlando Sanford Airport Smart City Tupperware Brands
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