Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
Featured Event
Annual Luncheon

Dec. 7
Annual Meeting and Luncheon

Hilton Orlando
6001 Destination Pkwy.
Orlando, FL 32819

Click here to register now!


Join the Conversation

Head over to Visit Orlando's Facebook page and check out all the new thrills and adventures coming to Orlando in 2018. Post a comment and let us know which one excites you the most!


Visit Orlando Events


Dec. 12
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.


Dec. 14
Member Meet-Up Happy Hour

Topgolf Orlando
9395 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819
Connect with fellow members at the all-new Topgolf! Members will get the chance to connect and have their time at the tee. Space is limited, and this event is expected to sell out early, so be sure to register now.
Time: 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando members, $20
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

Paddlefish is offering Visit Orlando members a 10 percent discount on food and a complimentary Lilly Spritz cocktail for guests upon arrival for holiday parties booked by Nov. 30. Offer valid for parties of 20 or more; must be Sunday through Thursday event dates in December. Good for daytime parties as well. Email Kate Naumann or call 407-828-8996 and mention VOM2M.

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

Industry Events

Dec. 8
USA-China Tourism Research Summit
UCF Rosen College

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.

Culinary judges needed! Volunteers are needed for the annual Central Florida NAF Academy of Hospitality & Tourism culinary competition at the Marriott World Center Dec. 1. Email Shannon Latimer at shannon.latimer@ocps.net.

Community Events

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

Dec. 1
I-Drive Annual Tree Lighting
Pointe Orlando

Dec. 1
Hospitality Ball and Bash
Mango's Tropical Cafe

Dec. 1
NCAA Women's College Cup
Orlando City Stadium


Dec. 9
Harlem Globetrotters World Tour
Amway Center

Save 25% by using SAVE25

Dec. 16
CFHLA Hospitality Gala
Hyatt Regency Orlando

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

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President & CEO's Message

November 17, 2017

Meet the ‘Rock Star of Digital Marketing’

George Aguel

I’m excited to announce that Mitch Joel — dubbed the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries” by Marketing Magazine — will be our keynote speaker Dec. 7 at Visit Orlando’s Annual Meeting & Luncheon.

As president of Mirum, Joel leads a digital marketing agency that employs 2,500 people and operates in 20 countries. His speaking engagements have carried him from Google to the boardrooms of top global brands such as Walmart, Starbucks, Nestle, and Proctor and Gamble.

During our luncheon at the Hilton Orlando, Joel will share how technology is connecting consumers to brands like never before, introducing us to groundbreaking technological movements we need to embrace to stand out. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to register today. Seating always fills up fast, and this year’s event promises to be another show-stopper.

On a separate note, congratulations to Meg Crofton, former Disney Parks president, and Randy Berridge, former president of The Corridor, for their recent induction into the Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame. Also, congrats to Tom Sittema, CEO of CNL Financial Group, for winning Junior Achievement of Central Florida’s 2017 Spirit of Achievement Award. These three individuals have contributed invaluable leadership to our community, and we’re proud to see them recognized for their vast accomplishments.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Gas Prices Rising on Strong Demand

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), October 2017 recorded the highest gasoline demand since 2006. Strong consumer gasoline demand has continued into November and is chipping away at national gasoline inventory, which dropped by 3.3 million barrels in the latest report from the EIA. The result of this strong demand has been steady increases in the price of gasoline, which were on average 39 cents per gallon higher in the first half of November compared to the same time last year. The current national average for regular gas was $2.56, up 19 percent versus one year ago.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Finalists Chosen for
Culinary Competition

Following thousands of votes cast for honey dessert entries in Orlando's Signature Dish Culinary Competition, public voting has narrowed the field to 10 stellar finalists, with dishes ranging from cheesecake and baklava to gelato and honey cake. Next, celebrity judges will come together to determine a winner. Join Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Celebrity Chef Art Smith as they announce the winner and reveal the winning honey dessert Dec. 7 at Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting & Luncheon.


Visit Orlando Named
Best DMO in Southeast

Visit Orlando has been named the winner of the 2017 Stella Award, as the Best DMO in the Southeast region. This prestigious award, from the publishers of Meetings & Conventions (M&C) and Successful Meetings, recognizes the top organizations providing quality service and innovation to the meetings industry, including meetings and events professionals. The Stella Awards, formerly known as the M&C Gold Key and Successful Meetings Pinnacle Awards, is the first comprehensive awards program in the meetings industry, combining public and planner voting and third-party, objective planner judging.


PR Team Secures
Travel Channel Visit

The public relations team hosted journalists from TravelChannel.com (9.4 million monthly visitors) Nov. 1-5 for a destination orientation focusing on Orlando for adults. The team showcased what's new at the theme parks, highlighted local hidden gems and positioned Orlando as the perfect holiday for adults looking for a relaxing, fun-filled escape.


Grainger to Bring
15K Attendees in 2018

Earlier this week, the planning team from W.W. Grainger Company was in Orlando to conduct hotel sites for its Grainger Show, which is anticipated to bring 15,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center in February. Visit Orlando's destination services team helped coordinate visits to approximately 25 hotels in the area.


Black Friday

Visit Orlando to Offer
Black Friday Deals

Visit Orlando is launching a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal for holiday shoppers and bargain hunters: an extra 10 percent off already-discounted attraction tickets with exclusive park offers. The 10 percent savings will be available Nov. 22-28 on VisitOrlando.com using the promo code GIFT.


Orlando Hosts Leading
Sports Conference

Visit Orlando worked in partnership with the Central Florida Sports Commission to host TEAMS, the leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry. The event attracted more than 1,000 attendees, including sports-event rights holders, executive directors and event managers. To showcase the destination's ability to hold large-scale sporting events, Visit Orlando conducted tours of the Orange County Convention Center with top clients such as AAU Basketball, minor league baseball teams and National Collegiate Table Tennis.


Networking with
Planners in Midwest

Visit Orlando team members attended the Professional Convention Management Association's Annual Business Meeting and Educational Program, interacting with key Chicago meeting planners at one of the Midwest market's top networking events.


IAAPA Brings 35K
Attendees to Orlando

The International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) hosted its annual Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center this week, with more than 35,000 in attendance. IAAPA relocated its headquarters to Orlando in 2011 and will continue to hold the Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center through 2030. Pictured left to right: Lisa Williams (OCCC), Ryan Strowger (IAAPA), Vickie Keliher and Carolyn Martin (Visit Orlando), Paul Noland (IAAPA) and Kathie Canning (OCCC).

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News About Orlando


At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
National Training and Simulation Association I/ITSEC The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference 2017 Nov. 27 Nov. 30 20,000 $38,000,000
GBT US LLC, d/b/a American Express Global Business Travel ("GBT") INTERaction Nov. 29 Nov. 30 1,200 $2,364,000

Orlando Best Warm
Destination for Winter

Orlando tops WalletHub's list of America's best warm-weather destinations. The website ranked 37 metro areas based on 32 key metrics, including attractions, activities, cost, ease of access, flight data, safety indicators and weather predictions.

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Airport Expects Increase
in Holiday Travel

Over the next 14 days, during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, more than 1.74 million passengers are expected to move through MCO. That is an increase of 9 percent over last year at this time.

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Verbaas Elected Board
Chairman at Xenia

Congratulations to Marcel Verbaas, a member of Visit Orlando's executive committee, for being elected chairman of the board of Xenia Hotels & Resorts. Verbaas has served as Xenia's president and CEO since its formation in 2007; in his new capacity, he will retain the title of CEO.

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Universal Adding
2,800 Hotel Rooms

Universal Orlando Resort revealed details on its dual-hotel project on International Drive. Set to open in 2019, the hotels will have a total of 2,800 rooms on the former Wet 'n Wild property. They will be split by Universal Boulevard, with one 2,050-room resort on one side and another 750-room resort across the way.

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Marilyn Monroe's Dress
on Display at Ripley's

Visitors can see the iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she famously sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday. The dress in on display at Ripley's Believe It or Not! through the New Year.

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Vote Now! Orlando for
Readers' Choice Award

A panel of travel experts selected Orlando as a contender for Best Place to Ring in the New Year. The contest, promoted by USA TODAY, gives people four weeks to vote for the candidate of their choice. Voting ends Dec. 4.

Read More

AAA Predicts 51 Million
Thanksgiving Travelers

AAA released a study on Thursday showing almost 51 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home for the holiday, an increase of 1.6 million from last year and the busiest Thanksgiving for traveling since 2005.

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Mall at Millenia Gets
in the Holiday Spirit

Mall at Millenia kicked off the holiday fun with an energetic dance party and non-stop entertainment, including 20-foot swaying Christmas trees and characters from Santa's holiday home, Hollyville. Santa can be visited during mall hours at the mall's Grand Court now through Christmas Eve.

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Water-Sports Park to
Open Next Summer

Nona Adventure Park - a water-sports park featuring an inflatable, floating obstacle course and wakeboarders pulled by cables - is scheduled to open next summer. Also on tap for the new park is a 60-foot climbing tower with ropes course.

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VR Coaster for Kids

LEGOLAND Florida previewed its first virtual reality coaster experience designed for kids at the IAAPA Attractions Expo this week. The revamped attraction, newly dubbed The Great Lego Race, is expected to debut in the spring of 2018.

Read More

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Industry News

CNN Launches Fund
to Promote Tourism

eHotelier reported that CNN has launched a new media fund to help countries grow their travel and tourism sector. The Go There Media Fund will provide select countries with free consultancy and CNN airtime for campaigns aimed at building their tourism brand.

Read More


Multigen Luxury Travel
Now a $300B Market

According to the Family Travel Association, family and multigenerational travel is a $300 billion market in the United States. A survey showed 87 percent of respondents predicted the family travel market will grow robustly or moderately within the next three to five years.

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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