Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
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Roller Coaster Day

Even Irma Can't Keep Orlando Down

Visit Orlando created a video showcasing how fast our destination recovered and resumed operations after Hurricane Irma - and how much our visitors appreciated the quick response. Take a look here, and we encourage you to share!


Visit Orlando Events

power hour

Sept. 27
Power Hour Lunch
Mitchell's Fish Market

Winter Park Village
460 N. Orlando Ave #122
Winter Park, FL 32789
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
If you are located close to Winter Park, this is the perfect event for you. Connect with fellow members and have the opportunity to deliver your 30-second elevator speech during a super-fresh lunch from one of the world's great fisheries.
Cost: $25 for Visit Orlando members
Click here to register.


Oct. 5
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.

Oct. 11
Power Hour Lunch

Uncle Julio's
I-Drive 360
8409 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Check out I-Drive 360's newest restaurant while connecting with fellow members. You'll have the opportunity to share your 30-second elevator speech while enjoying a delicious meal from Uncle Julio's!
Cost: $25 for Visit Orlando members
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


Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is offering all seats at $35 for Visit Orlando members. Click here to purchase tickets. Enter offer code VISITORL. Offer expires Sept. 30.

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.

VR Orlando Rentals is offering Visit Orlando members 20 percent off any virtual reality rental package. To redeem, call or email with the offer code VISITORLVR. The discount will be applied once the booking is confirmed.

Ember is offering $5 off the regular price at Uncorked! Visit Ember every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31 for unlimited fine wines, select drafts and hors d'oeuvres. Text "Visit" to 407-470-9924 and show the message you receive at the door.


Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando is offering a $100 gift card to event planners for all new holiday parties booked with a signed event order and deposit and taking place in December 2017. The event planner receives a $100 personal gift card and a second $100 gift card as a giveaway.

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, Central Florida, 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 1-866-6-VILLAS / 1-866-5-45527 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.

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

Industry Events

Rosen Hilton Garden

Sept. 29
World Tourism Day Job Shadow
More than 30 Central Florida hospitality employers will help shape our industry's future leaders by offering a hands-on job shadow experience to Rosen College students in celebration of World Tourism Day.

Join the Central Florida NAF Academy of Hospitality & Tourism at Valencia College - West Campus - Oct. 4 to learn how you can help encourage high school students to pursue careers in hospitality. 

Oct. 25
HSMAI Luncheon - Sports Commission Update
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

Community Events

Through Oct. 15
Tin Can Tourism Exhibit
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

Sept. 23
Haunted Historic 5K Race
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek

Sept. 23
Clubbing Out Cancer
Champions Gate

Oct. 6
Jazz 'n Blues Concert
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Oct. 14
Golden Dragon Awards
Disney's Contemporary Resort

Oct. 21
Immerse 2017
Creative City Project

Swan Lake

Oct. 27
Swan Lake Orlando Ballet
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Oct. 28
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Nov. 12 thru Jan. 3
Christmas at the Leu House
Harry P. Leu Gardens


Dec. 9
Harlem Globetrotters World Tour
Amway Center

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

Be sure to follow @VisitOrlando on Instagram and Twitter, fan us at facebook.com/VisitOrlando or watch YouTube.com/VisitOrlando for more insider information about the world's most famous destination!

Sign up for our e-newsletter, click here.

Download the free Visit Orlando App for your personalized Orlando experience. The best way to navigate Orlando.

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President & CEO's Message

September 22, 2017

Strength Through the Storm

George Aguel

Ever since Hurricane Irma came through Orlando, the strength of our community has been on full display for the world to see - with our tourism industry and Central Florida institutions taking a leading role. In recognition of this, we are dedicating this issue to all the positive stories that came out of Hurricane Irma, and everyone who rose to the challenge.

Our vast hotel community prepared early for a surge in evacuees, utility companies, visitors that were in house and locals looking for a more secure place to ride out the storm. There were hotels that donated bedding supplies for emergency shelters, provided special rated rooms for evacuees and lifted rules such as allowing pets of all shapes and sizes. And restaurants put together food packages for first responders and volunteers. Our tourism industry moved quickly to be able to accommodate the thousands of visitors waiting to enjoy their time in Orlando, especially our theme parks, which were up and running the day after the storm passed.

There are many, many other examples of how our community came together to support our swift recovery. This edition of Tourism Matters shares several more of those that exemplified how united we are, with an incredible "can do" attitude of service to others.

Together, we've come through another tough time with an extraordinary level of commitment for the care of our visitors and residents, and I continue to be inspired to be part of this great community!

-George Aguel

Post-Hurricane Roundup

Going Above and Beyond

Across our industry, businesses provided exemplary hospitality during Hurricane Irma. Here are some great stories that caught our eye.

Convention Center provides base for hurricane responders: The National Guard, FEMA, local law enforcement, utility crews and other responders staged at the Orange County Convention Center as Hurricane Irma swept through Central Florida. Even six helicopters from Patrick Air Force Base were sheltered in the North Concourse.

Kristen Bell entertains guests and evacuees at Disney: Actress Kristen Bell was among the thousands of visitors in Orlando during the hurricane. Staying at Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resort, she entertained guests - including a group of elderly people from an evacuated assisted living community - with bingo, karaoke and games. Jimmy Kimmel even featured a live segment on his show.

UCF football team serves meal to National Guard: The 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade - housed in the UCF football team's training facility - was treated to a meal from players.

Hyatt Regency accommodates nearly 1,000 dogs: The hotel opened its doors to more than 900 dogs and their families, allowing pets to roam the premises and mingle with employees.

Extra "comfort" at The Double Tree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld: The hotel focused on extra comfort for displaced guests, offering a resource center, special "comfort" foods, 24-hour customer assistance and a "comfort room" for families to watch movies, play games and relax.

Disney donates $2.5 million for Hurricane Irma relief: The money, which will help relief efforts across Florida, the Caribbean and other areas, is in addition to nearly $16 million Disney recently raised to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Hurricane Irma Boosts Hotel Occupancy

Orlando's occupancy rate rose 8.5 percent the week of Sept. 3-9, the week leading up to Hurricane Irma's arrival in Central Florida. In comparison, statewide occupancy declined nearly 1 percent and U.S. occupancy was up 2.1 percent. Occupancy rates in Orlando rose 10.7 percent the week of Sept. 10-16, including a 38.7 percent increase on Sunday, Sept. 10, the night Irma passed through the region. Statewide occupancy the week of Sept 10 rose 2.6 percent; nationwide, occupancy rose just 0.5 percent during that time.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Helping Visitors
Prepare for Irma

In the days leading up to Hurricane Irma, Visit Orlando worked with our member hotels and the Orange County Office of Emergency Management to ensure consistent levels of communication with multiple audiences on our destination preparedness and available hotel inventory for evacuees.

We expanded the operational hours of our Visitor Information and Services team, with experts available by phone and live chat; created a special webpage for visitors and evacuees; shared important destination information on social media; conducted interviews with local and national news outlets; and maintained open channels of communication with key convention planners, international travel industry clients and attendees of future events.


Magical Dining Month
Extended to Support 
Local Businesses

Great news for diners and local restaurants too! To support local businesses, and give residents more opportunities for a night out after the stress of Hurricane Irma, Visit Orlando is extending Magical Dining Month for an extra 11 days - through Oct. 12. The popular program gives visitors and locals the chance to experience premium dining opportunities at a great value, and also generates money for deserving local charities.


NBC New York
Spotlights Orlando

An NBC TV crew created a series of vignettes showcasing all that the destination has to offer, including what's new, Halloween, Orlando's outdoor adventures, relaxation and luxury, dining and more. The week-long series kicked off with a live in-studio piece, where TV host and lifestyle expert Ereka Vetrini recapped all the fun and unique experiences.


Destination Co-Op
Launches in UK

In addition to the UK fall campaign, Visit Orlando partnered with Thomas Cook and Gold Medal on a co-op campaign to drive Orlando bookings. Visit Orlando is also teaming up with the theme parks, Virgin Holidays and British Airways Holidays to drive forward bookings for 2018.


Aguel Talks Trends in
Conventions, Real Estate

George Aguel, president & CEO of Visit Orlando, recently represented the tourism industry in two panel discussions attended by hundreds of community leaders. He discussed the "Commerce of Conventions" at GrayRobinson law firm and also took part in the Orange County Property Appraiser's "2017 State of Orange County Real Estate" event. 


open for business

Post-Storm: A Picture
Is Worth 1,000 Words

Immediately after Hurricane Irma, Visit Orlando canvassed hundreds of member businesses to determine destination status across several key areas, including accommodations, attractions, dining and retail.  This allowed us to determine that our destination was rebounding very quickly, and began sharing the news with consumers, media and key clients.   

We quickly added a banner on the VisitOrlando.com home page that read "Orlando is welcoming visitors," with a link to our post-storm update FAQ , which was heavily promoted on social media and in national news media interviews. At the same time the Visitor Information and Services team was in contact with guests, responding to questions by phone and live chat.

Because nothing conveys our destination as well as real images of real people, we dispatched a photo and video crew to capture images and testimonials of guests enjoying themselves across the destination just days after the storm. Our publicity team conducted media interviews, and then we resumed global destination advertising. Additionally, we provided convention industry leaders with client support letters, press releases, blogs and social media posts regarding the speedy resumption of operations for the Convention Center.


Showcasing Orlando's
Fall Events in Canada

The publicity team generated broadcast coverage on CTV Morning Live Ottawa (225,000 broadcast impressions). Orlando headlined a roundup of the most affordable destinations for fall, with the spokesperson highlighting events that transform the Theme Park Capital of the World® into the Halloween Capital of the World.


UK Campaign Covers
Key Booking Period

Visit Orlando launched its fall campaign in the UK, encouraging families to book their holiday to Orlando. The integrated campaign - which includes television, digital, social media and outdoor advertising in London - is anticipated to generate more than 205 million targeted impressions, driving visitors to the UK Consumer Landing Page for information and tools to make holiday planning easier.


Orlando Featured in
Boston Globe

The publicity team secured a piece in the Boston Globe that ran in print and online (audience 232,000, online reach 4 million). The article, "If you haven't been to Orlando in a while, here's what's new," highlights attractions that opened this summer at Disney and Universal.

meetings today

Meetings Today
Highlights Orlando

The publicity team secured a piece in Meetings Today (audience 8,000) titled "Central Florida offers an abundance of new hotels and venues." The piece highlights recent hotel renovations, new entertainment and dining venues, and future updates to the region, including Orlando International Airport.

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News About Orlando


At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Microsoft Corporation Microsoft Ignite 2017 Sept. 25 Sept. 29 30,000 $59,100,000
Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology Grace Hopper Celebration 2017 Oct. 4 Oct. 6 18,000 $35,460,000
American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery The Meeting Oct. 7 Oct. 10 5,600 $11,032,000

Orlando No. 1 on List
for Summer Vacations

Allianz Global Assistance found U.S. travelers chose to spend summer vacations at the shore while also seeking the thrills of theme parks. Orlando topped the list of the most popular destinations, with nearly 9 percent market share during the summer.

Read More

Food and Wine Festival
Celebrates Epcot's 35th

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returns with 75 days of food, wine and fun from now until Nov. 13. A record 35 global food and wine marketplaces will sizzle with new, mouthwatering edible delights to celebrate Epcot's 35th anniversary.

Read More


Fall Travel Forecast:
Orlando Holds Top Spot

According to AAA, more than 1 in 4 Americans said they would vacation between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, citing fewer crowds, reasonably good weather and lower prices. The forecast, AAA reports, calls for Orlando to be the No. 1 fall destination.

Read More

OIA Ranks as America's
Favorite 'Mega Airport'

J.D. Power's 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study placed Orlando International No. 1 in the "mega" airports category. Its score of 778 put it ahead of the 767 score earned by runner-up Detroit.

Read More

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Industry News

Travel Jobs Achieve
Above-Average Salaries

A new report from the U.S Travel Association shows that Americans whose first job was in a travel-related industry obtained an average career salary of $81,900, significantly higher than those starting in healthcare, manufacturing, construction or most other U.S. industries.

Read More

Overseas Visitation
Grew by 7% in April

Travel by foreign visitors grew by 7 percent in April, according to the National Tourism & Travel Office. The increase was led by a 14.8 percent surge in the number of visitors coming to the U.S. from Canada and a 16.2 percent boost in those arriving from European countries.

Read More

Meeting/Event Planners
Look to Sports Venues

What's the newest trend for meeting and event planners? According to Skift, holding events at sports venues is creating that all-important one-of-a-kind experience for attendees.

Read More


Travel and Tourism
Spending on the Rise

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, travel and tourism spending increased by nearly 5 percent, up from an increase of 4.4 percent in the first quarter. The main contributor to this faster rate of growth was spending on air transportation.

Read More 

Airbnb: Florida Counties
Considering Deals

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Osceola and Seminole counties may consider deals with home-sharing company Airbnb to collect bed taxes, which could allow them to generate even more tourism revenue.

Read More 

Lyft Expanding Service
to More Remote Areas

According to the Bulletin, Lyft has increased the number of states where its service is offered. The new additions include 32 states, many of which have a large number of remotely populated areas that will get access to ride-sharing for the first time.

Read More 

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Tourism Ambassadors
Academy Sports ARDA Bags Balmoral Resort BB&T
British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor Darden Florida Distributing Company Florida Hospital
The Florida Mall IOA The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Partnership OrlandoHealth
Orlando International Airport Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets OUC Orlando Sanford Airport
Smart City Tupperware Brands
Privacy Policy Update
Important: Our Privacy Policy has recently changed. Please click HERE to review the revised policy and read about the changes.
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