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FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
Magical Dining Starts Today at 100+ Restaurants
There’s a good chance this is already circled on your calendar, but just in case, I want to remind you that Visit Orlando’s 13th annual Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express, begins today with a special preview week.
Through Sept. 30, more than 100 of the area’s top restaurants will be serving amazing three-course dinners for just $35. Even better, one dollar from every meal goes to support two local charities: Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
Visit our Magical Dining website to browse menus, map out your favorite restaurants and make reservations. And be sure to share your experience on social media (#MagicalDining).
Bon appétit, everyone!
President & CEO
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Tourism’s Positive Impact Continues to Grow
Every year, Visit Orlando compiles a report on the economic impact of the region’s tourism industry. The results for 2017 are now available and, once again, Orlando is experiencing strong growth across all key metrics. Highlights include:
Tourism generated $70.8 billion in economic impact and supported 449,000 jobs (41 percent of Orlando’s workforce).
Visitor spending, which rose 5.8 percent last year to $44.3 billion, provided $2.4 billion in state taxes and $3.1 billion in local taxes.
Since 2009, visitation has increased 55 percent, while visitor spending is up 75 percent.
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
Highlight Annual Forum
Nearly 1,000 people attended Visit Orlando’s Business Insights Luncheon & Economic Forum yesterday at the Hilton Orlando. TrendHunter.com CEO Jeremy Gutsche gave the keynote address on innovation and change, while Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, and Daryl Cronk, Visit Orlando’s director of research and insights, discussed economic trends. A special thank you to our sponsors.
Top Show Organizers
Huddle Up in Orlando
The Society of Independent Show Organizers held its leadership conference in Orlando last week, with key executives from companies including Informa, Reed Exhibitions and Emerald Expositions in attendance. The group is responsible for shows such as MegaCon (70,000 attendees in 2019), the PGA Merchandise Show (43,000 attendees in 2019) and the Surf Expo (27,000 attendees in September).
Help Shape the Tourism
Leaders of Tomorrow
In celebration of World Tourism Day, Visit Orlando is inviting members of the tourism industry to host students from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in their workplace Sept. 28. The goal is to provide students an educational, hands-on experience by pairing them with an employer that suits their career interests. Learn more and sign up to participate here.
UK Campaign Covers
Key Booking Period
Visit Orlando’s fall campaign will encourage British families to plan a “Uniquely Orlando” holiday during the key September and October booking period. The integrated campaign — which includes television, digital, social media, print and outdoor advertising in London — drives visitors to a landing page for information and tools to make holiday planning easier. More than 235 million impressions are anticipated.
Members Go Social
New this year at Visit Orlando's Business Insights & Economic Forum was a Member Connect networking area in which attendees could meet Visit Orlando staff and fellow members. Attendees were also encouraged to share their Magical Dining Month-themed photos on social media using #MagicalDining. Five winners were chosen to receive dinner at one of our participating restaurants. Congratulations to Sarah Anoka, Freeman; Dieter Burgoa, IMS Technology Services; Jackie Busman, Merlin Entertainment; Detrice Portee, Marriott International; and Tamar Rivers, Sir Speedy.
Orlando Represented at
Global M&C Showcase
Visit Orlando networked with over 150 associates of Meetings and Incentive Worldwide at the M&IW Showcase this week in Chicago. M&IW is a global meetings, incentive and conference management company that manages more than 3,000 events annually for some of the world’s largest corporations and associations.
The Walt Disney Co. is offering to pay full tuition for hourly workers who want to earn a college degree, finish a high school diploma or learn a new skill. As many as 80,000 hourly workers could be eligible for the program. Read More
OIA Bursting with Flights, Passengers, Destinations
Orlando International Airport has been bursting its terminal seams with growth in passengers and flights, especially to other countries. Read More
Global Business Travel Reaches $1.33T in 2017
Spending is forecast to advance another 7.1 percent in 2018, and by 2022 the total is projected to hit $1.7 trillion. Read More
Rosen Hotels the Latest to Eliminate Plastic Straws
The move, which will take place by January, will impact restaurants and in-room dining at Rosen’s nine hotels, all in Orlando. Read More
Which States Are the Best at Taking Vacations?
Project: Time Off, a U.S. Travel Association campaign, conducted a survey to learn America's vacation habits. Read More
VISIT ORLANDO EVENTS
Save the date for a nontraditional golf tournament at Lake Nona’s newest attraction, Drive Shack. More details to come on this member event that will feature fierce and friendly competition.