Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
Featured Event
Party at Pointe Orlando

Visit Orlando's 12th Annual
Party at Pointe Orlando

Click here to register.


Join the Conversation

Why is Visit Orlando's social media team so excited? It's probably because they can't wait for the local springtime and Easter events taking place this year.


Industry Events

March 1
Orlando's newest Bar Louie (8510 International Drive) will host a ribbon cutting March 1 at 5 p.m. Happy hour, 4 to 7 p.m., will include specials on drinks and food. The first 100 people get a VIP Bar Louie swag bag.

March 5
Veteran's Business Initiative (VBI)
Central Florida Disability Chamber

The VBI sessions will run for 10 weeks, from March to May. This is a no-cost program for all military veterans, spouses and families who are seeking careers, entrepreneurial training and continuing education.

March 12-18
Florida's Natural Charity Classic

Country Club of Winter Haven
For sponsorship opportunities or to donate silent auction items, contact leslie.watson@floridasnatural.com.

Visit Orlando Events

member orientation

March 13
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.

power hour

March 28
Power Hour Lunch & Official Visitor Center Tour

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
Location: 8148 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando members, $30
Enjoy a Teppanyaki lunch from Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, then join Visit Orlando Vice President of Marketing Toni Caracciolo at the Official Visitor Center for a tour (optional) and a chance to connect with staff.
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

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is offering Visit Orlando members the chance to come celebrate the resort's 10th birthday and receive 10 percent off. Book now or call (866) 892-5890 and ask for the birthday celebration rate: ILXD7.


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.


Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend a special offer to Visit Orlando members to all matches for the 2018 Orlando City season, before tickets go on sale to the general public. Click here to purchase tickets (link does not work in Internet Explorer), and use Promo Code: VO.

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


The Escape Game Orlando is offering 10 percent off all games for Visit Orlando members. Book online by using offer code VisitORL_member10.

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

Community Events

Parramore Farmers Market
Orlando City Stadium

Winter Park Farmers Market
Winter Park

Orlando Farmers Market
Lake Eola Park

Nature Connects

Through April 22
Nature Connects® Art with LEGO®
Harry P. Leu Gardens


Through Apr. 7
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
Universal Orlando Resort

Through March 11
The Lion King
Dr. Phillips Center


Feb. 24-25
Downtown Food & Wine Festival
Lake Eola Park

Feb. 25
George Winston Benefit Concert
Stetson University

March 2 - April 22
Art31: Fiber
Maitland Arts Center

March 3
Blackberry Smoke Live Concert
Church Street District


March 8-11
AAC Men's Basketball Championship
Amway Center

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President & CEO's Message

February 22, 2018

Orlando: Top Spring Break Destination

George Aguel

For years, Orlando has been the nation's top choice for spring travel. With so many exciting new reasons to visit our destination -- and your team at Visit Orlando pushing to make sure that message is well-known -- all signs point to that trend continuing in 2018.

Once again, based on hotel bookings at AAA.com, Orlando will be America's most popular spring travel destination. A study by travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance produced a similar result when analyzing the spring break season.

According to Allianz's review of trips planned between Feb. 23 and April 16, Orlando will receive a whopping 9.5 percent market share of U.S. travelers -- nearly double that of second-place Phoenix. As for the nation's busiest flight day for spring break travel, that's expected to occur Saturday, March 10. So get to the airport early if you're catching a flight!

As always, this edition of Tourism Matters contains a wealth of insights and updates. Two of my favorite stories touch on the role of tourism in our community: Dr. Abe Pizam's enduring legacy as dean of UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and the opportunity for local nonprofits to benefit from Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month program.

Stories like these show how our region's leading industry, and those who contribute to its success, have great power to bring about positive change.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
January Occupancy Rises 4.8 Percent

The new year got off to a strong start as Orlando's January hotel occupancy rose 4.8 percent. For comparison, statewide occupancy rose 2.3 percent and the national average occupancy rate rose 0.9 percent. January's occupancy rate of 78.7 percent represents an all-time high for the month in Orlando. In addition, the average daily rate in Orlando rose 8.9 percent to $135.96, also an all-time high for the month of January, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose 14.1 percent.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Branding Orlando in
Toronto's Busiest Hub

Millions of Canadians will see Orlando's branding message as they commute to and from Toronto's bustling financial, cultural and corporate centers, thanks to additional signage in Brookfield Place near Union Station, Toronto's busiest transportation hub. These out-of-home initiatives are part of our first-ever fully integrated, first-quarter advertising campaign aimed at encouraging travel during March and into the summer.


Visit Orlando Hosts
Brazilian Influencers

Visit Orlando's public relations team worked with five Brazilian influencers -- with a combined reach of more than 7.5 million -- to showcase the destination through daily posts to their loyal followers across social media. During their stay, the influencers featured attractions such as Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, Main Event, iFLY Orlando and others. Influencers included Lucas Rangel, Valentina Schulz, Ivana Coelho, Maria Suconic and actor Andre Bankoff.


Grainger Brings
13,000 Attendees

Last week, Grainger held its 2018 show at the Orange County Convention Center for the sixth consecutive year. Boasting more than 13,000 attendees -- an increase over the year prior -- Grainger is booked at the Orange County Convention Center through 2026.


Orlando Highlighted on
ABC in Philadelphia

Visit Orlando worked with ABC Philadelphia to showcase what makes Orlando unique and dynamic. The crew filmed a series of vignettes with TV host and meteorologist Melissa Magee, spotlighting all that is new and exciting in Orlando, including our ever-growing dining scene and endless outdoor adventures. The segments will air on the weekend show "FYI Philly" throughout the month of February.


Theme Parks Featured
in Lifestyle Magazine

Visit Orlando's public relations team secured coverage in New York Lifestyles Magazine, profiling the theme parks and Disney Springs. The article, released in print and online, generated more than 251,000 impressions.


CMO Hollander Shares
Insight on CMO Panel

More than 90 industry professionals attended the American Marketing Association of Orlando's special CMO panel featuring Danielle Hollander, Visit Orlando's chief marketing officer. The panel focused on what to look for in advertising agencies and the future of agencies working alongside brands.



Visit Orlando Honors
UCF's Dr. Abe Pizam

In August, Dr. Abe Pizam will retire as dean of UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, leaving a tremendous legacy that spans more than three decades. During a recent meeting of the Visit Orlando Board of Directors, Chairman Don Engfer recognized Dr. Pizam for being a longtime partner of our organization. We appreciate all he has done to advocate for the work of Visit Orlando, and to champion the local tourism industry.


Promoting Orlando
at Media Marketplace

Visit Orlando attended the annual TravMedia International Media Marketplace in New York City Jan. 25, meeting with more than 30 media outlets, including CBS News, Parents Magazine, Delish, and Travel + Leisure. Topics ranged from what's new in Orlando to lesser-known attractions to dining and arts and culture.


Event Highlights Benefits
of Working with CVBs

Visit Orlando's convention sales team attended the Destination Showcase in Washington, D.C., last week. The event focused on how to work with convention and visitor bureaus to achieve successful meetings, and it enabled Visit Orlando to meet with key association, corporate and government meeting professionals.

Daily Star

UK Newspapers Tab
Orlando as Top Value

The public relations team generated coverage in the UK's Daily Star (circ. 421K), highlighting Orlando as a top winter sun getaway following the destination being named "Best Value Long-Haul Break" in the Post Office Travel Money's annual Best Bargains report. The Daily Mirror also included Orlando in a roundup on best inexpensive places to travel in March.


Networking with
Key Clients at RCMA

Visit Orlando and participating members networked and conducted one-on-one meetings with clients at the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) tradeshow in Omaha Jan. 30-Feb. 1. In addition, Visit Orlando and its members hosted a private event for 20 key clients, showcasing everything our destination has to offer.


Accepting Applications
from Local Nonprofits

Visit Orlando is now accepting applications from local nonprofits for its annual Magical Dining Month program in September. Last year, Magical Dining raised a record $208,620 for two charities. Nonprofits are encouraged to apply online no later than Feb. 28. Questions can be directed to Kristin Rothbauer at kristin.rothbauer@visitorlando.com.

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News About Orlando

At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy Pittcon Conference & Expo 2018 Feb. 26 March 1 18,000 $34,200,000
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, Inc. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology 2018 March 2 March 5 6,000 $11,400,000
Varsity Brands, LLC All-Star Challenge 2018 March 3 March 4 6,000 $5,910,000
Informa Media, Inc. International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2018 March 7 March 8 7,000 $13,300,000
American College of Cardiology Foundation American College of Cardiology 2018 March 10 March 12 18,000 $34,200,000

Orlando Hotels: Best
Value for February

TripAdvisor identified hotels in Orlando with high ratings and reasonable rates for February. Ten included at least a "four bubble" rating, some for as little as $94 a night.

Read More

Orlando Dominates
Spring Break Travel

Travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance has analyzed U.S. travelers' spring break travel plans this year, and found that Orlando is once again the most popular domestic destination. For trips planned during the spring break season -- Feb. 23 through April 16 -- for travel between five and eight days in length, Orlando (9.5 percent) tops the list. Following in popularity are Phoenix (5.2 percent), Honolulu (4.7 percent) Fort Lauderdale (4.4 percent) and Las Vegas (4.2 percent).

Read More


Orlando No. 3 Spot
for Valentine's Day

Hotels.com announced its most favored destinations for lovers on Valentine's Day. While Las Vegas and New York took the No. 1 and 2 spots, Orlando was named No. 3 for romance this year.

Read More

Great Escape Debuts
President's Bunker

The Great Escape Room in downtown Orlando has transformed its original room into a brand new experience: the President's Bunker. The new, multiroom event lets players race against the clock to stop a deadly missile launch.

Read More

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Industry News

Airbnb Generated $45.7M
in Florida Tax Revenue

Airbnb rentals remitted more than $45.7 million in tax revenue to Florida state and local governments on behalf of its hosts in 2017, up from $20 million in 2016. This can be attributed both to the continued growth of vacation rentals and the six major tax agreements Airbnb secured in 2017: Miami-Dade, Broward, Sarasota, Polk, Hillsborough and Leon. The platform now has bed tax agreements in place in 39 of the 63 Florida counties.

Read More

TripAdvisor Announces
2018 Trend Report

TripAdvisor, the world's largest online provider of bookable experiences, tours and activities, shared its top travel trend report for the experiences segment. TripAdvisor bookings data revealed that iconic sites remain wildly popular, while travelers are expanding their horizons and bringing growth to new, non-traditional and experiential categories.

Read More


New Study: AI Key to
Guest Personalization

A new study found that while hoteliers fear a robot-run future, they do believe artificial intelligence is key to guest personalization. Hoteliers suggested it could enhance the guest experience through tailored pricing during the booking process, voice and face recognition upon arrival and 24/7 customer service during the stay.

Read More

New M&C Numbers
Show 160% ROI

A new report -- by Oxford Economics, the Events Industry Council, and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition -- shows the meetings industry supported $845 billion in business sales, $104 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and $446 billion of the country's GDP in 2016. The study calculated three levels of impact: direct, indirect, and induced spending.

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 Orlando Health
Orlando International Airport Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets OUC Orlando Sanford Airport
Pegasus Transportation Smart City Sullivan Benefits Tupperware Brands Wells Fargo
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