Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
Featured Events

NFL Pro Bowl 2018
If you haven't purchased tickets yet to Sunday's big game at Camping World Stadium, there's still time!
Click here and enter promo code VISIT to save $10 per ticket.

Party at Pointe Orlando

Visit Orlando's 12th Annual
Party at Pointe Orlando

Click here to register at a special early-bird rate.


Join the Conversation

Tennis, anyone? Based on the USTA National Campus' 2018 event schedule, Orlando will be serving up plenty of it in the coming year.


Visit Orlando Events


Feb. 1
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.


Feb. 7
Power Hour Lunch

Tapa Toro Papas Bar & Paella Pit
Location: I-Drive 360
8441 International Drive, Suite 260
Orlando, FL 32819
Time: Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando member, $25
Guest Speaker: John Stine, director of marketing and sales for I-Drive 360, will provide an update on what is new and exciting for 2018.
Click here to register.


Feb. 15
Member Meet-Up Happy Hour

iFly Orlando
Location: 8969 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Time: 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando members, $25
Network with fellow members from all over Central Florida at the new iFly Orlando. In addition to networking, there will be drawings for raffle prizes, drinks, appetizers and an indoor skydiving opportunity. (Space is limited, registration required).
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.


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 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 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

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.

Feb. 18-20
Connect Travel Marketplace

Hyatt Regency Orlando

Community Events

Parramore Farmers Market
Orlando City Stadium

Winter Park Farmers Market
Winter Park

Orlando Farmers Market
Lake Eola Park

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

Jan. 20-28
ZORA! Festival

Jan. 28
NFL Pro Bowl
Camping World Stadium

Feb. 1
What's Up Downtown
Camping World Stadium


Feb. 3-Apr. 7
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
Universal Orlando Resort

Feb. 10
Winter Garden Blues & BBQ Festival
Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion

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

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

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

January 26, 2018

Central Florida Lodging Sector
Turns In Exceptional 2017

George Aguel

Now that we've closed the books on 2017, it's official that Orlando continued to break records across a number of key tourism indicators.

As you'll read below, one of our industry's strongest-performing sectors was in lodging, where we established all-time highs for average daily rate, revenue per available room and room nights sold. Another important metric, annual occupancy rate, was the second highest since our data set began in 1979, just under the peak of 80.1 percent in 1996.

But speaking of 1996, we must take into account that our destination has added 40 percent more hotel rooms since then, which makes our occupancy figure even more impressive. Today, room inventory stands at 121,005 - and with so many large-scale hotel projects in the works, that number is expected to soar in the coming years.

Keeping with the record-breaking theme, total attendance at the Orange County Convention Center hit 1.53 million in 2017, up 5 percent on the year. We also expect to see record passenger traffic at Orlando International Airport, as well as record collections of Orange County's Tourist Development Tax, when those numbers are finalized in the coming weeks.

As America's most visited destination, Orlando continues to lead the way. And at Visit Orlando, we're proud to provide the research, business insights and destination marketing support to keep our region's entire tourism industry running strong.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Hotels Post Strong Monthly, Year-End Numbers

Orlando's occupancy rate averaged 78.6 percent in December, up 8.6 percent from the previous year -- the highest December occupancy rate on record. The average daily rate rose 8.4 percent to a record $129.50, and RevPAR soared 17.7 percent. December's strong performance capped a record-setting year for Orlando's lodging market, with all-time highs for average daily rate ($121.53), revenue per available room ($96.40) and room nights sold (34.7 million). The annual occupancy rate of 79.3 percent was the second highest since 1979.

In addition, the Orlando market posted stronger growth across all key metrics in 2017 than state and national averages. And when compared to STR's 25 largest lodging markets, Orlando posted the second-fastest growth in occupancy (4.9%), average daily rate (4.8%) and revenue per available room (10%).

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Visit Orlando Updates


Creating Interactive Fan
Experiences at Pro Bowl

As Orlando prepares for Saturday's 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium, the Visit Orlando team has been at ESPN Wide World of Sports to support weeklong interactive guest experiences that include unique photo moments and opportunities to showcase our destination. In addition, Visit Orlando is hosting the event's social media command center, which allows fans to engage with our destination experts.


Integrated Campaign
Launches in Ontario

Visit Orlando launched its first fully integrated advertising campaign during the first quarter in Ontario with the goal of capturing more spring and summer visitors. Canadians commuting to downtown Toronto will see branding messages throughout the busy Bay Street subway terminal and Brookfield Place, as well as signage at multiple subway stops along the way. In addition, the Visit Orlando "Never Ending Story" brand spot will be shown in select movie theaters. The campaign runs through March 11.


Teaming Up To Reach
Leading M&C Clients

Visit Orlando, the Orange County Convention Center and several members recently hosted 55 top association and corporate clients in Nashville during the Professional Convention Management Association's annual Convening Leaders event. Those in attendance learned about new developments in the destination, as well as top reasons to host a convention in Orlando and unique opportunities for event planners.

Go Escape

PR Team Lands
USA Today Magazine

Visit Orlando landed coverage in Go Escape magazine by USA Today (circulation 100,000) on Orlando experiences beyond the theme parks, which is timed perfectly for when the majority of the country is experiencing cold weather. The article highlights activities ranging from clear kayaking at Rock Springs and Cirque du Soleil-style classes at the Orlando Circus School to relaxing at Wekiva Island.



Visit Orlando, Community
Partners Kick Off ZORA!

Visit Orlando and other partners joined The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community at a press briefing last week that kicked off the annual ZORA! Festival. The multiday festival celebrates the life and work of 20th-century writer Zora Neale Hurston and her hometown of Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African-American municipality. Attracting thousands of locals and tourists, ZORA! features museum exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops and concerts, beginning with a three-day street arts festival.


Brazilian TV Program
Showcases Orlando

The public relations team worked with TV show Planeta Brasil to film several episodes focusing on value attractions throughout the destination. Reaching 33 million households and owned by Rede Globo -- the largest TV network in South America -- the lifestyle series featured Brazilian actor-celebrity Leandro Hassum on location in Orlando.


Visit Orlando and JetBlue
Host Top Mexican Media

The public relations team partnered with JetBlue to promote the airline's increase in daily flights from Mexico City to Orlando. Several journalists -- representing publications with a combined reach of 36 million -- experienced everything from theme parks and value attractions to dining, nightlife and more. The trip has generated multiple articles in Reforma De Viaje, Style by Shock, El Blog de Yes and others, with more publicity expected in the coming weeks.


Inc. to Cover Tech
at The Attractions

The public relations team assisted writer Jeff Barrett, on assignment for Inc. (7.5 million potential impressions) to cover technology in Orlando, including how tech is used in innovative theme park attractions like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Orlando Resort. The journalist also plans to write about Orlando as a top family destination. Be on the lookout for potential future stories in Huffington Post, Cheddar and Thrive.

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News About Orlando


At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
USA Football, Inc. USA Football National Conference Jan. 27 Jan. 27 1,600 $3,152,000
SAP Global Marketing, Inc. SAP SKOM 2018 Jan. 31 Feb. 2 1,000 $1,970,000
Florida State Thespian Society, Inc. DBA Florida State Junior Thespians Florida State Junior Thespian Festival 2018 Feb. 1 Feb. 3 5,000 $9,850,000
The Building Industry Consulting Service International, Incorporated BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition 2018 Feb. 4 Feb. 7 3,000 $5,910,000
Eastern States Veterinary Association, Inc. VMX Feb. 4 Feb. 7 16,000 $31,520,000
Florida Pool and Spa Association, Inc. dba Florida Swimming Pool Association Everything Under the Sun Expo 2018 Feb. 9 Feb. 10 5,000 $9,850,000
Tampa Bay Volleyball Academy, LLC OT Invitational Feb. 10 Feb. 11 10,000 $9,850,000
W.W. Grainger, Inc. Grainger Show 2018 Feb. 11 Feb. 14 13,000 $25,610,000

Orlando Gets New Direct
Flights to Northeast Brazil

GOL Linhas Aéreas will now offer direct flights from Orlando to Brasília and Fortaleza, a new hub in the northeast region of the country. Brazil provides the third-most international visitors every year to Orlando.

Read More

Disney Springs Makes
'52 Places to Go' List

The redesigned and expanded Disney Springs made the New York Times' "52 Places to Go in 2018" list. The venue was touted as "an unexpected culinary destination with a focus on grown-ups."

Read More


Expect a Busy Q1
at Convention Center

The Orange Convention Center will hold 50 events in the first three months of 2018 -- eight more than the same time period in 2018 -- drawing an estimated 448,000 people. Nearly one-third of the Convention Center's yearly attendance is expected during the first quarter of the year.

Read More

Holocaust Center
Moving Downtown

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is planning a move from Maitland to downtown Orlando, along with an expansion that will make it five times the size of its current 7,000-square-foot facility.

Read More

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Industry News

Travel App Usage
Continued Rise in 2017

A global study of smartphone usage found that airline apps were particularly strong last year, with users spending 10 percent more time on them compared to 2016. Airlines are increasingly adding features to their apps to enhance the travel experience and reconnect with their most loyal customers.

Read More

Destinations Call on
Chefs to Entice Foodies

As reported by Skift, tourism destinations are beginning to partner with celebrity chefs to market their award-winning restaurants, while encouraging travelers to sample signature dishes in the area. A recent AAA survey found that engaging food experiences like meeting chefs are some of the most important activities many U.S. travelers want to do during their trips.

Read More


Disney Fifth-Most
Admired Company

Fortune surveyed business executives, directors and securities analysts to create a list of the world's most admired companies -- and several travel and tourism made the cut. The highest is Disney at No. 5, followed by Southwest Airlines in eighth. Representing the hotel industry, Marriott International also made the list.

Read More

New Research: Millennial
Travelers Prefer Hotels

New research by Resonance showed that while the rise of room-sharing services such as Airbnb has been dramatic, millennial travelers in the U.S. still prefer staying at full-service hotels when given the option. The millennial travel market continues to grow, with $200 billion spent in 2018 alone.

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 Tupperware Brands
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