Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
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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 pool

Book your next vacation rental at Balmoral Resort and save 20 percent now through May 31. Contemporary homes with private pools and spacious townhomes, just steps from the clubhouse. Click here or call 866-5-VILLAS.


Orlando City Soccer Club is extending a special offer to Visit Orlando members to all matches for the 2018 Orlando City season. Click here to purchase tickets (link does not work in Internet Explorer). 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.

Industry Events

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.

Community Events

Parramore Farmers Market
Orlando City Stadium

Winter Park Farmers Market
Winter Park

Orlando Farmers Market
Lake Eola Park

Second Thursday of Every Month
Thornton Park's Wine and Art Walk
Thornton Park District


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

Through March 11
The Lion King
Dr. Phillips Center

Through March 18
Central Florida Fair
Central Florida Fairgrounds

Through March 30
UCF's 2018 Annual MFA Exhibition
UCF Art Gallery


Through April 7
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
Universal Orlando Resort

Through April 8
Madagascar - A Musical Adventure
Orlando Repertory Theatre

Through April 21
Celebrating 75 Years Pathway of American Art
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

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

Through April 22
Art31: Fiber
Maitland Arts Center


Through May 28
International Flower and Garden Festival

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President & CEO's Message

March 8, 2018

Positive Outlook for Brazilian Visitation

George Aguel

As Orlando's third-largest international market, Brazil plays an important role in our local tourism industry. That's why it's such welcome news that, after years of economic hardships, Brazilians appear ready to come back to Orlando in a big way.

Visit Orlando is hard at work in São Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and other major Brazilian cities to keep our destination top of mind. We just launched a national marketing campaign to coincide with a key booking period in Brazil, and our research shows that Orlando remains the No. 1 choice for an overseas vacation among our target audience.  

As you'll read in this issue of Tourism Matters, the scheduled number of nonstop seats from Brazil to Orlando International Airport in 2018 just reached 486,000, smashing the previous high of 361,000. And because Brazilians spend more money, per person, in our destination than visitors from any other core market, their presence translates to even greater economic impact across our entire community.

While it's still too early to say if 2018 will be a record year for Brazilian visitation overall, the recent news out of OIA, coupled with Visit Orlando's marketing and research efforts, reinforces our outlook that Brazil is bouncing back in a very strong way.

On a related note, it speaks to the strength of our industry that Orange County's January collection of tourist development tax came in at a whopping $23.7 million, nearly 15 percent higher than the same month a year ago. Yet more proof that 2018 is looking good!

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Exposition Industry Showed Strong Growth in Q4

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently reported that the exhibition industry grew during the fourth quarter of 2017. The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a strong year-over-year gain of 3.1 percent, rebounding from a slight decline (0.4 percent) the previous quarter. All four indicators in the CEIR Index increased during the fourth quarter: real revenues (5.0 percent), exhibitors (3.4 percent), net square feet (2.5 percent), and attendees (1.5 percent).

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Visit Orlando Updates


FYI Philly Showcases
What's New in Orlando

Visit Orlando's consumer marketing team secured Orlando being featured on the hit TV weekend show "FYI Philly" throughout February. Host and meteorologist Melissa Magee showed viewers what makes Orlando unique, with segments including "What's New at the Theme Parks," "Orlando's Endless Adventures" and "Orlando's Ever-growing Dining Scene."


Marketing Campaign
Launches in Brazil

This month, Visit Orlando's consumer marketing team launched a Brazilian marketing campaign that incorporates TV, print, online videos, digital display, social media advertising, content amplification and search engine marketing. The campaign is designed to connect with consumers during their prime planning and booking timeframes. The first phase will run until mid-June and generate about 200 million impressions.

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Highlights Orlando

Visit Orlando's public relations team secured coverage in Canada's The Globe and Mail after a destination orientation with travel journalist Heather Greenwood-Davis. The article showcased LEGOLAND Florida Resort in print and online. Davis also featured Orlando in her latest March Break article, highlighting popular attractions like I-Drive 360, Kennedy Space Center and Andretti Indoor Karting & Games.


Canada's CHCH Features
Orlando's Hidden Gems

Visit Orlando's public relations team generated a five-minute segment on Canada's CHCH Morning Live. Travel writer Kathy Buckworth spoke on her experience visiting the destination, highlighting places like Walt Disney World, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum, Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort, Orlando Balloon Rides and more.



USA Today Features
Visit Orlando Contest

Visit Orlando's public relations team secured coverage in USA Today online with the article "Here are the top five travel contests you can enter." The piece features Visit Orlando's Uniquely Orlando contest, running now through March 11.


Recognizing Impact
of Meeting Planners

Visit Orlando networked with more than 200 meeting planners and industry partners at an awards ceremony Feb. 22 hosted by the Greater Midwest chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association. These networking opportunities help keep our destination top of mind for future business.

ray rush

Brazilian Media Share
New Orlando Attractions

As a result of Visit Orlando's media outreach, several online outlets published articles highlighting new and upcoming Orlando attractions, dining experiences and accommodations. Notable publications include Catraca Livre, Vírgula, R7 Viagens, MSN and Qual Viagem.


Record Attendance
at Annual Member Event

On Wednesday night, Visit Orlando hosted a record-breaking number of attendees at our 12th annual Party at Pointe Orlando. In addition to making valuable business connections with more than 800 travel and tourism professionals, attendees connected with key Visit Orlando departments. Throughout the night, guests enjoyed food and beverage from eight Pointe Orlando venues, as well as entertainment sponsored by Imprint Events.

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News About Orlando

At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
American College of Cardiology Foundation American College of Cardiology 2018 March 10 March 12 18,000 $34,200,000
doTERRA International, LLC doTERRA Annual Leadership Conference March 13 March 15 4,000 $7,600,000
Disney Destinations, LLC d.b.a. Disney Sports Attractions Disney Volleyball Showcase - USA Volleyball Event 2018 March 16 March 18 33,792 $33,285,120
American Pet Products Association, Inc. Global Pet Expo 2018 March 21 March 23 15,500 $29,450,000
International Sign Association ISA International Sign Expo 2018 March 22 March 24 21,000 $39,900,000
Mary Kay, Inc. Mary Kay Career Conference 2018 March 23 March 26 2,000 $3,800,000
Varsity Spirit LLC d.b.a. American Championships American Open 2018 March 24 March 25 12,000 $11,820,000

Bed Tax Collections
Skyrocket in January

In January, Orange County collected $23.7 million in tourist development taxes, a 14.7 percent increase over the same month last year. The tax, which is charged on short-term hotel rentals, is also known as the bed tax or resort tax.

Read More

Orlando Makes List of
100 Best Places to Live

U.S. News & World Report analyzed the nation's 100 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live, and Orlando ranked No. 40. Locations were judged on value, desirability, job market and quality of life.

Read More

400-Foot Starflyer
to Open in May

A timetable has been set for the opening of Unicorp National Developments' $10 million, 400-foot Starflyer attraction for the Vue at 360 entertainment center on I-Drive. "Our plan is to have the attraction open on May 11," Unicorp President Chuck Whittall told the Orlando Business Journal.

Read More


Record Brazilian Traffic
Expected in 2018 at OIA

Brazilian visitors are coming to Orlando in record numbers. With the country bouncing back from its nationwide economic hardships, Brazilian travel to Central Florida is poised to reach an all-time high in 2018. Scheduled seats from Brazil to Orlando for this year are 486,000, a new record, up from the previous record of 361,000.

Read More

OIA Announces New
Service to West Coast

Sun Country Airlines will begin seasonal services from Orlando to Portland International Airport this summer, helping draw visitation from the West Coast. Seasonal nonstop flights between Portland and Orlando will be offered June 14 to Aug. 19, operating three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Read More

New Plans for
Artegon Marketplace

Artegon Marketplace, the 104-acre I-Drive property that includes Bass Pro Shops and Cinemark, announced plans to add mixed-use development. Prime Time Amusements said the property has the potential for indoor attractions such as go-karts and a ropes course, as well as apartments or hotels.

Read More

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Industry News

Visit U.S. Coalition
Announces Strategy

The Visit U.S. Coalition unveiled its three-pronged strategy for increasing inbound tourism and regaining the nation's global tourism market share: 1) Generate 88 million international visitors and $294 billion in spending by 2020. 2) Support and advocate for Brand USA. 3) Designate a senior administration official to focus on elevating travel and tourism as a national priority.

Read More

Family Vacations Increase
Among Millennials

Research shows that in the next two years, close to half of Millennial travelers plan to take family vacations, the most popular type of vacation among this travel segment. According to Resonance Consultancy, 41 percent are visiting beach resorts, followed closely (36 percent) by those choosing major metropolitan cities as primary destinations.

Read More

Facebook to Launch
'Trip Consideration'

Facebook is set to launch "trip consideration," a new product meant to reach people who have shown they want to travel -- such as those liking a company's Facebook page -- but haven't decided on a destination. Trip consideration is available on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook's Audience Network.

Read More


Top Meetings
Trends Released

Two Roads Hospitality recently published its top seven meetings trends for 2018. Among the findings: 37 percent of survey respondents said they will plan more meetings this year, up from 30 percent in 2017, and nearly 45 percent of survey respondents say they have more money to spend in 2018.

Read More

Leisure Trips Help
Domestic Travel

According to the U.S. Travel Association, total domestic trips rose by 27.8 million from 2015 to 2016. The increase is due largely to leisure trips, as the study showed business travel's share of domestic trips decreased from 14 percent in 2011 to 11 percent in 2016. Each year, Americans go on 2.2 billion domestic trips.

Read More

New Aviation Fees
Could Cost Travelers

A new federal budget proposal is eyeing increases for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fees, which could potentially cost consumers up to an additional $3 billion per year. The proposal calls for a $1 increase per one-way trip beginning next year, with an increase to $1.65 in 2020.

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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