Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hosting over 1,000 industry and community leaders at Visit Orlando’s Annual Meeting & Luncheon. Here are a few of the many highlights we shared with attendees:
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Raises Record $306,772 for Charity
Thanks to overwhelming support from 125 local restaurants who donated $1 from each meal to charity Aug. 23-Oct. 7, Visit Orlando's Magical Dining raised a record $306,772 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando and Lighthouse Central Florida. NAMI, a grassroots support network, will be able to expand its Ending the Silence program, which helps raise awareness and change perceptions among teenagers about mental health and suicide prevention. Lighthouse, which helps individuals with vision loss, will use the funds to expand its early intervention programs for young children so they can adapt, integrate and enjoy active, productive lives.
Want to Experience ALL of Orlando? Set Aside At Least 121 Days.
This fall, three Visit Orlando team members embarked on the ultimate Orlando vacation experience, setting out to determine just how long it takes to do everything our destination has to offer. Throughout their journey, they snapped photos and recorded videos, sharing their adventures on Visit Orlando's Instagram and YouTube channels. From theme parks, water parks, thrill rides, outdoor adventures, golf, shopping, art museums and more, it takes over 121 days to experience ALL of Orlando. This fun exercise was a real testament to our destination’s growth, and we’re excited about all the new experiences we’ll be adding in the years to come.
Promoting Tourism on FOX 35's Orlando Matters
On Saturday, I appeared on FOX 35’s “Orlando Matters” for a segment on travel during the Thanksgiving weekend. Host Ryan Elijah and I also discussed the importance of marketing Orlando on a global scale, tourism’s enormous economic impact and several other topics that spanned sports, attractions and visitors’ interest in our local neighborhoods.
Visit Orlando Announces 2020 Board Members
As a nonprofit trade association and Orlando’s official tourism association, Visit Orlando represents 1,200 member companies that make up Central Florida’s tourism community. We are pleased to announce the following individuals will serve on our board for 2020:
Adrian Jones, Merlin Entertainments USA
Brian Comes, Hyatt Regency Orlando
Bill Davis, Universal Orlando Resort
Harold Mills, VMD Ventures
Don Engfer, Engfer & Associates
John Arie Jr., Fun Spot America Theme Parks
Robert Bray, Orlando World Center Marriott
Donna Dyson, Orlando Business Journal
Dr. Roger Goudy, Amateur Athletic Union of the United States
Scott Hudgins, Walt Disney World Resort
Jay Leonard, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
Yolanda Londoño, Harvard Group International
Thibaut van Marcke, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital/Orlando Health
Paul Mears III, Hello! Destination Management
Chris Mueller, Hilton Orlando
Fred Sawyers, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Atish Shah, Xenia Hotels & Resorts
Thomas Steinhauer, Four Seasons Orlando
Gerald Urquiola, Caribe Royale Orlando
Dr. Falecia Williams, Valencia College
Evan Wyant, BB&T
Charlie Freeman, Orlando Magic
Dan Giordano, Rosen Shingle Creek
Steven Jamieson, The Mall at Millenia
Brooke Bonnett, City of Orlando
Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership
Roseann Harrington, Orange County Government
Dr. Dan Holsenbeck, University of Central Florida
David Ingram, Orange County Convention Center
Rich Maladecki, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association
Diana Font, DMFont Events
Bob Miles, Bags Inc.
George Aguel, Visit Orlando
Happy Birthday, Walt Disney
Yesterday was a special day in tourism, as we celebrated Walt Disney’s birthday (born in 1901) and the highly anticipated opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance -- a project that created over 7,000 jobs for our region. Disney’s legacy and impact have grown larger than ever, nearly 50 years after the Magic Kingdom welcomed its first guests. His vision built the foundation for Orlando’s success as a world-class destination.
OTHER NEWS FROM VISIT ORLANDO
» Next week, more than 30,000 medical professionals will converge on the Orange County Convention Center for the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition. This four-day event, booked by our convention sales team, will generate $57.1 million in economic impact.
» Camping World Stadium will host the NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 26 for the fourth consecutive year. Visit Orlando is partnering with the league to drive broad awareness of our destination to its fans.