Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
Featured Event
Visit Orlando Luncheon

Our first signature luncheon of 2018 will feature an insightful conversation between Jonathan Tisch, chairman & CEO of Loews Hotels and Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
Click here to register.


Join the Conversation

Looking for Visit Orlando's social media team? Look up -- WAY up. They recently researched Orlando's balloon-ride options, and there's no getting them back to earth now.


Visit Orlando Events

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 orientation

April 3
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

April 12
Member Meet-Up Happy Hour

Bar Louie - International Drive
Location: 8510 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Time: 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Visit Orlando members, $20; non-members, $30
Register today to meet-up with fellow members at the new Bar Louie on International Drive. Members will enjoy appetizers, beer, wine and a signature cocktail from I-Drive's newest happy hour hot spot while making valuable business connections.
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.

Save $7 off general admission to Crayola Experience. Tickets must be purchased online at tickets.crayolaexperience.com using offer code VOM18.

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

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

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

April 6-15
Florida Film Festival


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

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

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Download the free Visit Orlando App for your personalized Orlando experience. The best way to navigate Orlando.

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President & CEO's Message

March 22, 2018

Circle Your Calendar: Register Today
for Our Industry's Can't-Miss Event

George Aguel

Hot off the press, Visit Orlando's Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon -- one of our industry's can't miss events -- is all set for May 10 at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, as seats always fill up fast, especially for this event.

This year, we have an exciting program lined up. Martin Stoll, founder and CEO of Sparkloft Media, kicks things off at our morning general session with a thorough analysis of what's trending in social media.

Then, our major keynote presentation will feature a conversation between Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, and Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Hosting these two iconic industry figures at one time is a first for us and will be an experience you will not want to miss.

To wrap things up, we'll unveil the big news everyone's been waiting for: the official number of visitors to Orlando in 2017.

This always-popular spring event -- one of
Visit Orlando's three signature luncheons -- is your opportunity to network with hundreds of industry and community leaders while gaining competitive insights into the ever-evolving tourism landscape.

So sign up today, and I'll see you there!

-- George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
February Occupancy Highest Since 1997

February was another month of solid growth for Orlando's hotel metrics. Orlando occupancy rose 2.8 percent to 83.9 percent, the highest February occupancy since February 1997 (84.9 percent).  Orlando posted a higher occupancy rate and faster growth than both the state (81.1 percent, +2.1 percent) and the nation (61.7 percent, +1.2 percent). In addition, February's average daily rate rose 3.5 percent to $139.69 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose 6.3 percent to $117.23.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Jonathan Tisch

Celebrate Travel
with Visit Orlando

Each May we gather to commemorate National Travel & Tourism Week at Visit Orlando's Celebrating Travel & Tourism Luncheon and honor those who make our industry great. This year, Visit Orlando welcomes to the stage two highly-regarded industry leaders: Jonathan Tisch (pictured), chairman & CEO of Loews Hotels, and Roger Dow, president & CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. The event will also include a pre-luncheon session featuring Martin Stoll, founder and CEO of Sparkloft Media, who will share his deep knowledge on how to leverage social media and the trends and changes you can expect in the next 18 months. Register today.


PITTCON Brings 11K
to Convention Center

Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel joined PITTCON President Adrian Michael Feb. 27 at the PITTCON Conference & Expo 2018 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Over the course of four days, more than 11,500 attendees participated in the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy at the Orange County Convention Center.

Mickey-Shaped Food

Landing the
Travel Channel

Visit Orlando's public relations team secured coverage on TravelChannel.com, one of the nation's top travel outlets, for a piece that showcases how to eat an entire day of mickey-shaped food at Disney World.


Top-Rated Network
Showcases Orlando

As a result of a destination orientation, Viagens ao Redor do Mundo filmed two, one-hour episodes featuring Orlando that aired on Band TV, one of Brazil's highest-rated television networks. The program showcased some of the destination's most delicious dining, distinctive entertainment, unique shopping and noteworthy attractions. The show's host was joined by influencer Felps, with a 4.8 million reach across social media, who shared his Orlando experience with his followers during filming.



Visit Orlando Upgrades
Orlando Travel Academy

Agents interested in becoming certified Orlando Travel Experts can now enjoy Visit Orlando's newly revamped online training academy. The training academy now provides information about what's new in the area for 2018, including not only new theme park openings and improvements but also information on attractions, dining, nightlife and other points of interest outside the parks. Read more in Travel Weekly.


Visitor Center Welcomes
Spring Breakers

Have you been to Orlando's Official Visitor Center at the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road? If so, you know it's a destination in its own right, inviting guests to explore all of the magical, thrilling and wondrous experiences that can only be enjoyed in Orlando. Visitors can get help navigating Orlando via our knowledgeable, multilingual Vacation Guides dedicated to promoting our members' businesses while providing guests with resources they can trust. Stop by to say "hi," and see just how hard our Vacation Guides are working for Orlando -- and for your business.

Readers digest

Orlando's Hidden

Visit Orlando's public relations team secured an article in top-tier Canadian family magazine Reader's Digest Online. The article highlighted unique can't-miss activities outside the theme parks, including value attractions, outdoor adventures, cultural finds and more. The coverage was shared on the magazine's Twitter page, as well.


16K Expected at ASA
Convention in 2019

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) convention planning team was in Orlando this week conducting site visits, which included a special dolphin experience at SeaWorld. More than 16,000 attendees are expected at ASA's national convention in October 2019.

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News About Orlando

At the Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Varsity Spirit LLC DBA American Championships American Open 2018 March 24 March 25 12,000 $11,820,000
Team Global USA, Corp. Team Global April 7 April 7 3,500 $6,650,000

Hospitality Sector
Leads Area Job Growth

The unemployment rates in Orange and Seminole counties were among the lowest in the state for January, according to a report released Monday. In Metro Orlando, the largest source of jobs added came from the leisure and hospitality sector, with 11,500 new jobs.

Read More

OIA Embraces 'Farm
to Terminal' Trend

The Orlando airport is the latest flying hub to discover the local and fresh trend that has swept the restaurant industry. Some in the travel industry are calling it "farm to terminal" -- a reference to the popular farm-to-table trend in American restaurants -- to describe more cuisine options inside the nation's airports.

Read More

Sentinel Unveils
Foodie Award Winners

This week the Orlando Sentinel unveiled the winners of its 20th annual Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards, a contest where critics and readers celebrate Central Florida restaurants. 

Read More


Provost Whittaker to
be President of UCF

Provost Dale Whittaker is poised to become the next president of the University of Central Florida, saying he wants to lead the institution to "pre-eminent" status and develop a leading academic health science center. He will succeed John Hitt, who is retiring June 30 after 26 years as president.

Read More

Drive Shack to
Debut Early Spring

Drive Shack is set to debut its 60,000-square-foot flagship location in Lake Nona's Sports and Performance District this spring. The three-story, indoor/outdoor golf-entertainment complex features 90 hitting bays, a Free Play Game Lounge with classic games, a full-service restaurant and bar, an outdoor lounge and three fully equipped meeting and event rooms.

Read More

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Industry News

88M Americans Planning
Family Vacations in 2018

A new survey from AAA Travel found that an estimated 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations in 2018. The surge is due in part to 44 percent of millennials planning a family getaway, which is more than Generation X (39 percent) or Baby Boomers (32 percent).

Read More

Facebook Gaining
Popularity for Reviews

Nearly three-quarters of all online reviews come from four sites: Booking.com, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook. Facebook is a new entry in the top four, replacing Hotels.com. Properties received an average of 37 reviews per month in 2017 -- up from 28 in 2016 -- and most were positive, with an average score of 4.23.

Read More

Room Demand Shows
Seasonal Pattern

According to Hotel News Now, from 2015 to 2017, U.S. room demand -- along with its related occupancy indicator -- follows a distinct seasonal pattern, with clear high and low months. Average daily rate, however, showed remarkably little movement across months.

Read More

Hotels Offer Higher

A new pilot program will offer streamlined degree opportunities to hotel industry employees in partnership with Pearson's AcclerateED Pathways program.

Read More


Travel Sentiment

The overall Traveler Sentiment Index (TSI) currently stands at 116, up one point from this time last year (115). This increase can be attributed to a five-point increase in perceived affordability of travel and a four-point increase in personal finances available for travel.

Read More

Global Study Shows
Travelers Prefer Apps

A global study by Travelport Digital showed that 58 percent of people prefer apps to search for flights and 53 percent preferred apps to find accommodation. Analysts note that travel brands matching their app experience to consumer expectations will drive more bookings, add more ancillaries and create longer-term value.

Read More

Brazil to Sign Open
Skies Agreement

Brazil is set to sign an Open Skies agreement with the U.S. in a move to make airfares cheaper and boost tourism between both countries. Brazil is the U.S.’s eighth-largest overseas source market for tourism. Data show other Open Skies route airfares are 32 percent cheaper on average than routes not part of Open Skies.

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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