"Orlando's BIG Thank You" campaign keeps racking up the awards … thanks to you.
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Visit Orlando
Orange County Convention Center


Our BIG, Collective ‘Thank You’ Went a Long Way

In 2017, many of you took part in our ambitious “Orlando’s BIG Thank You” campaign to celebrate another year of record visitation.

Working together, Visit Orlando, member companies and community leaders thanked millions of visitors, travel clients and members of the media — even setting a Guinness World Records title for “Most Greeting Cards Collected in 24 Hours.”

I'm happy to report that "Orlando's BIG Thank You" has now earned 10 major industry awards in prestigious state, national and international competitions. The list includes the HSMAI Adrian Award for best integrated marketing campaign, Travel Weekly's Magellan Award, PRSA's Award of Excellence and, most recently, the Silver Award for Best PR Campaign at World Travel Market's International Travel & Tourism Awards in London. 

This success is a team effort made possible by every corner of our tourism industry — and a great example of our creativity and spirit of hospitality.
George Aquel President & CEO George Aguel
President & CEO
Orange County Convention Center


AAA Thanksgiving Forecast: Orlando Top Destination

The 2018 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume in more than a dozen years, according to AAA. Over 54 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, 2.5 million (4.8 percent) more than last year. Many travelers -- 48.5 million or 89 percent -- will drive to their destination despite paying the highest Thanksgiving gas prices in four years. Orlando is the top Thanksgiving destination, based on AAA’s online and travel agency air and tour bookings, followed by New York and Anaheim, Calif.


i4 Business Leaders 2018


Visit Orlando Named
Best DMO in Southeast

Visit Orlando recently won the 2018 Stella Award as the Best DMO (destination marketing association) in the Southeast. Presented by the publishers of Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings magazines, the award recognizes the top organizations providing quality service and innovation to the meetings industry. The Stella Awards combine public and planner voting and third-party, objective planner judging.


International Journalists
Experience Orlando

Visit Orlando’s publicity team welcomed several Mexican and Brazilian journalists last month to experience the destination’s diverse attractions, outdoor activities and delicious dining. The journalists represent top Mexican publications like El Financiero and Central, plus Brazilian publications including Harper’s Bazaar Kids and Joyce Pascowitch Magazine. Their coverage of our destination is expected to result in more than 14 million impressions.
Ribbon cutting


Aguel Celebrates New 
Event Space on I-Drive

This week Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel joined the Hilton Orlando executive team and their ownership group to celebrate the grand opening of a new 13,000-square-foot pool deck, which can be transformed into private event space for up to 500 guests. In addition, Hilton Orlando has added a 1,250-square-foot Splash Zone for younger guests, and 14 additional cabanas. "By investing in our destination, it not only makes leisure and business guests want to return again and again, it also strengthens our local economy," said Aguel.
Kids Fly Free


Working with Travel Pros
in Argentina and Chile

Visit Orlando and member companies conducted a sales mission Oct. 22-26 to Argentina and Chile, reaching more than 500 travel professionals through a variety of seminars, tradeshows and network events. In addition, nearly 375 one-on-one meetings took place with decision-makers at in-market tour operators. To help sell our destination, travel professionals learned firsthand what’s new in Orlando.
Cool Mom eats


Orlando Preparing 
to Host 2019 Pro Bowl

For the third consecutive year, Orlando will host the NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 27 at Camping World Stadium. In addition to the game, the event will bring fans, families and NFL all-stars from across the country to experience our destination during Pro Bowl Week. As a member of Visit Orlando, you can save up to $10 per ticket by entering promo code “VISIT.” Buy your tickets here.
Black Friday deals


Visit Orlando to Offer
Black Friday Deals

Visit Orlando is launching a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal for holiday shoppers and bargain hunters: an extra 10 percent off already-discounted attraction tickets with exclusive park offers. The 10 percent savings will be available Nov. 20-29 on OrlandoTickets.com using the promo code GIFT.


Targeting Mexico for
Black Friday Sales

Visit Orlando partnered with PriceTravel.com to launch a joint marketing campaign in Mexico that promotes Black Friday sales throughout the month of November. The campaign, estimated to generate more than 3.6 million impressions, features tickets to theme parks and attractions.
Viajar Pelo Mundo


Record Attendance and 
Sold-out Events at OCCC

The American Academy of Pediatrics had record attendance at Experience 2018, with more than 18,000 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center Nov. 2-6. The show generated more than $31 million in economic impact and will be returning to Orlando in 2024. Also, Stampin’ Up! celebrated its 30th anniversary with a sold-out event (5,700 attendees) at OCCC last week, generating $11 million in economic impact.


TDT Collections Up 8.6% to Close Out Fiscal Year

Revenues from Orange County’s tourist development tax soared past $276 million. Read More

Theme Parks Post Gains in Attendance, Revenue

Disney, Universal and Sea World all reported good news on recent earnings calls.

Tourism a Bright Spot for National Employment

The leisure and hospitality sector created the nation’s second-most jobs in October. Read More

Orlando Among Most Affordable Holiday Destinations

The study by GOBankingRates examined the cost of flights, hotels, food, drinks, transportation and entertainment. Read More


ice cream

Visitors to Orlando (Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties) account for 8.6 percent of statewide sales tax collections. That translates to roughly 1 in 12 dollars.


Annual Meeting & Luncheon

Gain valuable industry insights from TripAdvisor, make new business connections and catch up with long-time industry friends. Also, be the first to hear how much was raised for our local charities, Best Buddies and the Down Syndrome Association, during Magical Dining Month. Cost: $95. Register here.



Nov. 26-29

Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference
Estimated Attendance: 20,000
Economic impact: $56.3M

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