More than 110,000 people are descending on Orlando to "spike" the competition.
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FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO
Bump, Set, Spike! Volleyball’s Big Economic Impact
With the nation’s second-largest convention facility, Orlando is known for hosting our share of massive conferences and events. But you might be surprised to learn that a youth volleyball tournament has grown to become the biggest of them all.
This week and next, the 46th annual AAU Junior Nationals Volleyball Championships is taking place at the Orange County Convention Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Between players, coaches and spectators, attendance is projected to surpass 110,000!
That translates to $108 million in economic impact for our region, as participants and their families also fan out to enjoy our theme parks, attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels.
I appreciate and value the strong partnership the Amateur Athletic Union and Visit Orlando have forged, which has supported the growth of this important event that is now the largest volleyball tournament in the world!
Orlando is fortunate to have the AAU headquartered locally, and we are proud to host several of the organization’s most prominent events across all sports, including football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and many others.
It speaks to the fact that, when it comes to combining youth sports with an unforgettable vacation experience, no one does it better than Orlando. You could say it’s a win for everyone involved!
President & CEO
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Exhibition Industry Grows 1.8% in Q1
The exhibition industry showed modest year-over-year growth during the first quarter of 2019, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. The CEIR Index rose 1.8%, with three of the four components posting year-over-year gains: real revenues, attendees and net square footage. The fourth component, number of exhibitors, slipped 0.4%.
VISIT ORLANDO ACTIVITIES
Visit Orlando Presents
to Orange County TDC
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel presented to the Orange County Tourist Development Council June 14, providing updates on the state of our region’s tourism industry and recapping the record global publicity our destination received as a result of Visit Orlando’s 2018 visitation announcement in May. Aguel also shared how a new 360-degree virtual reality tool, scheduled to launch this summer on VisitOrlando.com, will give website visitors an immersive, user-controlled experience at over 200 locations across our destination.
Engfer Retiring After 27
Years at Swan and Dolphin
Last week, Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel joined industry and community leaders to honor Don Engfer, executive vice president at Tishman Hotel Corporation, on the occasion of his retirement. Engfer, the past chair of Visit Orlando, served in a leadership position at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin for 27 years. We wish him all the best in this next chapter of life.
Aguel Honors Disney’s
Hamilton at MPI Dinner
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel attended Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress this week in Toronto. Alongside Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Aguel honored Disney’s Anne Hamilton at the president’s dinner for her exceptional contributions to the meetings and hospitality industry. Hamilton, the Walt Disney Company’s vice president of global travel, has been with Disney since 1996.
Visitor Center Receives
Certificate of Excellence
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has awarded Visit Orlando’s Official Visitor Center a 2019 Certificate of Excellence for consistently achieving positive reviews over the past year. Located on International Drive next to Mango’s Tropical Cafe, the Visitor Center is staffed with knowledgeable destination vacation guides who serve as a valuable resource to visitors, helping them navigate Orlando’s diverse offerings. The Visitor Center maintains a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Major Colombian Tour
Operator Visits Orlando
Visit Orlando hosted Ultra Group, a key Colombian tour operator, for a destination orientation May 19-26. Thirteen travel professionals experienced a variety of Orlando-area theme parks and attractions, as well as shopping and dining venues. Training sessions such as this provide travel professionals a first-hand experience and play a vital role in helping sell our destination.
UK Magazine Explores
Orlando for Adults
Visit Orlando's public relations team generated a two-page travel feature in one of the UK’s top celebrity lifestyle publications, OK! Magazine. The story, published during a key booking period, highlights Orlando for adults, from the theme parks, shopping and outdoor attractions, to the destination's top-notch dining scene.
IDDBA Convention Sets
The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association broke its attendance record with 11,000 show registrants at the Orange County Convention Center June 2-4. The convention, which generated $22 million in economic impact, will return to Orlando in 2028.
With Summer Savings
Visit Orlando's Summer Savings retail promotion is adding even more value to Orlando vacations this summer. With more than 50 theme parks, attractions, activities and dinner shows to choose from, visitors can save an additional 5% off their entire purchase now through July 28.
DID YOU KNOW?
Orlando was recently ranked the “Most Affordable Destination” in the U.S. According to SmartAsset, an average family of four pays $2,373 for a three-day, three-night vacation, which includes airfare and accommodations.
IN THE NEWS
Community Comes Together for Orlando United Day
A series of events took place last week to commemorate the Pulse anniversary. Read More
New Harry Potter-themed Coaster Opens at Universal
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened to the public June 13. Read More
Spending at Theme Parks Continues to Rise
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Average American spends $2,900 a year on entertainment. Read More
Universal Employee’s Act of Kindness Goes Viral
Boy with autism comforted by “real-life superhero” at Spider-Man attraction. Read More
VISIT ORLANDO EVENTS
Power Hour Lunch
Wednesday, June 26
Noon to 1 p.m.
Register for this month's Power Hour lunch at Tapa Toro. Come with plenty of business cards and be ready to deliver your 10-second elevator speech.