Featured Event

Aug. 20
Visit Orlando's
Business Insights Summit

presented by Emirates

Steve Forbes

The event will feature keynote speaker Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in the Valencia Ballroom in the West Building.

9-10 a.m.
Registration & Networking Breakfast

10-10:30 a.m.
General Session #1 Daryl Cronk, Visit Orlando Sr. Director of Market Research and Insights

10:30-11:30 a.m.
General Session #2 Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group

12-1:30 p.m.
Luncheon and Keynote Speaker Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

Register Now

Visit Orlando Events

July 23
Business Referral Group
Kobe Japanese Steak House

8148 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Cost: $23 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

July 24
Hot Topics! Educational Session – Emirates Routes & Markets
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
9–10:30 a.m.
Click here to register!

Aug. 6
Member Orientation
Click here to register.

Aug. 20
Business Insights Summit, presented by Emirates

Register Now

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.

Congratulations Members

Track Shack has received the Florida Retailer of the Year award.

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, part of the upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® brand, has named Charles Kingston as the 400-room resort's general manager.

Member-to-Member Offers

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen has launched a new website! Built to meet the needs of small- and mid-sized businesses that appreciate Barnie's high-quality specialty coffee, the site is tailored for offices seeking quick, easy, cost-efficient solutions. Through July 31, businesses will receive 15 percent off of their first order. Use code: OfficeCoffee15. For more information, click here.

barnies coffekitchen

Inspire your employees and staff this summer with Marc Mero's Dream Big Presentation, described as life-changing! Through August 28, Champion of Choices - Marc Mero is offering a 30 percent discount. Click here for more information or call 407-448-9956.

LTC Language Solutions is excited to invite new clients to try its language services! Learn a new language, utilize an interpreter, have a document translated, or just learn more about other cultures. Through October 1, receive 10 percent off of your first-time purchase. Questions? Please click here.


Industry Events

Sept. 9-11
CFVRMA Xtravaganza
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

VRM Xtravaganza

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Nov. 7
2015 VRM Awards Gala
Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa

Community Events

Through July 25
Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

Sounds Like Summer

Through Aug. 8
Summer Nights & Island Nights
SeaWorld® Orlando & Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™

Through Nov. 29
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition
Orlando Science Center

Saturdays in July – 18, 25
Summer Music Series
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

July 21
Kidgits Build-A-Bear
BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP® at The Florida Mall®,
A Simon Shopping Destination

July 25
The Babys Concert
The Plaza Live Orlando

July 25
Departure - Tribute to Journey
House of Blues

July 25
Idina Menzel on Tour
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Idina Menzel

July 31-Aug. 2
Indie Bookfest 2015
Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center

Aug. 1
Kellyco's 60th Anniversary, Showroom Re-opening & 300th Anniversary Commemoration
Kellyco Metal Detectors

Aug. 2
Music at the Casa
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Aug. 7
The Comedy Get Down World Tour
Amway Center

Aug. 14-15
Anime Festival Orlando
Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive


Aug. 24-Sept. 30
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month
Select Restaurants

Magical Dining

Sept. 4-6
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
Amway Center

Oct. 17
Music of the Americas
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Oct. 24
2015 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Charity Championship Golf Tournament

to benefit Give Kids the World Village
Metrowest Golf Club

Oct. 30–31
6th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Food and Wine Classic

Nov. 7
Eighth Annual 5K Run for The Gift
Southwest Aquatics

President & CEO's Message
July 17, 2015


George AguelWhen famously known publishing executive Steve Forbes was asked recently by a Nashville reporter whether the city could supplant Atlanta as the major Southern city or economic hub down the road, he said he thought that cities that have environments where people who want to get ahead can flourish don't have to worry about anybody else.

Forbes said that there will be certain areas where each city has its own niches. "Rather than look over the shoulder, look ahead," he added. "The key is community leadership."

Orlando is such a community. Not only has our Tourism industry been the primary source of employment for Central Florida residents, it's also been the catalyst for attracting and growing so many emerging niches, as Forbes refers to them. Important industries like modeling and simulation, as well as medicine, to name a few.

I really can't wait to hear what Forbes has to tell us here in Orlando on August 20 when he serves as the keynote speaker at Visit Orlando's Annual "Business Insights Summit" presented by Emirates. Forbes' midday presentation will follow a morning session that includes another renowned speaker, Anirban Basu, along with Visit Orlando's resident economist Daryl Cronk.

I encourage you to make every effort to join our strong Orlando community leadership and attend not only the luncheon, but also the General Session that precedes it.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Orange County Resort Taxes up 11 Percent

Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie recently announced that Orange County resort tax collections were nearly 9 percent higher in May 2015 versus the same month last year. On a year-to-date basis, tax collections were up 11 percent through May. Resort tax collections are a function of the number of room nights sold and the rate at which those rooms are sold, and both factors are showing strong growth in 2015. Occupied room nights in Orange County hotels increased 7 percent through May and the average daily rate in Orange County hotels was up 4.9 percent.


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Visit Orlando Updates

Meier's Weltreisen

Visit Orlando Participates in German Roadshow

From July 6–10, Visit Orlando participated in the Winter Destination Roadshow executed by Meier´s Weltreisen in Germany. Meier´s remains one of Germany's leading tour operators servicing the U.S., Florida and Orlando. The Roadshow stopped in Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Augsburg, and reached a total of 268 agents by means of all-day seminars. Visit Orlando updated the agents with five presentations and provided a grand prize at the end of each day.

Sneak Peek: 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Last weekend, the Visit Orlando social media team got a sneak peek at new menu items to be featured at the 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Disney also confirmed that the ABC daytime talk show "The Chew" will record five episodes from the festival in early October that will be aired October 12–16. Check out our sneak peek of the new flavors making their debut in celebration of festival's 20th anniversary.

Major News Outlets Highlight Orlando's Luxury Options

Visit Orlando's public relations team worked with writer Eileen Ogintz on a syndicated piece appearing on chicagotribune.com and MSN.com, among other websites. The article highlights Orlando's luxury options for families, including the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, dining experiences and theme park VIP tours.

M&I Associate

M&I Associate Earns Apple Watch for Booking Large Pharmaceutical Client

National Accounts Director Susan Zeiri was happy to present an Apple Watch to Julie Eplett from Meetings and Incentives (M&I) in Milwaukee last week. Visit Orlando attended the annual supplier showcase for M&I and presented the Apple Watch to its associate that booked definite business in Orlando over the past 30 days. Eplett just completed a contract for a pharmaceutical client for more than 1,500 room nights at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista.


Visiting Ours Networking

Visiting Ours Networking Event at Kings

Visit Orlando members enjoyed an evening of networking and bowling at Kings, located on International Drive. Guests enjoyed appetizers, drinks and a fun trivia contest about Kings. The winner of the $50 gift card was Amy Walsh with Universal Orlando and the $25 trivia gift card winner went to Annette Medina with Marlow's Tavern. Congratulations! Above: Bob Florig with Buca Di Beppo, Vaishali Desai with Bar Louie and Nasia Ansari with CiCi's Pizza

Visit Orlando Attends 25th CEMA Summit in La Jolla

A representative from Convention Sales is attending the 25th Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) Summit 2015 in La Jolla this week. This is the premier peer-to-peer annual event for leading event marketers and agency executives across industries to engage in keynote presentations and interactive panel discussions addressing today's ever-changing marketing mix. Meeting planners with major technology corporations from across the United States make up 70 percent of the 300 attendees.


Orlando Promotions Target Mexican Travelers

Visit Orlando and BestDay.com Mexico are partnering to promote special packages to Orlando. The promotion will run through July and August and will be delivered through a comprehensive digital strategy, including promotions in BestDay.com kiosks/stores around the country.


Visit Orlando Interviews Microsoft Lead during the Company's 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference

This week, Visit Orlando's social media team interviewed Ahinsa Mansukhani, U.S. Lead at Microsoft, during the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) held at the Orange County Convention Center. "Orlando has been an exceptional venue for WPC," she said. "The convention center is beautiful, the logistics around the space and the hotels are spectacular."

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Microsoft MGX Meeting July 22 July 24 17,000 $33,490,000

Orlando Skyline

Orlando's Got a Lot When It Comes to Recreation, Study Says

The City Beautiful is exactly that when it comes to recreation and public spaces, at least according to WalletHub.com.

Read More

Thomas Cook Airlines Adds Flights, Destinations to Orlando

Thomas Cook Airlines will add London Stansted Airport to its flight services from Orlando beginning July 17.

Read More

Disney, Prince Harry Team Up for Major Sports Event in Orlando

The Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style event started by Prince Harry of Wales, is coming to Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports next year.

Read More


Park Avenue

Two C. Fla. Cities Make List of Best Small Cities for Working Parents

In an attempt to find the best small cities for working parents, San Francisco-based personal finance website NerdWallet analyzed nearly 1,000 places across the U.S. with populations from 25,000 to 100,000 and placed six Florida cities on its list, including two from Central Florida.

Read More

Orlando Attraction No. 1 on TripAdvisor's Top Amusement Parks List — but It's Not the One You Think It Is

TripAdvisor released its annual Traveler's Choice awards for amusement parks and water parks in the U.S.and worldwide, and as you might expect, Orlando was represented by seven of the top 10.

Read More

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Industry News

hotel lobby

Hotel Guest Satisfaction Reaches All-Time High

Hotel guest satisfaction has risen to a record high, while the number of guests experiencing problems during their stay has dropped significantly, according to the J.D. Power 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

Read More

Shifts in Volume, Spending Lift Group Business

Many hotel companies are reporting positive growth in group business, and that trend should continue if the economy remains strong.

Read More


baggage claim

Travel Industry Lobbies Congress on Air Travel Issues

This fall, Congress is set to consider a bill reauthorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In advance of that, 117 travel-related companies and organizations have sent a letter to transportation leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to address "a core set of problems" threatening "the future growth and competitiveness of air travel in America," the U.S. Travel Association reported last week.

Read More

What You Need to Know as US Airways Finally Morphs into American Airlines

The dog days of summer flying—long delays, abrupt cancellations, wicked storms and clueless leisure travelers—have begun and the world's largest airline has an additional surprise: a change of computer systems.

Read More

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Corporate Ambassadors
ARDA Bags BB&T British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor
Darden Fairwinds Credit Union Florida Distributing Company Florida Hospital The Florida Mall
Lufthansa The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Development Commission Orlando Health Orlando International Airport
Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets O'Town Television OUC Smart City
Stay Sky Hotels & Resorts Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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