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

Aug. 6
Business Referral Group
RA Sushi Pointe Orlando

9101 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Cost: $20, inclusive (does not include parking)
Click here to RSVP

Aug. 20
Business Insights Summit, presented by Emirates

Register Now

Sept. 3
Member Orientation
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 Meeting Services. Click here to schedule a session.

Congratulations Members

Holiday Inn in the Walt Disney World® Resort is pleased to announce Zhaydrix Robles as its new Catering Sales & Special Events Manager.

Holiday Inn & Suites Across From Universal Orlando® is proud to announce Damian Garcia as its new Executive Meeting Manager.

The Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando Downtown is now open and excited to be a part of the vibrant, downtown community! This 138-room, all-suite property is great for extended stays as all rooms offer full kitchens, Internet access and grocery shopping service. It's not just a room, it's a Residence. For reservations, click here.

Member-to-Member Offers

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.


Regal Oaks - A CLC World Resort is offering an exclusive rate for Visit Orlando members of $99 per night for a two-bedroom townhouse, Sunday through Thursday, and $119 per night, Friday through Saturday; based on availability. The offer is good through Dec. 15. For more information, call 407-997-9478 or click here. Reference offer code: VIOR15.

Industry Events

Aug. 20
CFVRMA Monthly Meeting
Treasure Tavern Dinner Theater

Aug. 20
West Orange Chamber of Commerce presents "Lead and Feed"
Fresco Cucina Italiana

Sept. 9-11
VRM 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 Aug. 8
Summer Nights & Island Nights
SeaWorld® Orlando & Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™

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

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. 15-16
21st Annual Harvest Grape Stomp
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

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

Magical Dining

Aug. 25
Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce's
Veterans Business Initiative
National Entrepreneur Center

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

Sept. 12
O-Town MacDown, Benefiting Give Kids the World
Osceola Heritage Park

Sept. 23
21st Annual "Salute to COMPACT" Awards Banquet
Rosen Centre Hotel

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

Nov. 14
5K Gingerbread Run
Give Kids The World Village

President & CEO's Message
July 31, 2015


George AguelAre you looking forward to hearing Steve Forbes speak on Aug. 20 at Visit Orlando's Business Insights Summit, presented by Emirates, but unsure if you can carve out a little extra time that morning for the General Session featuring economist Anirban Basu? I strongly recommend that you make time to do it.

I had the opportunity to sit through one of Anirban Basu's presentations at a U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors meeting, and I can tell you firsthand that he is as entertaining as he is informative. His "day job" is that of chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, a consulting firm in Baltimore, MD. He's one of the most recognizable economists in and around Washington, D.C., where he lectures at Johns Hopkins University and serves as chairman of the Baltimore County Economic Advisory Committee and economic advisor to the Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce.

Click here to register and see the full agenda for the morning. I promise you won't be disappointed.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Leisure & Hospitality Added 13,000 Jobs

The Orlando MSA's Leisure & Hospitality sector employed 247,400 in June, an increase of 13,000 jobs versus the same month last year. Employment in the Leisure and Hospitality sector rose 5.6 percent year-over-year, versus a 4.3% increase in the MSA's total nonagricultural employment. The 13,000 new Leisure and Hospitality jobs accounted for more than one-quarter (27.5 percent) of the 47,200 increase in total nonagricultural employment.

Leisure & Hospitality Added 13,000 Jobs

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Visit Orlando Updates

Visionary Summit

Visionary Summit Welcomes Top Meeting Professionals

Visit Orlando was a sponsor for Prevue magazine's Visionary Summit before the start of the Global Business Travel Association convention at the Orange County Convention Center this past week. This educational summit for 35 qualified meeting professionals was held at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Here, Lynda Garvey, director of The Consultants (left), and Visit Orlando's Stephanie Naegele enjoy the opening reception at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.

Save the Date: World Tourism Day Job Shadow

Members of Orlando's tourism industry will be encouraged to host students from the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in their workplace for the annual World Tourism Day Job Shadow this September. Sophomores and juniors focused on pursuing a degree in hospitality will be exposed to diverse careers offered in Orlando's tourism industry and serve as an aid for determining the academic path that best suits their interests. Stay tuned for more details and registration information in the coming weeks.

Networking Reception and Panel

Networking Reception and Panel Discussion Address Hotel Industry

HelmsBriscoe hosted a networking reception along with a panel discussion on "Hotel Procurement in a Seller's Market" during Global Business Travel Association's meeting last week. The event was held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Club 39 at the Plaza and the panelists were Fred Shea, senior VP of convention sales; Jason Johnson, VP of business development for HelmsBriscoe; Leslie Menichini, VP of sales and marketing for Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Geri Horan, VP at HelmsBriscoe and Tim Heling, Director of Revenue Management for Hyatt Regency Orlando. HelsmBriscoe had some of its staff and clients in attendance who engaged in a lively Q&A at the end of the evening.


Barbara Herod

Visit Orlando Welcomes New National Accounts Director

Visit Orlando is pleased to announce that it has hired Barbara Herod, CMP, as National Accounts Director. She will be based in Washington, D.C. Herod comes to Visit Orlando with vast experience in sales, most recently with Experient, Inc. and the San Diego Tourism Authority. Throughout her career, Herod has hired and trained sales staff, spearheaded new business development and established relationships with corporate and association meeting professionals throughout the country. She is a member of American Society of Association Executives, Professional Convention Management Association and Meeting Professionals International.

Team Hosts Top Clients

Convention Center Team Hosts Top Clients in Tallahassee

The Convention Sales Business Development team, headed by Aitza Diaz, recently hosted a client event in Tallahassee. Eight members traveled along to co-host the event for more than 75 clients. A special wine-tasting reception with themed décor and entertainment was held at the Goodwood Museum and Gardens. Special thanks to our participating members! From left: Michael Townes, Aitza Diaz, Chris Schuh of A Plan to Meet, Inc., Arlene Roberts from the Florida Department of Education, and Stephanie Naegele.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
GeekyCon Annual Event July 30 Aug. 2 2,500 $4,925,000
General Council of the Assemblies of God Biennial August International Convention Aug. 3 Aug. 7 6,500 $59,100,000

The Beatles

The Beatles Come to I-Drive's Madame Tussauds

Well, Madame Tussauds Orlando just got one of history's most influential bands in its line-up of wax figures: The Beatles.

Read More

Proposed I-Drive Hotel Plans Revamped

Developers of a new hotel planned for International Drive have revamped their construction plans, including reducing the number of rooms and parking spaces.

Read More

Orlando Airport Gets Service to Indianapolis, L.A.

Orlando International Airport is gaining new service to Los Angeles and Indianapolis. The service, provided by Frontier Airlines, starts Oct. 25.

Read More



Orlando Among Best Cities for Future Job Growth

A new study by Forbes shows that Florida is home to six of the top 10 metros for highest forecasted employment growth.

Read More

Darden Hires New LongHorn President

Darden is bringing back former executive Todd Burrowes to run LongHorn Steakhouse, the Orlando-based restaurant company said Monday.

Read More

Residence Inn Hotel to Open in Downtown Orlando

The 138-suite Residence Inn by Marriott in Orlando, Florida is scheduled to open this Friday and will feature the brand's innovative, new design.

Read More

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Industry News


Megabus.com Begins "Name the Bus" Campaign to Honor Florida

Megabus.com, the popular city-to-city, express bus company, announced a plan to name one of its buses after each state in which they operate. The bus names will be selected entirely by customer and resident votes in order to choose the moniker that best represents each state. All of the bus names on the ballot were chosen because they are heavily associated with Florida or commemorate a piece of the state's history. Voting is now open to residents of Florida, who can click here to vote for their favorite bus name by Aug. 17. Winning names will be announced via megabus.com's social media channels.


Save the Date: Global Meetings Industry Day Set for April 14

Earlier this year, advocacy coalition Meetings Mean Business helped organize North American Meetings Industry Day to illustrate the impact events have on the economy. Next year, the group has set its sights higher, expanding and rebranding the initiative to create the first-ever Global Meetings Industry Day.

Read More

U.S. Travel to Induct Michael Leven, W. Stephen Maritz Into Hall of Leaders

During a special dinner, taking place Nov. 18 in Washington, DC, the U.S. Travel Association will induct travel industry veterans Michael Leven and W. Stephen Maritz into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders, it announced yesterday.

Read More

GBTA Study Details Top Ground Transportation Methods Among Business Travelers

A new study from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation, the organization's education and research branch, reveals that rental cars remain the most popular method of ground transportation among today's business travelers.

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
Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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