Save the Date!

Annual Meeting

#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

White Rabbit

Let's Find the White Rabbit

My daughter wanted desperately to meet Alice, but we had just missed the meet-and-greet. Alice took her hand and let her walk back with her, doing twirls while they walked and looked for Mr. Rabbit. The look on my daughter's face was priceless and she still talks about it today.

story of the week

Stories shared on OrlandoStories.com and using #MyOrlandoStory on social media may be featured as the Story of the Week.

Visit Orlando Events

Oct. 22
Business Referral Group

12690 International Drive South
Cost: $23
Click here to RSVP.

Nov. 5
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 Services. Click here to schedule a session.

Congratulations Members

Hilton Orlando is proud to announce that Dawn Walzak was promoted to director of sales and marketing.

Three retailers are opening new or expanded stores this month at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores: eSunWear Swimwear Outlet is now open; existing retailer LOFT OUTLET is expanding with a new, larger store scheduled to open the weekend of Oct. 24; and Express Factory Outlet opens on Oct. 29.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has added two new group sales managers. Kristina Moehle will be responsible for the supervision of accounts with 10-150 rooms in Southeast markets, while Kelly Hartig will oversee small meetings accounts in the Midwest and West Coast.

Member-to-Member Offers

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, Visit Orlando members are invited to take part in an exclusive presale for the 2016 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship, which will be hosted at the Amway Center, March 10-13, 2016. The event will feature 10 games and three different ticket packages are available. For complete information, visit TheAmerican.org/MBB. To purchase tickets, click here and enter access code VISITORL. The deal expires at 10 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Ticket Offer

Plan your holiday event at Dewey's Indoor Golf & Sports Grill before Oct. 30 and receive 10 percent off of the entire package. Click here for more information.

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Osceola Heritage Park for Plum Palooza and celebrate the release of the new Stephanie Plum novel, Tricky Twenty-Two. Get a signed copy and enjoy food and entertainment. Visit Orlando members will receive 10 percent off of the general admission price. Use code ORLANDO. Purchase tickets here.

Visit Orlando members are invited to attend the RTO Summit Orlando Symposium and Luncheon, Monday, Nov. 16 at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek for a special price of $395. Panel sessions will feature the latest on the growing Middle East and India markets to Orlando, perspective on the evolving Brazil market, and more. Click here to register.

The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members 20 percent off of spa and salon services, through Nov. 30. For more information and reservations, call 407-345-4431 or contact Carol Cox.

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.

Book your next staycation at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, located in the Downtown Disney® Resort area, and receive 30 percent off of the best available rate. Relax poolside with a refreshing beverage from the Oasis Bar & Grill while the kids have fun at the aquatic playground. Then, enjoy a great night's sleep in one of the spacious guest rooms. For reservations, call 800-624-4109 and mention this offer. Seven-day advance booking required. Subject to availability. Rate code: DISVOMD. Offer valid through Dec. 24.

The Church of Life has expanded its preschool by 1,000 feet! Through Dec. 31, Visit Orlando members can enjoy 50 percent off of the registration fee, as well as 15 percent off of the weekly fee. For registration information, please click here.

Lovespoon Candles offers locally produced soy candles that make unique, special gifts. Visit Orlando members are invited to enjoy a special price of $17 each, tin or jar (regular price $27.95 and $23.95, respectively), through Dec. 31. Click here for more information.


OrlandoConventionPhotographers.com, which provides creative, experienced and professional photography services, is offering Visit Orlando members a great deal for the holiday season. Through Dec. 31, receive 25 percent off of photography for your holiday party. For more information, click here.

Industry Events

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Nov. 4
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)'s
Revenue Optimization Continuing Education and Training (ROCet)
Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando

Nov. 4
Orlando Economic Development Commission's
BBQ on the Boulevard
301 East Pine Street
Orlando, FL 32801

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

Nov. 16
RTO Summit Orlando
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Community Events

Through Oct. 18
Brick or Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Through Oct. 31, weekends
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld® Orlando

Through Nov. 1
Halloween Horror Nights 25
Universal Orlando Resort

Through Nov. 1
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic Kingdom Park

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

Through Jan. 8, 2016
Connecting to Cuba
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

Oct. 17
The Creative City Project
Downtown Orlando

Oct. 17
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando's
Savor the Night
City Hall Rotunda & City Commons Plaza

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

Oct. 18
Latin Food & Wine Festival
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts,
Seneff Arts Plaza

Oct. 22
Food Truck Crazy
Caribe Cove Resort by Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Oct. 23
4th Annual Casino Night
Winter Park Community Center

Casino Night

Oct. 24
4th Annual Fore the Animals
Charity Golf Tournament

to benefit Pet Rescue by Judy
Mayfair Country Club

Oct. 24
2015 Wyndham Vacation Ownership Charity Championship Golf Tournament

to benefit Give Kids the World Village
MetroWest Golf Club

Oct. 29
West Orange Chamber of Commerce's Golf Classic

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

Oct. 31
Bonnet Creek BOO-tacular Family Fun Run

to benefit Give Kids The World
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort

Oct. 31
Classic Car Show
Artegon Marketplace Orlando

Oct. 31
Making Strides of Orlando
Lake Eola Park

Oct. 31
Mall-O-Ween at The Florida Mall
The Florida Mall

Nov. 5-8
Friends & Family Tennis Getaway
Walt Disney World Resort

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

Nov. 12-15
International Peace and Film Festival
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal

Nov. 13
American Lung Association's
SeaWorld Orlando - Sea Harbor Pavilion
and Ports of Call

Nov. 13-15
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

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

Nov. 14
15th Annual Dancing for Diabetes
Seminole High School

Nov. 19
Champion of Choices with Marc Mero - Dream Big Tour
Lake Mary Prep

Nov. 20-22
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Nov. 26-29
Central Florida International Auto Show
Orange County Convention Center

Dec. 2
Christmas at the Casa
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Dec. 11-13
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

Jan. 23, 2016
Color In Motion 5K
Artegon Marketplace

Jan. 24, 2016
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Red Priest
Rollins College, Tiedtke Concert Hall

President & CEO's Message
October 16, 2015


George AguelEven senior executives in control of significant annual convention budgets have emotional moments. That's why we knew we were on the right track when this week Visit Orlando decided to unveil new brand creative for the meetings and conventions market at IMEX America, the leading tradeshow in the meeting and convention industry.

Titled "Share Orlando," the campaign taps into the emotions of meeting and event professionals. It showcases stories inspired by authentic social media posts through the eyes of the convention attendee or meeting planner. And it reflects that there is simply no other destination where extraordinary experiences occur in such creative and innovative backdrops the way they do in Orlando, named 2015's No. 1 meetings destination.

IMEX America was the ideal forum for Visit Orlando to roll out this new initiative. The show attracted a record 3,000 buyers from 54 countries. Our Convention Sales team incorporated the new brand positioning in one-on-one meetings and presentations, exciting and inspiring meeting professionals to imagine themselves in Orlando experiencing unforgettable group events that will live on in the memories of attendees long after the conference is over. This was just the beginning of how we will be leveraging this new meeting and convention brand across many marketing and sales platforms to reinforce our leading position in this industry.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

World Economic Outlook

research chart The latest World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects global economic growth for 2015 at 3.1 percent, 0.3 percentage points lower than in 2014, and 0.2 percentage points below the forecasts in the July 2015 World Economic Outlook. Global economic growth is forecasted to accelerate to 3.6 percent in 2016. The IMF sees economic growth in the U.S. steadily increasing from 2.4 percent in 2014 to 2.6 percent in 2015 and 2.8 percent in 2016. The fastest economic growth among Orlando's top international markets is forecasted in Mexico and the U.K.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Bill Nelson

COO Represents Orlando Region During a Mission to Washington, D.C.

Last week, Visit Orlando's Chief Operating Officer Larry Henrichs joined 60 community leaders on BakerHostetler's Central Florida Partnership mission to Washington, D.C., where he was able to meet with representatives from the U.S. Council for International Business, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The leaders were split into teams to cover topics including international business, modeling and simulation, transportation and homelessness with legislators and other officials. Special guest speakers included Roger J. Dow, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Travel Association, who talked about visa waivers, open skies and the value of taking a vacation. Attendees also had the opportunity to have lunch with Senator Bill Nelson.

Base Camp

Visit Orlando Presents Donation to BASE Camp

BASE Camp Children's Cancer Foundation provides year-round programs for children and families facing the challenge of living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Visit Orlando donated $850 and various in-kind supplies made possible by the members at the Business Insights Summit held in August. Our commitment to the community and those making an impact with families and children remains a strong focus at Visit Orlando and we hope to collect more donations at the upcoming Visit Orlando Annual Meeting in December.


Destination Represented by Travel Industry Sales Team at AMEX Forum

The Travel Industry Sales team recently participated in the American Express Retail Travel Network Learning Forum and National Summit in Washington, D.C. The conference provides opportunities for frontline retail agents and travel agency owners to attend training sessions, a travel expo and general sessions focusing on professional development. Approximately 2,000 travel professionals attended the conference. Visit Orlando held one-on-one appointments and exhibited during the expo, distributing maps, reference manuals, visitor guides and profiles sheets on what's new in Orlando.

Visit Orlando Now Accepting Applications from Nonprofits for 2016 Fundraising

Visit Orlando is inviting eligible nonprofit organizations to apply for next year's partnership opportunities. Visit Orlando's Annual Golf Tournament, Magical Dining Month and our member networking events have raised more than $125,000 for local organizations that benefit families and children in our area. Applications are due by 5 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Oct. 28.


Visit Orlando and Partners Attend IMEX America Trade Show

Visit Orlando and several of our partners attended IMEX America this week in Las Vegas. A total of 3,100 companies from 54 countries were at this hosted buyer event, where they booked more the 66,000 appointments during the three-day trade show. Visit Orlando also hosted a breakfast for almost 200 people, allowing our members to speak to clients and media. "Channing Tatum" from Madame Tussauds Orlando was on hand for photo ops. Participating members included Hyatt Regency, SeaWorld Orlando, Disney, Swan and Dolphin, Play with a Purpose, B-Resort, Wyndham I-Drive, CSI, Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Marriott World Center, Westgate, Hilton Orlando and So Cool Events.

Orange County

Visit Orlando Updates TDC on Brand Campaign and State of Hospitality Industry

Visit Orlando COO/CFO Larry Henrichs provided an update on Visit Orlando's marketing and sales efforts to the Orange County Tourist Development Council (TDC) on Friday, Oct. 9. Henrichs also updated the TDC on the continued success the hospitality industry has experienced during the summer of 2015 and shared Visit Orlando's new brand campaign, titled "The Never Ending Story." The TDC is comprised of nine business and community leaders from throughout Orange County, including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. These quarterly meetings give Visit Orlando the opportunity to share the success of our trade association and our industry, as well as to educate this influential group on issues related to tourism.


Brazil journalists

Visit Orlando Hosts Brazilian Journalists

Last week, Visit Orlando hosted a press trip for eight top journalists from Brazil that included visits to area theme parks, I-Drive 360 attractions, shopping destinations, downtown venues and Winter Park.

magazine spread

Brazilian Publication Highlights Orlando's Culinary Scene

Revista Pais & Filhos, a Brazilian magazine for families and parents of children under the age of 12, published an article on Orlando's dining scene in its October edition following a trip by the writer in September. The six-page article, titled "Just Like a Dream," covers the destination's different dining options and encourages Brazilian visitors to discover and experience the incredible restaurants here for themselves.

Brazil Super FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts Brazil Super FAM

Visit Orlando-together with Disney Destinations, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort, American Airlines and Delta Airlines-recently hosted the third-annual Brazil Super FAM for 80 travel agents. The familiarization tour offered agents the opportunity to experience traditional Brazilian tours, as well as learn firsthand about new and unexpected venues by exploring Winter Park and attending an Orlando Magic Game. Thanks to the following members for providing accommodations: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Hotel, Castle Hotel and Universal's Cabana Bay Resort.


Seminars in Chile Offer Destination Training to Top Travel Agents

Claudia Castillo, a representative for Visit Orlando, recently completed a series of destination training seminars in Chile. On Sept. 22 she was at REPSE with 39 travel agents; Sept. 23 brought her to five agents at Tour Mundial; on Sept. 24 she visited Deltour to train seven agents; and she wrapped things up on Sept. 30 at Cocha Seminar where she presented to 300 travel agents.

Destination Promoted to American Nurses Credentialing Center Conference

Visit Orlando Ambassador Hannelore Hulick just returned from Atlanta, where she promoted Orlando at the American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference. The group will be meeting here in October 2016.


Destination Segments Featured During Prime Time TV

Partnership Marketing is pleased to share the second of three two-minute vignettes that were broadcast this week during the TV shows "New York Live" and "Atlanta & Co." The vignette showcases the endless array of outdoor adventures that Orlando has to offer. Next up, the final segment will showcase Orlando's luxurious and more relaxing side. These are hosted by Lilliana Vazquez, an Emmy-winning host and regular on "The TODAY Show," "Access Hollywood" and "E! News."


Orlando Named Best City for Families by Macaroni Kid

Macaroni Kid Family Travel, a division of Macaroni Kid, a publisher dedicated to enriching communities and empowering moms, held its first-ever Gold Daisy Awards competition this year in order to recognize the best in family travel. Winners were selected by readers, and Orlando took the top prize in the category of Best City for Families to Visit.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
American Osteopathic Association OMED Oct. 17 Oct. 19 8,300 $16,351,000


Orlando Tourism May Reap Millions From new Federal Bill

International travel is key to Orlando's growth as a tourism destination and, luckily, some federal lawmakers are trying to help bring more overseas tourists to the region.

Read More

Star Sighting: Shaq and 'Tanked' Crew at Sea Life

On Tuesday, former NBA star and Orlando Magic player Shaquille O'Neal visited Sea Life Orlando Aquarium alongside Wayde King, Brett Raymer and Redneck, who appear on the TV show "Tanked." It was part of the filming of the season finale of the Animal Planet series, which will air Nov. 20.

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Exclusive: Show's Over for Dr. Phillips Center Hotel Project

The hotel was proposed as a 155-room Hilton Curio for a 34,312-square-foot parcel of land in front of the arts center in downtown Orlando. However, the project from Orlando developer Marc Bortz and a group of other hotel experts is no longer happening, according to the city of Orlando.

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Winter Park

Winter Park Honored With Top America in Bloom Awards

Winter Park recently received the "Outstanding Achievement Award for Overall Impression" at the 2015 America in Bloom (AIB) Symposium and Awards Program in Holland, Michigan. This is the city's second major AIB award in three years. Competing against 40 communities nationwide, Winter Park also received the top 2015 "Bloom Rating," as well as a special mention for "Heritage Preservation."

First Major Tenant Named for Gardens on Millenia Project

BBX Capital Real Estate, a division of Fort Lauderdale-based BBX Capital Corp. (NYSE: BBX) and the developer behind a 47-acre mixed-use development in Orlando dubbed The Gardens on Millenia, on Wednesday revealed the name of a big tenant that will be part of the project.

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Disney Sets List of Candlelight Processional Narrators

Walt Disney World has released the entire list of narrators for the 2015 edition of Candlelight Processional, the annual retelling of the Christmas story at Epcot. New participants include Chandra Wilson, Daniel Dae Kim, America Ferrera and the previously announced Meredith Vieira.

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Florida Hospital to Build New Facility for Patients' Families

Demolition and site work began this week at Florida Hospital Orlando to make room for a new structure that will provide a home-away-from-home for families of transplant patients.

Read More

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Industry News

Capitol Hill

U.S. Travel Association Seeks Support for JOLT Act of 2015

According to the U.S. Travel Association, there's a better way to welcome more travelers to the U.S. and it's called the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which welcomes pre-screened travelers to the U.S. for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. Expanding the VWP through the JOLT (Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel) Act , which was just introduced in the Senate, makes the travel process more efficient, would boost the American economy and would even change the name of the program to the Secure Travel Partnership. Extending the VWP to Brazil, Poland, Israel, Croatia and other select countries would add nearly $11 billion to our economy and support nearly 61,000 additional American jobs. The VWP is also vital to our national security: VWP countries must use secure passports and share their terror watch lists with the U.S. Additionally, their travelers are screened through multiple law enforcement and security databases prior to their arrival in the United States. The U.S. Travel Association is asking for your help: Tell your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the JOLT Act of 2015.

Florida Leading Indicator Goes Up Slightly in August

Florida's leading indicator-a measurement of economic activity in the state compiled by Durham, N.H.-based e-forecasting.com-increased 0.1 percent in August after an increase of 0.1 percent in July.

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exhibit hall

5 Baby Boomer Travel Trends

While an increasing number of travel brands are targeting millennial travelers with tech-savvy digital tools, according to 2014 AARP survey of more than 800 participants ages 50 and up, baby boomers are making travel a priority.

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Travel Group Protests TSA Staff Cuts

The appropriations bill that is being considered by lawmakers for the Homeland Security Administration, which oversees the TSA, would cap the agency's employment at 45,000, which the U.S. Travel Association said would result in a cut of about 600 workers.

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All of JetBlue's Airbus Planes Have WiFi

JetBlue said it has completed the installation of high-speed WiFi on its fleet of more than 150 Airbus planes.

Read More

Why Unlimited Vacation Is Basically a No-Brainer for Employers

When employers stop doling out a set amount of vacation days, they no longer have to pay out unused days if workers quit or get laid off from the company.

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 OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands
United Service Companies
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