In Memoriam

Dottie Healy

We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of one of our Visit Orlando team members. For the past 12 years, Dottie Healy won the love and respect of many of Visit Orlando's 1,200 member companies. Dottie's vibrant spirit and unwavering enthusiasm were valued by all of us who knew and worked with her. The thoughts and prayers of our Visit Orlando team go out to Dottie's family and dearest friends. For information on the visitation and service or to send flowers, please click here.

#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Magical Harry Potter Engagement

Magical Harry Potter Engagement

We decided to take a vacation to Orlando because what better place is there for theme parks! While on vacation, my boyfriend proposed to me in Harry Potter world at Ollivander's Wand Shop. It was the best day of my life. Filled with all the things I love most! I will never forget my Orlando vacation.

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

Sept. 16
Visiting Ours
Club 39 at The Plaza (Rosen)

5-6:30 p.m.; Cost: $15 members, $25 nonmembers
Click here to register.

Sept. 17
Business Referral Group
Graffiti Junktion

7625 Turkey Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819
Cost: $15 inclusive
Click here to RSVP

Oct. 1
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

Destination MCO (DestinationMCO.com), Orlando's choice transportation logistics and management company, has been ranked No. 3035 on Inc. magazine's 34th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.

In the September issue of Successful Meetings magazine, Senior Editor Andrea Doyle included the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek and Hyatt Regency Orlando in a story entitled "Diverse Palate: Changing Tastes Are Driving Changes in Event Food & Beverage Trends." Both hotels were mentioned for their innovative cuisine.

Wyndham Grand

Member-to-Member Offers

Visit Orlando members who book a Gator Shine Holiday Party before Sept. 30 will receive 10 percent off of the rental fee, which includes access to a conference room and the park after hours. Call Jennifer at 407-856-3249.

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 Oct. 1, receive 10 percent off of your first-time purchase. Questions? Please click here.


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.

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.

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.


Industry Events

Sept. 17
Building Business Expo
West Oaks Mall

Sept. 18
HSMAI Chinese Auction
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

Sept. 23
VS Media Group’s Annual “In the Know” Trade Show
SeaWorld® Orlando Ports of Call

Sept. 24
West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Business Before Hours
Bella Room, LLC

Oct. 17
The Pineapple Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

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

Community Events

Through Sept. 30
School Supply Drive
Osceola County Welcome Center,
History Museum and Pioneer Village

Through Sept. 30
Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month,
presented by American Express
Select Restaurants

Magical Dining

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

Sept. 12
11th Annual Give Kids Safe Shelter Golf Tournament
Kissimmee Bay Golf Course

Sept. 12
2015 Greater Orlando Heart Walk
University of Central Florida

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

Sept. 12–13
Corks for Cancer Festival
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Sept. 13
Music at the Casa: Beautiful Music's "Paint it Black" Quartet & Friends
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Sept. 15–Nov. 1
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic Kingdom Park

Sept. 17–20
Art in Odd Places
Downtown Orlando

Art in Odd Places

Sept. 17–24
10th Annual Fashion Week
The Mall at Millenia

Sept. 18–20
Bobcat Goldthwait
Improv Comedy Club

Sept. 18–Nov. 1
Halloween Horror Nights 25
Universal Orlando Resort

Sept. 19
Candy's Cats 6th Annual Wheelin' Dealin' Kittens
Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs

Sept. 19
I AM BRAVE Success Seminar for Women
The Abbey

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

Sept. 24
Go-Kart Racing Tournament

to benefit Simon Youth Foundation

Sept. 28–Oct. 4
Global Peace Film Festival
Orlando and Winter Park

Global Peace Film Fest

Oct. 2–6
Orange County Convention Center

Oct. 3–18
Brick or Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Oct. 3–31, weekends
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld® Orlando

Oct. 10–11
42nd Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival
Central Park, Downtown Winter Park

Oct. 11
Celebrate the Capen Open House
Historic Capen-Showalter House,
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Oct. 12
39th Annual CFADA AutoClassic Golf Tournament
Falcon’s Fire Golf Club 

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. 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
Classic Car Show
Artegon Marketplace Orlando

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

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

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

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

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

President & CEO's Message
September 11, 2015


George AguelFrom an epic match between sisters earlier this week to a lovable squirrel and today's stunning upset, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships have captured the attention of people around the world this week. It's been perfect timing as Visit Orlando continues to roll out its all-new, "Never Ending Story" campaign by leveraging our second year of an exclusive global tourism partnership at the US Open to bring unprecedented exposure to our destination.

Already, the US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world that's broadcast extensively in 185 countries. In addition to receiving incredible on-court exposure, Visit Orlando is reaching a high-affinity audience of potential travelers in our destination's No. 1 domestic market through prominent placement of an activation booth located in the center of this year's tournament action.

Plus, millions of viewers are tuning into America's biggest tennis event via ESPN, which has taken over as the exclusive domestic broadcast partner of the US Open, covering the entire tournament on its family of networks. In this first full year of the US Open's partnership with ESPN, television audiences will be able to follow the action on ESPN and ESPN2, as well as via daylong live streaming on ESPN3 and through the Watch ESPN app. In all, ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast 130 hours of live coverage during the 2015 US Open, with 1,100 hours of live match coverage on ESPN3.

Fitting for a destination that knows a thing or two about characters, one of the more memorable moments of this year's tournament took place directly in front of the Visit Orlando logo during a doubles match on Court 5, when a squirrel found its way onto the court, ran right in front of our destination branding before escaping over the wall and into the stands. In tennis, love refers to zero points won, but I'll tell you I love that little character. He sure scored a lot of points with me this week.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Seat Capacity 11 Percent Higher in Q4

research chartDirect, nonstop seats to Orlando International Airport and Orlando-Sanford International Airport in the final quarter of 2015 are scheduled to rise 11 percent over last year's fourth quarter. Domestic seat capacity is up 9 percent, while international seats are up 25 percent. Seat capacity is higher from most major markets, including Brazil (101 percent), Canada (7 percent) and the United Kingdom (19 percent). For the year as a whole, total seat capacity is up 10 percent, compared to 2014.

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Visit Orlando Updates


US Open Hosts Visit Orlando Day

Last Friday marked Visit Orlando Day at the US Open with the distribution of 12,000 themed Orlando fans to extremely appreciative visitors on a day that saw temperatures soar to 91°F. Between afternoon matches, a total of seven tennis balls were hit into the audience, with one lucky guest catching the designated winning Orlando Vacation ball. Marva Brown of Jacksonville, Florida, could barely control her excitement at simply catching a souvenir tennis ball, not realizing until hours later what the giant word "WIN" on it meant.

Sony TV

Brazil's Sony TV Films National Vignettes About Orlando

This week, Visit Orlando partnered with Sony TV from Brazil to film a series of three-minute vignettes that will showcase the destination. The segments will air repeatedly through the end of 2015 and highlight the breadth and depth of the destination, as well as cover Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and, of course, one of Brazil's favorite activities-shopping.


Emeril's Florida Completes Pre-Production Work for New TV Episodes

Visit Orlando just conducted a pre-production walk-through for a television show dedicated to Orlando that will be filmed in the coming weeks. The show marks Orlando's sixth TV partnership with Emeril's Florida. Each episode has continued to elevate the incredible culinary offerings of the destination with famed cooking host Emeril Lagasse. The episode will air on both the Food Network and the Cooking Channel in early 2016.

NY Live

NY Live Films in Orlando

This week, Visit Orlando filmed a series of segments that will air in Atlanta as well as on the popular NBC TV show, NY Live. While in Orlando, segments filmed a range of locations, including The Orlando Eye and Discovery Cove, as well as various restaurants, eco adventures, shopping, spas, golfing and much more. The episodes will begin airing at the end of September.


Visit Orlando Hosts Live Radio Broadcast Event

Last week, Visit Orlando wrapped up a successful radio broadcast effort in support of the Orlando Stories campaign launch. The event included nine domestic radio stations from markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, West Palm Beach and Tampa, and two from the United Kingdom. The radio hosts broadcasted live from the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, where they told listeners about their Orlando adventures, including theme parks, new attractions and various dining experiences. Following the broadcasts, a three-week promotional extension offered listeners a chance to win one of several family trips to Orlando.

The New MyVisitOrlando.com Set to Launch Monday, September 21!

The Member Relations & Development team is excited to announce that the new member website will launch on Monday, September 21! On the new site, members can respond to their E-LEADS and marketing opportunities, manage their account profile, publication and web listings and images, access Market Research & Insights reports, register for member events, submit member news/offers, and more. Please note that MyVisitOrlando.com will be unavailable from Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 21 at noon. Members will be provided with their new login and password for MyVisitOrlando.com via e-mail on Monday, Sept. 21, once the site is up and running.



Visit Orlando and Partners Promote 2016 SYTA Conference

Visit Orlando, in partnership with Disney Youth Programs, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort Youth Programs, and Rosen Hotels and Resorts, sponsored the closing event at the recent Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) Annual Conference in Branson, MO. SYTA is dedicated to the student and youth travel market in North America, and its 20th anniversary conference will be held in Orlando in 2016 from Aug. 19-23 at Rosen Shingle Creek.

CA Mission

Travel Agents Are Wowed by Visit Orlando During the Visit USA Central America Mission

Visit Orlando, together with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando Resort, recently attended the Visit USA Central America Mission, which covered the regions of Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. The group held educational seminars for travel agents and participated in the Visit USA Workshops at each destination. Throughout the mission, Visit Orlando trained 524 agents and met with more than 600 tour operators, airline partners and travel agents, sharing what is new in the destination and offering the opportunity to continue our education program through our Orlando Travel Academy. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States welcomed more than 933,000 visitors from Central America last year.


Orlando Training Conducted in Colombia

With more than 290 travel agents and ten key Colombian partners in attendance, Orlando held an innovative seminar at Titan Plaza Mall, one of the best-known shopping centers in Bogotá, Colombia. In addition to Visit Orlando, other presenters included SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort, The Florida Mall and Avianca Airlines. A workshop was also held in which Visit Orlando key partners presented their end-of-the-year plans. Attendees were surprised with gifts and raffles, including two trips to Orlando with service on Avianca Airlines. This was a great opportunity to reinforce the Orlando Travel Academy, with 89 travel agents becoming certified.


Convention Sales Team Attends ConferenceDirect CDX in Toronto

Visit Orlando's Intermediary Accounts team attended ConferenceDirect CDX in Toronto, Canada, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. The three-day event brought together ConferenceDirect's's top 50 planners, end-user clients and official partners to network, exchange business ideas and explore industry trends. Orlando remains the No. 1 destination for all ConferenceDirect group bookings. Above, from left: Travis Binkley, Visit Orlando; Christine Rose, Informatica Director of Corporate Events; Jonathan Young, Vice President of Global Accounts for ConferenceDirect; and Alex Carvalho, Kaiser Permanente Senior Event Consultant


Midwest Citywide Team and Participating Members Show Clients That Orlando Is the Right Fit

On Sept. 2, our Midwest Citywide team-together with representatives from the Orange County Convention Center; Universal Orlando Resort; SeaWorld Parks & Resorts; and hotel partners Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center and DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld-hosted several of our Chicago-based citywide clients, including W.W. Grainger's Julie Hirsh and Cristina Santoro, at a reception featuring a customized running-shoe fitting session. Our customers definitely found that Orlando is the "Right fit"!

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
Hay House, Inc. I Can Do It Conference Sept. 18 Sept. 20 4,000 $7,880,000

Frontier A320

Frontier Adds Three New Nonstop Routes from Orlando

Frontier Airlines is launching three new nonstop routes from Orlando International Airport beginning this fall.

Read More

Surf Expo, Home & Garden Show Headline Sept. Conventions

Lovers of surf boards, gardening and beauty supplies will have a ball this month as three major events are coming to the Orange County Convention Center.

Read More

Disney Adds Ferryboat Event with Desserts, Drinks

Walt Disney World is introducing a ferryboat event that includes the Magic Kingdom's "Wishes" fireworks, desserts and alcoholic beverages. Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise kicks off Oct. 5, according to Disney World's website.

Read More


Steinmetz Hall

Dr. Phillips Center Pulls Back Curtain on Second Phase Details

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is inching closer to its second phase of construction that includes the 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall.

Read More

NBC Sports Grill & Brew Takes Shape at CityWalk

Universal Orlando CityWalk's newest happy place is nearing completion as NBC Sports Grill & Brew is rising from the demolition of the former NASCAR Cafe.

Read More

Central Florida Resort Details Major Upgrade

Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, one of Orlando's iconic condominium-style resorts, is expanding its meeting offerings with the development of 20,000 square feet of new meeting and banquet space.

Read More

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Industry News

value graphic

Infographic: Business Travel Soaring, Highly Profitable

Aries Residence Suites recently released an infographic that details business travel in 2015.

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Left Out Of Visa Waiver Program, Polish Visitors Ask: 'Why Not Us?'

Poland is a staunch U.S. ally, but it's not included in a program that waives visa requirements for visitors. Some argue this presents an expensive hurdle that keeps many from traveling to America.

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Millennial Travel Habits Force Tourism Bureaus to Shift Strategy

Millennials at destination marketing organizations are pushing senior leadership to develop more innovative digital communications and more experiential sales efforts targeting both the leisure travel and meetings sectors.

Read More



Robust Passenger Demand Continues

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for July showing robust demand growth compared to July 2014 for both domestic and international traffic.

Read More

DMAI's President and CEO Mike Gehrisch Departs Association

According to Destination Marketing International, president and CEO Michael Gehrisch has announced he will end his 15-year tenure as president and CEO of the global association representing the destination marketing industry.

Read More

Expedia Investing Millions to Better Sell Airline Tickets

Many online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity over the years scurried to wean themselves away from their previous dependence on selling airline tickets in favor of a higher-margin hotel business but now Expedia wants to lean back a bit to reemphasize the sale of flights.

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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