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Chocolate lovers are "indulging" in @VisitOrlando's recent "Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is NOW OPEN" IG post!

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Help Shape Our Future Leaders
In celebration of World Tourism Day, Tuesday, Sept. 27, Visit Orlando invites members of Orlando's travel industry to host students from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in their workplace on Friday, Sept. 30, for a hands-on job shadow experience. Sophomores and juniors that are interested in pursuing a degree in hospitality will be exposed to the wide variety of careers offered right here in our own backyard. The program takes place each year and typically features more than 75 students and 30-plus employers. Stay tuned for the Cvent invitation and help us shape our industry's future leaders. Pictured: Rosen College of Hospitality Management job shadow students with Waldorf Astoria Orlando - Hilton at Bonnet Creek staff.

Visit Orlando Events

Sept. 8
Business Referral Group

Uno Pizzeria & Grill on I Drive
8250 International Drive
Cost: $20, inclusive.
Click here to RSVP.

Oct. 6
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.

Member-to-Member Offers


iResponze® responds to online guest reviews on behalf of hotels, while they deliver exceptional guest experiences. Guest reviews, in all channels, are responded to within 24-48 hours with an authentic and engaging voice. For a limited time, Visit Orlando members enjoy an exclusive offer of one free month of services. Call 800-528-3135 or visit iResponze.com for details. Offer expires Aug. 31, 2016.

palms villas

The Palms Hotel & Villas is offering a special rate for members, relatives and friends of $65 plus tax for suites-style condominium, including resort fee. They can accommodate up to six people in each suite. This is based on availability until Dec. 2016. For additional information or to book rooms, call 407-396-2229 ext. 2205.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is more than a stay, it is a place to play. Enjoy seven swimming pools, including a lazy river-style pool, waterslides, miniature golf courses, arcades, four golf courses, tennis, an 80-acre lake with plenty of watersports, a fun zone, and more. Visit Orlando members save up to 10% off your stay! Call 407-477-7029 to reserve.


Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College is offering Visit Orlando members $10 off a season subscription. For $55, you'll receive one ticket to The Foreigner, Upton Abbey: An Improvised Comedy of English Manors, A Piece of My Heart, and Urinetown, The Musical. Visit rollins.edu/annie for tickets and use code: VISITORLANDO.

Dollar Off Drinks is extending a 20% discount on their six-month and one-year memberships to Visit Orlando members. To redeem, use promo code: visitorlando.

Hard Rock Café Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members free delivery on all offsite corporate catering. This could include breakfast or lunch meetings, customer appreciation events, employee appreciation events, holiday parties, etc. Customizable menus and options are available to fit the event's budget and vision. To claim this offer, email Jaclyn Eiler and reference the Visit Orlando website. Expiration date: Aug. 31, 2016.


Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members. They can go to orlandocitysc.com/visitorlando and use the promo code VISITORL to purchase discounted tickets for any of the last five home games this season.


Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10% off all water activities (parasailing, personal watercraft, wake boarding, water skiing and more) now through Dec. 31, 2016. To claim this offer, call 407-939-0754 or email reservations@sammyduvall.com, and mention the offer code "visitorlando10" when booking.

Industry Events

The David Maus Foundation is hosting the 2016 Celebrity Golf Tournament for local Central Florida children's charities Sept. 9-10 at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, with a Meet the Pros party on Friday, Sept. 9. For information on sponsorships and donations visit, DavidMausGolf.com.


ASIS International, the world's largest association of security management professionals, is launching its inaugural Security Week, Sept. 11-15 in Orlando, in conjunction with its ASIS 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center Sept. 12-15. The event, to be kicked off on Sept. 11 with the free Community Preparedness Event, will feature programs to help educate small business owners and those responsible for the safety and security of community organizations and institutions on the importance of security and preparedness planning. For more details and to register, visit securityexpo.org/securityweek.

SeaWorld Orlando, Firehouse Subs and Coca-Cola are honoring Florida First Responders for their bravery, sacrifice and service. Now through Aug. 31, first responders can register to receive free admission to SeaWorld Orlando through Sept. 30. In addition, they can receive up to four discounted tickets for friends and family for just $49.50 per person, a 50% savings off general admission. To register, go to SeaWorld.com/FirehouseSubs.

Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association's 2016 Patriot Day Breakfast will honor local first responders and security personnel for their service in the line of duty. The event will be held Sept. 9, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, click here. Additionally, CFHLA encourages its members to thank local first responders by providing a meal or snacks to fire and police departments on Sept. 11, 2016.


HSMAI Central Florida is hosting The 11th Annual Chinese Auction on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort. The fundraiser benefits Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Arnie's March to Cure Cancer. To register and for more information on sponsorships and donations, click here.

Community Events


Aug. 20-Oct. 30
The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Orange County Regional History Center

Through Aug. 31
Conversations: Selections From the Permanent Collection
Cornell Fine Arts Museum 

Focus Exhibition: Tiffany Studios' Daffodil Reading Lamp
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Louis Comfort Tiffany's Laurelton Hall
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Permanent Collection of Earl Cunningham Paintings
The Mennello Museum of American Art

Revival and Reform-Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Inside/Out: Steel, Paper, Bronze
The Mennello Museum of American Art

Through Sept. 3
The Hannibal Square Heritage Collection
Crealdé School of Art

faith ringgold

Through Sept. 4
Art & History's Untold Stories Exhibition
Maitland Art Center

Sept. 15
Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll
Downtown Winter Park

Sept. 26
CMAA Sunshine Region Charity Tournament
The Country Club of Orlando

Through Sept. 30
Give Kids The World Event Sponsorship
Miniature-golf courses participating around the nation

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

Be sure to follow @VisitOrlando on Instagram and Twitter, fan us at facebook.com/VisitOrlando or watch YouTube.com/VisitOrlando for more insider information about the world's most famous destination!

To sign up for our e-newsletter, click here.


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President & CEO's Message

Aug. 26, 2016

Never-Before-Seen Technology for a Destination Comes to Orlando

George AguelA record-breaking number of attendees at our "Business of Travel & Tourism Luncheon" were the first to hear of a groundbreaking technology that will forever change the way we experience travel. Visitors to our destination now have access to the Visit Orlando Destination APP , which uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality allowing them to explore, play and earn savings in a way never seen before. With WayBlazer's IBM Watson-enabled technology, this innovative APP lets visitors share experiences, purchase tickets and even ask questions in their own words. It's like having a personal Orlando expert concierge on hand 24/7. Here's how it works.
Based on a user's conversational language, the technology offers individualized recommendations of Orlando experiences that match that traveler's preferences - using real-time data to create the best possible encounters. For example, the APP considers weather conditions when advising outdoor activities and restaurant suggestions take into account the hours of operation, neighborhood and multiple third-source endorsements. Want a venue with live music? It does that. What about experiences designed for the members of a specific group? It does that too. The "Around Me" feature uses the mobile device's GPS to locate and learn about relevant dining and entertainment options in the vicinity. Plus, there's even a game that lets players unlock Orlando deals by capturing "Magical Orbs" and a selfie scavenger hunt to further engage them in the fun.
At the luncheon, keynote speaker and technology pioneer Terry Jones helped us understand the role innovation has played in travel and the advancements that have led us to this revolutionary way to experience Orlando. It was a remarkable event that showcased why Orlando is at the forefront of the tourism landscape and will continue to be the destination of choice for years to come. If you haven't already, download it and experience it for yourself.

-George Aguel


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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Travel Price Index Declined in July

U.S. Travel Association's Travel Price Index (TPI) declined 1.8% in July versus June 2016. Travelers benefited from declines in transportation costs including airfares and the price of gasoline. Developed by the USTA, the TPI measures the one-month change of the cost of travel away from home in the United States on a seasonally adjusted basis. The TPI is released monthly and is directly comparable to the Consumer Price Index. For comparison, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged for the same period.

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Visit Orlando Updates

US Open

Orlando Takes Center Court at U.S. Open

This weekend will mark the start of the 2016 U.S. Open Tennis Championship in NYC. The most-attended annual sporting event in the world broadcasted to more than 200 countries will prominently showcase the Orlando brand via courtside signage, online presence, promotions and a prominent fan activation experience, targeting more than 700,000 fans. The activities start on Saturday with the Arthur Ashe Kids Day event followed by the tournament start on Monday.


Top Talk Show Host Makes Social Media Splash

Tracy Moore, a top Canadian media personality and host of Canada's leading daytime talk show "Cityline," has generated more than two million impressions about Orlando across her multiple social media platforms (check out her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts!). Hosted by Visit Orlando's Public Relations Team, she visited the destination with her family Aug. 13-20, enjoying the area's attractions, accommodations and beyond, including visits to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, WonderWorks and Crayola Experience.


Chilean Tour Operator Receives Destination Update

Visit Orlando's Chilean representative hosted a specialized lunch seminar focusing on the new attractions in Orlando for key Chilean tour operator Tour Mundial on Aug.17 in Santiago. Tour Mundial includes Viajes El Corte Ingles and also sells to other key travel agencies such as Viajes ATN, Esquerre, NG Viajes and Tu Viaje. Chile is a Visa Waiver country and is considered an emerging market for Orlando, with their tour operators and travel agents eager to learn about Orlando's products and special offerings.

Leads Group

Business Referral Group Mixes Networking & Fun

More than 50 members attended Visit Orlando's weekly Business Referral Group Lunch last Thursday at Taverna Opa in Pointe Orlando. The event, held every Thursday (unless otherwise announced), offers Visit Orlando members and member prospects a great way to network within the industry and build business relationships resulting in referrals, mutual credibility and knowledge of each other's business. Locations are announced in the Visit Orlando Events section of the Tourism Matters eNewsletter and in an email to those who have requested Referral Group information through Visit Orlando. To find out more about the Business Referral Group, contact Member Relations at memberrelations@visitorlando.com.

Pictured: Visit Orlando members Anna Pindara (left) of Canvas Restaurant & Market and Melanie Stockdale (right) of Dick's Last Resort take a break from networking for a belly dancing lesson given by a Taverna Opa employee at last week's Business Referral Group Luncheon.



Yahoo! Highlights Orlando for Labor Day Travel

Yahoo! Finance (70,000,000 unique monthly visitors) included Orlando as a top choice for Labor Day Weekend travel deals in a recent article. This coverage is a result of Visit Orlando's efforts to promote Orlando for Labor Day Weekend. Visit Orlando's Public Relations Team continues to pitch the story to media and further impressions are being generated by the Content Team's blog post and our social media channels.


Magical Dining Month Makes Impression

Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express, has already generated major press coverage, with a total of 22.4 million impressions reached to date. Among the coverage, top hits include the Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Sentinel and WHERE Traveler. The program, running from Aug. 29 to Oct. 2, offers three-course dinners for $33 at 95-plus of Orlando's fine dining venues, with one dollar from each meal benefiting Russell Home for Atypical Children. Interested diners can view a full list of participating restaurants and menus at OrlandoMagicalDining.com, as well as make online reservations once the event begins Aug. 29.


Visit Orlando, Local Partners Welcome SYTA

Visit Orlando, in partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, welcomed a record attendance of more than 1,200 delegates to the annual conference of SYTA (Student Youth Travel Association) Aug. 19-23 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the SYTA organization has played an instrumental role in advancing the student and youth travel industry globally.

The group received an official welcome by Visit Orlando's Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Hollander during the opening general session. In addition to a selection of five local sightseeing tours, delegates enjoyed spectacular evening events hosted by the theme parks. The Travel Industry Sales Team conducted 45 one-on-one appointments with student tour operators and group travel planners during the business sessions. Student travel is a $194 billion industry with 20 percent of all global tourism revenue represented by student travel.

Pictured: Delegates enjoy Escapology during tour of International Drive attractions.


Brazilian Media: Orlando a Pokémon Haven

As a result of a recent Visit Orlando Brazilian media outreach, several online media outlets with an estimated circulation of more than 24 million featured a variety of articles about capturing Pokémon that included area theme parks, shopping, dining and entertainment venues throughout the Orlando. The articles, published by R7.TV, Parana, OGlobo, Viagem , to name a few, used the "Visit Orlando's Pokémon Go in Orlando" press release to creatively describe the diversity of the destination and its venues, including Disney Springs, I-Drive 360, City Walk, Mall at Millenia, Lake Eola and Fun Spot.

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News About Orlando


This Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Promotional Products Association of Florida, Inc. Promotional Products Association of Florida Aug. 25 Aug. 25 650 $1,280,500
Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit 2016 Sept. 2 Sept. 3 4,000 $7,880,000

Orlando Named Among Top for Labor Day Travel

According to CheapOair, a leading flights-focused, next gen concierge travel service, Orlando ranks second in the top 10 domestic destinations its consumers are booking for Labor Day Weekend. Expedia also lists the top 10 destinations for last-minute Labor Day deals.

trip advisor

MCO Earns 2016 Travelers' Choice Award

TripAdviser has awarded Orlando International Airport its Travelers' Choice Favorites as a Top U.S. Airport for Shopping. Presented for the first time this year, the airport awards highlight the most popular domestic airports in four categories: shopping, dining, large airports and medium airports. Award winners were determined based on findings from a survey of more than 114,000 TripAdvisor travelers from the United States.

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Allegiant's 1-Millionth Passenger Orlando Bound

Last Wednesday, low-cost carrier Allegiant Air gave its one-millionth passenger, who was flying out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) with her family to visit Orlando, a pass good for two people to take a flight once a month on Allegiant from CVG for a year. It didn't stop there - every passenger on the flight received two free flight vouchers. The airline's Central Florida hub is at Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB).

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Florida's Natural Parks Another Reason to Visit

A recent TravelWeekly article highlights Florida's "diverse and outstanding array of state parks" as reasons to visit the sunshine state, including Central Florida's Wekiwa Springs State Park. The state's park system, made up of 174 parks, is the only one in the United States to have won the sought-after gold medal as the nation's best state park system from the National Recreation and Park Association on three occasions.

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Disney Springs a Top Summer U.S. Attraction

Disney Springs is named in TripAdvisor's Attractions Trend Index as one of the top 25 U.S. attractions that have seen the greatest increase in traveler interest this summer, based on year-over-year search activity on TripAdvisor.

Alfond Inn

Hotels.Com: Alfond Inn Among Top Pokétels

Hotels.com's list of top-ranking Pokétels across major U.S. cities includes Winter Park's Alfond Inn, which has six pokéstops/gyms within 500 feet and 46 within 1.25-mile radius. Rankings were determined by analyzing the number of pokéstops/gyms within a 1.25-mile radius of hotel properties. Closer pokéstop/gyms to the property held more weight in the overall score. The hotels chosen for this analysis were 'top' hotels in a range of cities based on gross booking for 2016 year to date.

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Universal Orlando Moves Forward on New Hotel

Universal Orlando is moving ahead on plans for a new 600-room hotel. According to the Orlando Sentinel article, the company filed several documents with the county last Friday that gave some details on the hotel, which appears to be named Aventura. It will be on six acres southwest of Universal's new Sapphire Falls hotel.

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New Wyndham Garden to Include Orlando Location

Wyndham Garden's new upper-midscale 139-room prototype design uses natural tones and materials to evoke the serenity of a garden while delivering an easier travel experience for guests via modern amenities and conveniences. Nine prototypical hotels are already under development, including in Orlando.

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Planet hollywood

Celebrity Chef Joins Forces With Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood Orlando recently announced that chef and television personality Guy Fieri will introduce new burger and sandwich menu items as part of the Orlando flagship's transformation, set to reopen this fall as the Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs. 

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Star Wars' Lightsaber to Become "Reality"?

Disney's latest patent application, for a lightsaber, could make a lot of Star Wars fans' dreams a reality. The patent application did not say precisely what Disney plans to do with the lightsaber, which is technically called an "audience interaction projection system." But it says it was designed as a new way for customers ("audience members") to participate in theatrical performances, theme park features, concerts, sporting events, or films.

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Industry News


2016 Global Travel & Tourism Resilient

The World Travel & Tourism Council's Economic Impact Reports 2016 update shows that, despite the challenges travel and tourism has faced in the first six months of 2016, the sector is still expected to grow by 3.1 percent, outpacing global economic growth forecast at 2.3 percent. North America is expected to perform well at 3.1 percent.

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air travel

Study: Last-Minute Travel Improves Happiness

A recent survey commissioned by Booking.com found that 79 percent of people feel taking a spontaneous trip improves their happiness. The study - which reached out to more than 6,600 adults from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia - also uncovered that more than 60 percent of people agree that spontaneous getaways make them more productive at work.

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mobile phone

British Favor Mobile for Travel Searches

Hitwise recently analyzed the web activity of some three million British shoppers and found that 60 percent of travel searches originate on a mobile, with some important phrases, such as "5-star", "best time to visit", "luxury", and "glamping" even taking a massive 88 percent share of the overall volume.

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Airport Security Lines Getting Shorter

Travelers are spending shorter times in TSA security lines at airports as the result of collaboration between the agency, airports and airlines, along with Congress' work to allow TSA to shift $62 million within the 2016 fiscal year budget to increase the number of TSA agents at airports.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (Aug. 24, 2016) indicate that 29 locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 2,487 travel-associated cases have been reported. For the most current information about the Zika virus, visit the CDC's Zika page.

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ARDA Bags BB&T British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor
Darden 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
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