Visit Orlando - Tourism Matters
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Visit Orlando's Social Media Team got an exclusive video interview with the Grinch himself just before his show, "Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular," at Universal Orlando Resort. Watch now.

Visit Orlando Events

Jan. 12, 2017
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
Orange Lake Golf

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 percent 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 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 percent discount on their six-month and one-year memberships to Visit Orlando members. To redeem, use promo code: visitorlando.


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

Sugarcanes Rum Bar & Lounge invites Visit Orlando members to the Tuesday & Wednesday Massive Happy Hour experience and extends an additional 10 percent off tickets during non-happy hour times as well.

Industry Events

La Nouba Hospitality Nights
Hospitality industry employees may purchase (up to six) tickets starting at $48 (adult) and $39 (child) for Thursday night shows. Tickets must be purchased at the La Nouba Box Office. For more information, please call 407-939-7328 or visit lanouba.com.

Community Events


Dec. 18
Dr. Phillips Charities Outdoor Holiday Concert presented by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and City of Winter Park
Central Park, Winter Park

Through Dec. 17
Deck the Downtown
Downtown Orlando

Dancing with the Stars

Dec. 28
Dancing with the Stars: Live!
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dec. 31
2017 New Years Masquerade Ball

Jan. 1-28
Celebrating 75 Years: Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Jan. 1-29
Pride, Prejudice & Protest: GLBT History of Greater Orlando
Orange County Regional History Center

Jan. 4-Feb. 5
Blackberry Winter
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Jan. 5-8, 2017
The Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest
Orlando Shakespears Theater

Through Jan. 6, 2017
Downtown for the Holidays
Lake Eola Park, Downtown Orlando

Jan. 6-22
Central Florida Community Arts

Jan. 7-9, 2017
Symphony Storytime: Carnival of the Animals
Plaza Live Theatre

Through Jan. 10, 2017
Holidays at the Waterhouse
Art & History Museums Maitland


Jan. 11-29, 2017
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Jan. 14, 2017
Science Night Live
Orlando Science Center

Jan. 24
Orlando Ballet - Uncorked at the Abbey
The Abbey

Jan. 28
Dino Day
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Feb. 8-Mar. 26
The Great Gatsby
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Feb. 16-26
Romeo and Juliet
UCF School of Performing Arts

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President & CEO's Message

Dec. 16, 2016

Another Exciting Week of Firsts

George AguelWhat an exciting week! I want to thank so many of you for attending our annual luncheon meeting this week. It was a spectacular turnout of 900 members, partners and community leaders and our community is still buzzing with the two major announcements made by Visit Orlando.
We announced a first for the soccer industry and a first for the destination, as Visit Orlando entered a hallmark partnership with The International Champions Cup for summer 2017 and 2018. This is one of the most thrilling soccer tournaments in the world, featuring some of the most recognized clubs in the world, names such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Visit Orlando will be the exclusive "Destination Partner" - a first for the iconic tournament. Orlando will receive global broadcast coverage, event exposure in all 15 cities where the matches are played, online presence and extensive publicity and social media coverage. The tournament reaches more than 70 million television viewers, and is broadcast in 150 countries - including on ESPN in the United States.

As if that alone were not enough, we also were able to ensure that one of the tournament matches will be held right here in Orlando at Camping World Stadium in 2017 and 2018. This means that some of the top clubs in the world, as well as their many fans will join us here in Orlando!
This exciting news was coupled with a second announcement that warmed the hearts of all in the room - a record-breaking contribution from the Visit Orlando Magical Dining program for the very deserving Russell Home for Atypical Children. Through the success of this year's program, the industry was able to donate almost $200,000 to the home for special-needs children, allowing them to build what will be the new "Visit Orlando Girls Dorm."
I want to end the year with a big "thank you" to our members, partners and community leaders whose hard work, support and creativity ensures that our destination is represented to its fullest here at home and throughout the world. And to our Visit Orlando team that dedicates themselves every day to the mission of marketing, branding and selling this destination around the globe better than any one else.
Tourism Matters will be taking a break for the holidays and will resume in January. I wish you the very best holiday season and look forward to all the excitement that awaits us in the New Year!

-George Aguel

Magical Dining Raises Record $195K for Charity
Magical Dining

Thanks to the generosity of Visit Orlando, local restaurants and thousands of diners, Visit Orlando was able to present a record donation of $195,125 to the Russell Home for Atypical Children on Tuesday during its Annual Meeting & Member Luncheon at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The funds raised by Visit Orlando's 2016 Magical Dining program sponsored by American Express will enable the Russell Home to modify and refurbish the new "Visit Orlando Girls Dorm". The Russell Home is the first non-profit institution in the country to provide a home atmosphere with a family structure for special needs children and 'child-like' adults. Since 2009, the annual Magical Dining program has raised more than $650,000 for local charities.

Shown, from left to right, are: Peter Kacheris, Visit Orlando Chairman; Joanne Marsal, American Express; Vantrease Blair, Russell Home; and Mike Beam, Russell Home.

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Consumer Confidence Rose Significantly in November

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply in November to 107.1, up 6.3 percent from 100.8 in October. The Index was up 15.7 percent from 92.6 in November 2015. November's result is the highest in over 9 years, dating back to July 2007. The Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index both rose in November reflecting consumers' more optimistic assessment of current conditions coupled with a more optimistic short-term outlook. Higher consumer confidence, low unemployment and signs of wage growth are positive indicators of an economic environment supportive of travel as we look ahead to 2017.

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Visit Orlando Updates

ICC Comes to Orlando

International Champions Cup Partnership a First

Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel (pictured, right) and Relevant Chief Commercial Officer Bruce Bundrant (pictured, left) announced Tuesday a hallmark, multi-year partnership for the International Champions Cup - the first time the premier global summer soccer tournament has officially aligned with a destination tourism organization. An ICC premier match will come to Orlando's Camping World Stadium in 2017 and 2018.

Holiday Digital Boards

Holiday Digital Boards Light Up Mexico Campaign

As part of the 2016 Mexico campaign, out-of-home digital boards placed in targeted shopping centers around Mexico City will run from December through January, with an estimated 4.9 million impressions. The boards display the television spot and will encourage consumers to start planning today at VisitOrlando.com.

Viajario article

Top Brazilian Site Spotlights Destination's Growth

UOL, Brazil's largest online content producer with more than 32 million unique visitors per month, highlighted Orlando's attractions and activities that go beyond Walt Disney World Resort since it's opening more than four decades years ago. The December Viajario article states that Orlando and its popularity and size have grown since the opening of the theme park and features everything from breathtaking balloon ride tours, historical-based attractions like Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, exciting sporting events, and the new innovative attractions like I-Drive NASCAR and I-Drive 360 (including Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye). This story resulted from a Brazilian press trip hosted by Visit Orlando's Communications Team in the spring.


Visit Orlando Partners With AeroMexico

Visit Orlando is partnering with AeroMexico to promote the destination with special offers. The co-op, with an estimated 6 million impressions, includes television on flights, VIP lounges and AeroMexico's gate in Mexico City. A social media promotion will extend the message and include celebrity influencers' blogging about the destination.


Latest Blog Lists Holiday Events

Latest Blog Lists Holiday Events

Visit Orlando's latest leisure blog "Holiday Events Beyond the Theme Parks" lists holiday events taking place throughout Orlando for the entire family, from The Mall at Millenia's Santa Photo Experience to the Orlando Ballet's Nutcracker at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and festivities at Disney Springs and Bok Tower Gardens, to name a few.

Luxury Orlando

Robb Report Features Luxury Orlando

As the result of a recent press trip hosted by Visit Orlando's Communications Team, Robb Report Mexico (circ. 120,000) published a feature in its December edition highlighting luxurious experiences, products and services in Orlando. The "Luxury Orlando" article made special references to Winter Park's Park Avenue and downtown Orlando's Lake Eola. Upscale restaurants mentioned include Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Capa, Flying Fish, The Capital Grille and The Wine Room. It also highlighted unique experiences found throughout the area such as The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort, and Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

Hospitality Students

Hospitality Students Show Off Culinary Skills

More than 600 students from the NAF Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, a magnet program in Orange County Public Schools, competed in the annual hospitality and culinary competition at the Orlando World Center Marriott on Dec. 8. Visit Orlando - a long-standing partner of the academy helping to promote careers in the tourism industry - served as a guest judge for the hospitality case study portion of the event.

Talking Tourism

Talking Tourism With Sheriff's Leadership Team

Visit Orlando presented all that's new in the destination and what's coming in 2017 to more than 100 members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office attending the OCSO's Management and Training event last week. Local authorities and the tourism community have a collaborative approach to maintain a safe, secure environment for the 66 million visitors each year.

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News About Orlando

Top 5 Airports

MCO Among 2016 Top 5 Airports for Satisfaction

Orlando International Airport ranked No. 4 for overall traveler satisfaction experience for large airports, according to J.D. Power's recently released 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.

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Meet Rudolf During SeaWorld's Christmas Event

SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration offers family friendly holiday events, from food to live shows and meeting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on certain nights through Dec. 31.

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Jingle and Mingle

Jingle & Mingle With Grinch at Universal Orlando

Visit Orlando's holiday elves have gathered a list of new things to do and our favorite things to see during Universal Orlando Resort's holiday celebration, going on now through New Year's Day 2017.

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Allegiant Adds Orlando/San Juan Nonstop Service

Allegiant announced new nonstop flights between Orlando via the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) and San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning Dec. 14. 

Read More

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Industry News

Holiday Road Trip

93 Million Americans to Take Holiday Road Trip

More than 103 million Americans - the most on record - are expected to travel for the year-end holidays (defined as Dec. 23, 2016 - Jan. 2, 2017), according to AAA. The vast majority - 93.6 million people - will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year.

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45 Million to Fly Globally Through New Year

Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has announced it is expecting 45.2 million passengers to fly globally on U.S. airlines during the 21-day period from Dec. 16, 2016 through Jan. 5, 2017, an increase of 3.5 percent over last year.

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Hotels Use Tech

More Hotels to Use Tech to Push Services

More and more hotels and resorts are turning to digital technology to enhance, personalize and enrich the guest experience, according to Zebra Technology's 2016 Hospitality Vision Study. Seventy-four percent of hotels/resorts are planning to implement location-based technologies within the next year.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (Dec. 14, 2016) indicate that 185 locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 4,431 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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Tourism Ambassadors
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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