Join the Conversation

Mako car

Visit Orlando's Content & Social Media team went live on Facebook for the first time at SeaWorld Orlando's Mako Ride Car unveiling event Tuesday. The video organically reached more than 215k people and was viewed by 89k in just under 24 hours. Like it here!

Visit Orlando Events

Party at the Pointe

Feb. 24
10th Annual Party at the Pointe
Pointe Orlando

Click here to register.

Feb. 25
Business Referral Group

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
1482 East Buena Vista Drive
Cost: $25 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

March 11
Member Orientation
Click here to register.
This session has been moved to Friday, March 11. Please note the new day from the usual first Thursday of the month.

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

Victoria and Alberts

Culinary kudos to the following Visit Orlando Members:

Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, for receiving AAA/CAP's 2016 Five Diamond Rating, and the Bull & Bear and Luma on Park for receiving the 2016 Four Diamond Rating. Kudos also go out to Victoria & Albert's Chef Scott Hunnel for being nominated as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Restaurant and Chef Award, Best Chef: South category.

Member-to-Member Offers

Now through March 30, 2016, experience the nostalgia of driving a classic car or the thrill of driving a sports car for $25 off of any rental. Happy Dog Motors offers unique rental cars for a truly memorable visit. Take a day trip to the beach, explore some of the small towns outside of Orlando or just go cruising. Show this offer on your phone/tablet or print a copy to redeem on site.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations® At Orange Lake Resort is a golfer's paradise, with four courses covering 54 distinct holes offering a variety of challenges. Through August 31, 2016 Visit Orlando members receive a 50 percent off golf coupon for play at Legends or The Reserve when you purchase a golf lesson at The McCord Golf Academy. Reserve your golf lesson and tee time at 407-905-1955.


Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members through Oct. 24, 2016. Click here to download information on group pricing discounts. Contact Christopher Benavides at cbenavides@orlandocitysc.com or call 407-480-4762 for more information.

Community Events

Through Feb. 21
100 Years of Hannibal Square: Historic and Contemporary Photographs of West Winter Park
Orange County Regional History Center

March 4
National Academy Foundation (NAF) Dinner Auction
Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside

March 7
Give Kids the World 30th Anniversary Celebration
Give Kids The World Village

March 11
UCP's Poker at the Palace Celebrity Texas Hold'em Tournament Benefitting UCP of Central Florida
Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

March 12
UCP's Evening at the Palace 23rd Annual Gala Benefitting UCP of Central Florida
Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

Through March 21
Penelope, Princess of the Peacocks
Winter Park History Museum

Through March 26
Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park
Winter Park History Museum

Through April
Friday Nights at the Morse
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

April 8
Florida Film Festival

April 16
Cattle Barons Ball
Rosen Shingle Creek

Through April 17
Exhibition—Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture 
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

May 20
Boys & Girls Club "Celebrate the Children"
Orlando World Center Marriott

May 21
Runway to Hope Spring Fashion Soiree
Rosen Shingle Creek

Through June 5
Behind Closed Doors: The Collection

Art & History Museums – Maitland, Maitland Historical Museum

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 the19th-Century Environment
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

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

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

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

To sign up for our e-newsletter, go to VisitOrlando.com.



google plus


you tube


President & CEO's Message

Feb. 19, 2016

Orlando Air Traffic Soars

George AguelOrlando International Airport welcomed a record number of domestic and international passengers in 2015 - resulting in air traffic topping out at nearly 39 million guests last year alone. The banner year positions the airport even closer to the construction of a $1.8 billion southern terminal building which will allow the destination to host an even greater number of future leisure, business and convention travelers.

The airport welcomed nearly 17 percent more international passengers in 2015, totaling more than 5 million for the first time ever. Domestic passenger traffic also set a record in 2015, growing 7 percent over 2014 to more than 33.7 million.

The good news is this sky-rocketing growth doesn't appear to be slowing at all with projected domestic seats for 2016 anticipated to increase by 9.6 percent and international seats by 8.2 percent. Based on current airline schedules the total number of direct, non-stop seats to OIA is expected to grow by 9.4 percent this year.

The additional capacity currently scheduled for 2016 can be seen as a vote of confidence by the airlines in the destination. Measured in number of additional seats, the largest increases are expected from the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Mexico. The largest percent change over 2015 is in seats from United Arab Emirates, which are scheduled to increase 191 percent over 2015's capacity thanks to new air service from Dubai on Emirates Airlines that began last fall.

All in all, Orlando just posted its best-ever air travel stats and we are delighted to see 2016 taking off in much the same way.

—George Aguel

back to top
From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Hotel Results for January

The average daily rate in Metro Orlando was $123.36 in January, an increase of 7.7 percent from last year and a record for the month of January. The occupancy rate in January was 76.1 percent, the highest January occupancy rate since 1998. While ADR rose significantly compared to January of last year, occupancy rates showed little growth from prior year levels. Orlando's occupancy rate was just 0.4 percent higher than one year ago, yet still outperformed most comparisons. Orlando posted a higher occupancy rate, and better year-over-year growth, than Florida overall (71.5 percent, -0.3 percent), STR's top 25 hotel markets (63.6 percent, unchanged from last year), and the national average (54.0 percent, -0.3 percent).

back to top
Visit Orlando Updates

George wins

Visit Orlando President & CEO Honored With
Lifetime Achievement Award

President & CEO George Aguel was honored with the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International's (HSMAI) Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on Feb. 16 in New York City. The award recognizes individuals who have spent a major portion of their careers in the hospitality and travel profession and have contributed to the betterment of the industry in a significant and lasting way.

Mundo Selfie

Orlando Theme Parks Touted on Mundo Selfie

Mundo Selfie - a social media program broadcast TV Azteca, the second largest mass media company in Mexico - produced three segments about Orlando theme parks resulting from a press fam tour hosted by Visit Orlando last in October. The 30-minute show dedicated 10 minutes to Orlando theme parks including a short description of Walt Disney World parks, Epcot World Showcase and the hostess dining experience in Morocco. At Universal Orlando Resort, the program showcased a few of the classic lands and attractions, including Marvel Super Hero Island® , Jurassic Park® and Dr. Seuss in Seuss Landing™ in Islands of Adventure, before highlighting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Click here to view a sampling of the show's Orlando segments.


Soccer Cities to Spotlight Footballer Kaká & Orlando

All next week Visit Orlando will be working with the producers of beIN SPORTS' Soccer Cities, a television show that airs in 45 countries. In each episode, the show's host connects with a soccer superstar in their "new hometown" and then the host sets out to discover the excitement of the city. This episode will feature Orlando City's Kaká and the City Beautiful. The show will air this spring.


"What's New in 2016" Results in Brazilian Coverage

As a result of a Visit Orlando Brazilian media outreach using the "What's New for 2016" press release, a large number of publications highlighted new attractions that Orlando will offer this year, ranging from gastronomic options to new entertainment venues in the theme parks, including claratips Blog, Turismo S/A, Revista Eventos, WOW Magazine, Viajadas Blog; Por Agito SP and Versatille Magazine. To complement the coverage, Correio Popular newspaper, which participated in a group press trip hosted by Visit Orlando last November, published a story highlighting several options for tourists to enjoy outside the theme parks such as I-Drive 360 attractions, Lake Eola, and Winter Park and its gastronomic options, among others.



AAU Girls Nationals to Remain in Orlando

Visit Orlando, along with the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), announced Thursday that the annual AAU Girls' Junior National Volleyball Championships will be held at the OCCC through 2020. The event's economic impact to Orlando is estimated to be more than $52 million per year with participants and their families visiting local hotels, shops, restaurants and other Orlando-area businesses. Shown above, from left: George Aguel, Visit Orlando; Kathy Canning, OCCC; Dr. Roger Goudy, AAU; Peter Kacheris, Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek; Donald Engfer, Tishman Hotel Corporation; and Adrian Jones, Merlin Entertainments.


Colombia's RCN Television Highlights I-Drive

Colombia's RCN Television featured a segment of "Traveling Around the World with Criss Hurtado" during its prime-time noon and evening news this past week, with an audience reach of more than 2.2 million viewers. The segment, the third one resulting from Cristina's visit to Orlando in early December, was also posted on RCN's website and social media channels. Click here to view the segment featuring I-Drive 360 attractions as an additional option after the theme parks.


Visit Orlando Captures Unveiling of Mako's Ride Car

Visit Orlando's Content & Social Media team captured the unveiling of the lead ride car for SeaWorld Orlando's new hypercoaster, Mako. Orlando's newest coaster is set to open this summer. Watch here or learn more about it (including fun Mako factoids) on the Visit Orlando blog. Also check out our popular Facebook video post.


Orlando Article Syndicated Across Canada

Freelancer Jim Byers, who Visit Orlando hosted on a press trip Jan. 21-22, wrote an article highlighting Orlando's thriving downtown, which was syndicated across the entire Post/Sun Network (115 outlets). Coverage included top outlets like the National Post, Toronto Sun, Canoe, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Sun and London Free Press.

Weather Network to Broadcast Live From Orlando

Next week, while most of the nation is wrapped in a "Polar Vortex," Canada's Weather Network will broadcast their morning TV show live from Orlando in what we hope will convey a "Solar Vortex". The show, with an estimated reach of 8.2 million viewers, will broadcast Monday through Friday, 7-11 a.m., from a series of destination locations including Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Lake Buena Vista Water Sports and the Orlando Eye. By featuring the breadth and depth of the destination - the warm Orlando weather - Canadians will be reminded about what they are missing.

back to top
News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Society Of Critical Care Medicine SCCM Congress 2016 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 6,000 $11,820,000
Doterra Annual Conference Feb. 22 Feb. 24 4,000 $7,800,000
Orgill Incorporated Orgill Spring Dealer Market 2016 Feb. 25 Feb. 27 17,000 $33,490,000

4 Seasons

Area Chefs Nominated for James Beard Award

The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday announced the semifinalists for the prestigious Restaurant and Chef Award that recognizes culinary professionals for excellence and achievement. Four Central Florida chefs are among 20 semifinalists vying for Best Chef: South category: Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon in Orlando, Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert's at Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Finalists in all categories will be named March 15. Above: Chef Scott Hunnel

Read More

WalletHub: Orlando No. 4 for Valentine's Day

Orlando ranked No. 4 among WalletHub's list of 100 largest cities that were not only the most romantic, but also the easiest on the finances this Valentines Day.

Read More

Google Street View Coming to Disney?

While social media might be abuzz with sightings of possible Google Street View mappers in the Orlando theme park, Disney or Google have not confirmed such.

Read More



"Rockitman" Hits 10,000 Rides on Universal Orlando Coaster

A Tampa-area resident, a.k.a "Rockitman", recently completed his 10,000th ride on Universal Orlando's Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster.

Read More


Area Restaurants Receive AAA Five and
Four Diamond Ratings

Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, is one of three Florida restaurants that recently received AAA/CAA's 2016 Five Diamond Rating. Three area restaurants received the 2016 Four Diamond Rating: Lake Buena Vista restaurants Bull & Bear and Capa, and Winter Park's Luma on Park.

back to top
Industry News


Domestic Airlines Increase Airfare

U.S. carriers have matched a $6 round-trip fare hike that JetBlue initiated last week, according to FareCompare. It's the third such attempt this year and second successful one.

Read More


The Challenge Behind Adding U.S. Precheck & Global Entry Members

According to a recent Skift article, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) faces a challenge in finding ways to increase TSA Precheck and Global Entry membership from five million to its goal of combined 25 million in coming years.

Read More

U.S. Mobile Payment Up 54 Percent

The U.S. market for mobile payments made at the retailer point of sale will increase to $23 billion in 2016, up 54 percent from 2015, with robust growth projected through 2019, according to Packed Facts' recently released report Mobile Payments in the U.S.

Read More

back to top
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 Premium Outlets OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
back to top