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Visit Orlando Events

March 3
Business Referral Group

Dick's Last Resort Restaurant & Bar
8201 Vineland Avenue
Cost: $18 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

Forbes Travel Guide has awarded the following members with its 2016 Star Award!

Four-Star Hotels
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort®
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Villas of Grand Cypress

Four-Star Restaurants
Nine18, Villas of Grand Cypress
Victoria & Albert's, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Four-Star Spas
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando, Grande Lakes

Recommended Hotels
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Reunion Resort, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort

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.

Sammy Duvall

Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10 percent off all water activities (parasailing, personal watercrafts, wake boarding, water skiing and more) now through Dec. 31, 2017. To claim this offer, call 407-939-0754 or email reservations@sammyduvall.com, and mention the offer code "visitorlando10" when booking.

Community Events

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 10
High Tea & Hats
Rosen Plaza Hotel

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 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.



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President & CEO's Message

Feb. 26, 2016

Expanded Turnpike Presence Puts Orlando in the Driver's Seat

George AguelIf, as the song says, life is a highway, then all roads now lead to Orlando. Each year more than 20 million travelers who travel Florida's most popular tourist motorway stop at a Florida Turnpike Service Plaza. While they may come for snacks, meals and quick pit stops, what they will also find are Visit Orlando informational booths and interactive kiosks in seven of the eight Turnpike service plazas. Beginning this week, the travel plazas, on what has long been considered the main vehicular artery from north to south Florida, will feature direct access to destination information, visitor services and products.

Motorists who drive one of our state's most traveled highways will now be met with a variety of user-friendly services that will create top-of-mind awareness for Orlando and provide convenient access to accommodation, attraction and other products to Orlando's many popular tourism sites. These services will include friendly and knowledgeable destination experts in the Fort Drum, West Palm and Fort Pierce plazas, as well as interactive, self-serve kiosks at the Okahumpka, Turkey Lake, Canoe Creek and Pompano plazas.

The touch-screen kiosks will digitally connect travelers to accommodations, attraction deals and destination information they are looking for to enhance their Central Florida experience - serving as a virtual concierge for all they need and want to know. In addition, TV monitors located throughout the plazas will provide additional up-to-date highlights and visitor information.

These information booths and kiosks will allow Visit Orlando to connect more closely with travelers in a convenient, informative and interactive way. And because of the popularity of the Florida Turnpike, the destination will be able to reach those within our own backyard and those beyond Orlando as well.

-George Aguel

Turnpike Photos

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Survey of Economists Predicts Slower Growth in 2016

Economists surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia don't see an acceleration of economic growth in 2016, but anticipate hiring will remain healthy and the unemployment rate will drop slightly. Respondents to the Bank's quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters predict the economy will grow 2.1 percent in 2016, slightly slower than 2.4 percent in 2015. The previous edition of the survey had predicted 2.6 percent growth in 2016. Economists anticipate monthly payroll growth will average 204,000 in 2016, slightly less than the 228,000 added monthly in 2015. The unemployment rate is forecasted to average 4.8 percent in 2016 and 4.6 percent in 2017.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Visit Orlando Announces Charitable Partners

Through the generosity of its team and member partners, Visit Orlando has provided more than a half a million dollars to organizations that work to make our community a better place to live, work and play. Three locally based organizations have been selected to receive proceeds from Visit Orlando's 2016 events and programs. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, which provides children facing adversity with professionally supported relationships that change their lives for the better, has been selected to be the member events recipient. Mustard Seed of Central Florida , which provides household furnishings and clothing to those who have suffered disaster or personal tragedy, was selected as the recipient of Visit Orlando's 2016 Golf Tournament. And finally, monies raised from Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, held each September, will support the Russell Home for Atypical Children, which provides a loving and caring home for brain-damaged children. Visit Orlando looks forward to working with these notable organizations. Shown, above: Last year, Visit Orlando presented a record-breaking donation of $160,735 to the 2015 Magical Dining Month recipient, ELEVATE.

weather network

Weather Network Broadcasts Live From Orlando

All this week The Weather Network from Canada was in Orlando broadcasting live each morning showing Canadians the breadth and depth of the destination and just how amazing Orlando's weather is. Show host Krissy Vann got to experience everything from Orlando's World-class theme parks to amazing attractions, outdoor adventures, flavorful dining, to name a few. Including meeting up with K Restaurant Owner/Chef Kevin Fonzo at Buena Vista Watersports for a cooking demonstration featuring Florida-grown ingredients.

Bride Magazine

Colombia's Bride Magazine Editor Tours Orlando

This past week Visit Orlando hosted the editor of Colombia's luxury weddings magazine, Novias (Bride) Magazine, on a tour to gather information about wedding venues, packages, proposal ideas and Bachelorette/Girlfriend's Wedding Planning Getaways. The visit will result in three upcoming feature stories. The magazine, with a targeted 137,800 readers, is distributed to young, professional women who want to make their dream wedding a fairy tale, something unique that follows the latest trends in destination weddings in Colombia - and all of Latin America.

Eliana Montoya, hosted by the Waldof Astoria Orlando during her stay, not only visited a few wedding venues at Waldorf and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotels, she also visited entertainment venues such as I-Drive 360 attractions, experienced unique proposal ideas at Discovery Cove, shopped at both the Mall of Millenia and Vineland Premium Outlets, and dined at culinary venues located in Winter Park, the Dr. Phillips area and downtown Orlando.


International Soccer Show Stars Orlando City's Kaká

This week Visit Orlando partnered with the producers of the internationally televised show "Soccer Cities" featuring soccer superstar Ricardo Kaká (Orlando City Soccer). The show also featured visits to Discovery Cove, The Orlando Eye, Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, Luma on Park, the Waldorf Astoria, Gatorland and Kennedy Space Center. among others. The show airs later this spring in 45 countries.



Visit Orlando Hosts Meetings Publications

This week, Visit Orlando hosted editors from more than half a dozen meetings magazines to give them a glimpse into all that is new in Orlando, the No. 1 meetings destination in the United States. Guests were treated to a welcome chef's dinner at the Swan and Dolphin, a ride on the Orlando Eye and a trip to Mango's Tropical Café, as well as dinner at newcomer Urbaine40 and James Beard nominee Rusty Spoon, lunch at the Waldorf and breakfast at the Sugar Factory. Editors in attendance represented Meetings & Conventions, Smart Meetings, Meetings Today, Facilities & Destinations, Association News, Corporate & Incentive Travel, and Prevue magazines.


Travel Trade Team Attends Campus Tournee

Last week, Visit Orlando attended DER Touristik's four-day Campus Tournee to four German cities. This was Visit Orlando's first marketing initiative under the DER Touristik umbrella rather than working with the separate brands DERTOUR, Meier's Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen. During the week, the team, along with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Orlando, presented 20 workshops featuring the destination to 295 German travel agents in Berlin, Hanover, Cologne and Frankfurt.

Press trip

Culinary Adventures on Menu for
U.S. & Canadian Press

Visit Orlando recently hosted a dining press trip for five top domestic dining publications representing outlets including: The Daily Meal, Food Republic, Eater and The Little Kitchen, along with a major Canadian outlet, Sun Media. Combined they represent a potential for more than 4 millions impressions. The journalists were able to explore Orlando's dining scene, from award-winning chefs to new flavors and hidden gems. Restaurant and venues visited included: La Luce, Urbain 40, The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia, and Osprey Tavern, as well as the Third Annual Field to Feast Dinner hosted by Walt Disney World and Edible Orlando. Shown, above: Rita DeMontis and Julie Deily are with Visit Orlando's Elyssa Wiener at Winter Park's Cask & Larder.

Colombia Gala

Visit Orlando Hosts Colombia Gala Night

On Monday, Feb. 22, Visit Orlando hosted a gala event at the Metropolitan Club in Bogotá, Colombia. More than 260 people attended the gala including travel agents, wholesalers, government officials, airline representatives and media who learned about the latest developments at the destination. The following members also participated in the event: Express Transportation, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Sanford Airport, Universal Orlando Resort and The Florida Mall. The night ended with partnership recognitions of the wholesalers and their outstanding honoree top agent.


Latest "Outdoor Orlando" Sails High Above
Walt Disney World

Visit Orlando's Content and Social Media team continues to focus on warm weather activities in their "Outdoor Orlando" series. This week, National Travel Correspondent Sarah Sekula hosts this magical water adventure, taking flight over Walt Disney World like never before at Sammy Duvall's Watersports Centre. Watch Visit Orlando's youtube video and read about it at Visit Orlando's blog. You can also experience it on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual National Convention & Expo Feb. 29 March 5 30,000 $59,100,000
Varsity Spirit LLC DBA American Championships American Open March 4 March 6 7,000 $13,790,000

SCCM Congress Breaks Record

David J. Martin, CEO/EVP of Society of Critical Medicine Care has reported that attendance at its 45th Critical Care Congress, held at the Orange County Convention Center Feb. 20-24, 2016, has officially surpassed its professional attendee record: this year's Congress with 4,631 professional attendees surpasses the San Francisco record set in 2014 by 60 registrants. (The last time the SCCM Congress was held in Orlando in 2007, the event had 3,549 professional attendees.) Total attendance this year, which includes, spouses, guests, exhibitors, staff and others, is estimated to be 5,800.

villas of grand cypress

Villas of Grand Cypress Named In
2016 Travelers' Choice Awards

Orlando's Villas of Grand Cypress was No. 24 on a list of the nation's top 25 hotels by TripAdvisor's 2016 Travelers' Choice Awards. It has also been named to U.S. News & World Report's 2016 Best Hotels in U.S. list.



Wahlburgers Comes to Orlando

Wahlburgers hits O-town, putting dining in Orlando once again in the limelight. The celebrity brother trio is now serving up their famed brand of "Wahl Sauce" burgers and Wahlberg nostalgia at their newest location in downtown Orlando.

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Viewfinder Spotlights WDWR for Special Occasions

A recently released Viewfinder blog counts down the top 5 ways to enjoy a special occasion at Walt Disney World Resort.

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HREC Study: Orlando a Top Hotel Market in U.S.

According to a recent Orlando Business Journal article a recent HREC Investment Advisors study found Central Florida's hotel market to be one of the country's strongest, recording a $2.4 billion sales volume in 2015, up from $458 million in 2014.

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Industry News

business travel

Study Reveals Joys of Biz Travel

According to the Business and Travel Technology Study conducted by Expedia Groups' business travel company, Egencia, 69 percent of business travelers surveyed enjoy business trips more than their everyday work, 37 percent claimed to feel more sociable than usual on their trip, and 38 percent are able to think more creatively.

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Congress Moves to Expedite TSA's PreCheck

On Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives approved a bill that would make applying for the Transportation Security Administration's expedited screening programs easier for travelers.

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Safety Concerns Not Stopping U.S. Travelers

U.S. travelers continue to have strong intentions to travel despite their concerns over safety in light of a slew of recent incidents in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, according to MMGY Global's latest quarterly Travelhorizons survey.

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National jet

National Airlines Adds New Service

National Airlines recently announced it will begin new service in June between Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) and Rafael Hernandez Airport (BQN), Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

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Americans to Spend $475 Billion on 2016 Vacations

According to a recent TravelPulse article, a Travelex survey predicts that U.S. travelers will spend nearly $475 billion on vacations in 2016. The survey revealed that 95 percent of respondents plan to take at least one vacation this year, spending an average of $2,041 on their getaway.

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DOT: Airline Travel Consumer Complaints Up

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) recently released Air Travel Consumer Report, airline consumer complaints about aviation service issues were up nearly 30 percent from 2014, with nearly 5,000 more complaints submitted to the DOT in 2015.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it's most current data available at the time of this publishing indicate that no locally acquired cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the United States. For the most current information about the Zika virus, visit the CDC's Zika page.

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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 Premium Outlets OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands United Service Companies
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