Join the Conversation


Visit Orlando's Social Media team and honorary young reporter, Isla, were on hand at the recent LEGOLAND Florida red carpet premiere of "The LEGO Movie 4D" to interview television and social media celebrities in attendance, including Modern Family's Aubrey Anderson-Emmos, Liv and Maddie's Joey Bragg, 100 Things to Do Before High School's Isabel Moner and Youtubers Family Fun Pack. Check out @VisitOrlando's #legolandflorida posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Visit Orlando Events

Feb. 11
Business Referral Group

Uno's Pizzeria & Grill
8250 International Drive
Cost: TBD
Click here to RSVP.

Party at the Pointe

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

Click here to register.

Mar. 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.

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.

Community Events

Through Feb. 7
Dancing Lessons
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Feb. 12-14
Winefest XXV
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards

Feb. 16
Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce presents the Veterans Business Initiative (VBI)
Fashion Square Mall

Through Feb. 16
Artists-in-Residence: Marie Yoho Dorsey
Art & History Museums - Maitland

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

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.



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President & CEO's Message

Feb. 5, 2016

Tourist Tax Soars Thanks to Stellar Year

George AguelWhen Orange County released December's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections this week, the entire leisure and hospitality industry released a collective gasp. Not only did the destination record the highest December TDT total ever, it also surpassed the $20 million benchmark for the first time in Orlando's history. To put it into perspective, the December collections generated for the destination by the resort tax were a whopping 12.4 percent higher than the same month last year! By the time the year had ended, 2015's tourist tax collections on short-term rentals totaled an astounding $231 million.

This all-time high amount was stronger than anticipated, and an indicator of our destination's forward momentum. Consider this, back in 2008 when Eli Manning was the MVP of the Super Bowl, occupied room nights in Orlando were just under 27 million. Now, after seven years of consecutive growth, demand is topping 33 million and Manning's older brother, Peyton, is on his way to the championship game.

You can find the details of the TDT rise and its implications for our industry in our weekly note from the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando. I'm sure you'll agree, this solid showing, coupled with the ambitious plans our members have for the future, points to a destination where the Tourism industry continues to boost our economy throughout 2016 and beyond.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

TDT December Record for TDT Collections

The Orange County Tourist Development Tax generated $20,573,800 in December according to the latest report from the Orange County Comptroller's Office. Collections were 12.4 percent higher than December 2014, and the first time December collections have exceeded $20 million. December was an appropriate capstone to a record year for tax collections, which rose 11.3 percent during the calendar year to a record $231 million.

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Visit Orlando Updates


What's New at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2016

Newly featured on Visit Orlando's blog is one of the most anticipated events every spring in Orlando, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, new food, new topiary displays and a new musical play garden will take center stage for this 90-day celebration of all things that bloom, March 2 - May 30, 2016.

Florida Huddle

Travel Industry Sales Team Attends Florida Huddle

The Travel Industry Sales team attended Florida Huddle in Tampa Jan. 26-28. During the Huddle, the team conducted 88 appointments with tour operators and wholesalers from the United States, Canada, Europe, China and India. Hosted by Visit Florida, Florida Huddle is the state's foremost travel trade event, welcoming travel suppliers, including 42 Visit Orlando members, from across the state to meet directly with hundreds of domestic and international buyers. Next year's Florida Huddle will be held at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Jan. 9 - 12, 2017.

Orlando Represented at India's SATTE

Visit Orlando was recently represented at the South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in New Delhi Jan. 29-31. The event is considered South Asia's leading travel show, attracting upwards of 16,000 travel trade professionals from throughout India and South Asia. Visit Orlando's India travel trade representative was joined by representatives from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and 7M Tours on the Visit Florida stand within the Brand USA pavilion. Orlando is poised to experience continued growth from the India market with the one-stop connections from throughout India now offered by Emirates via Dubai to Orlando.

Colombia Team

Colombia Team Hosts Key Client Virtual Breakfast

Visit Orlando's Colombia team, headed by Johanna D'LaRotta Russo, held a virtual breakfast with our key tour operator clients last week. During the breakfast the group reviewed plans for the upcoming ANATO trade show as well as upcoming opportunities for the year. Visit Orlando's Colombia representative Rosalba Sabogal took the opportunity to introduce new trade representative, Mr. Elkin Ospino. Colombia is expected to be among the fastest growing economies in South America over the next two years, with its GDP forecast of 2.9 percent over year 2015 and 2016.

China training

South China Travel Agencies Updated on Orlando

Visit Orlando's China travel trade representative conducted educational seminars at the offices of leading travel companies in the southern China cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China. A total of 320 staff members of leading tour operator offices in the region received the Orlando updates.


China FAM

Key Chinese Travel Trade Learn Latest on Destination

In partnership with Visit Florida, the Visit Orlando Travel Industry Sales team welcomed nine Chinese tour operators to Orlando, providing them a more in-depth understanding of the destination to assist their sales efforts. For several in the group, including key clients such as CTrip, Caissa, Galaxy Tours and China Travel Service, the visit represented their first time to Orlando. Chinese visitors to Orlando continue to increase, with the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday period (Feb. 7-17) expected to show strong increases from previous holiday periods.

India FAM

Indian Tour Operators Experience Orlando

Visit Orlando's Travel Industry Sales team partnered with Visit Florida to host a group of six Indian tour operators for an educational tour of the destination's theme parks, attractions and shopping venues. The group included key tour operator clients from Mumbai and Delhi who are currently selling Orlando as part of tour series, group travel, and independent travelers. The guests enjoyed the opportunity to meet retired Astronaut Al Worden from Apollo 15 during their visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (shown above).


Mexico's Travel + Leisure to Feature Destination

Visit Orlando hosted two journalists from Grupo Expansion, one of the largest publishing companies in Mexico. The writers experienced the latest local attractions including the Crayola Experience, Mango's Tropical Café and I-Drive 360, plus a variety of restaurants in Disney Springs, Sand Lake Road and Winter Park, among others. Following the press trip, two feature stories are planned for Travel + Leisure, Mexico (circ. 186,000) and Aire, Aeromexico's inflight magazine (cir. 120,000) about new attractions and the growth of Orlando's culinary offerings.


La Voz Kids Films in Orlando

This week Visit Orlando hosted some of the stars from Telemundo's hit TV show "La Voz Kids", the kids version of popular American hit "The Voice". The crew shot a series of vignettes showcasing the breadth and depth of the destination that will air within the show during the month of April.

Convention Sales Attends GMC PCMA Leader's Day Awards Luncheon

Visit Orlando's Chicago Convention Sales team attended this week's GMC PCMA Chapter Leader's Day and Awards Luncheon held at the Westin River North in Chicago. Three Visit Orlando clients were award winners. Congratulations to Colleen Donohoe, CMP, director of meetings for Society of Thoracic Surgeons, won the Robert J. Donovan Award; Barbara Connell, CAE, CMP, CEO for American Society For Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, won the Pillar Award; and Kristi Casale with American Academy of Pediatrics Dentistry won the GEM award. Orlando is the proud host of the event's 2023 Annual Meeting.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
W.W. Grainger W.W. Grainger Show Feb.8 Feb. 12 15,000 $29,550,000
PennWell Corporation Distrubutech Feb. 9 Feb. 11 10,000 $19,000,000
Florida Swimming Pool Association Everything Under the Sun Feb. 11 Feb. 13 5,000 $9,850,000
International Gymnastics Association Magical Classic Feb. 12 Feb. 13 2,500 $2,955,000
Orlando Gift Show Orlando Gift Show Feb. 13 Feb. 15 6,500 $12,805,000


Lego 4D

LEGOLAND Florida Premiers New LEGO Movie

LEGO fans everywhere who are anticipating the release of "The LEGO Movie" sequel can breathe a sigh of relief. LEGOLAND Florida has premiered a "mini-figure" sequel, "THE LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure" during a recent red carpet event, complete with blasts of confetti and TV celebs. The theatrical attraction adds more kid-friendly things to do at Orlando's area theme parks.


Orlando City, Lake Nona Announce Training Facility

Orlando City Soccer Club and Lake Nona have announced a partnership for the development of a new state-of-the-art, 23-acre training facility at the Lake Nona Sports & Performance District. The District is next to the U.S. Tennis Association's National Campus currently under construction. The training facility will house the Lions of Major League Soccer (MLS), Orlando City B of the United Soccer League (USL), and the Club's Elite Youth Academy.

Read More



Madame Tussauds Orlando Adds Famous Footballer

In celebration of Neymar's upcoming 24th birthday, Madame Tussauds Orlando has announced the world-famous Brazilian footballer will receive a new wax figure. Neymar will unveil the figure this spring in Barcelona and his wax double will travel to its permanent home in Orlando. 

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WalletHub Names Orlando Best City for Wedding

To help couples find the most wedding-friendly destinations, WalletHub's analysts compared 150 of the biggest cities across 18 key indicators of a cost-effective, convenient and enjoyable occasion. Our data set ranges from average wedding cost to number of venues and event spaces per capita to availability of hotels. Orlando made No.1. Las Vegas and Atlanta followed in the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively

Read More

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Industry News

travel trends

New Travel Trends Index Forecasts Moderate Growth

The U.S. Travel Association released its inaugural Travel Trends Index (TTI) on Tuesday. This month's TTI - which measures travel trends as of December 2015 - shows that travel growth leveled off at the end of the year and forecasts moderate growth in early 2016. The index is a two-prong indicator developed by the organization's economic research team, in partnership with Oxford Economics, to both track and predict the volume and pace of travel to and within the United States. The TTI will be released on the first Tuesday of each month. Visit ustravel.org for more information.

U.S. Travel Offers Zika Virus Talking Points

U.S. Travel Association is monitoring recent developments regarding the Zika virus and its potential impact on travel to and within the United States. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that widespread transmission here is unlikely at this time, the association is prepared to activate our industry's readiness efforts when and if needed. Click here for general talking points presented by the Association. Visit ustravel.org for more information.



TSA PreCheck Biz Travelers More Satisfied

GBTA's Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ reveals that "business travelers who sign up for TSA PreCheck to avoid the hassles and delays of the security screening process are significantly more satisfied with air travel than their peers who have yet to enroll in the program. In fact, two thirds (66 percent) of travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck are satisfied with getting through airport security, compared with just 47 percent of business travelers not enrolled in the program."

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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 OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands
United Service Companies
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