Visit Orlando Events

Jan. 14
Business Referral Group
Urbain 40
8000 Via Dellagio Way
Cost: $18 Inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Feb. 4
Member Orientation
Click here to register.
Please note: through the holiday season, Member Orientation for December and January will not be held. The next session will be held February 4, 2016.

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

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.

Congratulations Members

Maitland Civic Center Art & History Museums celebrate 50 years.

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

Florida Sculpture Guild Presents La Creatura
Crealdé School of Art

Jan. 1-17
Holidays at the Waterhouse
Art & History Museums - Maitland

Jan. 1-Feb. 21
100 Years of Hannibal Square: Historic and Contemporary Photographs of West Winter Park 
Orange County Regional History Center

Jan. 1-March 21
Penelope, Princess of the Peacocks  
Winter Park History Museum

Jan. 1-March 26
Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park
Winter Park History Museum

Jan. 1-April 17
Exhibition-Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture 
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Jan.1-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

Jan. 2-Aug. 31
Inside/Out: Steel, Paper, Bronze
The Mennello Museum of American Art

Jan. 5-10
The Sound of Music FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Jan. 5-Feb. 16
Artists-in-Residence: Marie Yoho Dorsey
Art & History Museums - Maitland

Jan. 5-June 5
Behind Closed Doors: The Collection

Art & History Museums - Maitland, Maitland Historical Museum

Jan. 6-Feb. 7
Dancing Lessons
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Jan. 7-10
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Jan. 14-18
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Legends
Amway Center

Ringling Bros.

Jan. 15-18
10th Annual Otronicon
Orlando Science Center

Jan. 16
32nd Annual Downtown Orlando Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
Lake Eola Park

Jan. 16
The Color Run | Tropicolor
Central Florida Fairgrounds

Jan. 16
Orlando Philharmonic: Brahms Symphony No. 2
Mayor Bob Carr Theater

Jan. 16-17
Central Florida Scottish Highland Games
Central Winds Park, Winter Springs

Highland Games

Jan. 16-31
Wild Days at SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando

Jan. 20
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Jan. 23
2016 Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Lake Eola

Jan. 23
Color In Motion 5K
Artegon Marketplace

Jan. 23-31
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts & Humanities
Downtown Eatonville and Various Venues


Jan. 24
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Red Priest
Rollins College, Tiedtke Concert Hall

President & CEO's Message
January 8, 2016


George AguelOur current projections tell us that 2015 will go down in the books as another record-breaking year — and as the destination's most successful year in history. We just came off a strong holiday season where Orlando posted the highest occupancy rate (90.7 percent) among STR's top 25 lodging markets for the week of Dec. 27 – Jan 2. Oahu Island, HI was a close second at 90.1 percent, followed by Miami (88.9 percent) and New York City (85.0 percent). Orlando's occupancy rate peaked on Thursday, December 31 at 96.2%. In addition, for the year, we achieved records in room nights sold (more than 33 million) and ADR ($113).

Visit Orlando's mission is to make Orlando the destination of choice by building brand awareness and interest in the destination through creative and innovative marketing efforts carefully positioned in markets throughout the United States and key international markets. We recently launched our new global brand campaign, "Orlando – The Never Ending Story." For the first time we took a different direction that focused on the emotional and special memories our visitors experience when they visit our destination. The campaign is achieving the highest domestic ad awareness in our history, resonating with consumers greater than ever before. In fact those who recalled seeing our new ads were more likely to visit in the next 12 months.

We also unveiled a new brand creative for the meetings and conventions market with the theme, "Share Orlando." This campaign showcases unique meeting experiences across Orlando from the attendee and planner perspective. These sharable moments are meant to inspire meeting professionals to imagine themselves in Orlando. It's not a coincidence Orlando was named by supplier network Cvent as the No. 1 destination for meetings and events in the United States. We expect these efforts — and those we launch this year — to continue to reap rewards for Orlando.

So as we can see, Orlando is well positioned for yet another happy new year, thanks to the contributions of our strong and vibrant tourism economy. Happy New Year!

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Hiring Ends Year on High Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers added 292,000 jobs in December. For all of 2015, the economy added 2.65 million jobs, the second best year of jobs gains since 1999. The unemployment rate stayed at 5 percent for the third straight month, down by half from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Times Square

Visit Orlando's Global Campaign Featured During Time Square New Year's Eve Celebration

Winter temperatures are approaching and consumers are beginning to think about their vacation plans for 2016. From digital video boards in iconic locations such as Times Square and Madison Square Garden, to wrapping double-decker buses and taxi cabs, Visit Orlando reached millions of New Yorkers during the holiday season with our new global marketing campaign, "Orlando - the Never Ending Story."

HSMAI to Honor Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel With Albert E. Koehl Award

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will honor George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, with its Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing at its Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on Feb. 16 at the New York Marriott Marquis. 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. Read more here.

orlando spread

Top U.K. Magazine Highlights What's New for 2016

As a result of a group press trip, OK! Magazine featured a two-page spread on Orlando. The article gives an overview of the theme parks as well as what's new for 2016, where to stay and where to shop.

"Paint Night" Evening Thanks Argentinian Tour Operators for Year-Round Support

Our Argentina representation, Focus Latam, hosted an informal "Paint Night" evening on Dec. 16 for our key tour operators at the Sofitel Hotel in Buenos Aires to thank them for their year-round support. Guests were provided with an apron and logo template of Visit Orlando to complete their masterpieces. Click here to see the event.

Delta dinner

Delta Dinner Honors New Orlando Service

On Dec. 17, Visit Orlando participated as main sponsor at Delta Air Lines inaugural dinner, which was attended by 90 guests from travel agencies, consolidators, tour operators, OTAS and general partners. The dinner celebrated the direct flight from São Paulo to Orlando, which started operating on Dec. 19. The new service will be onboard a Boeing 767-300 with 35 seats in Delta One class, 32 in Delta Comfort and 143 in economy. The operation is initially scheduled to take place four times a week, but, according to the airline's director for Brazil, Luciano Macagno, the service will be increased in February. The first flight was reported at 90 percent occupancy.

Colombia Trade Team Conducts Holiday Sales Blitz

Visit Orlando's Colombia Trade team recently conducted a holiday sales blitz to key tour operator clients, targeting 62 sales agents. Each sales call included a group of singing carolers to entertain our clients with Christmas tunes, as well as a gift of traditional Colombian holiday snacks.

Fodor's Highlights Orlando as Top Winter Destination

Visit Orlando's Publicity team worked with a writer for Fodors.com to showcase why Orlando is a top destination to visit this Winter. The article highlights the theme parks as well as lesser-known attractions.


Visit Orlando Takes Center Ice

Beginning Jan. 11, and running for a total of 7 weeks, Visit Orlando will team up with the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team to give fans a chance to win the Ultimate Orlando Family Vacation. The promotion will receive extensive in-stadium exposure as well as online during all of the Toronto Maple Leafs games, with bonus exposure during all Toronto Raptors NBA games. In order to capitalize on the love of hockey among the Canadian audience, one lucky winner will sign a one-day player contract with the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears.


Mexican Lifestyle Magazines Tout Orlando's Breadth and Depth

As a result of a group press trip October 2-6, Visit Orlando, in partnership with JetBlue Airlines, secured destination coverage from two of Mexico's lifestyle and travel magazines: Open, a monthly lifestyle magazine, and Forward Travel, a monthly travel magazine. The December articles, titled "Orlando: Not Everything is Mickey Mouse", showcase Orlando's theme parks, I-Drive 360, restaurants, shopping and much more.

Dishing on Orlando's Savory Culinary Scene

dish worthIf you missed the Orlando segment that was part of a "Dish Worth the Drive: Southern Eats Edition" episode that aired earlier this Fall on Orlando's WFTV 9 and WRDQ 27, you can watch it online here. Visit Orlando teamed up with the TV show to showcase Orlando's dynamic dining scene. The show was syndicated to air in 55 markets across the Southeast. Hosted by Food Network personality Steak Shapiro, the culinary show spotlights destinations "south of the Mason-Dixon Line" and the restaurants that make them so enjoyable.


Colombia's Noticias RCN Airs Orlando Segments

Colombia's Noticias RCN, part of RCN Television, a private television network that reaches 97 percent of the Colombian population through 13 stations aired two segments in December about Orlando on its show, "Around the World". The segments featured Universal Orlando Resort, showcasing how to better enjoy the park during the holidays, and Walt Disney World Resort, showcasing the Christmas events at the parks. Hosted by well-known entertainment show host Cristina Hurtado, the segments were among several filmed across Orlando during the six-day film shoot hosted by Visit Orlando's Public Relations team in early December.

Orlando Showcased as Largest Florida Convention City at Florida Encounter Tradeshow

December's Florida Encounter tradeshow, held at Ameila Island Plantation Resort, attracted more than 250 meeting planners from across the United States. During the event, Orlando was showcased as the Largest Florida Convention City. The appointment-based tradeshow, presented by Visit Florida, showcases what the Sunshine State has to offer for meetings, conventions and incentive professionals.


American Federation of Powerlifters Annual Tournament of Champions Coming to Orlando 

Visit Orlando's Convention Sales team met with the American Federation of Powerlifters during a site visit to determine a meeting venue that will host approximately 3,000 attendees at is Annual Tournament of Champions. After being wowed by Orlando's range of options and diversity as a destination, the organization will hold the tournament in Orlando for multiple years, beginning in 2017.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting Jan. 9 Jan. 11 6,000 $11,820,000
Florida Educational Technology Conference, Inc. Annual Meeting Jan. 13 Jan. 15 9,000 $17,730,000
Special Events Magazine The Special Event Jan. 13 Jan. 14 1,500 $2,955,000
5LINX National Conference Jan. 14 Jan. 15 8,000 $15,760,000
Surf Expo SURF EXPO-January Jan. 14 Jan. 16 20,000 $39,400,000
Assn of Fund Raising Distributors Annual Convention Jan. 14 Jan. 16 1,000 $1,970,000
World Ventures United Event Jan. 15 Jan. 17 17,000 $33,490,000
Orlando Volleyball Academy MLK Volleyball Tournament Jan. 16 Jan. 18 10,000 $650,000


Trivago Names Top U.S. Cities for Wheelchair Access

Sam McCraw of Trivago's U.S. blog Checkin, in collaboration with travel addict and wheelchair user Cory Lee, announces Orlando has been included in their Top 10 list of the most wheelchair accessible cities.

Read More

Orlando a Top 3 U.S. Travel Destination This Winter

Warm weather seems to be on the minds of U.S. travelers this season. Orlando ranks third in TripAdvior's Winter Vacation Value Report as a winter travel destination travelers for the period of January 1-March 31, 2016.

Read More

Video: SeaWorld's Mako Coaster "Topped Off"

Visit Orlando's Social Media team captured the "top off" of SeaWorld's Mako coaster earlier this week as cranes put into place the tallest point of the structure — the tracks of its signature 200-foot tall hill. Click here to see the video.



Mango's Tropical Café Opens

For those looking to spice up their visit, Mango's Tropical Cafe is now open, serving up live music and entertainment, colorful drinks and food all with a swanky Latin flare.

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Another Bird's Eye View for I-Drive 360?

Helitours could be coming to I-Drive 360 in 2016. The entertainment complex has plans to add a helitour attraction, according to Orange County documents. 

Read More

How Orlando Stacked up in 2015

A recent Orlando Business Journal article lists various rankings from 2015 in which Orlando, Central Florida and the state were stacked up against other cities and states ... including airport travel satisfaction and top travel hotspots to college programs.

Read More

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Industry News

Florida's Leisure/Hospitality Sector Sees Job Gains

During 2015, all of Florida's major industries have seen strong employment gains, with the leisure and hospitality sector, in particular, experiencing one of the strongest gains. 

Read More


U.S. Travelers Plan to Spend More in 2016

U.S. travelers plan to spend more on their travel plans, as much as $8,400 in the coming year, and 96 percent will plan a domestic trip according to TripAdvisor's TripBarometer for 2016.

Read More

Facebook Tests Travel-Specific News Feed

There's now the possibility for travel brands to move their content to its own unique news "tab" within the company's mobile app. How might this impact the way Facebook brands post content moving forward?

Read More

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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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