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Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Visit Orlando Events

Aug. 4
Business Referral Group

Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit
8441 International Drive
407-226-2929 (directions only)
Cost: $20 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

Aug. 4
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

iResponze® responds to online guest reviews on behalf of hotels, while they deliver exceptional guest experiences. Guest reviews, in all channels, are responded to within 24-48 hours with an authentic and engaging voice. For a limited time, Visit Orlando Members enjoy an exclusive offer of one free month of services. Call 800-528-3135 or visit iResponze.com for details. Offer expires Aug. 31, 2016.

palms villas

The Palms Hotel & Villas is offering a special rate for members, relatives and friends of $65 plus tax for suites-style condominium, including resort fee. They can accommodate up to six people in each suite. This is based on availability until Dec. 2016. For additional information or to book rooms call 407-396-2229 ext. 2205.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is offering Visit Orlando Members up to 10% off of their stay. Call 407-477-7029 to reserve. Offer expires Sept. 30, 2016.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows is offering all hospitality employees a $5 discount on any After Hours show. An employee ID or recent paycheck stub is required to receive the discount.

Vincenzo Cucina Italiana is offering 50% off bottles of wine under $100 every Sunday 4-10:30 p.m. Offer ends Aug. 31, 2016. Cannot to be combined with other offers.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa guests driving Electric Vehicles (EV) can now power up at an NRG EVgo Freedom Station®. EV drivers will find shopping hassle-free at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where consumers can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off at select stores. For holiday shopping hours and more information, including a downloadable coupon to be exchanged on site for a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings, visit LBVFS.com.

Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College is offering Visit Orlando members $10 off a season subscription. For $55, you'll receive one ticket to The Foreigner, Upton Abbey: An Improvised Comedy of English Manors, A Piece of My Heart, and Urinetown, The Musical. Visit Visit rollins.edu/annie for tickets and use code: VISITORLANDO.

Dollar Off Drinks is extending a 20% discount on their 6-month and 1-year memberships to Visit Orlando members. To redeem, use promo code: visitorlando.

hard rock

Hard Rock Café Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members free delivery on all offsite corporate catering. This could include breakfast or lunch meetings, customer appreciation events, employee appreciation events, holiday parties, etc. Customizable menus and options are available to fit the event's budget and vision. To claim this offer, email Jaclyn Eiler and reference the Visit Orlando website. Expiration date: Aug. 31, 2016.


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 Igor Souza at isouza@orlandocitysc.com or call 407-480-4762 for more information.


Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10% off all water activities (parasailing, personal watercrafts, wake boarding, water skiing and more) now through Dec. 31, 2016. To claim this offer, call 407-939-0754 or email reservations@sammyduvall.com, and mention the offer code "visitorlando10" when booking.

ALL4 ONE SPORTS would like Visit Orlando members to experience Bubble Soccer. Enjoy a one-hour party rental at Soccer XL Indoor Soccer Complex for 10 players. Bump the competition and blow off some steam. To redeem this $400 offer, call 386-624-4084 or email all41sports41@gmail.com, and mention the offer code BUMP when booking.

Industry Events

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce invites Visit Orlando members to attend their Lead & Feed Networking Lunch on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mama Louise, 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd. Click here to RSVP.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, Visit Orlando's 2016 charitable partner, is in need of back-to-school supplies such as pencils, erasers and notebooks, as well as backpacks. Each year the organization provides 200-300 backpacks filled with supplies to youth in our local community. If you are interested in donating, please contact Michael Andriano at mandriano@bbscfl.org or 407-478-2996. Items will need to be delivered by Aug.1.

Marlow's Tavern sets its grand opening date for its newest restaurant location for Aug. 9. The 3,500-square-foot tavern is conveniently located in front of EPIC Theatres in Lee Vista Promenade along Semoran Boulevard at Hazeltine National Drive in South Orlando. Guests are invited to become an Insider for specials and preview event invitations at MarlowsTavern.com.

Community Events

Through Aug. 14
Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art
Orlando Museum of Art

Through Aug. 20
Complimentary Wine Tastings Nightly
Flemings Prime Steakhouse

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 the 19th-Century Environment
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

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

Through Sept. 3
The Hannibal Square Heritage Collection
Crealdé School of Art

Through Sept. 4
Art & History's Untold Stories Exhibition
Maitland Art Center

Through Sept. 30
Give Kids The World Event Sponsorship
Miniature-golf courses participating around the nation

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!

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President & CEO's Message

July 28, 2016

Where the Latest Travel Technology Is Popping Up

George AguelYou've no doubt seen people dashing about town, eyes glued to phones, as they search for Pokémon Go characters. From SeaWorld Orlando to Fun Spot America, these digital creatures are popping up everywhere alongside real-world objects in this viral mobile game - showcasing the success of augmented reality technology.
Given the immense popularity of the game, Visit Orlando's digital marketing and membership team immediately began brainstorming how we could amplify the destination experience for our visitors, residents and members.  I'm pleased to share that we've launched a website which identifies locations that alerts gamers to hot spots in our destination's major theme parks, as well as tourism areas that do not require admission. Also, to support our Visit Orlando members, we're offering a webinar to educate you on the basics of the game and how you can drive additional traffic to your business.
The Pokémon Go trend is just one of the ways Visit Orlando continuously leverages new technology to promote our destination.  And don't miss the opportunity to learn more about travel and technology at our upcoming Business of Travel & Tourism Luncheon Aug. 25, from the founder of Travelocity, chairman of Kayak and a pioneer in travel booking - Terry Jones. You can learn firsthand the role technology plays in this current culture and how to best utilize it to enhance your business.Register today.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Leisure and Hospitality Employment Up in June

Leisure and Hospitality employment in the Orlando MSA rose by 13,500 jobs (5.6%) in June. Industry employment totaled 255,000 in June, up from 251,500 the previous month and 241,500 in June 2015. Total nonagricultural employment rose 4.5% in June, with Leisure and Hospitality accounting for 26% of the total increase. Overall, Leisure & Hospitality accounted for 21% of total nonagricultural employment in the Orlando MSA.

Orlando MSA Employment June 2015 June 2016 Difference % Change
Total Nonagricultural Employment 1,147,800 1,199,400 51,600 4.5%
Leisure and Hospitality 241,500 255,000 13,500 5.6%
Industry Share of Total 21.0% 21.3% 26.2%
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Visit Orlando Updates

gold service

Visit Orlando Wins M&C Award for 25th Year

Readers of Meetings & Conventions have voted Visit Orlando a 2016 Gold Service Elite Award Winner in the southern region. This is the 25th year Visit Orlando has received the Gold Service Elite Award, continuing to receive the most votes of any destination in the southern region. As this award is focused on service, winning is a testament to the value the organization brings to the destination for meetings and conventions business.

star wars

Facebook Video Captures Behind-the-Scenes Look at Disney's New Star Wars Fireworks Show

Walt Disney World Show Director Michael Roddy shares with Visit Orlando what makes Disney's Hollywood Studios' new nightly show, "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular", well, spectacular. The immersive show features "bigger fireworks than we've ever fired at Disney Hollywood Studios," lasers and massive video projections of iconic Star Wars moments. More about the show is also on Visit Orlando's leisure blog.

magical dining

Popular Magical Dining Program in Its 11th Year

Visit OrlandoMagicalDining.com, the website for Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month sponsored by American Express, to make your restaurant reservations now so you can sample some of the Orlando area's finest and most talked-about restaurants. Each offers special three-course menus for $33 from Aug. 29 to Oct. 2, 2016. One dollar from each meal will benefit the Russell Home for Atypical Children. Last year, Magical Dining raised $160,725 for charity Elevate Orlando.


Brazil's Biggest Daily Highlights Orlando

O Estado de S. Paulo, Brazil's largest daily newspaper (circ. 347,570), visited some of Orlando's newest and most popular attractions last month, including I-Drive 360, Crayola Experience and Wonderworks. The four-page article, Orlando, Reino da Diversao, features I-Drive 360's Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, Universal Orlando's "Reign of Kong" and Disney's "Frozen Ever After". The same story is featured online, along with a photo gallery and video . The website receives 37.3 million unique visitors monthly.


pokemon go

Webpage Invites Pokémon Go Players to Share Conquests on Visit Orlando Social Media

Visit Orlando's Pokémon Go webpage lists dozens of PokéStops and Gyms where players can discover and catch "countless" Pokémon located throughout the destination. We also invite players to share their conquests on Visit Orlando's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts!


Visit Orlando's Fred Shea Attends NCLR Luncheon

Visit Orlando Senior Vice President of Sales & Services Fred Shea (shown above) gave remarks at the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) National Affiliate Luncheon on July 23. NCLR held its annual conference for the first time in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center July 23-26. The conference is the nation's largest gathering of Latino leadership in the country, with more than 15,000 in attendance, and features numerous town halls and workshops about issues affecting the Hispanic American community.


Experient Tours Orlando's Hotels, Venues

The Experient Microsoft Tier 1 Sourcing Team met for their annual face-to-face meeting in Orlando this year in conjunction with last week's Microsoft MGX held at the Orange County Convention Center. Visit Orlando's Destination Site Manager Kelli Dunn assisted with hotel/venue tours for the four main Sourcing Managers. Shown above during the site tour on July 20, team members experienced Minus 5 with the Microsoft Tier 1 Sourcing Team. From left: Rodney Gutierrez, OCCC; Nicole Rattini Artiaga, Paige Kanatous, Felicia Brent, Jeanette Alvarez, Nicole Burrows and Mallory Rabinowitz from Experient; Therese Jardine, Microsoft Events and Production Studios; Aida Campbell, Experient; and Joseph Kempa, Visit Orlando.

Virgin Holidays

Client Event Thanks Virgin Holidays

Visit Orlando's U.K. Team hosted a dinner for key partners from Virgin Holidays at The Groucho Club in Soho on July 21 to thank them for their ongoing support for Orlando. The evening featured a fabulous dinner in a private dining room within this famous private members club. The conversation centered around the current economic climate, the impact on the market to Orlando and plans to support the destination moving forward. Shown above, clockwise from left: Zoe Ward Waring, Visit Orlando; Sarah Fox, Walt Disney World; Tim White, Universal Orlando Resorts; Darci O'Hagan, James Killick, Fiona Lewry and Angus Bond from Virgin Holidays; Dave Ody, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment; and Nicole Gibson and Sonja Powell from Virgin Holidays.

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News About Orlando


This Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Zumba Fitness, LLC Zumba Fitness Instructor Convention July 28 July 30 6,000 $11,820,000
Solution Tree Inc. PLC Institutes 2016 July 28 July 30 2,500 $4,925,000
Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Inc. Miss America's Outstanding Teen Competition Aug. 2 Aug. 6 2,643 $5,206,710
Origami Owl, LLC Origami Owl Annual Conference Aug. 4 Aug. 6 6,000 $11,820,000


Temp PreCheck Enrollment Center Opens at Hampton Inn - Orlando International Airport

To meet strong traveler demand for TSA PreCheck enrollment, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) opened a temporary enrollment center on July 26 at the Hampton Inn - Orlando International Airport, 5767 T.G. Lee Blvd. The special enrollment center, located in the hotel's Lighthouse Conference Room, is open through July 30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free. Photo Credit: TSA.gov

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Polite Pig

Local Celebrity Chefs to Open New Venue

The Polite Pig, sister restaurant to The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park owned by local celebrity chefs James and Julie Petrakis, is set to open at Disney Springs in spring 2017. The Polite Pig will feature a variety of wood-fired, smoked and grilled items as well as introduce an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including Cask & Larder beer, wine, and cocktails.

Read More

Universal Orlando's Shuttle Service to
Operate at Airport Counters

Universal Orlando will begin running its SuperStar Shuttle service out of counters at Orlando International Airport instead of storefronts it has used until now.

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Spirit to Add New Service To/From Orlando

Spirit Airlines has announced it is adding new daily non-stop service between Akron-Canton and Orlando beginning in November, in addition to the five new daily nonstop flights between five northeastern cities and Orlando announced last week.

Read More

WestJet Announces New Service Between
Regina & Orlando

Beginning in October, Canadian airline WestJet will begin new weekly non-stop service between Regina and Orlando.

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DoubleTree OIA

$8 Million Renovation Pledged for DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport

GF Management has pledged $8 million in renovations at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport. The national hotel ownership and management company acquired the 353-room hotel in June.

Read More

Disney app

My Disney Experience App Adds "Get Directions"

The new "Get Directions" button, now available on the My Disney Experience mobile app, offers guidance to important locations anywhere on property. For example, if you're visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park and select Expedition Everest, the "Get Directions" button will bring up clear step-by-step walking directions to the attraction from wherever you are in the park.

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SeaWorld's All-New Summer Soak Party Underway

Now through Aug. 14, families can take a break from the sun and splash and dance the day away under playful sprinklers and rain curtains at SeaWorld Orlando's all-new Summer Soak Party. It takes place daily at SeaWorld's Bayside Stadium from noon to 6 p.m. daily, and on weekends Aug. 15 through Labor Day.

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Airbnb: Nearly 155K Guests Stayed at
Orlando Area Hosts in 2015

According to a Herald Tribune article, Airbnb reported that 2,550 hosts in the "Orlando/Daytona Beach" market (and including Brevard, Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter counties) made an average of $5,490 each from 154,900 inbound guests in 2015, a growth rate of 205 percent.

Read More

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Industry News

Terry Prather

Terry Prather to Head Florida Council of Tourism Leaders

Visit Florida has announced that Terry Prather, former President of SeaWorld Orlando, has been appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Florida Council of Tourism Leaders.

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BTS: Domestic Airfare Lowest Since 2010

The average domestic airfare decreased to $361 in the first quarter of 2016, down 7.8 percent from $392 in the first quarter of 2015, falling to the lowest level since 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

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gas prices

Gas Prices Lowest Since April

National pump prices have fallen for 43 of the past 44 days, dropping 22 cents during this span. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline sits at $2.21 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since April and the lowest price for this date since 2004. Today's price is five cents less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago, and 56 cents less than the same date last year.

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Airbnb's Popularity Among Millenials
Yet to Impact Hotels

According to a recent Travel Pulse article, Airbnb's notable growth (thanks in part to popularity among millenials' use of the sharing economy) has yet to impact hotel chains' bottom lines.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available July 27, 2016) indicate that zero (0) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 1,657 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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