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Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Visit Orlando Events

July 14
Business Referral Group

Kobe Japanese Steak House
8148 International Drive Suite
407-203-2803 (directions only)
Cost: $23 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

July 14
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

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

Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers can power up at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa. For local residents and visitors driving electric vehicles, shopping and traveling is now easier with the installation of a 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.

Receive $10 off a season subscription to the Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College. 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 rollins.edu/annie for tickets and use code: VISITORLANDO.

Celebrate Mondays with Prime Mondays, a new three-course menu for $49.95 that's only available at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.

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.

Masterful Wine Events is offering Visit Orlando members 10% off the regular price of wine, beer and spirit tastings. The venue located in the Church Street Historic District hosts up to 40 people while larger groups can be accommodated in the venue located across the street. Tastings and classes can be designed as spouse entertainment, team building (structured as a competition) or as an enhancement to a dinner or cocktail reception. Tastings can also be held at trade show booths, which has doubled traffic for past clients. To reserve your tasting, call 407-906-8622 and mention Visit Orlando.

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: August 31, 2016.

OC Soccer

Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members through October 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 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 December 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

To celebrate its own "Sweet 16" birthday, Discovery Cove launched a national sweepstakes promotion. One lucky winner and 15 friends will win a trip to Discovery Cove, including roundtrip airfare, two nights' hotel accommodations, transportation and a VIP guest package. To enter the sweepstakes, go to DiscoveryCove.com/Sweet16.

DTO photo contest

Orlando Attractions Unite to Launch #WhatILoveAboutOrlando Campaign and Contest. They want to hear from locals, tourists, business owners, hospitality workers - anyone and everyone with a special place in their heart for Orlando. Chime in on your own social networks using #WhatILoveAboutOrlando, and tagging (Facebook: Orlando Attractions United, Twitter: @OrlandoUnites, Instagram: @OrlandoAttractionsUnited). Submit a written response, photo, or video; whatever helps best express your passion for The City Beautiful. For more information about the Grand Prize and official contest rules, please visit sleuthsorlando.blogspot.com.

DTO photo contest

The Downtown Development Board, in cooperation with the Downtown Arts District, is holding the third annual Best of DTO Photo Contest. Photographers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to submit their photos to any of the five categories: Live, Work, Play, Panoramic and Lake Eola Park. Click here to submit your photo. Photos must be submitted by July 18, 2016.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort will host a new Night Lights event, starting June 18. The event will include extended hours, Lego Ninjago-themed fireworks, rare character meet-and-greets and chances to work alongside the park's master model builders. Night Lights is included in regular park admission and will run on Saturdays and Sundays through July 31.

Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark Orlando will host a summer event series called Island Nights. Guests can enjoy extended park hours, live DJs and a special menu at the park's Waterstone Grill. Island Nights is included with park admission and runs every night, July 7 - Aug. 6.

Community Events

June Through December 31
Complimentary Hotel Shopper Shuttle
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets

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

June 18-August 7
About Summer Nights
SeaWorld Orlando

June 21 Through August 20
Complimentary Wine Tastings Nightly
Flemings Prime Steakhouse

July 15 Through September 4
Art & History's Untold Stories Exhibition
Maitland Art Center

Through August 14
Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art
Orlando Museum of Art

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

Connect With Visit Orlando

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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 8, 2016

The Nation's Best City for Recreation

George AguelIt's no secret Orlando is rich in theme parks and family-friendly attractions but our destination also has a number of other local treasures that give visitors a reason to extend their stays and return again and again. As we celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month this July, Orlando has just been named the Best City for Recreation in the U.S. by the personal-finance website WalletHub. The site compared the 100 largest cities on everything from area parks to the cost of a movie ticket. Not only does this top ranking put our destination in an advantageous position with vacationers seeking budget-friendly trips, it's also a bonus for those interested in fitness, leisure activities and eco-conscious travel.

As tourism in Orlando continues to grow so does interest in our Central Florida ecotourism activities like springs and parks, trails and camping areas. With natural and active attractions like Rock Springs Run, the downtown Orlando Bike Share and the West Orange Trail located right here in our backyard, there are multiple reasons for vacationers to get outside and explore these offerings.

With this latest award in a string of others we've been receiving, it comes as no surprise that Orlando remains a leading destination of choice for family and leisure travel.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Orange County TDT Collections Rise in May

Collections of Orange County's Tourist Development Tax totaled nearly $18.6 million, 4.4% higher than May of last year. Year-to-date through May collections have surpassed $106 million, 4.1% higher than the same period in 2015. The tax is a 6% charge on short-term rentals, mostly hotels and motels. The year-to-date growth in tax collections has been supported by a 5% increase in the average daily rate for hotels and motels in Orange County, while occupied room nights (aka demand) have dropped nearly 1%.

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Visit Orlando Updates


Ten Orlando Theme Parks Voted Favorites
by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, has named its 2016 Travelers Choice list of top-rated theme parks in the U.S. Voters named ten of Orlando's theme parks among their top choices, further validating that our destination is the theme park capital among travelers. Orlando's water parks were also named as traveler's top choice to make a vacation splash. Read about it here.


Social Media Influencers See What's New and Exciting in Orlando

Visit Orlando recently partnered with Visit Florida in hosting a domestic press trip for five media outlets, totaling a potential audience of 905,000: Travel with Bender, Travel Mamas, Mommy's Slice of the Pie, Hippie in Heels and We3Travel. On their tour of Florida, the journalists visited Orlando attractions, accommodations and dining, including properties such as: The B Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Artegon marketplace, I-Drive 360 and Tapa Toro.


Local Press Garnered for Orlando!

El Sentinel (circ. 148,500; online: 121,100) the Spanish version of the Orlando Sentinel, published a cover story and online story about Orlando locals vacationing in the City Beautiful. Visit Orlando provided information about the benefits of "staycationing", including the never-ending attraction openings, contributions to the local tourism economy and money-saving locals-only deals. The article came about after WalletHub named Orlando No. 1 of the top 150 cities to staycation.


Eight Pages Dedicated to Orlando
in Key Brazilian Magazine

Viaje Mais (circ. 50,000), a popular consumer tourism publication in Brazil, highlighted some of Orlando's most talked-about summer additions in an 8-page spread for their June edition. The article includes highlights of various upcoming attractions, including the new Reign of Kong ride at Universal Studios, the exciting Mako coaster at SeaWorld, the newly constructed Town Center inside Disney Springs and more. The story was a result of a group media trip hosted by Visit Orlando.

Revista São Paulo, a weekly supplement of Folha de São Paulo newspaper (circ. 333,000; online 33 million), recently published a story about summer vacations, highlighting Orlando as the most visited destination with 66 million visitors. The journalist, who joined last year's IPW in Orlando, wrote about popular area attractions such as Gatorland, Orlando Balloon Rides and Revolution Off-Road. The article also featured some of Orlando's newest theme park attractions, including Sea World's Mako, Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light and more.

Successful Meetings Magazine Awards Visit Orlando the Pinnacle

For the 22nd year, Visit Orlando has been recognized by readers of Successful Meetings magazine as the Pinnacle One winner, in the "Best CVB/DMO in the Southeast Region." Presented annually by the Northstar Meetings Group's Successful Meetings brand, the Pinnacle Awards are voted on by decision makers planning meetings, events, conferences and incentive programs in the US and worldwide. The Pinnacle Awards have earned a reputation over their 30-year history as the most credible and valued symbol of excellence among meeting professionals and travel suppliers alike.

Orlando Executives Appointed to Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

Visit Orlando's President and CEO George Aguel has been appointed to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. Aguel's appointment demonstrates the importance of Orlando as an international tourism driver for the United States. "I look forward to working with the new Board as we continue our efforts in promoting growth and creating jobs in the industry," said Pritzger. John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Universal Parks and Resorts was reappointed to the board.



George Aguel Named to Annual List of Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry

Successful Meetings, one of the top meetings magazines, has named George Aguel one of the most influential people in the meetings industry. The list of luminaries has been chosen due either to their contributions to the meetings business or because they made it easier for meetings professionals to do their job or helped raise awareness of the industry. Aguel started in the meetings industry with the Gaylord/Opryland in Nashville and after that spent 23 years at Disney. Read more here.


Orlando's Downtown Lake Eola Gets Shout Out

Viaje na Viagem (1.6 million unique monthly visitors) published a story about Lake Eola featuring several of the park's permanent attractions, such as the Confederate Monument, Battle of the Bulge, Linton E. Allen Memorial, Discovery Muse, Walt Disney Amphitheater and the weekly Farmer's Market. Additionally, the digital site published another article about the Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall. The online article highlighted some of the exciting activities for children and parents alike.


Lufthansa Sun Destination and Visit Orlando
Team Up for Roadshow in Germany

Visit Orlando trained 360 German Travel Agents as part of the Lufthansa Sun Destination Roadshow in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, Germany. Alongside destinations such as Mexico, Kenya and Mauritius, the three-day event provided the opportunity for Visit Orlando to conduct on-stage presentations and individual meetings with travel agents. Visit Orlando also provided the grand prize package in Hamburg.


British Airways Client Dinner

The Visit Orlando UK team hosted a dinner for seven key partners from both British Airways and British Airways Holidays at City Social, Tower 42 in London to thank them for their ongoing support for Orlando. Our clients enjoyed dinner in a private dining room with stunning views across the city as night fell.


Newest Visit Orlando Blog Gives UK Readers Money Saving Tips

Visit Orlando tapped UK financial journalist and blogger Kalpana Fitzpatrick to share money-saving tips to help our UK travelers. Read more here.


British Airways Features Orlando Promotion

The 8,700-member British Airways Speedbird Club in Germany and Austria teamed up with Visit Orlando for an Orlando promotion from June 1 - July 4, 2016. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Alamo provided a week-long prize package. WorldQuest Orlando is the hotel sponsor for the Orlando overnights.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
SHI International Corporation SHI Global Sales Conference 2016 July 14 July 14 1,000 $1,970,000
American Sportfishing Association American Sportfishing Association ICAST 2016 July 13 July 15 12,500 $24,625,000


Food Halls to Bring New Dining Option to Orlando

Shopping mecca Artegon Marketplace is hoping to open the region's first food hall, called Eat Street, in the second quarter of 2017 which will include 15 small restaurants. Local chef Clayton Miller is working on a hybrid food hall and full-service restaurant at Maitland City Center, north of downtown Orlando. And developers of the downtown Orlando Creative Village project are formulating a plan for a food hall near the University of Central Florida Downtown campus.

Read More


Disney Springs Town Center Opens Arts and
Crafts Store

The Town Center at Disney Springs is home to a new arts, craft and home-goods store - Sugarboo & Co. Items for sale include wall art, antique signs, paper products, pillows, candle and bath products.

Read More



Loews Stars of Hope Shows Support

Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando partnered with Stars of HOPE (starsofhopeusa.org) to show their support for the victims and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. Team members from Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and the Lakewood central support facility hand-painted heartfelt messages onto more than 1,000 stars that were then delivered around Orlando. From the nightclub to Orlando Regional Medical Center, the 911 call center, LGBT Center and Zebra Coalition, team members and volunteers came together to show their support and solidarity as part of the hotels' #OrlandoStrong Good Neighbor events.


Orlando's Motorcycle Community Comes Together for Pulse
EagleRider Motorcycles Orlando hosted a "One Heart, One 'Pulse'" event on June 2. More than 500 people participated, including a ride of 300 bikers, raising $9,000 for the victims, families and first responders.

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Industry News


Group Meeting Trends Offered on CVENT Site

CVENT launched Group Business Trends by Cvent microsite, a free, interactive online tool that pulls together data culled from over $30 billion worth of meetings business sourced through the Cvent event management platform since 2012. The available data includes: average hotel group rates for different hotel price tiers; group sales behavior; planner breakdowns by geographic location; and volume of requests for proposal (RFPs) for different types of meetings and events in different geographic locations, including Orlando, named by Cvent as the number one meetings destination in the country.

Read More

Choice Hotels Examines Americans' Summer
Travel Habits

According to Choice Hotels International's annual summer travel survey, more than four in 10 Americans have hotel loyalty points stashed up that they can't even use, reports TravelPulse's Patrick Clarke. The survey also sheds light on other summer travel habits. More than 60 percent of travelers said that loyalty programs and points influence their vacation decisions in terms of choosing a destination and as many as 57 percent say they hold onto their hotel loyalty points over the course of the year so they can put them toward a summer getaway.

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Most Travelers Satisfied With Business Trips According to Survey

The First-Ever Global Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ from the GBTA Foundation provides a snapshot of the attitudes and experiences of business travelers about what is working and what isn't when it comes to travel. This will help travel providers address areas of concern and help attract and retain loyalty from their customers.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (July 6, 2016) indicate that zero (0) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 1,132 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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Corporate 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 United Service Companies
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