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In another social media milestone, @VisitOrlando's Instagram has surpassed 60K followers. @VisitOrlando posts images daily that offer our followers a fun and interactive behind-the-scenes look at our destination's offerings. Follow now and join in on the conversation!.

Visit Orlando Events

March 17
Business Referral Group

Carrabba's Italian Grill
8355 International Drive
Cost: TBD
Click here to RSVP.

April 7
Member Orientation
Click here to register.


April 18
Visit Orlando's 20th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Grand Cypress Golf Club
1 North Jacaranda Street
To Benefit The Mustard Seed of Central Florida.

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


Congratulations to the five members named in Trip Advisor's 2016 Travellers' Choice Awards as among the Top 25 Hotels for Families – US, with two taking the No. 1 and No. 2 spots and all in the Top 10.

Floridays Resort Orlando #1
(Also #5 – World)
Staybridge Suites Orlando/Lake Buena Vista #2
(also #11 – World)
Disney's Art of Animation
Resort #5
Disney's Wilderness Lodge #6
Marriott's Cypress Harbour
Villas #7
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 Aug. 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, 2016. To claim this offer, call 407-939-0754 or email reservations@sammyduvall.com, and mention the offer code "visitorlando10" when booking.

Industry Events

VISIT FLORIDA is currently accepting Committee Applications for its 2016-17 fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA Committees, their value to the industry or to apply to serve on a committee, click here.

Community Events

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

May 21
24th Annual Chef's Gala
Epcot® World Showplace

Through June 5
Behind Closed Doors: The Collection

Art & History Museums – Maitland, Maitland Historical Museum

June 2–4
Hispanic Chamber Business Conference & Expo Revisited
Orange County Convention Center - North Consourse

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

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 Managing.editor@VisitOrlando.com.



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President & CEO's Message

March 11, 2016

Orlando Tops the List of Spring Break Destinations

George AguelAs winter-weary Northerners endure the last cold blasts of the season, scores of sun-seekers are headed our way for what looks to be a record spring break. In fact, in a recent survey by Orbitz.com, Orlando was ranked the number one Spring Break Destination for 2016. According to the survey, this year's travelers are seeking relaxation, convenience and value, making Orlando the ideal choice for spring travel.

With seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando has always been a family favorite, but in recent years the destination has expanded its appeal even more. From fine dining and outdoor adventure to festivals and weather just made for a day at the waterparks, there's something for everyone. To welcome this year's spring break travelers, our members are offering a host of hotel deals, attraction discounts and must-do activities that are detailed on VisitOrlando.com - adding even greater value to an already highly sought-after Orlando getaway.

The Orbitz ranking coincides with even more accolades from travel giant Trip Advisor, which just released the Top 20 Trending US Vacation Rental Markets. Not only did we make the list, Orlando showed a 53 percent increase in bookings from 2015 to 2016.

As we round out the week, temperatures are climbing and the skies are blue. It's the perfect time of year to welcome visitors to our home and introduce them to the many things there are to love about Orlando.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Gas Prices Remain Low Despite Recent Increases

At $1.81 per gallon, the national average price jumped six cents on the week, the largest one-week increase since the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, pump prices are down about 20 cents since the start of the year and 65 cents (nearly 25 percent) versus this time last year. The national average is likely to continue to move higher due to spring turnaround activity and reductions in supply in select regional markets, but it is forecasted to remain below prior year levels. More information about gas prices is available here: AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

AAA gas prices

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Visit Orlando Updates


Visit Orlando Named 2015 CVB of the Year

Visit Orlando has won the ConferenceDirect 2015 CVB of the Year - Major Market award. This is the third year in a row Visit Orlando has won the prestigious award. Visit Orlando's Director of Intermediary Accounts Ken Barnett was on hand to receive the award this week during ConferenceDirect's annual partner meeting held in San Antonio. Shown, from left to right: Lisa Messina, CMO, ConferenceDirect; Brian Stevens, CEO, ConferenceDirect; Ken Barnett, Visit Orlando; Brian Richey, executive vice president and chief talent officer, ConferenceDirect; and Jerry Horan, president & COO, ConferenceDirect.

Epcot flowers

Insider Tips on Epcot's International Flower &
Garden Festival

Festival Horticulture Manager Eric Darden shares with Visit Orlando what's new this year at the 2016 Epcot Garden Flower Festival. Watch here. There's much to enjoy at the 90-day festival, which runs through May 30. To read more about it, check out Visit Orlando's latest blog on the event.


Sneak Peak at "La Voz Kids" in Orlando

Last month Visit Orlando hosted some of the stars from Telemundo's hit TV show "La Voz Kids", the kids version of the popular American hit "The Voice", to film a series of vignettes that will air during the show starting in April. The vignettes showcase the breadth and depth of the destination, including some of Orlando's thrilling outdoor adventures, high-flying fun, and up-close and personal encounters. Check out the one-minute segment here.

Solar Bears

Toronto Maple Leaf Winner Takes Center Ice

Following a seven-week in-stadium and online promotion with the Toronto Maple Leafs (the NHL affiliate of our own Orlando Sola Bears), Michael De Costa (shown above, center) of Toronto is the winner of a five-day/four-night vacation to Orlando. Michael's wife and two daughters (ages 3 and 6) were extremely excited as he was presented with his Orlando prize package alongside members of the Orlando Solar Bears who were in town to play the nearby Brampton Beast in a three-game series. In addition to an Orlando vacation, Michael will also sign a one-day honorary player contract with the Orlando Solar Bears as well as attend a practice and a game with his "new teammates".

Orlando Eye

Association News Features Destination

This week, Association News (circ. 80,000) featured an online story, "Keeping an Eye on Orlando", covering all that's new in the No. 1 meetings destination in the United States. The Orlando coverage is the result of a recent Visit Orlando familiarization tour that hosted editors from meetings publications that included Smart Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meetings Today, Facilities & Destinations, Association News, Corporate & Incentive Travel, and Prevue magazines.


USA Today

USA Today Article Highlights What's New in Orlando

Visit Orlando's Publicity Team secured coverage (both print and online) in USA Today's recent "Spring in Florida" article focusing on what's new in Florida this spring. The story leads with updates on Orlando's theme parks, accommodations and dining. The coverage appeared Friday, March 4, with a combined viewership of more than 38 million.


Area's Gastronomy as "Entertaining" as the Parks

Pimienta, a weekly supplement of Excelsior newspaper (circ. 270,000), one of Mexico's leading media outlets with an average of 3.7 million monthly website visitors, featured an exclusive story exploring the diversity of Orlando's culinary venues within the theme parks and throughout the city. The cover page and two-page article "Sabor y Diversion" highlighted several local restaurants including member restaurants Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit and Citricos. The article parallels the art of Orlando Gastronomy to be as "entertaining" as the parks themselves. The coverage is the result of the Latin America Gastronomy press trip hosted by Visit Orlando last month.


Brand USA Sales Mission to China First Ever

Visit Orlando China participated in the first-ever Brand USA Sales Mission to Beijing and Shanghai, Feb. 27-March 4. The team reached more than 300 travel trade clients through one-on-one appointments, presentations and sales calls in conjunction with the events. Visit Orlando was represented along with 36 other U.S. travel companies and destinations including VISIT FLORIDA,Visit California, Travel Oregon, Las Vegas CVA, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and NYC & Co., among others. Visit Orlando is entering its fourth year of having a dedicated travel trade representative based in Shanghai.

Visit Orlando Partners With Emirates India

Visit Orlando joined forces with Emirates India to hold an educational networking event on March 4 for more than 30 travel professionals in Jaipur, India. The event showcased Orlando destination updates and the excellent connections available via Emirates to Orlando.

Travel Trade Team Conducts 30 Appointments at ITE

Visit Orlando attended Questex Travel Group's Incentive Travel Exchange (ITE) event in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2-5. ITE brings together qualified buyers and travel suppliers to provide a powerful platform for productive one-to-one meetings in private suites tailored to each attendee's business objectives. The appointment-based event caters exclusively to the meetings, incentives, conferences and events market. This was Visit Orlando's second year participating and 30 appointments were conducted over the two days.

Accredited DMO

Visit Orlando Receives DMAP Accreditation

The Destination Marketing Accreditation Program's, or DMAP, globally recognized accreditation serves as a visible industry distinction that defines quality and performance standards in destination marketing and management. Achieving the DMAP accreditation further positions Destination Marketing Organizations, such as Visit Orlando, as valued and respected organizations in their communities and increases credibility among their stakeholders.

Working Mother: Secrets to a Relaxing Orlando Vacation

Visit Orlando's Publicity Team hosted a journalist from Working Mother Feb. 11- 16, which resulted in online coverage highlighting "7 Secrets to a Stress-Free Orlando Vacation". The story ran on Feb. 23, reaching more than 700,000 unique viewers.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Florida Future Business Leaders of America Annual Convention March 11 March 13 4,200 $8,274,000
American Pet Products Association Annual Meeting March 12 March 13 15,500 $35,535,000
Orlando Volleyball Academy ASICS March 12 March 13 9,000 $650,100
Sterling Events Company Prime Time! Annual Convention 2016 March 14 March 15 3,000 $5,910,000
Mary Kay, Incorporated Career Conference 2016 March 18 March 19 2,000 $3,940,000
Disney Sports Attractions Disney Volleyball Showcase March 18 March 20 33,792 $64,204,800
Varsity Brands All-Star Challenge March 19 March 20 8,000 $866,800


Citrus Bowl to Host WrestleMania 2017

This week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Central Florida Sports Commission and WWE® (NYSE: WWE) announced that the Orlando Citrus Bowl will host WWE's pop-culture extravaganza, WrestleMania, on Sunday, April 2, 2017. According to the City of Orlando press release, the event has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.

Read More

uberFamily Launches in Orlando

The new uberFAMILY within the Uber app launched in Orlando this Wednesday, March 2. Users can now request drivers who have car seats available for children.

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Allegiant Adds Service at SFB

Allegiant Air and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) recently announced scheduled, nonstop, low-fare service beginning May 19 to Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (YNG) in Vienna, Ohio. Service will operate twice weekly on Monday and Friday.

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Local Host Committee Selected for
Copa America Centenario USA 2016

A local host committee of Orlando business and community leaders has been created to raise awareness of the Copa America Centenario USA 2016 soccer matches to be held at the Citrus Bowl June 4, 6 and 8. Diana Bolivar, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, is serving as host committee chair, while Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs are honorary chairs, among others. The prestigious Latin American championship featuring 16 nations will take place across 10 U.S. venues June 3-26. Tickets for the Orlando matches can be purchased here.

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Orlando Largest Traveler Checkpoint This Spring

With passenger volumes up more than 7 percent over the same time period last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced this week its prepared to effectively screen the more than 65.1 million travelers expected to take to the skies this spring break. It also expects checkpoint volume to increase at many top spring break destinations. It lists Orlando as being the No. 1 checkpoint.

Read More

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Industry News


As Meetings Grow, Hoteliers/Markets Playing Keep Up

According to Hotel News Now, the meetings segment of the hotel industry has rebounded so strongly since the 2009 recession that not only are meetings increasing in frequency, but they also increasing in size.

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PCMA Convene Survey: Planners Optimistic for 2016

The meetings industry fared better in 2015 than in the previous year and planners are plenty optimistic about what 2016 holds - despite the challenges they face, according to a recent PCMA Convene Survey.

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Solo Travel Up, Single Supplements Down

According a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article, solo travel is up based on the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study. The Study reportedly indicates that last year 37 percent of first-time travelers on an overseas leisure vacation went solo, up from 15 percent in 2013.

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China passport

Chinese Tourist Travel to U.S. Continues Growth

According to last week's China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit held in Beijing, 5 million people are expected to travel between China and the United States this year. More than 25 million trips have been made between the two countries, with an average annual growth of 7.6 percent since 2007. Additionally, The number of Chinese tourists travelling to the United States has grown at an annual rate of 18.4 percent.

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2015 Trusted Travel Program Enrollment, International Travel Up

According to FY 2015 travel and trade numbers recently released by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), more than 965,000 people enrolled in the CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST), bringing total enrollment to more than 4.2 million members, an increase of more than 27 percent. Additionally, more than 112 million international travelers arrived at U.S. air ports of entry, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous fiscal year.

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Expedia: Spring Break 2016 to Cost Less

Expedia's Viewfinder expects, based on average air ticket prices, prices to many top Spring Break destinations, including Orlando, to be down year-over-year, with last-minute bookers possibly saving the most.

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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