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Take a peek at the 2016-17 Broadway in Orlando series announced by Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Visit Orlando Events

March 10
Business Referral Group

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando
8126 International Drive
Cost: $18 inclusive
Click here to RSVP.

March 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.


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.

Community Events

March 7
Give Kids the World 30th Anniversary Celebration
Give Kids The World Village

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

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

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President & CEO's Message

March 4, 2016

Orlando Continues to Shine

George AguelNot only is Orlando the number one destination to visit and host a meeting, it's also a fantastic place to live. In fact, just this week U.S. News & World Report ranked Orlando among the top "100 Best Places to Live" in the nation. The high praise is thanks to the area's quality of life, job prospects and affordability.

For further proof of Orlando's bright future, just look to the rapid growth and development of our downtown. From a world-class performing arts venue to our superior sports facilities and a host of critically acclaimed dining spots, the destination has never looked so good. And just this week I had the privilege of being present at the State University System of Florida Board of Governors meeting, where our University of Central Florida (UCF), community and government leadership made an awesome presentation that gained approval for the UCF Downtown Campus at Creative Village. This occasion was another shining example of how all segments of our community come together so well for opportunities benefitting us all.

Orlando's growth potential has led to a diversified economy, new quality-of-life amenities, a revitalized downtown and better transit services through projects like SunRail and the expanded LYMMO services. Such strides bring about a better workforce, create financial opportunity and make this an exciting destination from which to welcome visitors from across the world.

—George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Tradeshow Industry Shows Strong Growth in Q4

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research's CEIR Total Index, which tracks the overall health of the tradeshow industry, posted a strong year-on-year gain of 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter. This growth marked the 22nd consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. All four exhibition metrics that comprise the Total Index posted year-on-year gains in the fourth quarter. As was the case during the first three quarters of 2015, the strongest metric was Real Revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) — which rose an impressive 6.5 percent — followed by Attendees, increasing by 4.9 percent. Net Square Feet increased 2.6 percent and Exhibitors rose 0.9 percent. During the three years, 2012 through 2014, the exhibition industry growth generally lagged the pace of GDP, but the industry has now outperformed the macro economy for four quarters straight according to CEIR. Read more about the CEIR Index here.

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Visit Orlando Updates


New Season of Emeril's Florida Debuts This Weekend

Be sure to tune in to the Cooking Channel this Sunday, March 6, 2016, to catch the new season of Emeril's Florida featuring Orlando's dynamic and ever-growing dining scene. The 30-minute show, which airs on the Cooking Channel and Food Network, takes celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse on-location to explore amazing food, award-winning chefs, events and activities around the Sunshine State. The Orlando-dedicated episode will focus on award-winning and renowned chefs who have opened a second-restaurant concept in Orlando and will feature: Iron Chef Masaharu of Morimoto Asia, which recently opened at Disney Springs, Chef Melissa Kelly's Primo located at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes and John River's newest concept, The Coop, located in the heart of Winter Park. Orlando will also be featured in several other episodes throughout the season. Visit Orlando worked with the show in coordinating chefs to spotlight. In the meantime, view Sunday's show teaser now.

Party at the Pointe

10th Annual Party at The Point A Success

Visit Orlando held it's 10th Annual Party at the Pointe networking event on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Pointe Orlando. This "dine around" event featured seven restaurants hosting more than 300 guests, and incorporated networking games to enhance the experience. We would like to thank the our participating venues: Blue Martini, Copper Canyon, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Lafayette's, Maggiano's, Taverna Opa and Tommy Bahama. We would also like to thank our event partners: Pointe Orlando, Totally Mod, Freeman Decorating, Hard Knocks and Minus 5 Ice Bar. Party at The Pointe is always a favorite networking event to interact with hospitality professionals in Orlando.


Visit Orlando Hosts Dinner for Magic Holidays FAM

Last week, Visit Orlando hosted a dinner at Fogo de Chao for the 10 participants in a UK Magic Holidays familiarization tour that included a British Airways representative. Their visit also included Orlando theme parks, attractions and hotel site inspections. Magic Holidays specializes in organizing pre-packaged and tailor-made holidays to Florida. All staff members have extensive knowledge of Florida, along with a real passion for the destination, allowing them to impart first-hand knowledge about the resorts, attractions and accommodations Florida has to offer.

Orlando Feature page

WestJet Magazine Publishes Orlando Feature

WestJet Magazine's March issue featured a nine-page article, The Hip Factor: Exploring Orlando Beyond the Theme Parks, as a result of a Visit Orlando collaboration with local freelancer Kristen Manieri. The in-flight magazine, available on all the Canadian airline's flights, has a potential reach of 650,000 impressions. The story will also appear online later this month, with a potential reach of 9,000 impressions.



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

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is getting a whole lot tastier. This year's Festival, which launched this week and runs to May 30, is serving up even more flavorful flare with new dishes and an expanded "Outdoor Kitchens". Read more about it on the Visit Orlando blog.


Visit Orlando Launches 2016 U.K. Roadshow

On Leap Day, Feb. 29, the Visit Orlando U.K. team "leapt" into action and held the first of 12 roadshows in the United Kingdom. Over the next two weeks, Visit Orlando, in association with its partners at SeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentSM, Universal Orlando® Resort, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Merlin Entertainments, will be visiting cities across the United Kingdom for travel agent training. The roadshows will offer training on all Orlando has to offer, including its world famous theme parks, shopping, dining and more. There will also be the chance for travel agents to win a place on Visit Orlando's VIP Super Fam, amongst other prizes, at each event.

Smart Meetings

Smart Meetings Spotlights Orlando for Meetings

This week Smart Meetings (circ. 60,000) featured an online story on Orlando and its appeal to meeting groups. The coverage is the result of last week's Visit Orlando familiarization tour hosting editors from meetings publications that included Smart Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meetings Today, Facilities & Destinations, Association News, Corporate & Incentive Travel, and Prevue magazines. The tour highlighted what's new in Orlando, the No. 1 meetings destination in the United States.


Mexico's Travel + Leisure Features Orlando
"Stories of the New World"

Mexico's Travel + Leisure magazine, circ. 186,000, featured a seven-page spread about the continued growth of Orlando in the 21st century. The writer and photographer team, who were hosted by Visit Orlando in early February, described the intertwined influence of the three main theme parks and their original, new and upcoming attractions such as Space Mountain, The Wizarding World Harry Potter and Mako. In addition, the article mentions innovative and new attraction and entertainment options in the city such as Crayola, Orlando Eye and Mango's Tropical Café. The story also explores the variety of restaurants in Disney Springs, Winter Park and City Walk while finishing with tips on where to stay, what to eat and things to do.

Lake Nona Impact Forum Attracts Nation's
Healthcare Industry Leaders

Visit Orlando's Senior Vice President of Convention Sales Fred Shea hosted several CEOs from medical organizations during last weekend's Lake Nona Institute Impact Forum. The two-day conference, held in Lake Nona, attracts more than 250 of the nation's healthcare leaders each year. This year's forum, of which Visit Orlando was a sponsor, featured a range of speakers such as Deepak Chopra, who spoke on the benefits of sleep and meditation, and championed happiness and gratitude. Other speakers included neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD., tennis celebrity Billie Jean King and Sandra Peterson of Johnson & Johnson.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
American Contract Manufacturers Show Annual Convention March 8 March 9 1,000 $1,970,000
Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation Annual Meeting March 9 March 11 1,900 $3,743,000
International Sleep Products Association Biennial National Convention March 9 March 12 4,000 $7,880,000
Orlando Volleyball Academy ASICS March 12 March 13 9,000 $650,100


TravelPulse Highlights Orlando's Food Scene

TravelPulse recently published an article on Orlando's changing food scene, "6 Top Chefs Changing the Orlando Food Scene". Victoria & Albert's Chef Scott Hunnell, Cress's Hari Pulapaka and Four Rivers' John Rivers are among the chefs spotlighted.

Read More

Orlando Among Affordable Spring Break Destinations

Booking.com recently released its 2016 Spring Break Travel Trends. According to the online travel-booking site, although this year's Spring Break (March 15 - April 30) will be 4 percent more expensive than last year's, there are still some well-known cities offering deals. Broken down by week-to-week, Orlando is listed as one of three cities with additional savings for U.S. travelers during the week of April 12.

Read More


StudentUniverse Identifies Spring Break Trends

StudentUniverse, a leading travel and booking site for students and youth, is seeing some relatively different trends for this year's spring break among students. For example, the company's top spring break destination for the past several years now, including 2016, has been New York. This year, other top locales are London, Los Angeles, Orlando, Dublin and Miami, with just 36 percent of the company's spring break bookings for domestic locations.

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TAM jet

TAM Airlines Gets Disney Character Wrap

Last week Brazil's TAM Airlines and Walt Disney World launched the Plane of Dreams, TAM's themed Boeing 767-300 featuring a Disney character wrap on the exterior of the airplane. The Plane of Dreams will fly between Brasília, Brazil's capital city, and Orlando International Airport.

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MCO Increases Mosquito Spraying

While no locally acquired cases of Zika have been reported at the time of this publishing according the Centers for Disease Control, a recent Orlando Sentinel article reports that Orlando International Airport has taken steps to mitigate Zika by increasing its mosquito-spraying program and distributing educational fliers throughout the airport.

Read More

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Industry News

travel trends

Latest TTI: Strong Leisure Market

"Overall growth in the travel sector of the U.S. economy has leveled off but remains in positive territory, mainly thanks to a leisure travel market buoyed by strong wages and low gas prices," according to the U.S. Travel Association's monthly Travel Trends Index (TTI).

Read More



House Approves Online Signup for TSA's PreCheck

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would make applying for the Transportation Security Administration's expedited screening program easier for travelers.

Read More

CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it's most current data available at the time of this publishing indicate that no locally acquired cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the United States. 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 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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