Featured Event


For more information on the games, click here.

Join the Conversation


Our social media team got a behind the scenes sneak preview of Mako at SeaWorld! See what's trending on our Twitter feed!

Visit Orlando Events

May 26
Business Referral Group

RA Sushi Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
Cost: $20 Inclusive - includes garage parking voucher (no valet)
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.

Congratulations Members

The Orlando Business Journal recognized Vice President of Pegasus Transportation, Claudia Menezes as one of their "Women Executives of the Year" recipients for 2016. To congratulate Claudia, call 407-812-8812.

Congratulations to Caribe Royale, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Rosen Centre Hotel, Rosen Shingle Creek and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin which are all Facilities & Destinations magazine's 2015 Prism Hotel Award winners voted on by readers in such categories as F&B, guestroom amenities and quality of staff and convention services.

Member-to-Member Offers


Visit Orlando has teamed up with Copa America to offer special member pricing for the first two matches that will take place at Camping World Stadium on June 4 and 6.


Masterful Wine Events is offering Visit Orlando members 10 percent off the regular prices 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.

Florida HIA (Hospitality Industry Association) is offering a $5 discount off membership to Visit Orlando members and their employees ($30 regular). Florida HIA is the only tourism benefits provider for Visit Florida and many other DMOs. With more than 400 hospitality discounts around the state, it's time for your own Florida getaway. Valid till May 31, 2016. Click here to apply.


Holiday Inn Club Vacations® At Orange Lake Resort is more than a stay - it's a place to play. Enjoy seven swimming pools (including a lazy river-style pool and waterslides), mini golf courses, arcades, four golf courses, tennis courts, an 80-acre lake with plenty of watersports, fun zone and more. Visit Orlando members save up to 10% off your stay. Call 407-477-7029 to reserve your stay. Offer expires June 30, 2016.

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.


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 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.

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


May 25
Orlando SITE Florida & Caribbean Socializer

To benefit Children's Home Society of Florida.

May 31-June 2
2016 VRM Xtravaganza
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

Community Events

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

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

Through June 5
The InFlux Series: Will Cotton
The Sources: Paintings and Drawings by Steve Lotz
Orlando Museum of Art

June 11
100 Black Men of Orlando Scholarship Dinner
Rosen Centre Hotel

Through Aug. 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

May 13, 2016

Affordable Airfare, Low Gas Prices and New Rides Spur Summer Travel

George AguelNot since 2009 have we seen airfares this low. Advance-purchase tickets are 12 percent lower than last year and a staggering 20 percent below the price travelers paid just two years ago, according to the airfare prediction App Hopper. Thanks to falling fuel prices, all the major airlines are reporting seven-year fare lows that experts don't anticipate rising until well into next year.
But that's not all. AAA estimates that this summer drivers will pay the lowest they've paid for gas in 12 years! So far this year, U.S. drivers have saved nearly $12 billion in gas compared to the same period in 2015 - a savings that is expected to prompt more than one-third of American families to take a vacation this year.
Theme parks are among the most popular types of vacations for families planning to travel this summer - making Orlando the ideal getaway. With a host of new must-see attractions coming this season, there are more reasons than ever for families to visit and to return again. From the colossal King Kong ride to a "Galaxy Far, Far Far Away," the much anticipated "Frozen Ever After" to the mega-launch of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster it is sure to be an unforgettable summer here in Orlando.
As we know, there are so many compelling reasons to travel to our destination. As we look forward to summer, those of us in the tourism industry are set to welcome these visitors to an Orlando that is bigger, bolder and better than ever.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

Review of Q1 Indicators

A review of first-quarter indicators suggests overall travel was roughly on-par with the prior year, but some segments of the industry experienced strong growth including:
•    Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) convention/tradeshow attendance was up 24%, and total attendance (all events) increased 21%
•    Total passenger traffic at Orlando International Airport rose 11.5%, and the Easter time period included the busiest days in airport history
In the lodging industry, occupied room nights (aka demand) were down 0.6% in Q1, and the occupancy rate dropped 1.5%.  Nevertheless, the occupancy rate was a very healthy 81.0%, and hotel ADR rose 6.4% in Q1. Looking at the rest of 2016, we anticipate demand will post modest growth in the 1% to 2% range, down from 4.9% in 2014 and 4.1% in 2015.  The overall occupancy levels are very healthy, and that is giving hotels the opportunity for higher rates.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Prince Harry

Orlando Basks in International Halo of the Popular Invictus Games

"Hello Orlando!" exclaimed the beloved Prince Harry as he, along with First lady Michelle Obama, launched the Invictus Games. The event, which is the only international sporting event for wounded and injured servicemen and women, was proudly held in our destination this week. So popular are these games, and Orlando as the location, mentions of Invictus with Orlando reached nearly 51 million impressions on Twitter. The Orlando destination also received an estimated 11,000 mentions on TV and 3,100 in online coverage for serving as the location of the games.

More than 500 heroes from 14 countries converged in Orlando, a destination chosen for our extraordinary tourism infrastructure and Disney's outstanding sporting facilities, as well as the fact that we have a large veteran population and are home to the Orlando VA Medical Center which serves more than 90,000 veterans. In the words of Prince Harry "what better place to host such a great family event than Orlando?" We couldn't agree more.

See the video of the Monday opener as Invictus athletes were honored with a parade at Magic Kingdom. Here Prince Harry is interviewed by CBS This Morning about his first time at the parks with Princess Diana and Prince William nearly 15 years ago.

buddy dyer

Mayor Dyer Helps Commemorate National Travel & Tourism Week

Mayor Buddy Dyer met with Visit Orlando's George Aguel to commemorate National Travel & Tourism Week with an official proclamation from the city. It is the support of tourism community members and the leadership of local public officials that enable our destination to continue to welcome more visitors-66 million in 2015-than any other city in the nation, year after year. And, for that, we thank you!

canada fam

Top Canadian Tour Companies Get a Sky-High View of Orlando

Visit Orlando hosted 13 trade professionals from our top Canadian travel trade companies to experience an exciting week in the destination. The group stayed at the Sonesta ES Suites and the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas and visited SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, as well as The Orlando Eye at I-Drive 360 (pictured) and Wild Florida. They indulged in incredible dining experiences at Mango's Tropical Cafe, Fogo de Chao and the Florida Hotel & Conference Center and enjoyed some shopping at the Florida Mall.

Mexico's De Viaje Formula Promotes Destination as More than Just the Parks

More than 280,000 consumers in Mexico were exposed to Orlando through the works of just one of four journalists hosted during Visit Orlando's recent Mexican FAM trip. Jose Antonio Lopez broadcast an in-depth interview with Visit Orlando's Latin America public relations manager, Leo Salazar, to more than 155,000 listeners on Radio Formula's De Viaje program. The segment focused largely on the "other side" of Orlando, including dining, shopping, sports, entertainment, nightlife, arts and culture. Additionally, Lopez posted an article about "The City Beautiful" on a website that reaches 75,000 consumers, DiarioImagen.net.


Shaping Our Industry's Future Leaders

In celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week, about 50 students from The National Academy Foundation of Hospitality & Tourism at three local schools had the opportunity to experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Convention Center. The students were from Oak Ridge High School, Wekiva High School and Mid-Florida Tech. Visit Orlando has been a long-standing partner of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism in an effort to provide insight into possible career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry.

India fam

Indian Media Explore Orlando

Visit Orlando recently partnered with Visit Florida to host a press trip for four top Indian journalists representing outlets including: Deccan Herald, The Hindu and Outlook Traveller, for a total potential audience of nearly 2 million. From May 10-13, the journalists experienced VIP treatment at theme parks and attractions and sampled the wide variety of shopping and dining in the city. Partners included: Ramada Plaza and Suites International Drive and Walt Disney World Resort, I-Drive 360, Cooper's Hawk International Drive, Universal Orlando Resort and Orlando International Premium Outlets.


Colombia's LoMasElite.com Highlights Theme Parks and Attractions

Beatriz Carabalí of Colombia's LoMasElite.com, with nearly 800,000 unique visitors, featured Orlando in four separate articles after her visit last week. "Experience the Magic of Orlando" presented photos and video with the article of some of Orlando's best theme parks and entertainment complexes, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and I-Drive 360. Walt Disney World got exclusive coverage in this article, which described its parks as pure "magic!". Universal Orlando Resort also received exclusive coverage on its two theme parks - Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios - that included classic attractions such as Jurassic Park and Men in Black, and Diagon Alley. The website also covered the new I-Drive 360, featuring the Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Madame Tussauds and its surrounding restaurants and entertainment venues. Stories were also shared on the site's social media pages.


Orlando Named A Top Family-Friendly Convention Destination

Association, Conventions & Facilities, with a readership of 20,000-plus, just highlighted Orlando as a "Top Family-Friendly Convention Destination." Read more.


Security Publications Briefed by Orange County Sheriff's Office

Media representing the top publications in security attended a breakfast hosted by Gwen Wilson, Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) public relations manager and Dorothy Kelley from Visit Orlando. Tim Wood, OCCC director of security, Sargent Doug Sarubbi, Commander Raul Gonzales and Capitan Sandy Carpenter from the Orange County Sheriff's Office briefed editors on security at the Convention Center and surrounding tourist district. ASIS International 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits (ASIS 2016) will be in Orlando on September 12-15. ASIS International is the leading organization for security professionals worldwide. Read more.


Visit Orlando Voted a Winner of "2016 Distinctive Achievement Award" by Readers of Top Meetings Magazine

The 2016 Distinctive Achievement Award, voted on by the 20,000-plus readers of Association Conventions & Facilities, has been presented to Visit Orlando for their superior service to association planners during the past year.

Luxury Hoteliers Magazine Features George Aguel

Luxury Hoteliers' latest issue features profiles of several top hospitality executives, including Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. Read here as Aguel reflects on favorite memories of his expansive career in the tourism industry, including the numerous milestones reached by the Orlando destination over the last several years.


Colombia Wedding Magazine Says Orlando Creates "Unforgettable" Honeymoons

Colombia's premier luxury wedding magazine, NOVIAS, with an estimated readership of 137,000, featured Orlando in its 2016 summer edition. The article, "Honeymoon Destinations", highlighted Orlando in a two-page spread as an ideal city to celebrate love.

Journalist Eliana Montoya described "The City Beautiful" as "a place that offers infinite possibilities for an unforgettable honeymoon or wedding..." The article also mentioned Discovery Cove, I-Drive 360, Disney's Grand Floridian, Paradise Cove, Casa Feliz and The Mall at Millenia as perfect locations to honeymoon, marry or propose.

Kathleen Blake

James Beard Foundation Offering $7,500 In Culinary Scholarships

Aspiring culinary or hospitality event professionals can apply for one of three $2,500 scholarships courtesy of Visit Orlando and the James Beard Foundation. These scholarships can help educate future food and beverage professionals who can then join the area's thriving dining and entertainment scene.

Applicants must be a resident of Florida, have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and be enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a program of culinary arts, hospitality management, or food and wine studies at either the University of Central Florida or Valencia College.

Application forms are available here. All scholarship application materials must be postmarked by May 15, 2016.

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News About Orlando


Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
ASEA, LLC ASEA Annual Convention May 12 May 14 3,000 $5,910,000
SAP Global Marketing, Inc. SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference May 17 May 19 20,000 $39,400,000
Society of Manufacturing Engineers SME - RAPID Expo & Conference May 17 May 19 2,000 $3,940,000


Leaders at Real Estate Conference Say I-Drive Driving Growth

During Central Florida's 4th annual University of Central Florida Real Estate Conference on May 4 local tourism leaders - including Visit Orlando's George Aguel and Mango's Tropical Café owner Joshua Wallack - presented  the I-Drive area as a major player for local growth, with even more room for development.

Read More


Hulk to Open at Universal this Summer

The Incredible Hulk Coaster is roaring back to life with a brand new storyline, a new ride vehicle and new attraction entrance, according to Universal Orlando. See the latest Visit Orlando blog for the thrilling highlights.

SunRail Celebrates Second Anniversary

More than 10,000 riders - many spurred by free tickets - swamped SunRail on its opening day two years ago, and today, ridership is up to an average of 3,600 riders a day.

Read More


hall of fame

Bill Davis and Kathie Canning Inducted into Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame

The Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame will induct Visit Orlando board members Bill Davis, Universal Orlando Resort president and chief operating officer, and Kathie Canning, Orange County Convention Center executive director, at October's Pineapple Ball.

Read More

$30 Million Economic Impact for COPA Games

The 2016 Copa America Centenario games from June 3-26 at the Citrus Bowl are anticipated to bring $30 million in economic impact and thousands of hotel room night stays to Orlando.

Read More

SeaWorld Enhances Park Experience with Passholder Perks and Mako Preview

SeaWorld Orlando is enhancing passholder benefits, including an exclusive preview of the Mako roller coaster opening June 10.

Read More

Largest Tennis Complex in U.S. Comes to Lake Nona

The U.S. Professional Tennis Association will move its headquarters to Lake Nona's emerging Sports and Performance District in conjunction with the US Tennis Association building its national campus at the site in southeast Orlando. "Relocating our worldwide headquarters after 25 years of being in Houston to the USTA's new Home of American Tennis in Lake Nona is game-changing for our association," USPTA CEO John Embree said.

Read More

Return of The Fans

The Star Wars Celebration fan convention, anticipated to attract nearly 30,000 people, is returning to the Orange County Convention Center April 13-16, 2017. Tickets for the event, which will take place at the Orange County Convention Center, will be available May  25th on the official site.


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Industry News
TSA Lines Would Be Shorter if Airlines Dropped Baggage Fees

Two U.S. senators say one way to reduce long airport security lines this summer is for airlines to drop their fees on checking luggage, reports Skift's Jason Clampet.

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Travelers Visit 15 Websites to Book Travel

According to a recent study by Google, to book a single flight, the average person visits 15 websites and does seven research sessions over a three-week period reports Travel + Leisure.

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The 2016 Dick Pope Legacy Awards Announced

The Dick Pope Legacy Awards, given by the Grand Tour Foundation celebrating tourism leadership while providing college scholarships to deserving hospitality students, announced the 2016 winners: University of Central Florida President John Hitt, pro golfer Arnold Palmer, the late Gary Sain of Visit Orlando and Universal Orlando Executive Chef Steve Jayson.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (May 11, 2016) indicate that zero (0) locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 503 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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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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