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@VisitOrlando's social media posts about the all-new Visit Orlando Mobile App have garnered 115,000 views to date. The free Visit Orlando Mobile App is the first of its kind for travelers with groundbreaking artificial intelligence, augmented reality games and mapping, a selfie scavenger hunt, ticket purchasing and more. Download now on iTunes and Google Play.

Save the Date

world tourism day

Register today for the 2016 World Tourism Day Job Shadow and help shape our future leaders! Host sophomores and juniors from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in your workplace for a hands-on job shadow experience. Visit Orlando encourages you - esteemed members of Orlando's tourism industry - to expose these aspiring students to the wide variety of careers offered right here in our own backyard on Friday, Sept. 30. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Visit Orlando Events

Sept. 8
Business Referral Group

Uno Pizzeria & Grill on I Drive
8250 International Drive
Cost: $20, inclusive.
Click here to RSVP.

Oct. 6
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

Alfond Inn

The Alfond Inn at Rollins in Winter Park, Florida, was recently named as one of The 15 Best City Hotels in the Continental U.S. in the Travel + Leisure's 2016 World's Best Awards. Hotels were rated on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value.

Member-to-Member Offers

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 more than a stay, it is a place to play. Enjoy seven swimming pools, including a lazy river-style pool, waterslides, miniature golf courses, arcades, four golf courses, tennis, an 80-acre lake with plenty of watersports, a fun zone, and more. Visit Orlando members save up to 10% off your stay! Call 407-477-7029 to reserve.


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 rollins.edu/annie for tickets and use code: VISITORLANDO.

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


Orlando City Soccer Club would like to extend discounted group tickets to Visit Orlando members. They can go to orlandocitysc.com/visitorlando and use the promo code VISITORL to purchase discounted tickets for any of the last five home games this season.


Sammy Duvall Watersports, located behind Disney's Contemporary Resort, is proud to offer Visit Orlando members 10% off all water activities (parasailing, personal watercraft, 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

The David Maus Foundation is hosting the 2016 Celebrity Golf Tournament for local Central Florida children's charities Sept. 9-10 at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, with a Meet the Pros party on Friday, Sept. 9. For information on sponsorships and donations visit, DavidMausGolf.com.

Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association's 2016 Patriot Day Breakfast will honor local first responders and security personnel for their service in the line of duty. The event will be held Sept. 9, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, click here. Additionally, CFHLA encourages its members to thank local first responders by providing a meal or snacks to fire and police departments on Sept. 11, 2016.

Central and North Florida Business Travel Association is offering a half-day education course on some of the most important trending issues in the travel industry on Sept. 15, 2016, at the Hilton Orlando North. For more information and registration links, go to cnfbta.org.

Madame Orlando

The International Drive tourism community continues its support of victims of the Pulse tragedy through a unique fundraising event, Madame Orlando, at Madame Tussauds Orlando in the I-Drive 360 complex on Sept. 30, 2016. Attendees are encouraged to come as their favorite celebrity or in cocktail attire. Sponsored by Merlin Entertainment, I-Drive 360, about global about local, Blu Sky Events, and Paramount Fine Foods, the event will feature live music, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Television personality Jaymes Vaughan will co-host the evening. Proceeds from the event will benefit Pulse victims via the One Pulse Foundation. Tickets are $75 if purchased in advance online or $85 at the door.


HSMAI Central Florida is hosting The 11th Annual Chinese Auction on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort. The fundraiser benefits Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Arnie's March to Cure Cancer. To register and for more information on sponsorships and donations, click here.

Community Events

Sept. 12-18
11th Annual Fashion Week
Mall at Millenia


Through Oct. 30
The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Orange County Regional History Center

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

faith ringgold

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

Sept. 15
Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll
Downtown Winter Park

Sept. 26
CMAA Sunshine Region Charity Tournament
The Country Club of Orlando

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

Oct. 9-10
Stars & Pars Gala Benefiting Give Kids The World Village
Tranquilo Golf Club, Lake Buena Vista

Through Nov. 7
Charity Raffle Benefiting the OneOrlando Fund through Starfish Marketing
The Whiskey @ The Bay Hill Fountains

Voices of Light

Nov. 18-19
Voices of Light presented by Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, and GladdeningLight
Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College, Winter Park

Connect With Visit Orlando

Social Media

Be sure to follow @VisitOrlando on Instagram and Twitter, fan us at facebook.com/VisitOrlando or watch YouTube.com/VisitOrlando for more insider information about the world's most famous destination!

To sign up for our e-newsletter, click here.


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President & CEO's Message
Sept. 2, 2016

Florida Focused

George AguelWith more than 40 percent of our region’s leisure visitation coming from Florida residents, the Sunshine State is a key focus for the Visit Orlando team this fall. We have several programs in place to grow Orlando’s leadership role in this important market — including the popular Magical Dining Month, which appeals to Florida residents. You have undoubtedly seen Magical Dining Month in the news this week through our aggressive publicity and promotional efforts. As our top destination-wide culinary event, Magical Dining Month lets diners enjoy the best our community has to offer at a significant savings, and showcases our own Visit Orlando member restaurants. And now — for the first time ever — we have incorporated the new Visit Orlando App into the experience, which allows foodies to browse restaurant and menu options of interest to them personally, read restaurant reviews and book a table.
This Florida focus also includes a new Turnpike presence that expands Visit Orlando’s footprint throughout the entire state — reaching the 23 million in-state visitors and residents who travel this busy highway each year. Motorists along the state’s most popular roadway — and the nation’s third most heavily traveled toll road — that stop at one of the plazas will be greeted with a significant Orlando presence, including our visitor booth, can’t-miss signage, and interactive kiosks to explore the destination and interact with member businesses.
In this fast-changing world, it is our goal at Visit Orlando to continually connect the destination with visitors in fresh, innovative and creative ways … and offer those to you, our members. I hope you enjoy reading about some of these in this week’s issue. —George Aguel
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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando
Gas Prices Rising as Summer Travel Season Ends

After dropping for most of the summer, including a streak of 53 of 54 days, gas prices have now risen for 14 consecutive days. According to AAA, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.22 on Tuesday, an increase of six cents per gallon compared to one week ago and 8 cents per gallon compared to one month ago. Nevertheless, the national average remains 27 cents per gallon less than one year ago and prices for the upcoming Labor Day weekend are projected to be the lowest since 2004. Read the full AAA press release here.
Special Feature
Magical Dining Month Kicks Off

Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month sponsored by American Express has officially begun, offering visitors and residents a chance to explore Orlando's culinary scene like never before. With more than 95 restaurants throughout Orlando offering special $33 menus including appetizers, entrees and desserts, there are delicious options for every palate. Diners can view the menus at OrlandoMagicalDining.com and make online reservations now through Oct. 2 - and the best part is that $1 from each meal served will go towards this year's charity, The Russell Home for Atypical Children.

Partnering with Yelp Orlando, Visit Orlando launched the event with a special kickoff party for "Elite Yelpers", those people who eat out often and write constructive, meaningful Yelp reviews. At the event held at the Orange County Regional History Center on Monday night, more than 200 Yelpers had a chance to sample menus from Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Kokino Restaurant, Slate Restaurant, Tapa Toro, The Boheme and The Kitchen at Hard Rock Hotel.
Latest Media Coverage Highlights

Additionally, the Tampa Bay Times, reaching 1.3 million Floridians, published a comprehensive story last week in both print and online about Magical Dining Month. The article encouraged its readers to "head east on I-4 for dinner," touching on some of the program highlights for this year and included a list of participating restaurants in different areas of town. In addition to the Tampa Bay Times audience reach, the total media coverage promoting Magical Dining Month prior to its Aug. 29 kickoff as a result of Visitor Orlando publicity efforts has resulted in more than 70 million impressions.
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Visit Orlando Updates


Record Number of Members Network & Learn

Record numbers attended Visit Orlando's Business of Travel & Tourism Economic Forum & Luncheon on Aug. 25 at the Hilton Orlando, where Visit Orlando launched its new App. During the luncheon presentation, members learned about research and plans for Florida, our No. 1 market. In an effort to "own our backyard," Visit Orlando also launched the Florida Initiative campaign focusing on in-state visitors that includes an exciting new turnpike presence to extend our distribution into the drive market. Mark your calendars now to attend Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting & Luncheon on Dec. 13.

US Open

Visit Orlando at the US Open

In addition to on-court logo inclusion at the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships, Visit Orlando hosted a brand-activation booth where Visit Orlando Brand Ambassadors engaged directly with guests distributing more than 10,000 tennis-ball shaped hand fans and offering a commemorative Visit Orlando branded rollercoaster photo.

tennis fans

Canadian Media Praise Visit Orlando's Marketing

An article that ran in 11 media outlets from across Canada (3.9 million total impressions) praised Visit Orlando's "cool" giveaway at the US Open. The tennis-ball shaped hand fans with Visit Orlando branding were hailed as, "one of the most brilliant marketing ideas in sports."


Chile Mega Fam With Top Tour Operators

Visit Orlando and Copa Airlines hosted Copa Vacations during an 81-person Fam trip last week with four tour operators and their travel agents from Chile, including Euroandino, Caribbean Chile, Pan American Tourism and TourMundial. These four wholesalers deliver the best and widest variety of programs to the United States. The Fam participants experienced I-Drive 360, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World. Express Transportation sponsored all the local transportation and Celebration Tour and Travel sponsored the closing dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Additionally, 21 participating Visit Orlando members had the opportunity to showcase their product or venue in an educational presentation and mini trade show. Sixty percent of the group had not been to Orlando in the past three years and the remaining 40 percent were visiting Orlando for the first time. Trade media partners also in attendance included Cosas, El Mercurio, Gaceta, LADEVI, La Tercera and Vanidades publications. Chile is currently the only South-American country participating in the U.S. visa waiver program.


UK Taxi

Visit Orlando Launches Fall U.K. Campaign

Visit Orlando kicks off a two-month marketing campaign in September targeting families throughout the United Kingdom. Never Ending Stories brand campaign messaging will provide extensive coverage for families to book their next vacation to Orlando through an integrated media plan including broadcast TV, digital advertising, social media, out-of-home advertising, taxi supersides (pictured) and an STV Channel Sponsorship.

Brazil gymnasts

Brazilian Olympian Gymnasts Land in Orlando

In partnership with area theme parks, Visit Orlando coordinated a visit for five of the gymnasts from the Brazilian Olympic team, including Arthur Nory (Bronze medal), Daniele Hypolito, Diego Hypolito (Silver medal), Flavia Saraiva (Olympic finalist and media darling) and Jade Barbosa (Olympic finalist). In addition to coverage in O Globo (with a circulation of 14M), the athletes, who have a combined social media reach of more than 4.5 million followers, have been posting highlights of their visit on their social media pages. During their stay, they visited I-Drive 360, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Pictured, from left at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium: Jade Barbosa, Diego Hypolito, Flavia Saraiva, Arthur Nory and Daniele Hypolito.


Visit Orlando Joins Brand USA Seminar in China

The Visit Orlando China Team joined Brand USA China for travel trade seminars in Shenzhen and Xiaman, reaching nearly 200 travel agents. Shenzhen, located in Guangdong province, and Xiamen, located in Fujian province, are growing sources for visitors to the United States, particularly during the summer season and Chinese New Year holiday.

Pictured: Visit Orlando China Representative David Sun (bottom row, third from right) joins travel-trade colleagues in Shenzhen.


Connecting in Texas

Visit Orlando attended The Connect Market Place Tradeshow in Grapevine Texas Aug. 25-27, 2016. During the three-day reverse trade show, the team conducted more than 80 one-on-one appointments and networked with 1,500 corporate, specialty and association meeting planners.

Pictured, from left: Ron Keith, Visit Orlando; Rae Hawkins, Synnex Corporation; Dr. Carol Williams, National Funereal Director and Morticians Association; and Lauran Benatti and Michael Townes, Visit Orlando.

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News About Orlando


This Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimated Attendees Estimated Economic Impact
Emerald Expositions, LLC Surf Expo Sept. 8 Sept. 10 27,600 $54,372,000
Emerald Expositions, LLC Imprinted Sportswear Show Sept. 8 Sept. 10 3,256 $6,414,320

mobile app

Engadget Features Visit Orlando's New App

Top technology blog, Engadget, with 20 million unique monthly visitors, noted, "There's plenty to do in Orlando ... and a new app, backed by the supercomputing power of IBM's Watson, will tell you how to get the most out of every one of your minutes in the Sunshine State."

Read More


Choo Choo Soul to Arrive at SeaWorld

Children's musical sensation Choo Choo Soul will perform live concerts at SeaWorld Orlando on Sept. 10 and 11. Concerts are included with park admission.

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Four Seasons Chef Training for "World Pastry Cup"

Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort has been selected for the American team participating in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, or the "World Pastry Cup," to be held in Lyon, France, in January 2017.

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Allegiant Gifts Sanford Nonprofit With Free Flights

As part of its #MillionDollarSummer promotion, this week Allegiant surprised a local Sanford nonprofit organization, Seminole Dream Basketball, with free round-trip tickets.

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LEGOLAND Florida Honors First Responders

During September, the real-life heroes dedicated to keeping us safe will receive complimentary, single-day admission to LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park. Plus, eligible personnel will be eligible for a 10 percent discount on stays at LEGOLAND® Hotel.

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Fashion Week Spotlights Orlando Shopping

Shopping in Orlando takes the spotlight during the 11th Annual Fashion Week at The Mall of Millenia Sept. 12-18, with runways shows and events open to the public, along with The Mall at Millenia's philanthropic ticketed event, the "Fall Collection Spotlight" Brunch, benefitting "Runway To Hope".

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First Look at Universal CityWalk's Toothsome

The newest concoction from the creative minds at Universal Orlando Resort is a perfect blend of sweet chocolate and pure imagination. The new Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Kitchen at Universal CityWalk is now in preview mode and scheduled to officially open later this year.

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flying fish

Flying Fish Re-Opens at Disney's BoardWalk Resort

Longtime seafood-dining classic at Walt Disney World Resort's Flying Fish has reopened at Disney's BoardWalk Resort with much fanfare for its new décor and for its innovative twist on seaside dining.

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Industry News


Latest U.S. Travel Outlook

Trends identified in the U.S. Travel Association's latest U.S. Travel Outlook include a surge in U.S. travel job growth, an increase in America's share of international travel searches and Florida being the second-most searched destination for domestic travel.

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U.S. Biz Travelers Would Extend Stay for Leisure

Three out of four U.S. business travelers said they'd prolong a work-related trip for leisure if a hotel offered a discount or additional nights, according to COLLOQUY research. The same percentage of road warrior business travelers, 76 percent, said they'd extend a trip for leisure if a hotel offered the chance to have a friend or family member join at a discounted rate.

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"Bleisure" Travel Continues Rise

Bleisure is big business, and while the melding of business and leisure trips has long existed, it has recently been growing, along with the use of the 'bleisure' buzzword. According to Travel Weekly's 2016 Consumer Trends report, the percentage of leisure trips that have a business component jumped to 17% this year, compared with 11% in 2012 and 14% last year.

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Digitally Engaged Hotel Guests More Likely to Return

A recent study from Local Measure, a leading location-based social media platform for hotels, showed that hotels that engage with their guests during-stay see higher guest-return rates than for those guests who are not engaged digitally.

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CDC Zika Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), its most current data available (Aug. 31, 2016) indicate that 35 locally acquired cases have been reported in the United States, while 2,686 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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