Challenge Accepted: MORlando Team Sets Out to Experience Our Entire Destination
One month into their challenge to determine how long it takes to experience our destination’s many attractions, our MORlando team has already visited more than 60 locations – everything from theme parks and dinner shows to museums and more. Click the image above for the latest installation of the team’s biweekly YouTube series. You can also follow along on Instagram (#MORlando) and at VisitOrlando.com/MORlando.
IAAPA’s New Global Headquarters a Welcome Addition
This morning, I was pleased to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), which officially opened its new global headquarters in Orlando after relocating from another state. As Theme Park Capital of the World®, Orlando is the perfect fit for the global attraction industry’s international trade association. On behalf of our entire tourism community, we’re grateful to have IAAPA as our neighbor, and we look forward to what the future holds.
Celebrating World Tourism Day in Orlando
Today is World Tourism Day, dedicated to recognizing the monumental impact tourism has on our economy and society. As America’s most visited destination, Orlando certainly has reason to celebrate — and at Visit Orlando, we’re happy to spread the news. Highlights of our activities today include educational efforts with students at UCF and Valencia, fun activities at our Official Visitor Center, and joining member companies to promote #WorldTourismDay on social media.
Thomas Cook’s Bankruptcy and Orlando’s UK Visitation
As you’re probably aware, Thomas Cook, one of the United Kingdom’s largest travel companies and airlines, declared bankruptcy this week and suspended operations. We regret the loss of such an iconic travel organization in our No. 1 overseas market. For visitors who are in market or purchased future tickets, we have included official information links on our consumer website, briefed our Visitor Services operations should they receive inquiries, and reached out to our other U.K. tour operators to discuss potential steps that will be taken to mitigate the impact on Orlando-bound visitors. The long-term impact to the region is still to be determined, but our expectation is that other airlines will increase their capacity to off-set any potential loss. Over the past 12 months, Thomas Cook brought about 133,000 visitors to Orlando. In partnership with the British government, Orlando International Airport will operate repatriation flights through Oct. 6 on Atlas Air, Virgin Atlantic and other U.K. carriers.
Walt Disney World Gets New President
Congratulations to Josh D’Amaro, a former board member of Visit Orlando and current president of Disneyland Resort, on being named president of Walt Disney World Resort. George Kalogridis, who has overseen tremendous progress in that position since 2013, will transition to a new role in November. Having worked with Josh for many years at Disney, I look forward to working with him again on behalf of our destination. Read More
OTHER NEWS FROM VISIT ORLANDO
» Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and County Commissioners Mayra Uribe, Maribel Gomez Cordero and Emily Bonilla at the Indian American Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual awards gala. A special thanks to IAAC President Yog Melwani for his hard work in helping our Indian American business community continue to succeed in Central Florida, and congratulations to the award winners!
» Our convention sales team attended CEIR Predict, the Annual Exhibition Industry Outlook Conference, Sept. 16-17 in Washington, D.C. The event allowed us to engage with key citywide clients and stay up to date on emerging trends in the tradeshow industry.
» Visit Orlando’s meetings and conventions team recently hosted representatives from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to plan their March convention at the Orange County Convention Center. With 32,000 attendees expected, the convention is anticipated to generate more than $63 million in economic impact.