Aguel Recognized as MPI Lifetime Member
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel was recognized as a lifetime member of Meeting Professionals International Jan. 15 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. MPI is the largest meeting and event planner industry association, and Aguel is a past chairman of the association. Pictured: Aguel (right) with MPI leaders Dave Buckalew, Buckalew Hospitality;  Michael Dominguez, MGM Resorts International; and Brandi Tice, Play with a Purpose.

Former Board Member Jim Burns Retires
Congratulations to former Visit Orlando board member Jim Burns on his retirement, effective Jan. 18. A 38-year veteran of Marriott International, Burns has served as the vice president and managing director of the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando since 2009. He will be relocating to St. Petersburg, where he will continue his passion for teaching.

Joining the Magic in Mexico City
When the Orlando Magic journeyed to Mexico City last month for a two-game road trip, Visit Orlando was right by their side, engaging with key tour operators to raise awareness and generate even more exposure for our destination. Thanks to a wide range of event facilities, Orlando continues to raise its profile as one of the top sports destinations in the world.

5-Page Orlando Spread in UK Travel Weekly
Visit Orlando’s public relations team generated a five-page destination feature in the UK’s top travel trade outlet, Travel Weekly, following a destination orientation. The story highlights Orlando for adults, covering all there is to do outside the theme parks, with an emphasis on local neighborhoods and downtown Orlando.

Top Mexican Magazine Highlights Orlando
Visit Orlando’s public relations team secured three pages of coverage in Mexico’s top business and finance magazine, Alto Nivel, reaching an estimated 900,000 business leaders and travel decision-makers across digital, social and print. The article highlights Orlando as a multifaceted destination with more than 100 attractions, outdoor activities, luxury, gastronomy, entertainment and adventures for everyone.

Promoting Orlando at Global PCMA Event
Nearly 4,000 meeting professionals from around the world attended the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders conference Jan. 6-9 in Pittsburgh. During the tradeshow, Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center presented to, and connected with, top meeting planners at a hosted buyer luncheon. Visit Orlando and members also hosted more than 110 top event planners and executives for a special event aimed at creating future business for our destination.

NFL’s Best Heading to Orlando Next Week
Starting next week, thousands of fans will converge on Orlando as we host the NFL’s best players during Pro Bowl Week. Be sure to check out the Pro Bowl Experience at ESPN Wide World of Sports to watch players from the AFC and NFC practice for the big game and Visit Orlando will be there to help guide visitors on things to do. You can still save up to $10 on game tickets by entering promo code: VISIT. Buy your tickets here.

Making Connections at IAEE Annual Expo
Visit Orlando and member companies connected with key convention decision-makers and show organizers Dec. 11-13 in New Orleans at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Annual Expo. IAEE is the leading association for the global exhibition industry, with members in 50-plus countries. More than 2,300 industry members and trade show association professionals attended the event.