Record Media at Signature Luncheon 

Coverage of Visit Orlando's record-breaking visitation announcement continues all week, thanks in part to all-time high media attendance at our May 10 luncheon. Not only did Visit Orlando have strong representation from local print, broadcast and influencer media, but national outlets such as CBS News, USA and Forbes Online were also in attendance.

Aguel to Appear on Fox 35's Orlando Matters 

Tune in this weekend and next weekend as Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel will make back-to-back appearances with host Ryan Elijah on Orlando Matters, Fox 35's community affairs show, airing Saturdays at 10 a.m. On Saturday, May 19, Aguel will discuss the impact of 72 million domestic and international visitors to the destination in 2017, while also reflecting on how Orlando has evolved in the past few years and the exciting new things on the horizon in the coming years. On Saturday, May 26, he will discuss the 10 new attractions opening this summer and explain why Orlando continues to maintain its popularity as America's top vacation destination.

Celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week 

Visit Orlando celebrated National Travel & Tourism Week May 6-12 with a flurry of activities that started with proclamations from Orange County and the city of Orlando extolling the importance of tourism. On Thursday, we announced 2017's record visitation (72 million visitors) during a luncheon attended by approximately 1,000 industry and community leaders at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. To conclude the week, Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel presented at the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association's Tourism Ambassador Luncheon at Camping World Stadium. L to R: Rich Maladecki, CFHLA; District 44 Rep. Bobby Olszewski; George Aguel, Visit Orlando; Brian Comes, Hyatt Regency Orlando.

Russell Home Unveils Visit Orlando Girls' Dorm 

The Russell Home for Atypical Children  unveiled its newly expanded home last week, and Visit Orlando was happy to be part of the effort that helped make this much-needed, 15,000-square-foot renovation a reality. In 2016, the Russell Home received a Magical Dining Month donation totaling $195,125, enabling the organization to build a 1,200-square-foot girls' dorm. "If it weren't for Magical Dining, these beautiful rooms would never have happened," said Betty Turner, Russell Home's program director. "We don't know where we would be without our wonderful community."

Members Gain Insight from Industry Expert

Approximately 350 Visit Orlando members and hospitality professionals learned the latest social media trends from industry expert, Martin Stoll, founder and CEO of Sparkloft Media, during the first Celebrating Travel & Tourism general session event. Martin provided valuable insights, including how to turn customers into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to share their stories.

Record 65K Attend NPE2018 in Orlando

Recognized as the world's largest plastics trade show and conference, NPE2018 brought more than 65,000 attendees — and 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space — to the Orange County Convention Center May 7-11. International attendance measured nearly 17,000 people. New this year, NPE2018 incorporated a program to educate students about the plastics industry and to spotlight careers in plastics. Central Florida students were able to tour the exhibit halls, hear exclusive talks by participating exhibiting companies, visit the NPE Network Studio and more. The event will return to Orlando in May 2021.

10-City Roadshow a Success in UK, Ireland

Visit Orlando's travel industry sales team took to the road for a series of training events in 10 cities across the UK and Ireland. Approximately 1,000 travel agents attended the "Know Orlando, Sell Orlando" training sessions to gain the latest updates on what's new in Orlando and get expert tips on selling our destination. Each event included presentations by our theme parks and, new this year, the Visit Orlando Marketplace — a mini tradeshow that enabled agents to meet one on one with members. Several of the participating travel agents will visit Orlando in September on the 2018 Superfam.

Visit Orlando Networks at PCMA Awards

Visit Orlando's sales team attended the Professional Convention Management Association's Visionary Awards May 2 in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 business event professionals gathered, including many of Visit Orlando's top convention clients.

George Aguel Welcomes HelmsBriscoe Conference

Visit Orlando and its partners welcomed meeting planners from HelmsBriscoe to Orlando April 30 for their Annual Business Conference. The event, which offered key education and networking opportunities, allowed Visit Orlando to promote "Why Choose Orlando," showcasing what's new in our destination for convention attendees -- from theme parks and entertainment to hotels and restaurants.

Top-Tier Mexican Media Experience Orlando

Visit Orlando's public relations team worked with several Mexican journalists to showcase our destination's diversity in attractions, activities and dining. The journalists — representing top Mexican publications Travesias, Food & Travel, The Happening and Mundo Ejecutivo (with over 1 million impressions combined) -- will publish stories about the destination in the coming weeks to continue to drive awareness about Orlando in the Mexican market.