George Aguel, President & CEO, Visit Orlando
George Aguel is the president & CEO of the nation’s premier destination organization, Visit Orlando.
Aguel has more than 35 years of executive-level experience leading marketing, sales and operations for global vacation and convention brands.
In his current position at Visit Orlando, Aguel helped solidify Orlando's ranking as America's most-visited destination, reaching another national record of 75 million visitors, and also landed acclaim for Orlando as the leading meeting and convention destination in the U.S. Under his leadership and direction, the destination’s worldwide brand campaign "Orlando - the Never Ending Story" was launched to create an emotional connection with consumers and has achieved wide-reaching success and recognition.
Prior to Visit Orlando, Aguel served as a senior executive for 23 years with The Walt Disney Company. He was senior vice president of global corporate alliances and operating participants from their Burbank headquarters, where he led worldwide management for the company's strategic corporate partnerships across all business units, including media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Throughout his tenure, Aguel also was an instrumental leader in the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division, where he served as senior vice president of worldwide sales and services, head of the company's timeshare division, and leader of the Disney Institute.
Prior to his career at Disney, Aguel was the senior marketing and sales officer for Gaylord/Opryland Resort complex in Nashville.
Throughout his career, Aguel has been recognized by the travel and tourism industry for his leadership, including two-time recognition as one of HSMAI's "25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing"; recipient of HSMAI’s Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award; recipient of the Academy of Leaders Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); and inductee into the Convention Industry Council Hall of Leaders.
He's also an ASAE Fellow, recipient of the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Professional Achievement Award, and recipient of the APEX award from Black Meetings & Tourism.
He has served on the boards of numerous influential industry groups, including the role of chairman for Meeting Professionals International. He currently serves on the board of the U.S. Travel Association, and recently concluded a term on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which is the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States.
Aguel’s contributions to his local community include past chairman of Visit Orlando, vice chairman of the Central Florida Sports Commission and member of the Orange County Tourist Development Council. He’s also a recipient of the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Don Quixote Award and an alumnus of Leadership Florida.
In the News...
The Orlando Difference: Marketing the Most Visited Destination in the USA – i4 Business magazine
July 1, 2019
50 Most Powerful People – Orlando Magazine
Dec. 28, 2018
Orlando Region: Tourism – FloridaTrend
Oct. 19, 2018
2018 Business Leaders of the Year – i4 Business Magazine
Sept. 27, 2018
The Top 500 People in Events – BizBash
Catching Up: George Aguel, President & CEO, Visit Orlando — PCMA Convene
July 2, 2018
50 Most Powerful People 2018 — Orlando Magazine
March 26, 2018
Orlando excites — Successful Meetings
Dec. 22, 2017
Visit Orlando preps for strong 2018 with bigger digital push — Orlando Business Journal
Dec. 15, 2017
Orlando tourism should be strong for New Year’s holiday — Orlando Sentinel
Sept. 2, 2017
If you haven’t been to Orlando in a while, here’s what’s new — The Boston Globe
June 15, 2017
Orlando sets a tourism record, and a Guinness record to boot — Travel Weekly
One-on-one with George Aguel — Travel Pulse
Visit Orlando’s George Aguel mixes business with charity — Meetings Today
June 10, 2016
Visit Orlando’s George Aguel named to U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board — Orlando Sentinel
May 6, 2016
Visit Orlando’s George Aguel on record visitation — and keeping it going — Orlando Business Journal
Jan. 6, 2016
Visit Orlando head George Aguel honored — Successful Meetings
Aug. 1, 2013
How George Aguel became the leader of a $31.7-billion hospitality and travel community — Convene magazine