Why Orlando continues to be the Most Visited Destination in the Country


Why Orlando continues to be the Most Visited Destination in the Country

Get a look at the world-class infrastructure, dining, accommodations and experiences that helped Orlando attract a record-breaking 72 million visitors in 2017.

Visit Orlando has announced a historic milestone in the travel industry, with Orlando becoming the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors. We welcomed a record-shattering 72 million travelers in 2017, once again making us America’s most visited destination and a top pick among attendees.

“Orlando has never been a city that rests on its laurels. Our business leaders are relentlessly innovating and raising the bar with new projects, renovations, facelifts and expansions to help meeting professionals offer the best possible experience to attendees. Just when you think you’ve got us all figured out, we’ve got more surprises up our sleeve.” says George Aguel, president & CEO of Visit Orlando, the region’s tourism board.

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There’s no doubt as to why Orlando welcomes more visitors than any other destination in the United States. World-renowned attractions, exceptional dining and entertainment, and an abundant supply of hotels and resorts are just the start. As the industry’s leading voices will tell you, we’re also a premier destination for meetings and conventions of all types, no matter the size or focus.

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We never stop improving, either. Since 1995, our hotel inventory has jumped by more than 50 percent, with more than 121,000 hotel rooms available at a variety of price points. Traffic at Orlando International Airport, offering nonstop service from more than 130 domestic and international locations, has increased by over 70 percent to more than 44 million annually — yet it remains J.D. Power’s No. 1 mega-airport in terms of customer satisfaction. And Orlando — Theme Park Capital of the World® — is continually welcoming significant openings and expansions at our theme parks and attractions, providing you, new event experiences each time you visit. It’s never the same destination twice.

Looking forward, as part of $1 billion in multi-year investments for developments along International Drive, several new restaurant and entertainment options are in the works in the coming year. In short, there’s never been a better time to meet in Orlando.

Keep reading for a look at how much we’ve grown since 2013, and a peek at what’s still to come.

A Look Back on all that’s new waiting for your group to discover…

In the past five years, Orlando has added more than 100 rides, resorts, restaurants and retailers, and even more are coming soon. If it’s been awhile since your last visit, here’s a rundown of what you’ve missed.

If its been a few years since you visited Orlando… You’ll be amazed at how much we’ve grown in such a short time! Here’s a sampling of what you may have missed…

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Na’vi River Journey at Disney’s Pandora — The World of Avatar in Orlando (©Fox ©Disney)

At Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll find the largest expansion in Disney's Animal Kingdom’s history with the opening of Pandora — The World of Avatar. This incredible new land and one-of-a-kind event venue has become a must-see as you marvel at floating mountains and bioluminescent forest.

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Also as you enter Orlando’s tourism area, you can’t help but notice the steam from the new 200-foot Krakatau Volcano at the center of Universal’s Volcano Bay water-theme park at Universal Orlando Resort. This unbelievable sight can also be the backdrop to a unique team outing or private beach-theme event for up to 200, which is sure to wow your attendees.

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Enjoy private viewing of SeaWorld’s new Electric Ocean spectacular fireworks show.

At SeaWorld Orlando, your group can experience the revamped Kraken Unleashed virtual-reality (VR) roller coaster, and dance the night away with an electric event under the stars with its new Electric Ocean evening fireworks spectacular. Other new or updated attractions include Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, iFLY Indoor Skydiving, and Topgolf Orlando.

Quick Tip: Your attendees can enjoy special discounted convention tickets (link to OrlandoMeetingInfoc.om) to experience these new attractions after the meeting is over through Visit Orlando.

We’ve also gained some tantalizing new dining options with the opening of two new and improved retail, dining and entertainment complexes including ICON Orlando 360 (formerly known as I-Drive 360) and the reimagined Disney Springs.

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Orlando’s most popular dining and entertainment complex has been transformed from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs featuring more than 150 dining, retail and entertainment options, including Orlando’s largest collection of celebrity chefs. New restaurants include Morimoto Asia, Art Smiths Homecoming, and The Edison and other inventive eateries at Disney Springs, with more on the way.

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Mickey Mouse and Masaharu Morimoto at the Opening of Disney Springs’ Morimoto Asia (Photography by Patina Restaurant Group)

If It’s Been Five Years Since You Visited Orlando…

There’s a whole new world for you to discover and we can’t wait for you to experience everything you’ve missed!

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Back in 2013, Transformers: The Ride — 3D and Springfield’s Simpsons-themed rides and restaurants arrived at Universal Studios. A year later, Hogwarts Express connected The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon  Alley to Hogsmeda  at Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure, offering one-of-a-kind events complete with a fire-breathing dragon.

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Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando takes VIP events to a new level in Orlando

Chances are you’ll be amazed by how much our arts scene has grown too, thanks in large part to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Located in downtown Orlando, this state-of-the-art, multi-theater facility plays host to Broadway productions, ballet and other cultural events. Through it all, we’ve also added scores of hotels and resorts, plus a cornucopia of new dining options.

And what’s to come is even more incredible! If you’ve hosted a meeting or convention in Orlando, you know how much we have to offer—and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Contact us or submit your RFP now, and let us work with you to plan an unforgettable meeting or convention in Orlando.

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