Just What the Doctor Ordered

Lake Nona Lab

Next week, Orlando's tourism community prepares to host the 8th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, Sept. 27-30, at the Orange County Convention Center. And while our local convention industry is healthy and thriving, the arrival of the most comprehensive international healthcare conference and trade show in the industry may be just what the doctor ordered for continued growth. 

Orlando's hospitals offer some of the best health care in the world. Combine these facilities and the experts that work in them with the second-largest convention center in the nation and everything else that makes Orlando the No. 1 meeting destination in the U.S., and it's no surprise that medical conventions represent an appealing growth segment for our destination.

As Visit Orlando continues to open new markets and grow overall visitation beyond the record-breaking 62 million visitors in 2014, medical conventions are a targeted approach to leveraging tourism for the economic prosperity and quality of life for our residents.

 

 



An A-380 Kind of Week

Emirates

You may think you've seen huge planes ... but have never seen anything like the A-380, the world's largest passenger airplane and Emirates' flagship aircraft. The airline used it this week to inaugurate daily nonstop passenger service from its hub in Dubai to Orlando. The jet features 500 seats, a lounge for socializing over fine wines, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and delicacies prepared by five-star chefs, as well as two shower spas.

Following touch-down, a series of events fueled days' worth of worldwide attention focused on our destination and tourism community. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Airline & Group, exchanged ceremonial gifts with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Interanational Airport's Authority Chairman, Frank Krupenbacher, before sharing with the audience that it was consumer demand for our destination that gave Emirates the confidence that a strong market exists for 16-hour flights to Orlando. In addition to hundreds of passengers from 29 countries, the first flight also included a group of top journalists from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Kuwait, which Visit Orlando is hosting for tours of our destination and city. With a style that we're learning to expect from Emirates, the company continued to demonstrate how it is quickly embracing our community by also hosting hundreds of our travel industry and business leaders for a gala dinner at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

With a splash of its red and gold signature colors, Emirates showed in a big way this week how tourism drives our economy and strengthens our community. Literally overnight, the airline made Orlando immensely more accessible for the travelers it serves from the 145 cities worldwide - many of which are located in the fastest-growing populations on our planet. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority estimates that the new service will result in more than $100 million of economic impact and 1,400 jobs in Central Florida. While regular service to Orlando is scheduled to be offered on 777 aircraft seating 266 passengers, it wouldn't be a suprise after what we saw this week if by working together with Orlando's community and business leaders, Emirates decides to increase use of the A-380 on its route to Orlando in the future.

 



A Story with No End

 

Orlando Stories

Most stories have a beginning and an end. For Visit Orlando's new global marketing campaign, the start took place officially this week in New York City. The Big Apple is the largest source of out-of-state visitation to Orlando, or in other words, the ideal market to launch our new campaign in a very significant way. From digital video boards in iconic locations such as Times Square and Madison Square Garden, to wrapping double-decker buses and taxi cabs, on-air interviews and in-cinema advertising, Visit Orlando is reaching millions of New Yorkers with the promise that they can experience the vacation of a lifetime in our destination.

The new approach to connect with consumers in an emotional way as only Orlando can is also in other major markets such as Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Tampa, as well as our destination's No. 1 overseas market, Brazil. Additional key countries for international visitors - Colombia, Canada and the United Kingdom - will see the new campaign in the coming weeks.

All of these fully integrated campaigns encourage consumers to share their Orlando stories in English, Spanish or Portuguese on OrlandoStories.com. Even better yet, this story has no set end. Inspired by the lifetime of memories that our visitors make and will make in our destination, the campaign is titled "Never Ending Story." It's a movement that we hope will carry forward for years and live in the hearts and minds of our visitors forever.

 

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