Where Travel Technology Is Popping Up

 Pokemon Go Orlando

You've no doubt seen people dashing about town, eyes glued to phones, as they search for Pokémon Go characters. From SeaWorld Orlando to Fun Spot America, these digital creatures are popping up everywhere alongside real-world objects in this viral mobile game - showcasing the success of augmented reality technology.

Given the immense popularity of the game, Visit Orlando's digital marketing and membership team immediately began brainstorming how we could amplify the destination experience for our visitors, residents and members. Visit Orlando is pleased to share that we've launched a website which identifies locations that alerts gamers to hot spots in our destination's major theme parks, as well as tourism areas that do not require admission. 

The Pokémon Go trend is just one of the ways Visit Orlando continuously leverages new technology to promote our destination.


Orlando Tops the List of Most Affordable Family Vacations

 Family Travel Destination

Easily accessible and boasting a wide variety of experiences, Orlando offers a vacation for every taste and every budget. In fact, Forbes Magazine has just given families more reason than ever to head to our destination by ranking Orlando at the top of the 20 Most Affordable Cities for Family Travel. To create the Forbes ranking, SmartAsset looked at the costs of a three-day/three-night trip for four people to 48 of the largest U.S. cities. Including hotel, car rental, airfare and restaurants, Orlando came in as the best vacation value in the nation.

From luxury escapes to budget-friendly trips, our destination offers a wide selection of vacation options that allow visitors to tailor an experience that's right for them. They can chose between the convenient access of flying or welcome back the family road trip for even greater savings given the current drop in gas prices and the ease of getting here.

With seven of the world's top theme parks, a host of culinary options and weather just made for a day at the waterparks, our destination remains a favorite of traveling families. In addition, the area has just welcomed a host of brand new attractions, giving visitors plenty of reasons to take that long-anticipated trip to Orlando or return again to discover what's new.


The Nation's Best City for Recreation

Nations Best City for Recreation

It's no secret Orlando is rich in theme parks and family-friendly attractions but our destination also has a number of other local treasures that give visitors a reason to extend their stays and return again and again. As we celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month this July, Orlando has just been named the Best City for Recreation in the U.S. by the personal-finance website WalletHub. The site compared the 100 largest cities on everything from area parks to the cost of a movie ticket. Not only does this top ranking put our destination in an advantageous position with vacationers seeking budget-friendly trips, it's also a bonus for those interested in fitness, leisure activities and eco-conscious travel.

As tourism in Orlando continues to grow so does interest in our Central Florida ecotourism activities like springs and parks, trails and camping areas. With natural and active attractions like Rock Springs Run, the downtown Orlando Bike Share and the West Orange Trail located right here in our backyard, there are multiple reasons for vacationers to get outside and explore these offerings.

With this latest award in a string of others we've been receiving, it comes as no surprise that Orlando remains a leading destination of choice for family and leisure travel.


Transportation Developments Boost Arrivals

MCO Airport Travel

The State Department has confirmed that the Obama Administration will not formally enter consultations on Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the UAE nor will it freeze flights, despite protests from the "big three" US airlines. So, just what does this mean for Orlando? In short, it's good news for our destination and here's why. The Emirates Airline service for Orlando, which began last September, is expected to bring a nearly 200% bump over 2015. Not only does this service to our region bring Middle Eastern visitors to the area, connecting flights also ensure a larger number of Asian and African travelers reach Orlando. Finally, by not violating the Open Skies agreement with the UAE or Qatar, the resulting competition from the Middle Eastern carriers will allow more opportunity for guests to pursue tourism and business exchanges in Orlando thanks to more attractive airfares.

In other transportation news, for the first time in its history the Orlando International Airport (MCO) has topped more than 40 million passengers in a 12-month period. This historic growth supports the need for capacity expansion currently under way. Additionally, AAA is projecting a record number of travelers for the Fourth of July thanks to the holiday falling on a three-day weekend and the lowest gas prices in over a decade. Orlando was recently ranked No. 1 on AAA's list of top domestic summer travel destinations.

The continued service from Middle Eastern airlines and record numbers of passengers to Orlando International Airport, coupled with a projected banner July 4th weekend, should start our summer season in a positive direction.


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