On Thursday, July 28, 2016 The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, in partnership with Skal International Orlando Chapter, hosted its annual Forward Thinking Luncheon at the Hilton Orlando. This luncheon program attracted nearly 300 lodging professionals, community leaders and elected officials.
The luncheon program featured an Industry Panel, which included Danielle Hollander, CMO, Visit Orlando; Paul Phipps, CMO, VISIT FLORIDA; and Cathy Weeden, CSMO, Florida Citrus Sports. The panelists offered 2017 projections, booking pace, new marketing information, trends and statistics as it relates to the Central Florida tourism industry.
Each panelist also shared exciting news from the company they were representing. VISIT FLORIDA announced its strategic plan to achieve $100 Billion in visitor spending by 2020. Visit Orlando noted that an estimated 4,078 rooms will be added to the Orlando Destination by the end of 2017, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to over 121,000. Florida Citrus Sports reported that the 2017 Orlando Pro Bowl, which is set for January 29, 2017, is expected to produce $25.3 million in visitor spending.