A Signature Media Publication

Orlando First to Surpass 70 Million Annual Visitors

A New Record for U.S. Travel: Orlando First to Surpass 70 Million Annual Visitors
– Solidifies Rank as America’s Most-Visited Destination –

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tourism officials announced today a historic milestone in the travel industry as Orlando became the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, an increase of more than 5 percent over the prior year, once again making it America’s most-visited destination.

Visit Orlando, the region’s official destination tourism and marketing organization, shared the number today at a special gathering of more than 1,000 tourism and community leaders.

“Our record-breaking year was achieved despite international headwinds and the statewide effects of Hurricane Irma,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “In 2017, our destination launched new consumer experiences on a significant scale and our marketing efforts leveraged increasing consumer confidence in the United States. We also continued our focus on communicating the unique emotional connection visitors have with Orlando.”

“Orlando’s record-setting visitation affirms the city as a leader in the U.S. travel industry,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The success in Orlando is great, not just for this iconic destination, but for travel as a whole. As the U.S. overall looks to regain its share of the global travel market, this new milestone in Orlando is a welcome reminder of the resiliency of this industry.”

Orlando reached a host of new milestones in 2017 including:

  • Record number of U.S. visitors
  • Record convention attendance: The Orange County Convention Center welcomed an unprecedented 1.53 million attendees (+5.0 percent).
  • Record airline arrivals: Orlando International Airport became the busiest airport in Florida, with 44.6 million passengers (+6.4 percent).

In addition to the openings of new attractions, resorts and dining venues, Orlando’s visitation benefited from new and adjusted destination marketing strategies from Visit Orlando.

  • Domestically, Visit Orlando recognized the potential of the country’s growing positive economic indicators and increased marketing initiatives focused on U.S. audiences, with a special emphasis in the important Northeast region. Domestic visitation for 2017 grew to an all-time record total of 65.86 million.
  • Internationally, with several key markets facing uncertainties, Visit Orlando maintained its extensive marketing, brand and publicity programs to retain Orlando’s leading position as a top international destination, with 6.15 million visitors.
  • Swiftly addressing potential concerns after Hurricane Irma struck in September, Visit Orlando quickly launched initiatives to demonstrate how Orlando tourism areas rebounded. This was accomplished through social media and publicity campaigns that used authentic visuals of real guests, in real-time, enjoying and commenting on the status of the destination.

Qatar Airways partners with Monacair

Direct connectivity to Nice International Airport

Qatar Airways and Monacair have partnered for a direct service which will commence on 4 July 2017.

Qatar Airways’ passengers arriving in Nice on board the newly-launched direct service will have the opportunity to seamlessly connect at Nice International Airport onto a Monacair helicopter flight to Monte Carlo. Likewise, passengers travelling from Monaco to Nice by helicopter will be able to connect at Nice International Airport to more than 150 destinations connected by Qatar Airways’.

Qatar Airways group chief executive, HE Akbar Al Baker, said: “This partnership allows passengers to travel to and from Monaco in just six minutes from Nice International Airport. Strategic partnerships continue to play an important role for Qatar Airways.”

The new direct five times-weekly service to and from Nice will operate with a

with business class in an all-aisle cabin configuration.

Qatar Airways’ Iftar meal on selected flights

Qatar Airways during the Holy Month will be offering passengers an Iftar meal box with a traditional Middle Eastern twist to break the fast.

The airline’s Iftar boxes will be offered to first and business class passengers travelling on selected flights. The boxes in the premium cabins will have either a chicken or vegetarian sandwich wrap, hummous, crudités, mini Arabic bread, mixed nuts, baklava, dates, an Alpen fruit and nut bar, fresh laban and water. Passengers travelling in economy will be offered an Iftar meal box containing a vegetarian sandwich wrap, Walker biscuit, dried fruits, dates, mixed nuts, fresh laban and water.

This year’s Iftar boxes will be distributed on Qatar Airways flights to Abu Dhabi, Abha, Amman, Alexandria, Bahrain, Basra, Baghdad, Cairo, Dammam, Dubai, Erbil, Gassim, Hofuf, Jeddah, Kuwait, Khartoum, Luxor, Muscat, Medina, Mashad, Najaf, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, Salalah, Sulaymaniyah, Sharjah, Shiraz, Taif and Yanbu.

Qatar Airways renews sponsorship agreement with Al-Ahli Saudi FC

Qatar Airways recently renewed its sponsorship agreement with football club Al-Ahli Saudi FC.

Subsequently, the airline also announced that it will be the Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA, with a contract extending though the 2022 World Cup. The 2022 World Cup will take place in the Qatar.

The signing ceremony was attended by His Highness Prince Fahad bin Khalid bin Abdullah, honorary member of the Al-Ahli Football Club, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khaled bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, honorary member of the Al-Ahli Football Club and head of financial committee, and Ayman Mansour Abdulgafar, honorary member of Al-Ahli Football Club, Abdullah Ajaj, board member of Al-Ahli Football Club, and Waleed Mouath, legal advisor of Al-Ahli Football Club.

The airline also commenced its new service to Yanbu with three-weekly flights which began on 9 May 2017. Qatar Airways currently operates 151 weekly flights to eight cities in Saudi Arabia. The addition of Yanbu will increase number of Qatar Airways’ weekly flights to Saudi Arabia to 154 non-stop flights.