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Visit Orlando is asking for input from Orange County residents on tourism

Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is hosting town hall meetings across the county, asking residents what they want over the next decade.

There are a total of six meetings for each of the six districts of Orange County, all meetings begin at 6 p.m.

District 1: Monday, April 15, at Gotha Middle School Cafeteria
District 2: Wednesday, April 17, at Apopka High School Media Center
District 3: Thursday, April 18, at Taft Community Center
District 4: Tuesday, April 16, at Timber Creek High Media Center
District 5: Wednesday, April 17, at Florida Technical College, Orlando Campus Auditorium
District 6: Tuesday, April 16, at Barnett Park, Dolphin Room

Some of the topics being discussed include transportation, sustainability, supporting local business and how to promote Orlando as a destination for tourists.

Visit Orlando’s Mario Bass says these conversations can provide insight into what areas of tourism in Orange County need to grow and change.

“Hearing what they have to say, on what's important to them and areas of opportunity, that, you know, it's a perspective that you might not get otherwise, without pulling them into the conversation,” Bass said.

Along with local voices, a Destination Tourism Master Plan Steering Committee has been formed with local community leaders to help take this plan into action. The Committee is co-chaired by Orange County Mayor Demmings.

Bass said he encourages all residents to come and participate in these town hall meetings, and that he is looking forward to hearing from residents personally.

“Tourism is what I do, and that's my background,” Bass said. “With 450,000 residents in Orange County that are employed by our industry, I can't wait to hear some of the feedback on from the, if you will, the boots on the ground, the folks that are really making an impact in the day-to-day visitation, for our visitors, hearing what they have to say, on what's important to them and areas of opportunity.”

Paul Ouimet is the NEXTFactor Enterprises Founder and Strategic Advisor. Ouimet has created over 50 master plans throughout the country. He said that by hearing from residents, a plan can be made that benefits everyone in the community.

“We have realized just how important hearing from local you know residences small businesses is because tourism has such an impact on their lives and quality of life,” Ouimet said.

Marian is a multimedia journalist at Central Florida Public Media working as a reporter and producer for the 'Are We There Yet?' space podcast.
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