Loonie Sets Floridians' Hearts Aflutter
with Martha Chapman

Melanie Dickey and Renaissance Orlando’s Linda Miller

Sandy Sweatt of Arabian Nights

The happy contingent from the Orlando area

On a day when the Canadian dollar traded at parity (and, for a heart-stopping moment, even a little higher), a team from Orlando was in Toronto promoting their accommodations and attractions. Talk about timing!

And Orlando is more than cartoon characters and dolphins: the area is now luring us with the 2010 Magicard which gives year-round savings at more than 75 area establishments including accommodation, golf courses, cultural attractions and restaurants (download the free card at www.VisitOrlando.com/Canada and wait for the smiles from your clients).

And since the event was themed around travel agents visiting the 10 partners’ tables, I thought I’d make like an agent and do a little tourism speed dating myself. So here, in 30 second soundbites from some of the participants, is what you need to know about MCO:

Ty Antle of Wet’n’Wild told me that though the park is the original water park in the area, it’s always adding cool new attractions. What’s up these days? “Wakeboarding is hot. It’s the big new sport.â€

Melanie Dickey of Sea World was celebrating the one week birthday of Sesame Street Safari, which offers character breakfasts and rides named for the famous residents of the street, such as the Air Grover Coaster.

Over at the Nickelodeon Family Suites booth, Joe Ryan told me that his property is the world’s greatest kids’ resort, with 80 entertainment staff and two huge water parks. “We recommend clients set aside two full days to stay on property – and that’s unusual for an Orlando property!â€

Fernanda Vanetta of Pegasus Transportation was there to remind agents that she can set up any type of ground transportation for between two and 2,000 clients, while Sandy Sweatt of the Arabian Nights dinner theatre told me that with its 60 horses and the theme of a girl who wants to become a princess, the show is a hit especially with little girls who come dressed as princesses themselves. Awwww!

And what did the partners make of the strong loonie? As one partner laughed, “Oh well, a dollar at par at least makes it easier for me to do my expense reports!â€

Good attitude!

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