George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, announced last week that he will be retiring as head of the CVB after seven years. A transition plan including the exact timing of his departure is underway, according to a spokesperson from the agency.
Aguel, a former Disney executive, joined Visit Orlando in 2013. Under his leadership, Orlando reached a national record of 75 million visitors in 2019. He also led regional crisis response efforts through hurricanes, the PULSE Nightclub shooting and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, serving as co-chair of Orange County’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force.
Smart Meetings recently spoke to Aguel about the $605 million expansion planned for Orange County Convention Center, the second largest convention center in the country. The GBAC STAR accredited property will be adding a multipurpose venue with exhibition space, a new ballroom and new meeting rooms to its existing 7 million sq. ft. It has also instilled a 24/7 medical concierge program, planner access to a medical expert, access to PPE for attendees and medical advisory services for host hotels.
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“We are preparing for a recovery, and our industry is working hard to support planners and their conventions. We’re coming together with the sharpest possible focus on keeping our visitors safe,” said Aguel.
Prior to Visit Orlando, Aguel served as a senior executive for The Walt Disney Company for 23 years and senior marketing and sales officer for Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
He is retiring to spend more time with family.
“While this is a decision I’ve been considering for some time, if there is anything 2020 has shown me, it’s that you can’t take your health for granted and there is no better time to spend it than with those I love most,” Aguel said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.