Tourism Visit Orlando

Creating a Healthy ‘Brand Halo’

Visit Orlando

Lake Nona infuses Orlando’s brand with world-renowned wellness research and innovation

Visit Orlando

Lake Nona has garnered global attention for its focus on well­being, and the buzz is very much by design. Since 2012, the annual Lake Nona Impact Forum – a prestigious medical symposium Visit Orlando helps sponsor – has hosted more than 2,000 innovators and influencers, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Billie Jean King and Steve Case. Behind this initiative is the nonprofit Lake Nona Institute, which inspires healthy, sustainable communities of the future. Visit Orlando spoke with Gloria Caulfield about Lake Nona’s culture of wellness, and how it complements our region’s tourism industry.

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Gloria Caulfield

How is Lake Nona a model for health and sustainability?

The Global Wellness Institute cites Lake Nona as a leader in this area because our entire ecosystem is built to promote healthy living. As one example, we’re partnering with Johnson & Johnson and AdventHealth on a longitudinal health study called the Lake Nona Life Project that uses our community as a “living lab!’ This research team is gathering a wealth of data and exploring everything from preventing chronic disease to creating indoor environments that support positive decision-making.

How do health care conferences such as the Lake Nona Impact Forum raise Orlando’s profile as a wellness destination?

The Impact Forum, which occurs every February, helps us showcase our clinical research and academic organizations, as well as our cultural assets and quality of life. Many delegates find that what Orlando offers is very different from what they expected. When they see thought leaders converging here to shape the future of health, it creates a positive “brand halo” for the region.

Why is medical tourism important to our region’s economic development and quality of life?

Medical tourism is a big opportunity for our market. We have some of the nation’s best health care providers, and we’re continuing to grow our amenities to support medical travelers. These visitors and their families spend money on hotels, dining and entertainment, creating an economic ripple effect for our community.

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In what ways does Lake Nona Medical City contribute to our region’s visibility and appeal?

Our research, clinical and corporate partners in Medical City allow us to advance our quality of life in a holistic way. We bring together diverse perspectives through hosting councils in areas such as business leadership, education, research and communications. This unique level of collaboration attracts many visitors who want to understand what we’re doing and start similar efforts in their communities – and the Lake Nona Impact Forum is a great example. With renowned speakers, high­profile attendees and national media coverage, we’re creating powerful impressions of Orlando and building on those perceptions year after year.

How does Visit Orlando partner with Lake Nona to grow Orlando’s brand in the area of wellness?

Visit Orlando collaborates with us to expose guests to a new side of Central Florida. We also work together to facilitate innovation sessions with groups that are visiting for medical conventions and continuing education. With every passing year, more people recognize Orlando as a destination for health and well-being.


President and CEO of Visit Orlando

As we promote Orlando’s brand worldwide, Lake Nona’s growing reputation for wellness innovation brings a strong dose of appeal. With research, clinical, corporate and governmental partners collaborating on these efforts at a fast pace, it’s no wonder medical experts and business executives alike are finding inspiration here.

The Lake Nona Impact Forum is an excellent example of how Orlando’s industry sectors can drive tourism growth by bringing high-profile visitors to experience our multifaceted destination. As Gloria Caulfield notes, these events create a collective “brain gain” that benefits Orlando’s brand and grows awareness of our quality of life.

With our health and wellness sectors undergoing transformation, Orlando can help set the agenda for progress, while showcasing Lake Nona’s success in building a sustainable well-being community. Medical City is poised to lead the way, with assets such as a leading pediatric hospital, an upcoming teaching hospital, life science research labs and sports performance facilities.

Already one of the nation’s top hosts for medical conferences, and with a world-class airport so close to Medical City, Orlando is positioned to further raise its profile as a wellness destination. When it comes to growing our region’s visitation, that’s just what the doctor ordered.

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About the author

Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is the only officially recognized sales and marketing organization for the Orlando and Orange County area. Their focus is promoting Orlando as one of America's great vacation and meeting destinations and providing comprehensive, unbiased information to all travelers.

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