top of page
  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

United Arts Central Florida partners with Visit Orlando to launch new Cultural Tourism Department for Orlando

United Arts welcome the addition of two cultural tourism directors to support the development and implementation of a formal Cultural Tourism Department with the aim of bridging the gap between the arts and tourism industries for the continued economic benefit of the community.


United Arts Central Florida partners with Visit Orlando to launch new Cultural Tourism Department for Orlando


United Arts of Central Florida (United Arts) announced the addition oftwo cultural tourism directors to its staff – Deanna Kotch in marketing and strategy, and Thali Sugisawa inprograms and partnerships – to support the development and implementation of a formal CulturalTourism Department. Designed in partnership with Visit Orlando, the official tourism association forOrlando, the program aims to bridge the gap between the arts and tourism industries for the continuedeconomic benefit of the community.



“This is an incredibly important initiative to elevate Orlando’s profile as a major hub for cultural arts andentertainment, filled with countless organizations, talented performers and exceptional venues that aredrawn to Orlando for its inspirational cultural appeal and career opportunities among other things,” saidJennifer Evins, president and CEO of United Arts. “Through this partnership, we will identify and packagecurrent products and experiences, and create authentic and unique opportunities to bring the industry tolife to both enhance the existing tourism experience and be more intentional with driving visitation.”


United Arts Central Florida partners with Visit Orlando to launch new Cultural Tourism Department for Orlando

This initiative not only attracts cultural tourism from around the region, nation, and the world, but alsoemploys local artists which helps art thrive in our community. In 2023, Visit Orlando invested over $500,000 to support the cultural community by formalizing a year-long content capture program, securing professional footage of more than 25 regional organizations with a local creative production company. Itwas a critical first step in developing a strategic marketing narrative that has paved the way for thispartnership, leaning on United Arts’ expertise in the community.


“This is a fantastic opportunity to add more resources and focus to better market the full depth of ourdestination’s unbelievably real cultural arts and entertainment experiences,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO at Visit Orlando. “From acoustically remarkable spaces featuring ballet andphilharmonic orchestra performances to thought-provoking collections and prestigious annual artfestivals, there is something for everyone to build into their ideal vacation in Orlando.”


Kotch brings over 25 years of experience, including previously serving as the director of marketing for VisitOrlando, where she led domestic and international leisure campaigns to drive visitation. She is also aformer chair of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida and has led marketing initiatives at other major brands, including Darden Restaurants, Nickelodeon Suites Resort and Southwest Airlines Vacations.


Sugisawa has led the nonprofit FusionFest since its inception, in partnership with the Orange CountyGovernment, and has exponentially grown its local multicultural programs and global reach with nearly20 years of experience in her field. Kotch and Sugisawa stepped into their new roles at United Arts on Jan.5 and report directly to Evins.


For more information, visit United Arts or call 407.628.0333


To keep up to date with the very latest happenings in Orlando, sign up to the Gotta Go Orlando Newsletter, and follow us on our social accounts to find the best events: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


United Arts Central Florida partners with Visit Orlando to launch new Cultural Tourism Department for Orlando

Discover the best of Orlando with our daily updated news, featuring the Best Things To Do:


For the latest events in Orlando, check out our events guides: Events & Things To Do In Orlando This Month, Events & Things To Do In Orlando This Weekend, and FREE Events & Things To Do In Orlando This Weekend.


For the very latest Orlando Theme Park News click here, and for the latest Attractions News click here.


Plus, check out our daily updated guides to Central Florida'sTheme Parks: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.


To feature your business with Gotta Go Orlando learn more about advertising with us, and to or list your events with us, submit your Orlando events here.



Comments


Emma Walton News Producer

Emma Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Shane Walton News Producer

Shane Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Aly Mac News Editor

Alastair Mac

  • Instagram

News Editor

bottom of page