CARSON CITY, Nev. — For the first time in Las Vegas, the 2013 Governor’s Conference on Tourism includes a robust business-building opportunity for Nevada tourism entities. The Nevada Marketplace will bring 41 domestic and international buyers for one-one-one meetings with conference attendees. The buyers represent travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and wholesalers from key international markets including China, South Korea and Japan.

The conference sessions will feature Gov. Brian Sandoval’s annual address to the tourism industry and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki’s overview of key sales and marketing programs of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

“The informational and networking opportunities at the Governor’s Conference are instrumental in keeping our travel industry competitive,” Krolicki said. “Tourism is the state’s primary industry, generating $58 billion in spending in 2012; we want to safeguard this industry and to help it continue its upward trajectory.”

Attendees will also hear from a stellar lineup of internationally renowned speakers, including noted author and consumer insights expert James A. Taylor; brand and destination marketing guru Duane Knapp; generational marketing pioneer Chuck Underwood; and global tourism safety consultant Peter Tarlow.

For the second year, the conference will provide attendees with the latest in technology trends during its Technology Forum. Google, Brand USA website developer Digitaria and tourism technology innovator Susan Sweeney highlight the sessions.  

The conference offers general sessions and several concurrent sessions from which delegates can choose. The general sessions are as follows:

  • An Afternoon with James A. Taylor: Drawing on his work with the annual Portrait of American Travelers survey, Taylor will lay out strategies for strengthening the appeal of Nevada as a destination.
  • The Generational Imperative for Nevada Tourism: Chuck Underwood, a pioneer in the field of generational strategy, will discuss how to market to Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials.
  • Building a Genuine Brand: Brand expert Duane Knapp will discuss the seven keys to destination success and to creating an emotional connection with target audiences.
  • Why Good Tourism Security Makes “Cents”: Peter Tarlow, an expert in the impact of crime and terrorism on the tourism industry, will discuss current and future trends

Concurrent breakout sessions include: 

  • Tech talks — top-level insights from Internet marketing expert Susan Sweeney; Google Travel Team member Vincent Marci; and Jake Dorn of Digitaria digital marketing agency.
  • Leveraging big data — Terry Berggren of Ruf Strategic Solutions will discuss how businesses can extract value from collecting, processing and analyzing data about their customers.
  • Focus on Asia panel — Lt. Gov. Krolicki will moderate a panel discussing how to maximize opportunities in the Asian market. Panelists are NCOT Deputy Director of Tourism Larry Friedman; Karen Chen, NCOT representative in China; Amy Lee, NCOT representative in South Korea; Kyoko Okabe, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority representative in Japan; Ruth Kim of the LVCVA; and Andrew Edelfsen of U.S Commercial Services.

“By focusing on the most relevant topics in tourism today, we hope to provide Nevada’s tourism professionals with the tools they need to develop innovative marketing platforms,” Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said.

Registration is still open for the conference, which will be held Dec. 3-5 at the Red Rock Casino & Spa in Las Vegas.

Registration for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism is available at governorsconference.org.  

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