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2021 Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference

Agenda

The Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference will be held August 30 - September 1, 2021, at Lanier Islands Resort.  

 

Jump to: Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

 

 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

1:00pm - 5:00pm | Registration Open

Boardroom, 1st Floor


1:00pm - 5:00pm | Early Sponsor Setup

Blue Ridge Ballroom


 

Monday, August 30, 2021

8:00am - 5:30pm | Registration Open

Boardroom, 1st Floor


9:00am - 11:45am | RVIC Workshop (separate registration required - click here for more info)

Conference III-V, 1st Floor
Sponsored by:  Villa Rica CVB


9:00am - 10:00am | Georgia Assn. of CVBs Board Meeting

Conference I, 1st Floor


10:30am - 11:30am | Georgia Tourism Foundation Board Meeting

Conference I, 1st Floor


11:00am - 1:00pm | Lunch on own for conference attendees

12:00pm - 1:00pm | RVIC Workshop Lunch (separate registration required - click here for more info)

Sidney's Restaurant
Sponsored by:  Villa Rica CVB


1:15pm - 5:00pm | RVIC Workshop (separate registration required - click here for more info)

Conference III-V, 1st Floor
Sponsored by:  Villa Rica CVB


1:00pm - 1:15pm | Opening General Session - Welcome

Speaker: Mark Jaronski, Deputy Commissioner, Explore Georgia 
Grand Ballroom & Veranda


1:15pm - 2:00pm | The Outlook for Travel and the Economy

Speaker: Adam Sacks, Tourism Economics
Grand Ballroom & Veranda

Sponsored by:  Gray Broadcasting Destination Marketing
The green shoots of recovery are blossoming, and economic fundamentals point to a solid foundation for continued rebuilding. However, risks to the outlook must be reckoned with. Adam Sacks will share Tourism Economics’ latest views on the economy, the mindset of travelers, and expectations for how and when travel will fully recover.


2:00pm - 2:15pm | Stretch Break

Grand Ballroom & Veranda 


2:15pm - 3:15pm | The State of State Tourism

Speaker:  Mark Jaronski, Explore Georgia
Grand Ballroom & Veranda
Sponsored by:  Atlanta Magazine Custom Media
Join Georgia Department of Economic Development deputy commissioner for tourism Mark Jaronski for an update on the state of Georgia’s travel & tourism industry. The presentation will cover the priorities that will be necessary to not only continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, but also grow Georgia’s tourism for years ahead by increasing our competitiveness, reimagining how we partner with the industry, defining the future of travel to and within state, and generating increasing levels of economic impact.


3:15pm - 4:00pm | Refreshment Break

Blue Ridge Ballroom
Sponsored by:  Accent Creative Group


4:00 - 5:15pm | Breakout Sessions - choose one of three:
1 - Increase revenue, loyalty and your customer base through disability tourism

Speaker:  Josh Loebner, DesignSensory
Magnolia

Sponsored by: Advance Travel & Tourism 
Major brands, DMOs and state tourism organizations are investing time, talent and commitments in accessible tourism and with disabled travelers. Now, more than ever, there are significant opportunities to tap into disabled travelers' spending power, grow your consumer market, expand your audience and build retention. One in four Americans has a disability and one in five people globally are disabled. If every fourth traveler decided on a different option than your brand, how much revenue would you lose? Find out best practices for welcoming people with disabilities to your destination, attraction or DMO. Josh will share short-term opportunities and long-term commitments, approaches and pathways you can leverage operationalize that will elevate your brand among the largest minority group.

2 - Georgia Domestic Visitation – Successes, Challenges, and the Path to Full Recovery

Speakers:  Anna Blount, Longwoods International
Ktimene Axetell, Arrivalist
Islands I-III

Sponsored by: Advance Travel & Tourism
Understanding Georgia’s visitors and consumer travel trends is essential to continuing with the state’s perseverance through the challenges of COVID-19 to ensure an even stronger recovery. With multiple data sources available, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know how to integrate them. Join Ktimene Axetell from Arrivalist and Anna Blount from Longwoods International to discuss how geolocation tracking and traveler survey data intersect to provide a full picture of Georgia and the regions’ 2020 performance, including who these visitors are, where they’re from, how they arrived, how long they stayed, why they were there, and where they went. Key 2021 indicators will also provide insights going into 2022.

3 - Explore Georgia Partner Opportunities

Speakers: Regan Young, Explore Georgia
Carly Stedman Norosky, Miles Partnership
Grand Ballroom

Sponsored by: Advance Travel & Tourism
Learn about this year’s Explore Georgia co-op offerings. During this session, all state tourism partners can learn the benefits of and leverage the impact of Explore Georgia's assets and partnerships. Partners will learn about opportunities to purchase advertising across Explore Georgia’s social media channels, website, email, and travel guide, as well programs and discounts with our trusted research partners. Hear from the Explore Georgia team and meet your regional marketing manager.


6:15pm - 9:30pm | Transportation

Sponsored by:  Lake Lanier CVB


6:30pm - 9:00pm | Evening Event - Margaritaville

Sponsored by: Lake Lanier CVB
Kick off your shoes and kick up your heels! We’ll vibe to some beach tunes from Jim Asbell and the Tropaholics while enjoying an open bar with tasty cocktails and brews. Don’t miss the frozen margarita stand and our fun beachy photo ops. Landshark Bar & Grill will serve up tasty beach picnic options including Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Coconut Shrimp and Frank & Lola’s favorite pizza pies. Wear your flip flops, shorts, sundresses and other beach attire. Exciting options for entertainment include boat rides, beach volleyball, corn hole and of course all the lounge chairs and umbrella drinks you can handle.


 

 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

7:00am - 8:00am | Morning Experiences (pre-registration required)

Sponsored by:  Lake Lanier CVB 
Start your morning off right with an energizing or renewing experience on beautiful Lake Lanier. These morning activities are sponsored by the Lake Lanier CVB and are available to attendees of the Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference at no additional cost. Each activity has limited capacity and are available on a first come, first served basis.


8:00am - 4:30pm | Registration Open

Boardroom I, 1st Floor


8:00am - 9:00am | Networking Continental Breakfast

Blue Ridge Ballroom


9:00am - 10:00am | The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities

Speaker:  Danny Guerrero, MMGY Global
Grand Ballroom & Veranda

Sponsored by:  Georgia Humanities
The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities Report is the first in a series of MMGY Travel Intelligence studies to be informed by diverse travel advocacy organizations to better identify the needs, behaviors, and sentiments of underrepresented travel communities. Featuring a combined sample size of 8,500 Black individuals, the study is the most extensive travel research conducted of the Black traveling community and will highlight the burgeoning size of the market, opportunities to appeal to this traveler, and most importantly, reveal key considerations that are on the minds of Black leisure travelers and meetings professionals. 


10:00am - 10:45am | Refreshment Break

Blue Ridge Ballroom


10:45am - 12:00pm | Breakout Sessions - choose one of three:
1 - There's Good out There

Speaker:  Scott Caufield, TripAdvisor
Islands I-III

Sponsored by: Rhyme & Reason Design
To say these are tumultuous times would be an understatement, yet throughout this crazy time, there has remained cause for hope, signs of positivity, and consumers’ unrelenting passion for travel. In our time together, we’ll be looking at the last year to glean insights to apply in the year ahead. We’ll be using learnings from Tripadvisor’s ongoing surveys to understand what travelers are thinking and how they’re feeling, and mix that with our own onsite data on what travelers are actually doing, so that you come away with some signs that “There’s good out there”. Travelers are hungry for it, so help them find that good - through fun ways to discover your business and Georgia as a whole.

2 - How the Tourism Industry Can Support Georgia’s Fight vs. Human Trafficking

Speakers:  Attorney General Chris Carr, State of Georgia
Kaitlyn Fain, Assistant Attorney General, State of Georgia
Magnolia

Sponsored by: Rhyme & Reason Design
This session will introduce the issue of human trafficking, educate the audience about the state’s multi-pronged response, and identify ways in which those in the tourism industry can support these efforts.

3 - Social Media 

Speaker:  Samantha Lauriello, Social Media Editor, Travel + Leisure
Conference III-V, 1st Floor

Sponsored by: Rhyme & Reason Design
See how the biggest brands use social media channels to inspire travel, and learn about the latest tools/trends to make your social efforts a success.


12:00pm - 1:00pm | Professional Development Network Format Lunch

Grand Ballroom & Veranda
This lunch will focus on building your professional network. Select a topic and you will be grouped with peers who are interested in the same topic for a focused discussion and networking. Each table will be given topics/questions to guide the discussion.  Choose from Marketing, Public Relations/Communications, Research, Visitor Services, Group/Convention/Sales and CEO.


1:15pm - 2:30pm | Breakout Sessions - choose one of three:

1 - Niche Tourism and the Georgia Brand Proposition

Speaker: John Salazar, Ph.D, University of Georgia Hospitality Management 
Magnolia

Sponsored by:  Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
Are you interested in understanding how important Georgia tourism experiences, and specifically the tourism trails that run through your destination, are to our visitors? Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Hospitality and Food Industry Management Program and Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics have been conducting an ongoing US travel sentiment survey in partnership with Explore Georgia and multiple Georgia DMOs since the start of the pandemic. They will share with you the results of their research that will reveal the types of experiences our current and future visitors look for within Georgia, their interest in our tourism trails, and how important specific experiences are which are directly linked to the Georgia tourism brand.

2 - State of the Media  

Speaker:  Anna Marevska, Cision
Islands I-III
Sponsored by:  Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
Following a year and a half of travel industry standstill, people have started to get the itch to explore and check-off destinations from their 2020 bucket list. It’s no secret that the past year saw drastic declines in travel-related distribution, but the time to strategize and plan for upcoming trends is finally here.  Join us for a conversation with Cision as we travel down the road to recovery in 2021 and beyond. During this conversation we’ll explore:

• How COVID-19 continues to impact travel media.
• Why journalists are focused on stories that address return to travel and what the future holds.
• How you can make your travel campaign stand out.
• How to get the timing right to pitch your travel campaign.
• What pitches journalists want to receive in their inbox and much more.

3 - The Key Trends to Know Now: What Current Traveler Sentiment Tells Us about Georgia’s Road Back to Record-Breaking Tourism

Speaker:  Myha Gallagher, Destination Analysts 
Conference III-V, 1st Floor
Sponsored by:  Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
This presentation will cover the latest research into how travelers are thinking, feeling, dreaming, planning, and behaving around travel as well as Georgia’s brand performance as a domestic and international leisure destination. You’ll learn the traveling consumer perspectives that pose both the greatest challenges and greatest opportunities for Georgia in its post-pandemic tourism recovery.


2:30pm - 3:15pm | Refreshment Break

Blue Ridge Ballroom
Sponsored by:  casual iQ


3:15pm - 4:15pm | Adapt to Win: Lessons from the Greatest of All Time Jeopardy! Champion

Speaker: Ken Jennings, Greatest of All Time Jeopardy! Champion
Grand Ballroom & Veranda

Sponsored by: Lake Lanier CVB
How should organizations adapt to and prepare for change, especially in a world like today's where the changes are so constant and dramatic? Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on the U.S. game show Jeopardy! with 74 consecutive wins. He also holds the record for the highest average correct responses per game in Jeopardy! history. In 2020, Ken Jennings was invited back onto Jeopardy! for a "Greatest of All Time" tournament, but it was a very different quiz show than in 2004. Then in 2021 Jennings hosted Jeopardy! as the first of a series of guest hosts Following Alex Trebek's passing. Sharing backstage secrets of tactics from America’s favorite quiz show, Ken shares what he learned about preparation, agility, fast adaptation, strategy and risk on the way to becoming the show's "GOAT."


5:15pm - 9:00pm | Transportation

Sponsored by: Gainesville CVB


6:00pm - 8:30pm | Evening Event - Lake Lanier Olympic Park

Sponsored by: Gainesville CVB
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ’96 Olympics, the Gainesville CVB invites you to share in the spirit of their Olympic Legacy. See Olympic memorabilia, tour the tower, and participate in fun activities including cornhole, ax throwing, and dragon boat rides. In addition, there will be heavy hors d’oeuvres from around the world, craft beer, wine and unique LLOP beer flight paddles.


 

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

7:00am - 8:00am | Morning Experiences (pre-registration required)

Sponsored by:  Lake Lanier CVB 
Start your morning off right with an energizing or renewing experience on beautiful Lake Lanier. These morning activities are sponsored by the Lake Lanier CVB and are available to attendees of the Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference at no additional cost. Each activity has limited capacity and are available on a first come, first served basis.


8:00am - 2:00pm | Registration Open

Boardroom I, 1st Floor


8:00am - 9:00am | Networking Continental Breakfast

Blue Ridge Ballroom


9:00am - 10:00am | Joint Committee on Economic Development & Tourism

Speakers:  Chairman Ron Stephens, Georgia House of Representatives
Chairman Bruce Thompson, Georgia State Senate
Grand Ballroom & Veranda

Sponsored by:  Choice Premiums


10:00am - 10:30am | Refreshment Break

Blue Ridge Ballroom


10:30am - 11:30am | The Future of Travel

Panelists: Tori Barnes, U.S. Travel Association
Molly Battin, Delta Air Lines
Jay Caiafa, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Moderator: Mark Jaronski, Explore Georgia
Grand Ballroom & Veranda

Sponsored by:  Miles Partnership
After a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity, 2020 was the year the travel industry as we knew it came to a grinding halt. A silver lining of the impact of Covid-19 however was validation that our industry holds an enduring importance in the lives of travelers around the world. Hear how two of the most influential global travel brands based right here in Georgia (Delta and IHG Hotels & Resorts), as well as our industry’s leading voice in Washington (U.S. Travel Association) are working to build an even stronger ecosystem for travel in the years ahead by improving infrastructure, innovating in technology and enhancing customer experiences.


11:30am - 12:00pm | Refreshment Break

Blue Ridge Ballroom


12:00pm - 1:30pm | Governor's Luncheon

Speakers: Pat Wilson, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Governor Brian P. Kemp, State of Georgia
Grand Ballroom & Veranda


1:30pm | Adjourn

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