TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 25, 2012) – Today, VISIT FLORIDA - the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation - announced the lineup of speakers and special events for its 45th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism being held September 5-7, 2012 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. For more than four decades, this event has been recognized as the premier educational conference for the Florida tourism industry, providing the opportunity for participants to learn the latest in marketing strategies, receive critical industry research data and share best practices.
“Florida’s tourism industry has long been held in high esteem by other states because of the way the state’s tourism leaders have worked together,” said Glenn Hastings, in-coming Chairman of the 2012-2013 VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “That has been a key factor in the success of Florida tourism in creating and sustaining more than 1 million jobs and generating more than 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue.”
“On behalf of Governor Scott and the citizens of Florida, VISIT FLORIDA is proud to continue the tradition of serving as organizer and host for the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism that has been bringing together key representatives of the state’s leading industry for 45 years,” added Hastings.
This year’s conference theme, “Be Brilliant!” emphasizes the high caliber of inspirational speakers and session topics that have been lined up. Those include Jeremy Gutsche, North America’s most sought after authority on trend hunting who will host a session titled “Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change” and also moderate a break-out session where the audience and a panel of celebrity Florida judges will select the winning pitch during “What’s the Million Dollar Idea for Florida’s Tourism Marketing?” The conference concludes with a presentation on “The Art of Innovation” by Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and author of ten books, including his most recent Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
“The way we market the state of Florida to the world has truly transformed in the last several years and will continue to evolve exponentially in the years to come,” said Chris Thompson, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “Having the opportunity to share lessons learned with peers and tap into the knowledge of leading experts is vital to the continued success of any industry – but especially for Florida’s tourism industry.”
A total of 17 hands-on educational sessions presented throughout the conference will cover a variety of current topics, including social media marketing, traveler trends and insights, selling to different generations and tourism marketing in the digital age. The schedule also includes the announcement of the Florida tourism industry’s highest marketing honors – The Flaglers – and a corporate social responsibility activity hosted by the Clean the World Foundation, an Orlando-based not-for-profit corporation that collects and recycles soap and shampoo products donated by the hospitality industry and distributes them to impoverished people around the world.
Those interested in attending the 45th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, are encouraged to register by the August 6 deadline to take advantage of early-bird rates. To register and view the schedule of events, sponsor and exhibitor information, please go to the official conference website at www.FloridaTourismConference.com. Photos from last year’s conference may be viewed at www.facebook.com/floridatourism. To learn more, contact VISIT FLORIDA’s Meetings & Conventions Manager, Steven Bonda, CMP, at sbonda@VISITFLORIDA.org.