Global Tourism Summit brings national marketing insight to Nevada tourism industry

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Governor’s Global Tourism Summit will kick off Nov. 16 at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas for two days of building business, insights, and networking with the top minds in global tourism.

The Global Tourism Summit is the evolution of the long-running Governor’s Conference on Tourism, produced by the Nevada Division of Tourism, with a new focus on developing Nevada’s vast international potential.

“Nevada currently receives around 6.5 million international visitors in a year, and that number is growing,” Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said. “International travel to the United States grew by 4 percent in the first quarter of this year, and as visa restrictions are eased and flight service is increased, we can expect this to become a lucrative revenue source for the tourism industry.”

The popular Nevada Marketplace, a two-hour session, will expand this year with a record 10 countries represented, including India for the first time. This is an opportunity for Nevada travel suppliers to connect with international buyers in a sales opportunity unlike any other offered in the western states. At the Marketplace, tourism industry sales and marketing professionals can generate new business through one-on-one meetings with tour operators, receptive operators, wholesalers, online travel agents and airlines that offer trips to Nevada.

Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, will be a keynote speaker at the summit, sharing how Brand USA, the nation’s public-private organization dedicated to increasing international travel to the U.S., is expanding its efforts around the globe.

“Brand USA is the country’s international destination marketing organization, and any tourism entity that wants a piece of that global pie has to be connected to this marketing powerhouse,” Vecchio said. “Brand USA has a stated goal of reaching 1.04 million incremental international visitors in 2016, which translates to 51,400 incremental jobs supported by the tourism industry. Nevada is dedicated to partnering with them to make those goals a reality.”

Also presenting at a general session is Kelly Craighead, executive director of the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), a division of the Department of Commerce. The NTTO implements President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy and works hand-in-hand with the tourism industry to ensure growth.

David Houle, global futurist and author, will also speak at the summit. Houle, a marketing and branding expert, penned “Entering the Shift Age,” an No. 1 bestseller, and “Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing,” which was named one of the top five marketing books published in 2014.

The summit will include smaller breakout sessions to address specific topics such as “Generating Earned and Social Media in Global Markets,” a “Global Travel Review” that will address recent trends in global travel, “International Marketing Insights” from Nevada’s representatives around the globe, “How to Succeed in the International Arena Through Business Etiquette,” and “Working with the U.S. Commercial Services and Consulates Aboard and at Home.”

“This summit is like a one-day master class in global tourism, from trends and forecasts to cultural protocols and pro tips in how to have a presence overseas,” Vecchio said. “Never before have we crafted a singular focus on such a vital source of tourism revenue for the state.”

Registration for the Governor’s Global Tourism Summit is available at Register by Nov. 13 to secure the registration rate of $250. Late and on-site registration will be $300.

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The Nevada Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. It promotes and markets Nevada as a tourism destination for domestic and international leisure and business travelers through its marketing and advertising programs and by coordinating partnerships between public and private entities. Travel Nevada also administers grant programs for local entities to market travel and tourism offerings and publishes Nevada Magazine.