The Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism will be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston, May 3-5, in conjunction with the city’s 150th Anniversary. This year’s conference – The New Age of Tourism – is geared toward capitalizing on the new tools available to improve the business of tourism in a location and precedes National Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel and the fact that meetings mean business.
Technology is changing the way travelers research and book their vacations. Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and digital media allow for more online interaction and a richer experience. We intend to capitalize on this trend with attention to dialogue with our consumers and we wish to share this high-touch, high-tech customer service with our travel partners. There will be several ideas and opportunities presented to our grantees and other tourism partners at the conference. Collaboration is the only way we are going to be able to achieve our attainable market share.
In addition to our grantees, this annual conference is designed for lodging property owners and managers, outfitters and guides, and other tourism industry professionals and recreation providers throughout the state to come together to share ideas and learn about new trends and opportunities to market themselves. The conference is a great way to network with others, see what’s new in the industry and learn about what the Department of Commerce is doing to promote Idaho.
Roger Brooks of Destination Development International, Todd Skelton of TripAdvisor, William Bakker of Think! Social Media and Dr. Ken Cordell of USDA Forest Service will provide key takeaways that you will be able to implement into your businesses immediately. I personally love hearing from each of these speakers and think they are world class. (Well maybe not Todd-although he is world-class fun and has lots of great resources for businesses)
An afternoon of educational field trip sessions escorted by experts in the subjects of culinary, geology, and Native American studies will tour several regional attractions including wineries and breweries, the Nez Perce National Historic Park and Hells Canyon. And yes, sampling Idaho wine or beer on a culinary tour IS educational. It is the year of Idaho Food after all. There is also a golf tournament option which benefits the Larry May Foundation for hospitality continuing education. The Idaho Travel Council will hold their annual spring meeting in conjunction with the conference, May 3, where we will hear grant presentations. The public is welcome to attend. Click here for meeting agenda.
The Governor’s Take Pride in Idaho Awards will be presented at the final luncheon on May 5. For more information, a copy of the conference agenda, or to register, click here.