Costa Mesa, CA. More than 180 leaders representing the Shopping, Dining and Cultural-Heritage Tourism sectors came together for the successful third annual ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining and Cultural Tourism, February 5-7, 2013 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. The theme of this year's conference was "Global Tourism Success." With Brand USA marketing charged with increasing international inbound travel to the US, along with the ongoing economic recovery fuelling domestic travel, the conference focused on new global opportunities for tourism development and growth for the travel industry.
Keynote presenters Roger Dow, President and CEO, US Travel Association; Caroline Beteta, President and CEO, Visit California and Chair of Brand USA; Julie Heizer; Deputy Director, US Department of Commerce/OTT; Andy Mantis, Group Head of Merchant Information Services for MasterCard Insights and Karyn Gruenberg, Partner Development Director, Brand USA were joined by more than 25 influential presenters and more than 180 delegates from throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and the UK for three days of executive level idea exchange, partnership development and the SASI-ONE Awards for innovative marketing.
New this year: the Google Learning Lab presented by the US Travel Association’s National Council of Attractions and an expanded Roundtable Breakfast offering an opportunity to meet with twelve leading Tour Operators and Travel Media. Expert presenters focused on special opportunities including China Ready Shopping and travel, the future of online and social media, culinary tourism trends, cultural tourism success stories and new research on retail trends and cultural-heritage travel plus more effective ways to package travel experiences, implement PR campaigns, reach group tour markets and utilize tourism collateral.
Shopping, Dining and Cultural-Heritage Travel are consistently ranked as the top three travel activities in the USA, according to data tracked by the US Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) and the US Travel Association.
“This year’s ONE Travel Conference focused on Global Tourism Success and was very well received by all involved,” said Rosemary McCormick, President of Shop America Alliance and co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference. “ We appreciate the support of South Coast Plaza, Visit California, Brand USA, MasterCard and all our sponsors and partners.”
“Our goal is to continue to unify these powerful travel industry segments so we speak with ONE voice on the importance of promoting the top travel experiences. They are key economic drivers and job providers. Brand USA reported that one new job is generated for every 33 international arrivals,” stated Sheila Armstrong, President of the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference. “Delegates at the ONE Travel Conference, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), shopping, dining and cultural-heritage leaders along with international tourism partners reviewed many unique opportunities to shape the new initiatives that will benefit all.”
Werner Escher, Executive Director of International and Domestic Markets for South Coast Plaza states, "We were pleased to welcome the ONE Travel Conference to South Coast Plaza and to be a partner in the planning and promoting of this important industry event. Hosting the ONE Travel Conference provided an opportunity to showcase our wide array of superb shopping, trend setting dining and rich collection of cultural treasures that Costa Mesa and all of Orange County CA offer to our guests."
At the SASI-ONE Breakfast, Thursday, February 7th, 30 SASI-ONE Awards (SASI = Shop America Salutes Innovation) for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence were presented. Brandace Bruning, of CenterCal Properties was the SASI-ONE Awards Chairperson and awards sponsor. SASI-ONE Awards recognize prominent leaders in the tourism industry for their vision and commitment to developing shopping and cultural tourism. Along with the 14 SASI-ONE Gold Awards and 12 SASI-ONE Merit Awards for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence, 4 SASI-ONE Special Award Recipients were honored in the categories of Shopping Tourism Partner of the Year, TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year, Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year and the SASI-ONE Chairman’s Award. The achievements of SASI-ONE Winners from throughout the USA, Mexico and Latin America and the winners of the special awards were showcased in a video presentation that can be viewed at www.ONEtravelconference.com
The Conference also included a Charity Raffle of two luxurious Orange County Getaways to Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach California to benefit theDestination & Travel Foundation Educational Initiatives.
Bloomington, Minnesota Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mall of America will host next year’s ONE Travel Conference at the new Radisson Blu Mall of America, January 29-31, 2014. Registration will open in July 2013.
For more information, contact the ONE Travel Conference producers: Rosemary McCormick, Shop America Alliance, 707.224.3795, firstname.lastname@example.org or Sheila Armstrong, US Cultural Heritage Tourism Marketing Council, 843.341.6392, CulturalTraveler@aol.com or visit ONETravelConference.com
Sponsors of the 2013 ONE Travel Conference were MasterCard Worldwide, South Coast Plaza, Bloomington MN Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mall of America, Brand USA, CenterCal Properties, Certified Folder Display, Costa Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Essentially America, Essential USA/China, Fashion Island and Irvine Spectrum, Go West Summit, Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau, Mandala Research, OutletBound.com, Shop America Magazine, The Cultural Traveler Guide, TravMedia, US Travel Association’s National Council of Attractions (NCA), Visit California and Visit Newport Beach.
ONE Travel Conference 2013 Advisory Committee
Bloomington MN CVB, Bonnie Carlson and Jan Kroells
California Academy of Sciences, Richard Peterson
CJF Marketing International, Carolyn Feimster
Costa Mesa CVB, Paulette Lombardi-Fries
Craig Realty Group, Peggy Ziglin
Houston First, Sharon Adams
LA Tourism, Michael McDowell
Laguna Beach VCB, Judy Bijlani
Las Vegas CVA, Art Jimenez
Mall of America, Doug Killian
Mandala Research, Laura Mandala
Museum Stores Association, Beverly Barsook
Pat Lee & Associates, Pat Lee
Premium Outlets®/Simon®, Jean Guinup
South Coast Plaza, Werner Escher
TaxFree Shopping Texas, Carolyn Petty
Visit California, Karin Fish
Visit Sarasota, Virginia Haley and Lynn Hobeck-Bates
US Department of Commerce/OTTI, Julie Heizer
US Travel Association/NCA, Nan Marchand Beauvois and Michael Martin
ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining and Cultural & Heritage Tourism is produced annually by Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. The Conference brings together leaders in the travel industry to focus on Tourism Business Development, speaking with ONE Voice. For more information, visit ONETravelConference.com or call 843.341.6392.
Shop America Alliance is the travel trade organization representing hundreds of the premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers, museum stores and outlets in North America. Founded in 1998, Shop America Alliance co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook, publishes Shop America Magazine and markets more than 175 shopping tours in 40 cities. For more information, visit shopamericatours.com or call 707.224.3795.
US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is the travel trade association with a mission to market U.S. cultural and heritage tourism experiences. USCHT represents leading U.S. tourism destinations, attractions and travel partners engaged in marketing U.S. cultural and heritage to travelers throughout the United States and around the world, co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook and sponsors market research on the Cultural and Heritage Traveler. For more information, visit USCHT.com and TheCulturalTraveler.com or call 843.341.6392.