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San Francisco Travel presents 2012 Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook & Marketing Conference

“San Francisco is golden - How do we really stack up?” is the question to be posed at the San Francisco Travel Association’s seventh annual Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook & Marketing Conference to be held on Tuesday, March 27, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

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Mar. 8, 2012 — “San Francisco is golden — How do we really stack up?” is the question to be posed at the San Francisco Travel Association’s seventh annual Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook & Marketing Conference to be held on Tuesday, March 27, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The program will run from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.

“With events like the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Stern Grove Festival, the US Open and the America’s Cup coming to town, San Francisco has never looked more golden. But with the economy in a transitional phase, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of trends and new developments in the tourism industry,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “We have planned a full day of in-depth programming that will give attendees valuable insights and tools they can use in this still-recovering economy.”

Presented by the San Francisco Travel Foundation, the conference provides useful, high-level information about macro-level trends affecting travel and tourism in Northern California. Some 150-200 attendees are expected, primarily senior management in the Northern California visitor industry. Tourism is San Francisco’s largest industry, generating $8.3 billion in spending and employing over 67,000 people. Following opening remarks from D’Alessandro, David Bratton, managing partner of Destination Analysts, Inc., will present data for 2011 on the San Francisco visitor volume and spending.

The outlook for San Francisco’s hotel occupancy will be presented by Thomas Callahan, CPA, CRE, FRICS, MAI, co-president and chief executive officer-west for PKF Consulting & PKF Capital.

John Reyes, San Francisco Travel’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, will give an update on major renovations at Moscone Center.

Reyes will also moderate a panel on “What’s the Forecast for 2012/2013?” Panelists will include:

  • Greg Weiss, director of market strategy, Marriott International, Inc.
  • Pete Sittnick, managing partner, Waterbar/EPIC Roasthouse
  • Gordon Thompson, vice president, Cappa & Graham, Inc.
  • Terry MacRae, chief executive officer and owner, Hornblower Cruises & Events

San Francisco Travel Vice President-Tourism Tom Kiely and Kandace Bender, deputy airport director-communications and marketing at San Francisco International Airport, will discuss international tourism efforts.

The luncheon speaker will be Mark Barden, partner in consulting firm eatbigfish, discussing how challengers outwit leaders.

Lynn Bruni, San Francisco Travel’s director of consumer marketing, will moderate a panel on “Update and Outlook for the Leisure/Business Traveler. Panelists will include:

  • Chris McGinnis, director, Travel Skills Group, Inc.
  • Mark Mamber, national destination marketing organization (DMO) sales manager, TripAdvisor
  • Marc-Andre Roy, director of strategy and development, LACC-district, American Express Business Insights

“Strategic Partnership Opportunities” is the topic for a second panel moderated by Bruni. Panelists will include:

  • Brent Kocher, director of marketing, America’s Cup Event Authority
  • Steve Haines, executive director, Stern Grove Festival
  • David Shaw, director of communications, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
  • Carrie Davis, director of strategic alliances, San Francisco Travel

Angela Jackson, San Francisco Travel’s director of media relations-international will give an overview of domestic and international media relations trends and initiatives.

“Advertising and Publications-Integrating Traditional Marketing Methods with New Media Platforms” is the topic of a panel discussion moderated by Chris Clark, San Francisco Travel’s vice president of integrated marketing services. Panelists will include:

  • Tran Hang, head of travel industry-west, advertising sales and operations, Google
  • Carmella Spencer, senior director, marketing and account management, aRes Travel
  • Karin Mast, publisher, Miles Media
  • Dan Rosenbaum, manager of visitor experience marketing, San Francisco Travel

Matt Stiker, San Francisco Travel’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, will wrap up the conference with a presentation on “Upcoming Projects and the Value of Partnering with San Francisco Travel.”

Tickets to the seventh annual Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference are $175 (including lunch and a reception after the conference) for San Francisco Travel partners purchasing online. The price at the door and for non-partners is $185. For more information, contact Lisa Cleveland at (415) 227-2662 or lcleveland@sanfrancisco.travel.

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