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Thought Leaders in the Shopping, Dining and Cultural-Heritage Tourism Meet at the ONE Travel Conference 2012

Program to Promote Partnership and Experiential Travel was held January 15-17, 2012 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida Orlando, Florida. Thought leaders in the Shopping, Dining and Cultural-Heritage Tourism sectors came together for the successful second annual ONE Travel Conference on Shopping, Dining and Cultural Tourism, January 15-17, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The theme of the conference was “Creating Coopertition and Connections!” Keynote presenters included Roger Dow, President and CEO, US Travel Association; Julie Heizer, Acting Director, US Department of Commerce/OTTI; Chris Thompson, CEO, VISIT FLORIDA, Gary Sain, CEO, Visit Orlando and Beverly Anderson, Vice President, American Express. They were joined by more than 50 influential presenters and over 175 delegates from throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Qatar and UK for three days of executive level idea exchange, partnership development, SASI-ONE Awards for innovative marketing and Mobile Workshop Tours with shopping, dining and cultural trend setters in Sarasota, Orlando and Winter Park. New this year was a Tour Operator Roundtable Breakfast with an opportunity to meet with eleven leading tour operators. 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. With the establishment of Brand USA growth in international inbound travel, along with the ongoing economic recovery fueling domestic travel, the conference focused on addressing new opportunities for business development and growth for the travel industry. “The ONE Travel Conference was a win/win for all involved,” said Rosemary McCormick, President of Shop America Alliance and co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference. “Experiential travel is what consumers want today, more than just ‘heads in beds.’ Several research studies presented at the conference underscore the synergy between shopping, dining and cultural-heritage travel. At the ONE Travel Conference, we explored and celebrated the best practices in promoting these important travel sectors. The program, developed with input from our advisory committee of industry leaders, focused on delivering ROI through ‘Creating Coopertition and Connections’.” “Our goal is to continue to unify these powerful travel industry segments so we can speak with ONE voice on the importance of promoting these top travel experiences. They are key economic drivers and job providers, “stated Sheila Armstrong, Executive Director of the US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and co-producer of the ONE Travel Conference. “Brand USA’s program provides new and exciting national and international marketing opportunities. Delegates at the ONE Travel Conference, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), shopping, dining and cultural-heritage leaders along with international tourism partners learned about many unique opportunities to shape the new initiatives that will benefit all.” “The Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance (C&HTA) is pleased to take a role in planning and promoting the ONE Travel Conference,“ states Jo Ann Haden Miller, Director of Consumer Markets of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the C&HTA Steering Committee Co-Chair. “Our cultural and heritage partners are industry leaders who look forward to sharing their expertise and best practices with this expanded audience and developing new partnerships.” Gary Sain, President and CEO of Visit Orlando states, “We were pleased to welcome the ONE Travel Conference to Orlando and to be a partner in the planning and promoting of this important industry event. Orlando is internationally known for its world class theme parks. Hosting the ONE Travel Conference was an opportunity for us to showcase Orlando’s wide array of superb shopping, trend setting dining and rich collection of cultural and heritage treasures.” At the SASI-ONE Breakfast, Tuesday, January 17th, 22 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. The awards are sponsored by CenterCal Properties in partnership with Shop America Alliance. SASI-ONE Awards recognize prominent leaders in the tourism industry for their vision and commitment to developing shopping and cultural tourism. Along with the 8 SASI-ONE Gold Awards and 9 SASI-ONE Merit Awards for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence, 5 SASI-ONE Special Award Recipients were honored in the categories of Shopping Tourism Retailer of the Year, TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year, Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year, Cultural Traveler Trailblazer Award and 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. The Conference also included a Silent Auction that raised $5,670 to benefit the Destination & Travel Foundation Educational Initiatives and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida, providing arts and culture support in the seven counties within Central Florida. Sponsors of the 2012 ONE Travel Conference included: American Express, CenterCal, CrossBorder Shopping, CA, Essentially America, Gray Line, Las Vegas Conference and Visitors Authority, Mandala Research, LLC, Milanguages, Reebok, Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shop America Magazine, The Cultural Traveler Guide, The Florida Mall, TravelMole, TravMedia, VISIT FLORIDA and Visit Orlando. Plans are in development for the 2013 ONE Travel Conference to be held at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa California in February 2013. For more information, contact the ONE Travel Conference producers: Rosemary McCormick, Shop America Alliance, 707.224.3795, shopamericatours@aol.com or Sheila Armstrong, US Cultural Heritage Tourism Marketing Council, 843.341.6392, CulturalTraveler@aol.com or visit ONETravelConference.com ***** ONE Travel Conference on Shopping, Dining & Cultural Tourism 2012 Advisory Committee Sharon Adams, Houston First Corporation Autumn Ames, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida Beverly Barsook, Museum Store Association Nancy Hahn Bono, Visit Orlando® Liz Dion, Orlando Premium Outlets®/Simon® Werner Escher, South Coast Plaza Amanda Font, Visit California Jo Ann Haden-Miller, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau Virginia Haley, Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau Julie Heizer, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel And Tourism Industries Laura Mandala, Mandala Research Nan Marchand Beauvois, U.S. Travel Association William Nix, Palm Beach County Cultural Council Terry Olson, Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Carolyn Petty, TaxFree Shopping Ltd. Tori Sullivan, Gator Tours (Gray Line Affiliate) Jonelle Tannahill, Visit California Rob Varley, Florida Space Coast 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 The Power of Partnership, speaking with ONE Voice. The 2013 annual conference will be held in Costa Mesa, California. 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 200 shopping tours in 40 cities. For more information, visit shopamericatours.com or call 707.224.3795. U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is a 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. 

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