CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Nevada's newly revived Governor's Conference on Tourism will honor former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, whose vision and foresight led to creating the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki announced today.
Bryan, also a former Nevada governor, will be honored Dec. 8 at a luncheon during the conference at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno. Early Bird Governor's Conference registration is $145 through Oct. 31, a $100 saving, and is available online.
"Senator Bryan possessed the vision and foresight to recognize in the early 1980s that Nevada offered much more besides gaming to draw visitors, but lacked a cohesive force to promote those activities, events and attractions," Krolicki, NCOT chair, said. "We have a statewide tourism network that promotes rural Nevada as well as urban areas because Richard Bryan got it. He understood that a state tourism agency was essential and made it happen."
Shortly after taking office as Nevada's governor in 1983, Bryan proposed creating NCOT, funded by the room tax, to promote non-gaming attractions that would appeal to a wider variety of visitors and generate more revenue for the entire state. He was re-elected in 1986 and later was elected to the U.S. Senate.
NCOT revived the Governor's Conference after a two-year hiatus necessitated by the recession, which had curtailed funding for the annual event, last held in December 2007 in Las Vegas.
"Our tourism industry partners and colleagues asked us to bring back the Governor's Conference, and we are producing a new event at less cost," NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. "A streamlined program will zero in on issues that concern the tourism industry in tough economic times, spanning two days instead of three and cutting other costs with teamwork." For example, NCOT and the University of Nevada, Reno, are sharing expertise to spare expense, with UNR handling Governor's Conference registration in exchange for complimentary advertising in NCOT's Nevada Magazine of its Sm@rt conferenceon social media Dec. 8-10 in Reno.
Conference activities begin Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. with a general session, "The Economic Outlook for Nevada's Target Market," analyzing what affects the economies of Nevada and surrounding states, which supply most of the visitors. The Dec. 8 general session will feature CEOs and senior officials of Nevada resort-casinos revealing strategic plans for 2011 and beyond.
Other conference sessions will feature award-winning tourism campaign and travel research expert Dr. Bill Siegel of Longwoods International sharing tips on cutting through clutter and driving sales to one's business to enhance the bottom line, and John Packer, vice president of TNS Global custom research firm, speaking about measuring return on investment.
Industry panels Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 will cover hot topics for tourism, including: shifting promotional activities to better communicate with today's traveler, reallocating spending to reach target audiences where travelers spend time and the power of partnership marketing.
Full conference details for sponsorship, current agenda, registration and speaker information are available at GovernorsConference.org.