Arkansas show to focus on future tourism trends

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Predicting trends in tourism as far in the future as 2020 will be discussed by Suzanne Cook, the Travel Industry Association of America's senior vice president for research, during the 27th annual Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism, which is set for March 18 to 20 here.

Her presentation will occur during the general session from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. on March 19.

The conference's theme is "Marketing Arkansas: The Bigger Picture." Meetings will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Presiding will be Richard Davies, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, and Joe David Rice, director of the Division of Tourism.

Cook, who is based in Washington, will be among a cadre of guest speakers, mostly from the travel industry.

A review of Arkansas' tourism marketing plans will be conducted by representatives of the division of tourism and its ad agency, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Little Rock.

The following day, Ed McWilliams, senior research manager of D.K. Shifflet & Assoc., Falls Church, Va., will profile Arkansas' tourism efforts and those of surrounding states.

In addition, there will be presentations on electronic commerce by Susan Sweeney, president of Connex Inc., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and the theme Seduction of the Media will be addressed by Alisa Bailey, commissioner of West Virginia's Bureau of Commerce and Division of Tourism.

Furthermore, information on the Baby Boomer and Generation X travel markets will be provided by Clint Swindall, president of Verbalocity Inc., San Antonio, and the art of running successful tourist information centers will be addressed by Christine Hull, tourism services manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg.

There also will be advice from motivational consultants. Full conference registration (sessions and meals) costs $135.

Information is available from Nancy Clark, assistant director of the Division of Tourism, (501) 682-1120.

Conference hotel rates follow: Excelsior, $79 per night, (501) 375-5000; Doubletree, $89, (501) 372-4371, and Capital, from $121, (501) 374-7474.

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