Homepage 2019-07-19T17:49:06+00:00

2019 Arizona Governor’s Conference On Tourism

July 22-24, 2019
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85745

The Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism is the premier educational and networking event in the state for travel professionals and destination marketers.

Tourism is Arizona’s No. 1 export industry, and each year GCOT provides its attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers, learn from expert panelists, draw inspiration from nationally renowned speakers, and discover cutting-edge products and services.

In addition to professional development, GCOT is an occasion to celebrate.

The Taste of Southern Arizona Reception—the conference’s official welcome gathering—is a social dine-around that showcases cuisine from some of Arizona’s best chefs and restaurants.

And the Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala, which brings Day 2’s activities to a festive close, recognizes the achievements of the marketers, ambassadors and innovators who each year propel Arizona’s travel industry to new heights.

Questions? Please contact us at (602) 542-0065 or info@azgcot.com

Selfies In The Arizona Desert
Traditional Native American Dance Urban
Arizona Golf Courses


Registration for 2019 GCOT is Now Available.

Early Bird: $375 available through May 31st

Full Conference: $425

Register Now

For more information or questions, please contact us at:

Events & Activities

Taste of Southern Arizona Reception

Usher in GCOT 2019 with your travel-industry peers at this casual networking event and dine-around, which showcases cuisine and beverages from some of Arizona’s best restaurants, resorts and F&B purveyors. The conference’s opening evening also features a silent auction and sponsor exhibits.

Hosted by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association

Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala

Tourism is the beating heart of Arizona and the single biggest export this state has to offer. Each and every one of you contribute to the success of tourism in our state. To celebrate the heart of what we do, wear red to the gala this year to show pride in your destination and to honor tourism’s impact on our great state.

The Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala—featuring a reception and sit-down dinner—brings together attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors for an evening of networking and celebration. This is where the coveted Governor’s Tourism Awards are bestowed on the individuals, communities and organizations that have elevated Arizona’s tourism industry during the course of the past year.  The Arizona Office of Tourism presents the Governor’s Tourism Awards to recognize outstanding accomplishments by individuals, communities and organizations within Arizona’s travel-and-hospitality industry.

This year’s emcee for the evening will be Jill Kimmel, the host of the “What A Mouth” comedy series.  She is also the Executive Producer of the Double Down Comedy Festival, and recently made her stand-up comedy television debut on “Comedy Central Presents: Hart of the City.”

Nominations are open now – Download GCOT 2019 Submission Categories and the GCOT 2019 Submission Rules

2018 Governor’s Tourism Award Winners

Outstanding Marketing Campaign – Rural – Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau – Sedona Northern Lights Events

Outstanding Marketing Campaign – Urban – Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa – Nirvana

Outstanding Tourism Partnership – Rural – Local First Arizona Foundation – WeekendZona

Outstanding Tourism Partnership – Urban – Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade & Trail’s End Festival

Outstanding Arizona Culture and Historic Preservation – Hopi Festival of Arts & Culture – Museum of Northern Arizona

Tourism Spirit of Service – Shonto Community Governance

Tourism Hall of Fame – Roger Naylor

2019 GCOT Silent Auction

Highlight your business or hotel to conference attendees by donating to the 2019 GCOT Silent Auction.  All proceeds benefit the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association.  Download the form Silent Auction Packet 2019.


JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85745

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa welcomes corporate gatherings and leisure travelers with superb service and a plethora of luxury amenities.  Enjoy the Arnold Palmer-designed desert golf courses, pamper yourself at our day spa or indulge in delicious cuisine at our buzzworthy hotel restaurants.  Events like their nightly tequila toast are always popular.  Guests can hike and bike the trails that start at our resort or explore Pima Air & Space Museum, the University of Arizona and Old Tucson Studios.

The conference room block is now closed.  Visit JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass for other options.

2019 Conference Schedule

Monday, July 22, 2019

GCOT CARES  | 1:30 p.m. RSVP: lallen@tourism.az.gov
Registration Opens | 3:00 p.m.
First Timer’s Reception | 3:30 p.m. RSVP: jtejeda@tourism.az.gov
General Session: State of the US Travel Industry | 4:00 p.m.
Taste of Arizona Southern Reception | 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors | 7:30 a.m.
General Session: AOT Update, Debbie Johnson| 8:45 a.m.
General Session: The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling, Kindra Hall | 9:15 a.m.
Morning Break |10:30 a.m.

Concurrent Workshop Sessions |11:00 a.m.
The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling Sales Breakout
Communicating Through a Crisis: Making Sound Decisions When Disaster Strikes
It Takes a Village (and a vision): The Essential First Steps to Building a Tourism Program
Maximizing Your Presence on TripAdvisor’s New Social Platform
Download Descriptions

Conference Luncheon: Tourism Tuesday Trivia |12:00 p.m.

Concurrent Workshop Sessions|2:00 p.m.
Mobile Location Data and the Arizona County Visitor
California’s New Privacy Law – How to Comply and Why It’s Important
What Are They Thinking? An Interactive Workshop on Visitor Perception
FAM Foundations: Get the Results You Want From Trade & Media Familiarization Tours
Download Descriptions

Afternoon Break |3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Workshop Sessions|3:30 p.m.
How to Use Social Media Insights and Tools to Propel Growth
From the Eye of the Consumer – Effective Advertising
Five Ways to Make Friends with Google
China Readiness 2.0
Download Descriptions

Conference Reception | 5:00 p.m.
Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala | 6:00 p.m.
Attire: Don’t Forget to Wear Red!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors | 7:45 a.m.

Industry Roundtables | 8:00 a.m.
Outdoor Recreation
Hotel / Lodging
Visitor’s Services

General Session: Leading Relationships, Steve McClatchy | 9:00 a.m.
Morning Break |10:15 a.m.
Closing Conference General Session: What’s Your Destination Story, Trevor Meers | 10:45 a.m.
Download Descriptions

For Roundtable information please email Joanna Tejeda at jtejeda@Tourism.AZ.gov.

2019 Speakers

Kindra Hall, President, Steller Collective

Kindra Hall is President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective, a consulting firm focused on the strategic application of storytelling to today’s communication challenges. Kindra is one of the most sought after keynote speakers trusted by global brands to deliver presentations and trainings that inspire teams and individuals to better communicate the value of their company, their products and their individuality through strategic storytelling.

What began as a storytelling assignment in 5th grade, grew into a passion for not only telling stories, but a mastery for teaching others the methods and science of storytelling so they can better tell their own.

She was a National Champion storyteller (yes, they have those), member of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network and has her master’s degree in communications where she conducted original research studying the role of storytelling in defining and revealing organizational culture.

Kindra is a former Director of Marketing and VP of Sales. Today, Kindra’s work can be seen at Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com and as a contributing editor for SUCCESS Magazine. Kindra’s message spans all industries and her clients include Facebook, Hilton Hotels, Tyson Foods, Target, Berkshire Hathaway and the Harvard Medical School. Her much anticipated book will be released by Harper Leadership in the fall of 2019. Regardless of the industry, Kindra has become a conference favorite for her clients. The blend of inspiration and education in her keynotes mean that audiences leave feeling excited and equipped to finally put their stories to work in a tangible way.

Steve McClatchy, President, Alleer

Steve McClatchy is a keynote speaker, workshop leader and author of the New York Times Bestseller Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example.  Steve has spoken before thousands of audiences on the topics of leadership, performance, personal growth, and work/life engagement.  His client list includes the NFL, Google, Pfizer, Microsoft, Disney, NBC Universal, Accenture, John Deere, Under Armour, Wells Fargo and Campbell’s Soup.  He is a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard and Wharton. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, Fox News, NBC’s Today Show and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Investor’s Business Daily.  Steve’s passion is for continual improvement and believes that when we stop learning, gaining experience and achieving goals we stop living.  Steve is best known for his passion, sense of humor and energetic personality.  You will be captivated, motivated and truly inspired by his unique and practical approach to effectiveness and success.

Trevor Meers, Editorial Content Director, Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio

Trevor Meers has worked as a travel journalist and content marketer for more than 25 years. He worked for 18 years at Meredith Corporation, where he served as Editorial Content Director of the Meredith Travel Marketing Content Studio. There he led a team creating multiple state travel guides, integrated marketing programs and the lifestyle magazine Midwest Living. Along with print programs, Meers has led production of digital microsites, TV segments and short documentary films. Articles and content campaigns under Meers’ direction have been recognized three times by the Society of American Travel Writers for best general-interest travel content, and the Content Studio’s custom tourism work has won multiple recognitions in ESTO’s Mercury Awards and the national FOLIO awards. Meers holds a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Drake University. He currently serve as Director of Strategic Marketing for The Graham Group based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Sponsorship Information

Sponsorship Opportunities & Information For The
2019 Arizona Governor’s Conference On Tourism

Become a sponsor and take advantage of a full spectrum of cost-effective exhibition and advertising opportunities.

The multi-tiered sponsorship program for GCOT 2019 allows organizations to choose the exposure opportunity that best suits their budget and promotional needs. All sponsorship levels are cash-only participation and may be a cooperative partnership between no more than two organizations, each contributing an equal amount.

Diamond $20,000
Platinum $15,000
Gold $10,000
Bronze $5,000
Copper $2,500
Exhibitor $1,500

Download the 2019 Sponsor Packet and 2019 Sponsor Form and register today!

2019 Diamond Sponsor

2019 Platinum Sponsor

2019 Gold Sponsors

2019 Bronze Sponsors

2019 Copper Sponsors

2019 Exhibitor Level Sponsors

AAA Via Magazine

Arizona Highways

Arizona State Parks & Trails


Cactus League Baseball Association

Casual Astronaut

Certified Folder Display Service, Inc.


Desert Diamond Casinos & Hotel

Destination Travel Network (DTN)

Discover Gila County, Inc.

Essentially America

International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards

ISM Raceway

Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality


Madden Media

National Park Trips Media – Grand Canyon Journal

Navajo Nation Shopping Centers

Old Tucson Company


Outside Magazine & OutsideOnline

Pat Davis Design Group, Inc.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority

ROX Media Group

Simpleview, Inc.

Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance

Standard Textile

Star Tribune Media Company

State Farm Stadium

Sunrise Ski Park

Tempe Tourism Office

Unicomm – Travel & Adventure Show Series


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