Welcome to the 2018 Arizona Governor’s Conference On Tourism Website

July 18-20, 2018
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
5402 E. Lincoln Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

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 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 GCOT will open in Spring 2018.

For more information or questions, please contact us at:

Events & Activities

Taste of Arizona Reception

Usher in GCOT 2018 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

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.

Governor’s Tourism Award Nominations

Each 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.

2017 Governor’s Tourism Award Winners

Outstanding Marketing Campaign – Rural – The City of Prescott – Take Another Day

Outstanding Marketing Campaign – Urban – The Town of Fountain Hills – Experience Fountain Hills

Outstanding Tourism Partnership – Rural – Arizona State Parks and Trails – Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park

Outstanding Tourism Partnership – Urban – Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee

Outstanding Arizona Culture and Historic Preservation – The Grand Canyon Railway – Restoration of Engine 29

Tourism Spirit of Service – Bob Hall and Angela Moser, Winslow Visitor Center

Tourism Hall of Fame – Russell True, White Stallion Ranch, Tucson

Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award – Win Holden, Arizona Highways, Publisher


Bring your innovative marketing ideas to the masses. Enter your idea in our GRAND PITCH for your chance to win FREE media buys from Arizona Office of Tourism media partners. Four lucky finalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a team of judges at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

2017 Grand Pitch Winners

Rural Destinations and Attractions – The City of Sierra Vista

Urban Destinations and Attractions – Visit Mesa


JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Stay tuned for information on booking your conference stay at 2018 GCOT.

Stay Tuned For The Conference Room Block Rates

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

The JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa delivers the perfect blend of luxury and comfort for your Arizona visit. Perched on 125 acres of immaculately manicured grounds in the scenic Sonoran Desert, our hotel sets the tone for complete relaxation.  Take advantage of our resort’s unparalleled services and facilities during your Scottsdale visit; we offer a full-service spa, exceptional on-site dining and a heated outdoor pool. Golf enthusiasts will be delighted with our resort’s Camelback Golf Club, which showcases 36 championship holes.

2017 Conference Schedule

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Registration Opens | 3:00 p.m.
General Session – Profile of the Arizona Visitor | 4:00 p.m.
Taste of Arizona Reception | 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors | 7:15 a.m.
General Session: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger | 8:00 a.m.
General Session: The State of Tourism in Arizona |9:15 a.m.
Morning Break |10:15 a.m.
Concurrent Workshop Sessions |10:45 a.m.
Session One: Redefining the Female Traveler
Session Two: Event Intelligence: What We Know About the Impact of Large Events to a Destination
Session Three: The Importance of Global Air Service Enhancement to Arizona
Arizona Storytellers Luncheon with Megan Finnerty |12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Workshop Sessions|2:00 p.m.
Session One: Lessons in Content Creation: Have a Strategy, Tap Local Sources, Tell One Story
Session Two: Winning Visitors with the Power of Influencers
Session Three: A Conversation with Tourism Leaders
Session Four: Fab FAMS: Conceiving and Conducting Familiarization Tours That Get Results
Afternoon Break |3:00 p.m.
Concurrent Workshop Sessions|3:30 p.m.
Session One: The Evolution of Media Buying
Session Two: International Marketing: How to Engage with Brand USA
Session Three: Film Tourism: How to Make Your Community “Camera Ready”
Session Four: The Never-Ending Quest for Visual Content
Conference Reception | 5:00 p.m.
Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala | 6:00 p.m.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Continental Breakfast with the Exhibitors | 8:00 a.m.
General Session: World Tour 2017 & The State of the International Traveler|8:45 a.m.
Morning Break |9:45 a.m.
Rotating Breakout Sessions (China, France, Mexico) |10:15 a.m.
Luncheon: GRAND PITCH! |11:30 a.m.
Rotating Breakout Sessions (Canada, Germany, UK) |1:45 p.m.
Conference Concludes | 3:00 p.m.

Click here to view the full conference schedule

Our Speakers

Click Learn More to view available presentations from GCOT Speakers!


Sponsorship Information

Thank you to the 2017 Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Copper Sponsors

Thank you to the 2017 Exhibitors!

Arizona Highways Magazine


Arizona State Parks



Casual Astronaut, Inc.


Dorado Brand Studio

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon University Hotel

Midwest Living/Meredith Travel Marketing


National Park Trips Media

Navajo Tourism Department

Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc.

Outside Magazine

Old Tucson Company

Pandora Media



Standard Textile

Sunset Publishing

Tempe Tourism Office

Travel and Adventure Show Series


True West Publishing, Inc.

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort

University of Phoenix Stadium


Contact Us

Have a question? Please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you soon.