Welcome to AZGCOT

Welcome Letter from Governor Ducey

Location Map – JW Marriott Camelback Inn

Complimentary WiFi (Network: JWMarriott_CONFERENCE | Password: GCOT22)

1:00PM Registration Opens | Reg Desk – Arizona Ballroom

1:30PM SAFE Action Project Training | Paradise Ballroom Salons 6 & 7

The SAFE (Safeguarding All From Exploitation) Action Project is a tourism training program designed to elevate awareness and action within the industry to combat human trafficking.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic and welcome visitors to our state it’s vital that the travel, hospitality and tourism industry has the knowledge and skills to recognize and properly report potential human trafficking situations. Join the SAFE Action Project for training to recognize, report, and ultimately end human trafficking in Arizona. Each training attendee will receive a certificate of SAFE Action Certification.

2:30PM General Session: AOT State of the State Tourism Industry Update | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

AOT’s annual presentation will offer a brief look at the research data, recovery programs, marketing plans, and advertising strategies that contributed to a successful year. AOT will also share our strategic vision and path forward for the industry. View the full annual report HERE.

3:30PM General Session: Adaptation Advantage: Leading in Today’s Travel & Tourism Industry | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

When Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley wrote The Adaptation Advantage (April 2020, Wiley) they did not realize how prescient their advice and predictions would become when the coronavirus global pandemic required an immediate and dramatic shift in work, learning, and leading.

Predictions they made for the next three to five years, occurred over the following three to five weeks. Overnight companies remapped supply chains, pivoted product lines, and transformed to distributed work-from-home organization. Entire university and school systems adopted virtual delivery exclusively, something many said they would never do. This new normal, or normal of now, requires a focus on culture, purpose, trust, and psychological safety as we embark on the largest social experiment in human history. The virus has accelerated our future of work, expedited our human transformation to digital creating, and placed an even greater burden on leaders to inspire and motivate human potential. Even when the virus subsides, many of our new ways of working will remain and we will be the better for this forced transformation.

Keynote Sponsor: 

4:30PM Conference Reception | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Join AOT and your industry colleagues to enjoy a conference kick-off reception in the Exhibit Hall from 4:30-6:30pm featuring Arizona wines from the Arizona Wine Growers Association and local craft beer from the Arizona Craft Brewer’s Guild.

Reception Sponsor:

8:00AM Breakfast with the Exhibitors | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Breakfast Sponsor: 

8:45AM General Session: Workforce Crisis Data Insights and Leading the Way Forward | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

The American workforce is undergoing significant upheaval with a record high of more than 9 million job openings. The travel and hospitality sector has been the hardest hit in our nation’s workforce crisis. From frontline employees to building a leadership pipeline, nearly every business in our industry has been impacted.

Join Angie Briggs, U.S. Travel’s vice president of industry relations, as she discusses the many layers impacting the American workforce along with the latest data and insights.

Keynote Sponsor: 

9:15AM General Session: Embrace The Constraints Why Adding Constraints Sparks Creativity, Inspires Action and Builds Better Marketing | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

Sure. Covid-19 created some constraints. We are constrained to our desks, our homes, our families, and Zoom calls. We’re constrained to virtual events, virtual sales calls, virtual networking, virtual happy hours. For some, all these constraints severely affected our businesses. For others, the constraints became their fuel for growth.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that constraints breed creativity. In this exhilarating and inspiring 60-minute session, Andrew Davis will break down the five limitations you can add to any initiative to drive better outcomes.

You’ll learn how one non-profit turned its shutdown into millions of dollars in donations. Andrew will reveal how a small bet with massive restraints resulted in a best-selling book. He’ll even show you how one business beat the pandemic by snooping through old SEC filings.

More importantly, you’ll walk away ready to apply smart constraints to your business: limitations that result in more significant success.

Keynote Sponsor: 

10:30AM Morning Break with the Exhibitors | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Break Sponsor: 

11:00AM Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Now that you’ve learned all about The Cube of Creativity in this morning’s keynote session, it’s time to put it into practice! In this interactive, fun, and productive breakout session, keynote speaker Andrew Davis will help you craft the perfect creative challenge. We’ll tackle the most significant obstacles facing you and your team with nothing but a dry-erase board and a few marketers. Whether you’re marketing a destination, hosting an event, or own a hotel in town – let’s get creative.

Bring your constraints!

As Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation grows in popularity, the tourism community needs to do its part to understand what resources are available to promote responsible OHV activities. Learn from stakeholders like Arizona State Parks & Trails, Arizona Game & Fish and the Bureau of Land Management to know what resources are available to visitors to help manage the OHV community and promote a more responsible attitude towards the use of motorized vehicles on public lands.


  • Matthew Eberhart, State Off-Highway Vehicle Coordinator, Arizona State Parks & Trails
  • Kim Jackson, Boating & OHV Education Program Manager, Arizona Game & Fish
  • Tammy Pike, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona
  • Brian Poturalski, Recreation Program Manager, US Forest Service, Coconino Forest Division

Moderator: Danielle Fowles-McNiven, Assistant Director, Tread Lightly

Join our marketing and research teams to learn more about how AOT determined high-value marketing personas through an extensive research project, how we are integrating this intelligence to create more effective campaigns, and how you can use this data to inform marketing.


  • Colleen Floyd, Director of Research, Arizona Office of Tourism
  • Lizzy Lowy, Director of Client Services, Off Madison Ave
  • David Reichbach, Senior Director of Analytics and Data Security, Destination Analysts

For the first time since 2018, AOT’s international representatives will be in attendance at GCOT.  Moderated by Florian Herrmann, CEO of Herrmann Global, this session will provide the audience with AOT representatives’ insight into the international travel market, trends, unique market conditions and traveler sentiment in each of their countries.  Audience Q&A will be available to close out the session.


  • Barbara Boltoukhine, B World Communication, France
  • Mauricio Gonzalez, CWW, Mexico
  • Axel Kaus, Kaus Media Services, Germany
  • Sarah Sheehan, Hills Balfour, United Kingdom
  • Charmaine Singh, ReachGlobal, Canada

Moderator: Florian Herrmann, CEO, Herrmann Global

12:00PM Conference Networking Lunch | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

Please spend lunch networking with your industry peers, have open dialogue, and be open to innovative discussions and camaraderie. Thank you to Verde Canyon Railroad and Grand Canyon Railway.

Lunch Sponsor:

2:00PM Concurrent Breakout Sessions

No matter where you are in your planning process, this engaging workshop provides you with an actionable tool to effectively implement Appreciate AZ education within your destination, business, organization or enterprise. Join Andrew Leary, Director of Sustainable Tourism at Leave No Trace, for this one of a kind workshop. Attendees will walk away with a physical copy of the planning tool as well as the know-how for reducing recreation and visitation impacts in their corner of Arizona.

Speaker: Andrew Leary, Director of Sustainable Tourism & Partnerships, Leave No Trace

Your followers are hungry for what’s new, what’s next, and they want to see it now. But how they engage on TikTok versus Instagram versus Facebook and even YouTube differs. And the pressure to deliver great, consistent content can feel overwhelming. 

That’s exactly why we’re here. Our panelists will share content strategies to help keep your feed fresh and engaging. We’ll break down ideas both big and small and explain content types that work well by platform, so you can leave with new ideas to test and try for yourself.


  • Katelyn Garcia, Education & Outreach Director, Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary
  • Lee McLaughlin, VP Marketing, Visit Tucson
  • Jesus Vicent, Editor-In-Chief, Welcome To Arizona

Moderator: Jordyn Walworth, Social Media Marketing Manager, Arizona Office of Tourism

An inside view of what today’s journalists and editors are looking for in a pitch that grabs their attention, and ultimately, earns their coverage. Be sure to bring any ideas you already have, as we’ll lead you through crafting a pitch, with examples and guidance on featuring your particular destination or tourism asset. From ideas to execution, this session will have you pitching in no time!


  • Shanti Lerner, Reporter, The Arizona Republic/AZCentral
  • Janet Mick, President & Founder, IT Public Relations
  • Delainey Noe, Producer, NBC 12 News – Arizona Midday

Moderator: Josh Coddington, Director of Communications and Public Information Officer, Arizona Office of Tourism

Responsible tourism is about reducing social and economic inequalities and building awareness. Centered on internal and external commitments that are not always perceived as being measurable, join this session to understand concepts and insights on how organizations internally should implement strategies to operationalize DEI within their company culture; and externally on how destinations should look to execute strategies in their local hospitality community.

Speaker: Melissa Cherry, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Miles Partnership and Tourism Diversity Matters Board Member

3:00PM Afternoon Break with the Exhibitors | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Break Sponsor: 

3:30PM Concurrent Breakout Sessions

As international markets reopen, now is the perfect time for partners to evaluate their approach to the Mexico market.  This session, featuring state, city and partner perspectives, will shed light on what to consider to tap in the most important market to the state – what to do, where to do it, how to stretch your dollars and how to approach the drive market vs the fly market.

Join us in this session to learn more about this important market.

Speaker: Mauricio Gonzalez, CEO, CWW Mexico

In preparation for the FY23 Rural Cooperative Marketing Program, the AOT marketing team and media partners will discuss additions to the program, new media offerings and open the floor for questions. A companion networking session will be available promptly following the session for participants to talk in-depth with media planners and participating media partners about strategy and plan offerings. 


  • Colleen Floyd, Director of Research, Arizona Office of Tourism
  • Simon Caballero, Date Sales Specialist, Near
  • Jenna Rowell, Director of Rural Development, Local First Arizona
  • Kaci Blatchford, Account Supervisor, Casual Astronaut
  • Adam Bridgeford, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Herrmann Global
  • Chelsea Edwards, Sales Representative, Bandwango
  • Whitney Coleman, Account Strategist, Madden Media
  • Meredith Tekin, President, IBCCES
  • Becky Blaine, Deputy Director, Arizona Office of Tourism

What’s the state of ROI and attribution in 2022? As privacy policies become more strict and direct causation becomes more untenable, DMOs are struggling to build data analysis and measurement programs that accurately capture their ROI. Add in the additional pressures introduced over the past two years and it’s easy to see why traditional ideas about ROI and attribution may be in need of reinvention.

Join this discussion about whether the time has come to rethink ROI and what it means to the modern, post-pandemic DMO. Matt Clement of Madden Media, an industry thought leader on the topic, will cover issues affecting the ROI topic including new technologies, sustainability, DE&I initiatives, new funding models and more.

Speaker: Matt Clement, Managing Partner, Madden Media

There are no points for going it alone. By collaborating with motivated partners, aligning collective resources, and galvanizing community support even the biggest challenges can become achievable opportunities. This session will explore best practices and case studies to illustrate how local and regional collaboration can transform how you tackle projects in your destination.

Speaker: Sara Meaney, Principal, Coraggio Group

5:00PM Conference Reception with Exhibitors | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Reception Sponsor:

6:00PM Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

2022 Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala where we will recognize the outstanding marketers, innovators and ambassadors of the Arizona tourism industry. This sit-down dinner affair is a wonderful celebration of our industry and a great opportunity to network with fellow attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.

8:00AM Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors | Arizona Ballroom Salons F&G

Breakfast Sponsor: 

9:00AM General Session: AZ Economic Outlook & Gubernatorial Candidate Conversations | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

When public and private sector leaders want actionable insights into where the Arizona economy is headed, they often turn to renowned Arizona economist Jim Rounds. With both strong tourism metrics and potential headwinds facing the economy, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to invite Jim to share his latest economic outlook with our tourism audience.

And after Jim’s presentation, he’ll stay with us to moderate a discussion with Arizona gubernatorial candidates Karrin Taylor Robson and Marco Lopez, who will share their priorities and how each plan on supporting our tourism industry as governor.


  • Jim Rounds, President, Rounds Consulting Group – Moderator
  • Karrin Taylor Robson, Republican Candidate for Governor
  • Marco Lopez, Democratic Candidate for Governor

Keynote Sponsor:

10:00AM Morning Break | Foyer

Break Sponsor: 

10:15AM General Session: Visit Arizona Initiative Update & Round Two Q&A | Paradise Ballroom Salons 1-4

The Arizona Office of Tourism’s Visit Arizona Initiative Program is the largest investment in the state’s travel and tourism industry history. Tune in as AOT walks through this year’s programs and unveils the applications.

Speaker: Debbie Johnson, Director, Arizona Office of Tourism

11:15AM Conference Closing