Governor’s Tourism Conference to be held March 31 in Dover


The Delaware Tourism Office hosted the 2011 Governor’s Delaware Tourism Conference on Thursday, March 31, 2011, at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. Over 150 tourism industry leaders, businesses and affiliates participated in educational sessions to discover new ways to navigate through industry trends and challenges, effectively compete for event bids, and enhance the Delaware destination brand. Governor Jack Markell and Cabinet Secretary Alan Levin were keynote speakers. The Governor presented three distinguished awards for outstanding contributions to the Tourism industry.

“It’s great to see the Tourism industry come together to seek new, inventive ways to support each other and grow the Tourism business in Delaware,” said Governor Jack Markell. “This industry is working whole-heartedly to attract, welcome, and serve Delaware visitors, which benefits businesses throughout the state and enhances the quality of life of Delawareans.”

“The Tourism and Travel industry touches all aspects of products and services in the First State and serves as a marketing tool to attract new businesses to Delaware,” stated Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “Through collaborative industry efforts and leveraged resources, we are making progress in growing the Tourism industry in Delaware.”

“This conference was an opportunity for industry affiliates to gain new insights and fresh approaches that can be collectively applied to the Tourism industry and individual business goals to proactively prepare for the future,” said Linda Parkowski, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office.
The 2011 Governor’s Tourism Award recipients are as follows:
· William A. Sullivan received the Roy Klein Hall of Fame Award for his long-term contribution and leadership in the Delaware tourism industry.
· The Host Our Coast initiative received the Tourism Award of the Year for their creative approach to electronic marketing, which resulted in a successful regional media campaign.
· The Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau received the Tourism Economic Impact Award for contributing $1.8 million dollars to New Castle County through their transportation incentive program.

During the one-day statewide conference, participants heard from a panel of industry experts in sales and marketing including Chuck Ghoorah, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Cvent; Joan Eisenstodt, Chief Strategist of Eisenstodt Associates LLC; and Gus Vonderheide, Vice President of Group Sales, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, North America, on the latest meetings and conventions industry trends and challenges. Dave Sherman, professional speaker and trainer, conducted a dynamic workshop on how to team up to develop a compelling destination brand, while building individual business results. International sports consultant, Dale Neuburger of TSE Consulting shared best practices to effectively compete for sporting event bids. The conference concluded with Rick Lewis — entertainer, speaker and author – sharing some innovative tips on how breaking the rules can lead to success.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.