If your business touches into the tourism industry, please join us for this year’s Tourism Summit, sponsored by the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission. Port Townsend is proud to host this annual regional one-day event at Fort Worden State Park in The Commons on Wednesday, October 19th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’ve attended in the past, you already know how valuable the information is to improve productivity, learn new skills about anticipating visitors’ expectations and just be better informed about tourism trends.

This marks the first year of the Washington Tourism Alliance’s presence at the Summit since the State closed its tourism office due to the State’s budget woes. New Interim Director Suzanne Fletcher will be on hand to kick off the Summit with information about the new organization and how businesses in our region can participate. Our region will be represented on the WTA board by Diane Schostak, director for the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau and me.

Sessions will be held throughout the day allowing you to tailor your time to your interests. The opening session will feature Nan Devlin, presenting The Full Marketing Monty: Engaging Visitors Before, During and After their Trip. She’s a fifth generation Oregonian, eager explorer of the Pacific Northwest and principal of Avid Traveler Consultants. She has 15 years of experience in marketing communications and helps small towns, counties and rural areas build sustainable tourism, marketing and media strategies that celebrate their distinctive sense of place.

The luncheon speaker is Monica Rafter presenting Customer Service or Hospitality: What’s the Difference? She is the owner of Write On Communications in Tucson and writes for multiple tourism websites, providing marketing and operational support for full-service hotel management and development services companies.

Closing the day will be Jennifer Peper who will address Tying It All Together: Making Sense of a Growing List of Complex Marketing Channels. She is the vice president of Aristotle, based in Arkansas and has more than 16 years of experience in marketing and project coordination, with seven years in Internet business consulting. Her experience ranges from major corporations and large tourism associations to small businesses and local destinations.

Peppered throughout the time together will be sessions on legal issues with social media, the top three social media strategies for local businesses and managing your social media reputation. There will be a panel discussion of travel writers to reveal what they’re looking for in stories for magazines, newspapers and Internet articles, giving you the inside scoop on the best way to pitch writers and editors with your ideas.

The cost for registration is $75 for the first person from your organization and $65 for every additional attendee which includes lunch provided by Bon Appétit. To register online and pay with a credit card via PayPal go to http://tinyurl.com/3jnlh5r. To register by phone and pay by check, call Gloria at the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau office at 360.452.8552.

Please note that although a Discover Pass is not required for this event at Fort Worden State Park, your purchase helps to maintain, manage and operate state recreation lands.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there! Invite your business associates too.