Trio of tourism conferences offer quite a buzz

At the beginning of March, hoteliers, tourism marketers, travel technology types and other industry professionals will head to Toronto for a trio of conferences that have been creating quite a buzz in the tourism business in the last couple of years. From March 5-6, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) will hold its annual conference which, in 2012, features Dr. David Suzuki and Joie de Vivre’s founder, Chip Conley as the headline speakers. HAC’s incoming chairman, Hank Stackhouse will not only give delegates the inside scoop on what’s coming in the next 12 months for the association, he’ll also moderate the Up Close and Personal panel which features a who’s who of tourism movers and shakers. And HAC will also hand out its annual Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence during the event — always a dazzling affair. On March 6-7, the Canadian Tourism Marketing Summit (CTMS) puts domestic and international tourism under the microscope as it looks at the issues, trends and ideas driving tourism marketing. Canadian Tire’s Duncan Fulton and Professor Rod Harris — formerly president and CEO of Tourism BC — and now a faculty member of Royal Roads School of Tourism and Hospitality Management are just two of the keynote speakers featured during the event. It’s all about marketing tourism online at the 7th annual Online Revealed Canada (ORC) conference which takes place from March 5-7. ORC highlights include not-to-be-missed presentations by Facebook Canada’s Steve Irvine, Google Canada’s Nikki Germany and Leonard Brody, president of the Clarity Digital Group — a man who has been described as “a controversial leader of the new world order.” Throughout the events, there are a whack of breakout and workshop sessions offered, with delegates of the HAC and CTMS events having access to ORC sessions during the course of the three days. All three events take place at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, so check it out at any of the following addresses: ; ; or . If you’re in travel and tourism, you should be there.