Visit SLO CAL is hosting the 2019 Destination Summit conference and luncheon on May 9. The event takes place during National Travel and Tourism Week to celebrate the importance of tourism on the local economy. The Destination Summit, formerly known as the Tourism Exchange, takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Luis Obispo, where Visit SLO CAL will reveal the recommendations coming from the year-long Destination Management Strategy development process.

Attendees can also look forward to an update on the state of the local tourism economy by Visit SLO CAL’s president and CEO, Chuck Davison, including a first-ever economic forecast for the lodging sector in SLO CAL. Following the luncheon and awards will be three educational sessions, including a presentation on industry advocacy with CalTravel, an interview with Visit SLO CAL staff leaders on upcoming programs and a national expert panel on guest experience design. A reception from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. will round out the event and is open to attendees and to those who were unable to attend the Destination Summit.

The core luncheon session begins with Chuck Davison’s State of the County Tourism Address. Following, keynote speaker, Chris Fair, will launch his much-anticipated segment, “Destination Management Strategy.” The luncheon will conclude with the annual SLO CAL Destination Awards, given to local businesses, individuals and organizations who have made a valuable impact on SLO CAL tourism. These awards include the Destination Champion, Excellence in Advocacy, Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, and the most anticipated award, the Lifetime Tourism Luminary.

Following the luncheon, attendees can participate in three educational insight sessions, learning from experts in the industry. Session One uncovers the politics of tourism, outlines key bills facing the travel industry and discusses how organizations can engage with CalTravel. Session Two

explores how you can benefit more from Visit SLO CAL. The leadership team with Visit SLO CAL will share how businesses can get plugged into Visit SLO CAL’s efforts and grow through storytelling, promotion, trade sales and industry initiatives. The final session features a panel of industry professionals who will share their insight on turning customers into advocates by crafting a remarkable guest experience. These sessions will take place from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m.

The 2019 Destination Summit will conclude with a reception in the Embassy Suites Atrium where attendees can celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, toast the annual Destination Award winners and network with other industry and community leaders. A computer center will also be available for business owners and managers to sign up for the online SLO CAL Connection and build or update their free business profiles on SLOCAL.com.