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Tourism conference has greater significance in '09: the industry's bottom line is no small matter in New Hampshire.



In a chaotic economic environment for tourism, is flat the new up?

Surviving and thriving in a challenging economy will be high on the agenda at the 33rd annual Governor's Conference on Tourism set for May 5 and 6 at Waterville Valley.

"I think the industry is cautiously optimistic op·ti·mist  
n.
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

2. A believer in philosophical optimism.



op
 about business for the coming year," said Alice DeSouza, director of the state Division of Travel & Tourism Development.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DeSouza said this year's conference, which is sponsored by the New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E).  Travel Council, will be especially timely for tourism-related businesses. "The conference will be a great opportunity to provide information to help people market smarter and use their dollars wisely."

DeSouza said that New Hampshire has a "strong product brand" to sell, but tourist-dependent businesses in the state are confronting a new phenomenon--flat or minimal growth this year may be a sign of success.

"Flat is the new up," DeSouza said. "In this economy, we're comfortable to be flat with the rooms and meals tax. We're only down one and one-half percent over the first eight months of fiscal year 2009."

One of the focuses of the conference will be on new Intemet social networking See social networking site.

social networking - social network
 tools, such as Facebook, Twitter A Web site and service that lets users send short text messages from their cellphones to a group of friends. Launched in 2006, Twitter (www.twitter.com) was designed for people to broadcast their current activities and thoughts.  and Flickr, which are revolutionizing the way businesses communicate with familiar and potential customers.

"We can't market the way we used to," DeSouza said. In particular, she said her department is fine-tuning its Web site and is branching out onto Twitter and Flickr.

"Social marketing is going to be an eye-opener to conference attendees unfamiliar with this emerging platform," said Chris Nicoli, a spokesman for Canobie Lake Park Coordinates:  Canobie Lake Park is an amusement park located in Salem, New Hampshire. Description
Canobie Lake Park opened on August 23, 1902 as a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company.
 in Salem and a Travel Council member. "My opinion is that any steps an organization can take this year to increase their knowledge on branding, promotion and marketing will ultimately benefit their bottom line."

Job creator

The bottom line of tourism is no small matter in New Hampshire, where it's the second-largest job-creating sector.

In the 2008 fiscal year, the state reported an estimated 67,000 full- and part-time jobs and $4.458 billion in economic activity was generated by direct spending by millions of travelers to the state. For the state budget, it meant $132.6 million in meals and rooms tax revenue.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 state figures, the return on investment in state tourism marketing has proven to be strong--every $1 spent generated $8.84 in state and local taxes and fees.

Conference attendees will have plenty, of opportunities to learn about the Division of Travel and Tourism's 10-year marketing plan and how to partner with the state and regional tourism agencies to extend the reach of an individual business's marketing budget, along with presentations on "marketing mix," online marketing, social marketing and brand-building.

The conference also will feature 15-minute one-on-one sessions on public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most , brochure design, Web design and online marketing. The two main speakers at the conference will be travel marketing expert Peter Yesawich, who will deliver the keynote address keynote address
n.
An opening address, as at a political convention, that outlines the issues to be considered. Also called keynote speech.

Noun 1.
, and Dr. Peter Yarlow, an expert in crafting memorable guest experiences, who will give the closing address.

"These are two excellent speakers who will give us new ideas and practices from outside the state," said Maryanne Adams, who heads the Travel and Tourism/Hotel Administration Department at the New Hampshire Technical Institute Academics
NHTI offers about 60 Associate's degree, diploma, and certificate programs of study. Majors range from business to engineering to criminal justice, and also include a wide variety of healthcare options, such as nursing, dental hygiene, radiology, and paramedic
 in Concord Concord, cities, United States
Concord (kŏng`kərd, kŏn`kôrd').

1 city (1990 pop. 111,348), Contra Costa co., W central Calif.; settled c.1852, inc. 1906.
.

Adams said the state could be helped by an influx of bargain-seeking travelers who won't be taking longer or overseas trips but instead will focus closer to home.

"I've always felt that the tourist industry in New Hampshire was fairly recession-proof," said Adams, also a Travel Council member. "What could work against us is weather, but this past winter we did very well."

At Canobie Lake Park, Nicoli said officials are "optimistic" about the upcoming season.

Canobie has launched a partnership with the Pepsi-Cola Corp. "and will be launching a substantial branding and marketing initiative throughout New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. ," he said.

"Consumers in New England are closely watching their own spending now, which will cause them to seek out economical ways to spread out their discretionary income Discretionary Income

The amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials have been taken care of.

Notes:
Essentials are things like food, clothing, and shelter.
," Nicoli said. "We feel that bringing this level of quality, family entertainment to our area will assist in the decision-making of guests who are tom between a fly-away vacation and more frequent vacations closer to home."

Fed agency sees summer gas prices lower this year

The federal Energy Information Administration anticipates that gas prices will be more than $1.50 lower this summer than last year, which should be welcome news not only to New Hampshire motorists but the state's tourism industry.

According to the agency, during the summer driving season--April 1 to Sept. 30-gasoline retail prices are projected to average $2.23 per gallon gallon: see English units of measurement.  this summer, down from $3.81 per gallon last summer.

The monthly average gasoline gasoline or petrol, light, volatile mixture of hydrocarbons for use in the internal-combustion engine and as an organic solvent, obtained primarily by fractional distillation and "cracking" of petroleum, but also obtained from natural gas, by  price is expected to peak at about $2.30 per gallon late this summer, according to the agency, which added the caveat that fuel prices are notoriously volatile.

The agency also said diesel prices are expected to stay low as well. They averaged $4.37 per gallon last summer, the agency said, projecting an average of $2.27 during the summer,

In New Hampshire, gas prices averaged $ 3.726 over the April-September period last year, as calculated by NHBR NHBR New Hampshire Business Review  based on data from the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning.

The highest price was recorded on July 15 2008, at $4.023 in the Manchester area and $4.047 in Portsmouth, as reported by the American Automobile Association American Automobile Association (AAA), federation of American automobile clubs, est. 1902. AAA provides a number of benefits to its members, including emergency road service; national and international travel assistance, e.g. ,

Average diesel prices during the summer were $4.500, with a high of $4.795 in Manchester on July 17, 2008 and $4.892 in Portsmouth on July 28, 2008.

The Energy Information Administration also said it pates the price of oil to about $ 52 per barrel this summer--"significantly. lower than the $116 per barrel average last summer."

On April 16, AAA AAA: see American Automobile Association.


(Triple A) A common single-cell battery used in a myriad of electronic devices of all variety. Like its double A (AA) cousin, it provides 1.5 volts of DC power. When used in series, the voltage is multiplied.
 reported the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Manchester was $1.934 and $1.941 in Portsmouth, A gallon of diesel is averaging $ 2.286 in Manchester and $2316 in Portsmouth.

More info on the tourism conference

A complete schedule of lectures, workshops and presentations for the 33rd Annual Governor's Conference on Tourism is available at NHTravelCouncil.org.

Registration for the full conference is $195 for-members of the New Hampshire Travel Council and $295 for non-members (rates will increase after April 28.) There are one-day rates for a reduced fee.

Overnight accommodations are offered at the Golden Eagle Lodge and the Town Square Condominiums on a per-unit basis; and it is expected that many attendees will share lodging.
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Title Annotation:TOURISM; travel branding and marketing conferences
Author:Mccord, Michael
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Apr 24, 2009
Words:1093
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