Timeline and Agenda

Pre-Event Timeline

  • April 1 - Registration opens for Go West Summit 2023
  • January 26 - Appointment selection opens. Click here for more details.
  • January 26 - Room Reservation Cut-off date
  • January 28 - Deadline to modify profile. Changes to your online profile made after this date will not be reflected in the resource manual.
  • January 31 - Deadline for all advertising artwork.
  • February 24 - Deadline to modify appointment schedules
  • February 27 - Education Day
  • February 28-March 1 - Marketplace - Two days of face to face pre-scheduled appointments
  • March 2 - Adventure Day

On-Site Event Agenda

Sunday, February 26, 2023

1:00pm – 5:30pm Go West Summit Registration - Tikahtnu Foyer, Dena'ina Convention Center
Pick up your event credentials and meet the staff.
5:30pm – 7:30pm Buyer Welcome Reception - Juneau / Haines Room, Marriott Anchorage Downtown
Sponsored by Travel Oregon
-Buyers and journalists only please

Monday, February 27 - Education Day

7:00am – 5:30pm Go West Summit Registration - Tikahtnu Foyer
7:30am – 4:45pm

Buyer Site Tour

Join your hosts from Visit Anchorage on Monday, Feb. 27th for an exciting day of site visits, scenery, and guaranteed wildlife sightings! Click the link on your GWS landing page to learn more and submit your request to attend.
-Buyers and journalists only please

8:00am – 9:10am State Caucus Sessions - Egan Civic & Convention Center 
Meet with suppliers from your state to discuss the latest news and programs and plan your Go West Summit strategy. Every state sponsor is given the opportunity to present a session but not all states participate. Confirmed sessions and their locations are listed below:
Alaska - Meeting Room #5, Summit Hall, Egan Convention Center
Arizona - Meeting Room #1, Summit Hall, Egan Convention Center
Colorado - Meeting Room #4, Summit Hall, Egan Convention Center
Oregon - Meeting Room #2, Summit Hall, Egan Convention Center
Utah - Meeting Room #3, Summit Hall, Egan Convention Center
9:15am – 10:30am

International Travel Forecast - NTTO / Brand USA Data and Insights - Tubughnenq’ Meeting Room, Dena'ina Convention Center

Julie Heizer, Acting Director National Travel and Tourism Office Industry & Analysis International Trade Administration & Peter Dodge, Manager Public Policy & Public Affairs, Brand USA

This session is designed to help suppliers focus their international promotion efforts in the right markets using the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2020 dashboard and Brand USA's data. Which countries had the highest inbound-U.S. visitation? To which states did they travel? Did Go West destinations see declines? What does the future hold for international tourism? NTTO presentation available here. Brand USA presentation available here. Find Julie's extended bio here.

10:40am – 11:50am

Transformation is Knocking at Our Door...Can We Do it This Time? - Tubughnenq’ Meeting Room

Helen Marano, Senior Vice President, Longwood’s International

We are in this reboot together with more challenges than ever before, it feels. And that includes new perspectives to consider strengthening our path forward. How do we meet up to the demands, still expand our reach to protect the future? And just when do we get the time and ways to measure everything, to realign with the communities and sustainable principles we are all asked to practice? We are in the midst of a transformation for our industry but not having all the resources to implement. Or do we? Presentation available here. Find Helen's extended bio here.

12:00pm – 1:15pm Lunch - Sponsored by Brand USA - Idlughet Exhibit Hall, Dena'ina Convention Center. Featuring: Peter Dodge, Sr. Manager, Public Affairs for Brand USA. Find Peter Dodge's extended bio here.
1:30pm – 2:30pm National Parks Update – Managing Visitation in the Midst of the Pandemic in Partnership with IITA - Tubughnenq’ Meeting Room

Moderator - Lisa Simon, CEO, International Inbound Travel Association and a panel of experts including Peter van Berkel, President, Travalco; Joni Seay, a 22-year National Park Service veteran and Peter Christian who make up the NPS Anchorage team; and Debbie Picard, Director of Sales for Western Montana's Glacier Country Tourism.

This popular GWS session will provide an update on the short- and long-term plans of the National Parks Service and the major national parks, including changes resulting from the pandemic, planned infrastructure improvements and managing visitation and congestion. NPS, IITA and other tour industry associations are collaborating to find mutually beneficial solutions that will ensure the best possible visitor experiences. Presentation available here. Find Lisa Simon's extended bio here. Peter van Berkel's can be found here. Joni's bio is here. Debbie's bio can be found here.

In Partnership with IITA 

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Bureau of Land Management Tourism - Kahtnu Meeting Room, Dena'ina Convention Center

Connie Jacobs, National Tourism and Underserved Communities Program Lead (Acting) Division of Recreation & Visitor Services (HQ 430) BLM, and Zach Million, BLM Alaskan Recreation Travel Management & National Lands Lead, BLM

The team from Bureau of Land Management is excited to share information about some of America's most iconic spaces. The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for administering federal lands. Congress tasked the BLM with a mandate of managing public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use. The BLM manages one in every ten surface acres of land in the United States. These lands are found in every state in the country and encompass forests, mountains, rangelands, arctic tundra, and deserts. Presentation available here. You can find Connie's bio here. Zach's bio can be found here.

2:40pm – 3:30pm

Why Inbound Travel Requires a Hybrid Distribution Model - Tubughnenq’ Meeting Room

Moderator - Lisa Simon, CEO, International Inbound Travel Association

Panelists - Quintin Blair, Vice President: Leisure Travel Development, Blair Hotels Ivar Hottentot, Product Development Manager West Coast, Meeting Point North America, and Sandi Lackey, Associate Director, Worldwide Sales, Leisure Travel, BWH Hotel Group.

Connectivity has been driving change in the travel distribution system in recent years, and while technology is a tool for solving distribution inefficiencies, it is often confused with dynamic rate distribution. Revenue managers are driving business models to dynamic rates only without understanding the value of the inbound operator's business. Connectivity can handle both dynamic and static rate models – both of which are needed in today’s B2B inbound travel partnerships. This panel of inbound operators and hoteliers will discuss the benefits of both static and dynamic rate structures and when each is appropriate for B2B inbound travel business. Find Quintin Blair's extended bio here. Ivar Hottentot's bio can be found here.

In Partnership with IITA 

2:40pm – 3:30pm

Ask the Tour Operator - Kahtnu Meeting Room

Moderator – Lena Ross, Director of Product Development, America 4 You LLC

Panelists- Julie Katz, Owner, TourMappers North America, LLC, Emmanuelle Vaugeois, Founder, Scenic Roads, Chris Pilley, CEO, Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours

Hear from this panel of IITA inbound operators on their expectations from the European inbound market for 2023 and beyond. Learn about the role of the inbound operator, how you can work with them and the opportunities that provides. This is an interactive session so bring your questions! Find Julie Katz' extended bio here. Lena's bio can be found here. Emmanuelle's bio can be found here. Chris' bio can be found here.

In Partnership with IITA 

3:40pm – 4:30pm

State of International Air Travel - Tubughnenq’ Meeting Room

Alfredo Gonzalez, Founding Partner, AG Hospitality Group and Airline Rep, Laura Jackson, Vice President, Air Service Development Denver International Airport

With the pandemic’s disastrous effect on air travel, war in eastern Europe and other world volatilities, serious challenges and threats continue to impact air travel to the U.S. What shifts in route networks can we expect, and will they be temporary or long-term? How do these changes impact distribution and our marketing/sales strategies? Join our aviation experts as they discuss the key drivers of demand for air travel, how airports have changed their aviation development playbook, and what airlines’ priorities are for selecting destinations to service. Find Alfredo Gonzalez' extended bio here. Laura Jackson's extended bio can be found here

In Partnership with IITA 

3:40pm – 4:30pm

Building Your Tourism Recovery Plan - Kahtnu Meeting Room

Florian Herrmann, Herrmann Global

We all thought that global tourism recovery would rebound quickly in 2022 and 2023. However, we currently live in a world of global disruption that requires a thoughtful approach of how we market effectively and in real time to international travelers. Learn about strategy and tactics to get the right international visitor to your destination. Find the presentation here and you can learn more about Florian in his extended bio here.

4:40pm – 5:15pm

How-To-Summit - Kahtnu Meeting Room

Barb Bowman, CEO, Bowman & Associates, LLC, Anina Grasso, Director of Travel Experience, Destination America, Lisa Bruening, Senior Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Denver

Increase your chances of a successful summit! Learn everything from presenting your business card, to creative appointment tips. This session covers the basics of navigating Go West Summit. Presentation available here. Find Barb's extended bio here. Anina's can be found here. Lisa's can be found here.

4:45pm – 5:45pm

GetYourGuide Happy Hour - Tikahtnu Ballroom, Dena'ina Convention Center

Get an early sneak peek of our Marketplace appointment session space - the beautiful Tikahtnu Ballroom - with its stunning mountain vistas and meet representatives of GetYourGuide during this one hour “Happy Hour” style pre-dinner gathering.
GetYourGuide is on a mission to help proud experience creators provide unforgettable experiences to today’s travelers all over the world. The future of travel is digital. Today's travelers expect a seamless and inspiring booking experience with flexibility, ease and trusted reviews. GetYourGuide helps understand and serve these needs so you can focus on what you do best: Showing your customers everything the American West has to offer. All delegates are welcome!

6:00pm – 9:00pm

Opening Event at 49th State Brewing Company - Click HERE for your Digital Invite
Drink the best and biggest beer in the biggest city in the biggest state in the USA as Visit Anchorage welcomes Go West Summit with an opening event at 49th State Brewing Company. Indoor and out you will find Alaskan seafood while jamming to Anchorage’s musical artists! This premier microbrewery has stunning views of the Cook Inlet and the six mountain ranges surrounding Anchorage including North America’s highest peak Denali “The Great One”! Stuff yourself like a local with beer-battered halibut, mini crab cakes, and locally raised Alaska Yak sliders and wash it down with Craft beer, premium wines and locally distilled liquors. 

Tuesday, February 28

7:00am – 5:30pm Go West Summit Registration - Tikahtnu Foyer, Dena'ina Convention Center
7:00am – 8:00am Buyer Breakfast - Idlughet Exhibit Hall
Buyers and Media (along with invited guests) are invited. Sponsored by the state departments of tourism for Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.
8:00am – 12:00pm Marketplace I - Tikahtnu Ballroom
This is the first of four Marketplace sessions featuring 12-minute, one-on-one, pre-scheduled appointments.
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch - Idlughet Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by BWH Hotel Group. Special guests Sandi Lackey, Associate Director, Worldwide Sales, BWH Hotel Group and Rolland Cheng, Worldwide Sales Manager, Leisure Travel, BWH Hotel Group. Find Sandi Lackey's extended bio here.
1:00pm – 5:30pm Marketplace II - Tikahtnu Ballroom
Sponsored by GetYourGuide
Evening On Your Own

Use this free night to establish a relationship with a potential client or customer—ask them to join you for dinner! Visit the on-site information desk for ideas before exploring local cafés and restaurants.

Wednesday, March 1

7:00am – 5:30pm Go West Summit Registration - Tikahtnu Foyer, Dena'ina Convention Center
7:45am – 8:50am The BIG REVEAL Breakfast - Idlughet Exhibit Hall
Presented by our 2024 Go West Summit destination host. Don't miss the excitement as our host is revealed!
9:00am – 5:30pm Supplier Lounge - Tikahtnu Foyer
9:00am – 12:00pm Marketplace III - Tikahtnu Ballroom
12:00pm – 1:10pm

Lunch - Idlughet Exhibit Hall

Special guest, Robert Batchelder, Managing Director of the Office of Visa Services in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs will present a Worldwide Visa Operations status update. Read Rob's full bio here.

1:15pm – 2:15pm Speed Appointment Session - Tikahtnu Ballroom
Meet with buyers at their tables for one full hour of unscheduled 5-minute appointments. 
2:15pm – 5:30pm Marketplace IV - Tikahtnu Ballroom
6:30pm – 9:00pm Closing Event at Anchorage Museum - Click HERE for your Digital Invite
See the exotic culture of Alaska through the eyes of Anchorage’s multidimensional artists community at the Anchorage Museum. Explore the rich and diverse exhibits of Alaska’s first peoples from the frozen Arctic to the lush coastal communities. Dance to the band or just tap your toe and savor our Alaskan foods located throughout the museum during this exclusively private event.  This is the state’s largest museum and is a Smithsonian affiliate with more than 600 Alaska Native cultural heritage pieces on exhibit! In addition to artifacts from around Alaska and the world, the Anchorage Museum tells the story of Alaska through historic and contemporary voices via ultra-modern vision.
Bring your credit card to shop in one of the ten best museum shops in the world.

Thursday, March 2 - Adventure Day

All Attendees Welcome! Take a look at what is being offered. Click here for your official Adventure Day Invite.

FAM Trips

Buyers and journalists are invited to explore destinations and hotels across the American West before and after the show. Several multi-day excursions are offered.