Colorado’s state tourism conference coming to the Hotel Talisa in Vail in 2018 | VailDaily.com

Colorado’s state tourism conference coming to the Hotel Talisa in Vail in 2018

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GRAND JUNCTION — The Governor's 2017 Colorado Tourism Conference came to a close Friday, Oct. 27, after three days of seminars and workshops. The conference, hosted by the Colorado Tourism Office, drew more than 460 representatives from the state's travel and tourism industry.

At the conclusion of the conference, Vail's Hotel Talisa was named the site of the 2018 event.

The 2017 conference theme, "Colorado the World," focused on a conviction that Colorado has much to share with the world in leading conversations around tourism and sustainability. A number of experts were featured in breakout sessions that included a focus on topics including: social media, international marketing, a culinary media panel, the marketing matching grants program and keynote sessions from Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association and Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel TV host. The conference closed with keynote speaker Amy Ford from the Colorado Department of Transportation with a presentation about what's happening with transportation in Colorado.

At the Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 26, awards were presented to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the advancement and innovation of Colorado's tourism industry. The awards and winners include:

• The Colorado Tourism Office Board Chairman's Award was presented to Representative Bob Rankin for his five years of serving in the Colorado legislature. Rankin has fought to protect the state's public lands and to make sure the state's tourism budget has the funds it needs to thrive.

• The Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative Award was presented to Colorado Mountain Winefest, an event that started 25 years ago with only a few vendors, and has now grown into a nationally recognized four-day affair featuring over 50 local businesses.

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• The Governor's Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism honored Debra Malone, current chair of the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway.

• The Governor's Award for Outstanding Marketing Program went to "Putting Silverthorne on the Map."

• The Jack Snow Volunteer Award was presented Kay Fredette, a volunteer serving as the Volunteer Laboratory Supervisor to the Museums of Western Colorado, where she's been the past 31 years.