Originally called the Hawaii Tourism Conference, the Global Tourism Summit is an international gathering of leaders, workers, and participants in the travel industry who represent the global marketplace.

The purpose of the Summit is for industry professionals to network, brainstorm, and educate themselves in ways to promote, stimulate, and advance the travel industry as a whole.

Hawaii was chosen as the venue for its thriving industry as well as its beautiful setting and famous aloha spirit.

People attending the Summit include professionals working in accommodations, airlines & transportation, travel agencies, international media, and various other industry innovators & stakeholders.

The event is being hosted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency for tourism and travel, as part of managing, developing, and coordinating tourism-related research and marketing to sustain a healthy visitor industry in Hawaii and around the globe.

You can find out more about the event at their official website.


Early registration closed on September 15th, but you can still register on-site.

The Summit continues from Tuesday the 19th to Thursday the 21st, with a certification course on Friday the 22nd.

The agenda from Tuesday to Thursday includes various keynote speeches, general sessions, luncheons, networking opportunities, and more.

Keynote speakers featured at the 2017 Global Tourism Summit include:

  • Billy Beane, Executive Vice President of Oakland Athletics who is famous for revolutionizing Major League Baseball by using statistical methodology. Beane was the focus of the best-selling book and Oscar-nominated film, Moneyball, which tells his story of turning around Oakland Athletics through innovation, technology, and analytics. Beane brings his statistical methodology techniques to the Summit as a case study to help travel industry professionals better tackle the problems of operating in a global market.
  • Neil Everett, anchor at ESPN SportsCenter, shares his story about how living in Hawaii taught him the aloha spirit and how that shaped his life, career, and relationships.
  • Ted Allen, chef, author, and host of the television series “Chopped” on Food Network, presents the importance of cuisine in promoting a destination during the Wednesday luncheon.
  • Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, the Director General at Icelandic Tourist Board, leads the final keynote named “Holistic Tourism.” Atladóttir emphasizes both the dependence and impact of the travel industry on the world at large, including the daily lives of residents and how public goods and services are managed. She argues that this impact requires a comprehensive look at society and how we can better manage the costs and benefits of travel as a global community, using Iceland’s burgeoning tourism industry as a case study of the different complexities that arise today.

The Global Tourism Summit also includes over 70 more speakers from Hawaii and around the world at various sessions and workshops throughout the week.

Students also receive heavy discounts to tickets and certification fees, making it an excellent opportunity for career development and growth.

Two of our employees from the HawaiiActivities office will be attending—I’m not one of them, sadly 🙁

If you’re attending, let us know how it went and what you’ve learned!