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Keynote: The Future of Tourism!

I’m honoured to be the opening keynote speaker  for the 2012 Ontario Tourism Summit, the most significant tourism event in the province of Ontario, Canada.

They recently featured a short profile that provides a little bit of insight into my talk.

Global futurist Jim Carroll to speak at 2012 Ontario Tourism Summit

“The future belongs to those who are fast!” declares Jim Carroll, leading global futurist, trends and innovation expert and the kick-off speaker at the 2012 Ontario Tourism Summit. Carroll believes that fast response is a theme that fits well with the tourism industry in Ontario.

Carroll muses that 10 years ago there was no Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Cell phones were used just for talking, until mobile devices were invented that allowed text messages. Apps and GPS based phones wouldn’t really make an appearance until about 2010.

“What a difference a decade makes. Yet, we’ve barely scratched the surface of how accelerating change will provide for opportunity to tourism organizations in the future,” says Carroll. He predicts that success will increasingly come from an organization’s ability to take advantage of rapid, dramatic shifts in the tourism promotions landscape.

From the process of branding tourism properties to evolving marketing methodologies, Carroll sees change in the future happening at lightening speed. “The nature of the interaction with the travel consumer will come to resemble a roller coaster ride,” he concludes. Carroll challenges tourism organizations to jump on board, full steam ahead, and take aggressive control of the future.

“The key is putting yourself in a frame of mind in which you want to embrace a fast changing future, rather than shying away from it,”he advises. “Some people see a trend and see a threat — real innovators see the same trend, and see massive opportunity,” says Carroll.

“There is so much that is right about tourism in Ontario,” emphasizes Carroll. “What we need to ensure we have is a tourism industry that continues to build upon what we have, and evolves at the speed of the future to ensure that we can continue to position to the world why Ontario is the best tourism destination in the world.”

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