8:00 a.m.   |   Registration and Networking

9:00 a.m.   |   Conference Welcome and Overview

  • Bryan Fluech, Associate Marine Extension Director, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

9:10 a.m.   |   Welcome to the Springfield Legacy Foundation 

  • Meredith Belford, Executive Director, Springfield Legacy Foundation

9:20 a.m.   |   The State of Coastal Tourism

  • Sarah Anne Rhodes, Regional Tourism Marketing Manager, Explore Georgia, Georgia Department of Economic Development

10:00 a.m.   |   Applied Hospitality and Tourism Research Efforts for Georgia

  • John Salazar, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Hospitality and Food Industry Management, University of Georgia

10:30 a.m. |   Break 

10:50 a.m.   | The Coastal Awareness and Responsible Ecotourism Certification Program

  • Katie Higgins, Marine Educator and Volunteer Coordinator, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

11:15 a.m.   | Development of a Georgia Oyster Aquaculture Industry and Opportunities for Tourism

  • Katie Hill, Research Professional, UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government 

11:45 a.m.   |   Lunchtime Keynote

  • Boxed lunches from Wrap Happy
  • Destination Stewardship:  Redefining the Purpose of Tourism

Keynote Speaker: Bobby Chappell

Destination Stewardship Planner, Tourism Impact Services
Bobby Chappell is a strategic planner, program architect, and project implementer with an extensive track record of innovation and impact.   Bobby’s 22+ year career started as a conservation biologist where he was responsible for assessing visitor use impacts and critically endangered habitats.  He then spent seven years working the frontlines of the ecotourism and hospitality industries in Costa Rica, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean and he continues to play an influential role in advancing sustainable tourism around the world. Bobby’s work focuses on facilitating community-driven strategy development, defining and evaluating destination stewardship and sustainable tourism best practices, building stakeholder capacity for long-term success, and monitoring subsequent impacts for continuous improvement. He has provided strategic planning that shaped tourism policy in global destinations such as Jamaica, Panama, and Norway; and his expertise in sustainability standards has steered destinations like Vail, Breckenridge, and Jackson Hole towards global recognition and sustainability accolades.  Bobby is also a trusted advisor for the state tourism offices of Colorado, Oregon, and North Carolina and he is an industry thought leader driving positive change in gateway communities around the United States.

1:00 p.m.   |  Revitalization of GA Grown 17 Trail

  • Patrick Holladay, Associate Professor of Tourism Management, Troy University and GA Grown Trail 17 President

1:40 p.m.   |  The Gullah Geechee Corridor Tourism Alliance

  • Victoria Smalls, Executive Director, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor National Heritage Area

2:30 p.m.   |   Break

2:50 p.m.   | Tourism Issue Breakout Sessions

  • Saralyn Stafford, Rural Development Manager, UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government

3:50 p.m.   |   Final Remarks

  • Bryan Fluech

4:00 p.m.   |   Conference Conclusion

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