Josh Howes - Premier Alaska Tours
Josh Howes has been in the Alaska Visitor Industry for 26 years. He was with the Anchorage division of Holland America Westours for 9 years and has been with Premier Alaska Tours for the past 17. Josh was named President of Premier in 2009 and oversees all operational aspects of the company. Josh served 12 years on the Visit Anchorage Board of Directors and is currently serving a 1-year appointment on the ATIA Board.
Destination Analysts' founder, David Bratton, has worked with detinations around the world. He holds a BS in economics from Iowa State University and a MA in economics from the University of Arizona. Bratton served as an economist for the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and as a contributor to its journal, Survey of Current Business. He spent eight years pioneering new research techniques for the San Francisco CVB, where his research program won praise for its "best research prctices in the nation" by a noted academic publication. He has been named one of HSMAI's 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.
Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon
Blake has been the Executive Director of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon since March 2012. Originally from Nova Scotia, he started his career in the tourism and hospitality industry, working as a server, a guide and a Marine Naturalist aboard a whale tour boat. Blake studied in China, taught English in South Korea and traveled throughout Asia before earning a Bachelor of Education at the University of Maine in Fort Kent.
In 2007 Blake moved to the Yukon. During his time in the territory, he has taught in a rural community, worked as a communications consultant, gained experience as a political advisor and co-founded a culinary festival. He has sat on numerous national boards and committees, including the Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Circle, which grew to become the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada. He is currently the Yukon’s representative on the Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Association (a sub-committee of TIA Canada), a member of the Yukon’s Strategic Marketing Advisory Council, and Canada’s representative on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Erin Kirkland is a freelance family travel journalist and mother of two sons. Specializing in Alaska family travel, Erin and her team have scoured the land and seas in and around the 49th state in search of meaningful products and services suitable for kids.
You won't want to miss Erin's "The Physics of Family Travel: Why kids matter for Alaska tourism" concurrent session on Tuesday, October 3. She will discuss the challenges of traveling with the 0-18 demographic and unpack the secrets for successful family travel. It's a science, ya know.