Keynote Session, 9–10 a.m.
"What's Next: Travel Industry Trends You Need to Know Now"
Navarro Room A/B, Second Floor

The travel editorial team at USA Today sets the pace for hospitality reporting in North America. Each January, destination travel reporter Laura Bly and her team publish an annual list of top trends that offer a 360-degree view of what consumers seek when they book travel packages. This presentation will explore emerging trends and critical issues influencing their 2012 forecast. You will learn:

Laura Bly, reporter and blogger at USA Today since 1995, has been covering leisure travel from a consumer’s perspective for the past three decades. Bly is a native of Madison, Wisconsin and  earned a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin. Previous journalism stints include travel special projects editor for the Los Angeles Times, travel editor for the Orange County Register, syndicated travel consumer columnist for Universal Press Syndicate’s Primary Color and travel editor for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.

She is a multiple winner of the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s prestigious Lowell Thomas travel awards, including Travel Journalist of the Year.  She won a recent fellowship to the Knight Digital Media Center’s  multimedia journalism program at the University of California-Berkeley, and has put those boot camp skills to use as an occasional videographer at USA TODAY.  She’s also an avid iPhone photographer, and is active on such social media platforms as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr.

Striving to join the Century Club after visiting 80-plus countries on seven continents,  her favorite place is a window seat, headed somewhere she’s never been.