Right People. Right Time. Right Format


Connect Travel Marketplace is an International travel show, specifically designed to address industry needs. Connect Travel Marketplace combines the right timing for product development, a unique format that creates an efficient and effective environment to expedite the sales process and close business and a robust educational track to inspire and inform industry leaders in a rapidly evolving global market. View 2020 buyers and suppliers


Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

The 4-star Gaylord Palms offers live nightly entertainment, a waterslide and separate children’s and adults swimming pools. The hotel also features a sand beach play area, waterfalls and on-site boutique shops. Elegant gardens and a full-service spa are available and the spacious rooms provide views of the city or atriums. Book your room here by January 30, 2020. If sold out, nearby hotels can be found here




“Connect Marketplace is extremely important in promoting international travel. By bringing international buyers to the states and having an appointment-show format, it exposes even more people on why they should come to the U.S.”  Roger Dow, President, US TRAVEL

“International visitation to our region is vital and the inaugural Connect Travel Marketplace was extremely productive for Experience Kissimmee and for our partners,” said DT Minich, president and CEO with Experience Kissimmee. “We are very excited to host Connect Travel Marketplace 2019 and to showcase Kissimmee to over 200 international tour operators from around the world.”

“The show exceeded our wildest expectations.  We’ve never attended a show that yielded not only the quality of buyers we had appointments with, but the fact that of the 45 appointments we had we issued 37 contract (82% close rate) is unparalleled.  ConnectTRAVEL definitely delivered on the promise of “Right People. Right Time.  Right Format.”  We are very excited for 2019 and beyond.”  Fabrizio “The Dude” Busso-Campana, SVP, Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises

“We are looking forward to attending the NEW Connect Travel Marketplace. Connect has an excellent reputation and a proven track record of producing quality events that focus on providing the best ROI for all involved.”   Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company

“Following our participation at the inaugural Connect Marketplace in Orlando in 2018, we are delighted to register early for the 2019 show.  The 2018 event was a huge success for Thomas Cook leading to excellent co-op Marketing opportunities and many new Hotel Contracts agreed as a direct result of the show.” Julian Stockdale, Head of USA Contracting, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland




Wednesday, February 19, 2020

9:30 am – 11:30 am

Active America India Workshop

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Active America China Workshop, Sponsored by COTTM

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Opening Reception, Sponsored by Experience Kissimmee

Thursday, February 20, 2020

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Opening General Session: DT Minich, Experience Kissimmee; Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association; Rafael Villanueva, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA; Carroll Rheem, Brand USA 

10:30 am -12:30 pm

Marketplace Appointments

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Networking Lunch on Trade Show Floor

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Duncan Wardle Keynote: Creating Relationship Magic!

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Marketplace Appointments

4:45 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Speaker President Barack Obama With Entertainment From Blue Man Group, Sponsored by Travel Leaders Corporate, Detroit Metro CVB and Visit Tampa Bay

7:00 pm

Top Women in Travel Awards Dinner in Partnership With Witti (ticketed event)

Friday, February 21, 2020

8:15 am – 9:30 am

Brand USA “Into America’s Wild” Big Screen Viewing Party, Sponsored by Illinois State Tourism and Expedia Group Media Solutions

9:45 am – 12:15 pm

Marketplace Appointments

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Lunch + Andrew Davis Keynote: Triumphs, Anomalies & Myths

2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Marketplace Appointments

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Transportation to Closing Party, Sponsored by GoPegasus

8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Closing Party at Universal’s Islands of Adventure


President Barack Obama

Connect Travel Marketplace will feature a moderated Q&A conversation with the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama.


Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis is a bestselling author and keynote speaker. Before building and selling a thriving digital marketing agency, Andrew produced for NBC and worked for The Muppets. He’s appeared in the New York Times and on the Today Show. He’s crafted documentary films and award-winning content for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands. Today, Andrew Davis teaches business leaders how to grow their businesses, transform their cities, and leave their legacy.

Duncan Wardle

Having worked for The Walt Disney Company for some 25 years, Duncan Wardle now serves as an independent innovation and design thinking consultant, helping companies embed a culture of innovation and creativity across their entire organization. Leveraging a unique Design Thinking process, Duncan’s clients include Coca Cola, Disney, Forbes, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey and the NBA.

Roger Dow

Roger Dow is president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the Washington, D.C.-based organization representing all segments of travel in America—an industry that generates $2.5 trillion in economic output and supports 15.7 million jobs. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.

Derek Price

Derek Price

Derek Price, Director, Expedia Media Solutions.  Derek has worked in the travel industry for more than 20 years. The last 10+ within the onlinespace, much of it at OTAs, including Travelocity, Orbitz and now Expedia. Ranging in roles from market management to media sales and now director in locations from New York City, Las Vegas and South Florida. When not traveling with his team meeting with clients, Derek splits his time between New York City and Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Qinghui Qing

Qinghui Qing


Andrea Blankenship

Carroll Rheem

Carroll Rheem is vice president, research and analytics for Brand USA, the nation’s public- private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Carroll leads Brand USA’s intelligence function, which serves as the foundation for global marketing strategy, as well as the company’s performance metrics.

Shaun MacGillivray

Shaun MacGillivray is the President and Producer of MacGillivray Freeman Films. He produced MacGillivray Freeman’s America’s Musical Journey, Dream Big, We The Marines, National Parks Adventure, To The Arctic, Humpback Whales and many more. Shaun also leads the business development and partnership team for MacGillivray Freeman working with destination marketing organizations, fortune 500 companies, associations, and non-profits organizations tell their stories from IMAX to iPhone. 

Roger Dow

Laura Mandala

Laura Mandala has been helping the tourism industry unlock, decode and harness the power of travel data and trends for nearly two decades. As the head of Mandala Research, one of the leading travel and tourism research firms in the world, she spends considerable time evaluating important emerging developments and that help destinations and travel companies make the right decisions to attract the right travelers.

Tom Garzilli

Tom Garzilli

Thomas “Tom” Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer for Brand USA, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Tom is responsible for leading the development of Brand USA’s strategic marketing plan, which is designed to increase incremental international visitation to the United States and drive tourism dollars to communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories.

Roger Dow

DT Minich

DT Minich is a veteran tourism executive and the first President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee, the Destination Marketing Organization for Osceola County, Florida.

In this role, DT leads a 53-person staff, plus in-country representation firms in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Northern Europe, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Experience Kissimmee helps inspire visitation for more than 8.9 million overnight guests annually. DT has succeeded in strengthening the destination’s relationships with valued travel professionals and media worldwide. In addition, DT champions strategic partnerships as witnessed by frequent collaboration with key agencies, such as U.S. Travel Association, Brand USA, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Dana Young

As VISIT FLORIDA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dana Young leads Florida’s official destination marketing organization in partnership with its Board of Directors and the statewide tourism industry.  Throughout her career, Dana has served in leadership positions working to cultivate and protect Florida’s exceptional business climate and a world-class quality of life. As an attorney at Fowler, White, Boggs, P.A. in Tampa, she represented a broad spectrum of businesses, landowners, and individuals in areas of regulatory compliance, permitting, zoning, and administrative law proceedings. Dana served in the Florida House from 2010 through 2016, rising to Majority Leader for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. In 2016, she was elected to the Florida Senate, where she represented parts of western Hillsborough County for two years.

Roger Dow

Rafael Villanueva

Rafael Villanueva joined the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority in the spring of 1998 as a tourism sales executive and over the past two decades has increased the profile of Las Vegas in Latin America and around the world exponentially. His current mission is to develop and manage the LVCVA’s global strategy. This includes overseeing its Air Service Development team as well as the contracts and budgets of its 14 International representation offices that promote Las Vegas in over 40 countries.

Prior to joining the LVCVA, Mr. Villanueva served as Executive Director of Advertising and Public Relations at the Tropicana Resort and Casino. His career also included working for some of the top advertising agencies in Las Vegas. Clients included hotel-casinos, banks and homebuilders. Additionally, he worked for KLAS-TV (Las Vegas’ CBS affiliate) as sales promotion director.

Born in Mexico, Villanueva has spent all but one year of his life in Las Vegas. Rafael is a graduate from Las Vegas High School and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is involved in several travel industry organizations, including International Inbound Travel Association (IITA), where he is currently holds the position of Secretary on their Board of Directors.


With Connect’s signature reverse-style trade show you can focus on product development and not navigating a convention hall.  The timing is right, the format is efficient and effective and the educational programming will prepare you to thrive in a hyper-competitive global marketplace. View 2020 suppliers. Buyer Registration: $300


Grow your International business from Canada, the UK, Europe, Latin America, China and the Middle East. Take advantage of 40 guaranteed one on one prescheduled appointments with top international tour operators in a reverse-style trade show that is proven to be an efficient and effective way to expedite the sales process and close business. View 2020 buyers. Supplier Registration: $3,950