American Resort Development Association’s Annual Convention, Expo To Convene In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) will welcome nearly 2,000 attendees from more than 35 different countries, to the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave., from Sunday, March 26 to Thursday, March 30, for the 2017 ARDA World Convention and Exposition.

         Over five days of meetings, educational sessions and exhibits, professionals from all areas of the vacation ownership industry will have the opportunity to learn the industry’s best practices, network with peers and create new business relationships.

         Among the roster of distinguished guests is opening keynote speaker Josh Linkner, two-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized thought leader, who will discuss innovation, creativity, reinvention and hyper-growth leadership. The event will close with a Breakfast of Champions including keynote speaker Major Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot with three combat tours in Iraq, a PGA Golf Professional and the founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation.

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         New this year, Marketplace, is a unique area offering attendees unprecedented networking and business opportunities, event organizers said. The space features meeting rooms, traditional trade show booths and new interactive kiosks. ARDA World will continue its “Digital Zone,” which encourages attendees to engage in social media discussions, ask questions of the speakers and network with each other. The popular Lion’s Den program will return, where industry leaders will evaluate a lineup of digital travel companies in a “Shark Tank”-like format.

         This is the first time ARDA World will be hosted in New Orleans. This year’s event is projected to generate more than $2.3 million in economic impact for the city.


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• Monday, March 27: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Celestin Ballroom; General Session with keynote speaker: Josh Linkner, internationally recognized thought leader and top-rated keynote speaker on innovation, creativity, reinvention and hyper-growth leadership

• Tuesday, March 28: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Celestin Ballroom; Meet the Leaders session will feature a panel of CEO’s addressing topical issues ranging from the impact of industry consolidation to looking ahead. Sponsored by Baker & Hostetler, the session will include Don Harrill, CEO of Holiday Inn Vacations Club; Serge Rivera, President & CEO of ILG Vacation Ownership; Robert Spottswood, President of Spottswood Companies, Inc.; Mark Wang, President & CEO of Hilton Grand Vacations and Steve Weisz, President & CEO of Marriott Vacations Worldwide.

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• Wednesday, March 29: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Celestin Ballroom; The Lion’s Den, sponsored by Vacatia, will allow start-up companies in the digital travel arena to pitch their products to judges in a “Shark Tank”-like competition. Company participants include:, Hello Scout, Suiteness, Transparent Intelligence, Travelsify and


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