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Destination On The Left

Destination On The Left is a podcast focused on the travel and tourism industry that explores successful collaborations, creative marketing ideas and best practices. Interviews are a mix of Destination Marketers, Industry Leaders, Consultants and businesses in the industry. We explore consumer marketing programs and travel trade marketing programs. This podcast provides an opportunity for professionals in the travel & tourism industry to share what they have learned and successes that they have achieved.
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Now displaying: April, 2019
Apr 24, 2019

Paul Leone began his career as a multi-media producer for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. He soon moved on to editing, shooting, and producing several series for cable television and later worked in the studio, agency, and advertising industry. As a TV producer, he wrote and developed several television pilots on American craft beer, the first few hosted by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head. Although they were never picked up, he discovered his passion for craft beer and knew what he wanted to do as a career moving forward. From 2008-2013, he hosted Beer America TV with John Pinkerton of Moon River Brewing and today, Paul is the Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association. Since starting, Paul has seen New York’s brewing industry double in size, many new laws passed and has met hundreds of incredible and passionate brewers all over the state and country.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Paul about how attractive hyper-local experiences are, but how they can be a challenge to market beyond a region. They also dig into how craft brewing has grown and has become a major attraction in tourism for many regions.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to market hyper-local experiences
  • Why craft beverages fit well in the tourism category
  • The economic impact craft beverage has on the local tourism economy
  • How to toot your own horn you are not top-of-mind in your category
  • Event marketing that connects with visitors

The Economic Impact of Beer

It is no big surprise that beer is important to people- it’s important to economies. But to understand the economic impact on local economies, and the tourism dollars pumped into local economies, a study needed to be done. That’s where the New York State Brewer’s Association comes in and the numbers are impressive for the craft beer industry.

In New York State alone, the economic impact is 5.4 billion dollars in economic impact. Brewers employ 20,000 people across the state and craft brewing creates a $317 million impact on tourism. If those wine and brewery trails are paying off in your region, you are definitely not alone. Craft brewing is big business, spread across small businesses throughout any given region. It matters in a big way to the tourism industry in particular.

Marketing the Hyper-Local

Visitors love the local flavor and nothing offers local flavor better than a cold, locally crafted beer. But how do you let potential visitors know all that local flavor – whether beer, wine, or some other regional specialty or recreation activity? That is the challenge Paul was facing New York State’s multi-faceted craft-brewery industry.

Beer Festivals have been a recent focal point. Paul noticed that many festivals were run by distributors – people got a variety of beer for their festival ticket, but they didn’t get any real connection with the people who actually crafted that beer.

Bringing the brewers right to the festival makes all the difference – to the point where they didn’t need musical entertainment anymore! By focusing on the brewers, festivals have become even more of a draw, and the hyper-local flavors are described by the people who actually make them.

Resources:

Episode Transcript

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Apr 17, 2019

Bob Provost, president, and CEO of New York Tourism and Industry Association (NSYSTIA) has been pretty much everywhere in New York State, from Long Island to the Thousand Islands. He currently resides on a small farm in northern Rensselaer County. When Bob joined NYSTIA as a member in early 2017 he had no idea he would be joining the staff as president and CEO in September of 2018. He felt that there was tremendous potential yet to be realized in the organization and terrific people to work with.

Prior to joining NYSTIA, Bob enjoyed success as chief marketing officer with the Hearst newspapers in Albany, New York from 1987 to 2005. He then served as CMO of the Star-Ledger, Newjersey.com. During his time there, Bob campaigned for a more structured, proactive tourism infrastructure in the Garden State.

In 2015 Bob transitioned from his role as a media executive to become president and CEO of the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau where he dramatically upgraded digital marketing and international outreach, achieving increases in occupancy, average daily rate, and welcome the first new hotels in that market in decades. Bob has worked with students throughout his career as a faculty member at Sienna College and Rutgers Business School, and with hundreds of interns. He has served on the boards of many institutions, colleges, cultural and arts organizations, chambers and CVBS, as well as social service organizations.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Bob about the economic impact of tourism, and how to really listen to residents and help them understand and embrace the positive impact of tourism. He says, improve the visitor experience and you will improve the resident experience. Find out how to get neighbors and business owners on board and treat tourism as the economic development engine it is.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why best practices are more important than industry experience
  • How to help a community understand that good tourism means an economically healthy community
  • How internships from outside hospitality can be a win-win
  • The 8 Ps of Tourism Marketing
  • The importance of embracing change as communities and tourism itself evolves

Tourism as Economic Development

Too often, the wider economic impact of tourism is overlooked by residents. Bob wants to change that by helping people involved in tourism change the narrative. Bob shares how if your tourism sector is successful, then you will have revitalized downtowns in small towns as well as jobs and small business success.

Tourism also reduces their tax burden and increases employment opportunities. It enhances the quality of life choices that are available to them by supporting restaurants, attractions, and other leisure opportunities. Bob wants the business community to understand how they can hitch their wagon to that visitor economy and increased sales and success.

Embracing Change

Bob ended our conversation with this message: “I’m a big believer that healthy organizations are very much like healthy organisms. They need to embrace evolutionary change or they will not survive the competition of the fittest.”

If you don’t evolve, change is going to be a lot more traumatic. Making a smaller, incremental change on a consistent basis allows you to move forward as an organization and thrive. That’s the philosophy he is embracing for NYSTIA and one that we all have had to learn – hopefully not the hard way!

Resources:

Episode Transcript

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

Apr 10, 2019

Jennifer Barbee is a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker, and all-around boss. Jennifer and her partner Kristen created the agency Destination Innovate in 2017, in addition to running to successful digital branding agencies. She has been named Stevie® Female Entrepreneur of 2013, 2014 in Advertising/Media/PR (U.S. and Europe), ranked #17 in StartUp Nation’s® Top 100 Moms in Business and has represented some of the country’s leading brands, affectionately dubbing her the “dot com diva” and the “Harvard of Internet and Travel”.

Jennifer wows crowds with her unique brand of humor and real talk. She is a tireless advocate of women entrepreneurs and regularly hosts success schools and offers private coaching. She continues to offer her digital strategy expertise to consulting and speaking at conferences around the world.

Jennifer is also a mom of four and is an avid coffee and mimosa enthusiast.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jennifer about risk-taking in travel marketing. It may push our comfort levels, but it can pay big dividends compared with the status quo. We also talk through some great marketing strategies and tactics you can start using right away – from Facebook tools to DMOs.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • The importance of calculated risk-taking
  • Finding the gaps in marketing that others are not exploring, and getting there first
  • Taking advantage of “now” opportunities, not non-existent “forever” strategies
  • How to bring gender equity to leadership roles in the travel industry
  • Ingredients for successful collaboration
  • How DMOs can share with smaller stakeholders marketing secrets they can use themselves

Embracing Risk

Expedia and Travelocity took big risks if you can remember back to those early days of the internet. Millennials, just sit back and let us tell you the story. At the dawn of the 21st Century, a flight and hotel aggregator was literally wishful thinking. Jennifer talks about how Expedia and Travelocity took that wishful thinking and some great coding expertise and created some dramatic disruption in the industry.

Jennifer invites us to not be afraid of risk. There are so many calculated small risks you can take to make a bigger impact with your marketing budget, like putting the story in the hands of the visitor. She offers some great examples of personality-driven websites that target a specific segment you want to attract. When a visitor tells you what they like, you can target the right message that engages, building a relationship, and bumps up your visitation numbers.

Travel Marketing Hacks

We also discuss a fascinating social media hack destination marketers can use. It’s great for large organizations but even better for the smaller hotel or attraction. It’s a really great platform for the small BNB or the small hotel owner who only has 20 or 60 rooms to take control of the booking. You can do a double dip there, building awareness and doing good in marketing, but also utilizing a booking engine with no fees attached. We dig into the specifics of how you can make this happen on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Jennifer is an amazing resource who is always willing to ask tough questions, give unexpected answers, and generally get the conversation to the level where big ideas can turn into action that makes a real difference in your organization.

Resources:

Episode Transcript

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

Apr 3, 2019

Colleen Onuffer is a consultant at Break the Ice Media and vital part of the team. She uses her passion for writing and storytelling in her role here to make a big impact for her clients. Since her start in 2016, Colleen has helped her clients find their essential stories and develop targeted messages.

Colleen enjoys making new travel media contacts by participating in travel shows, like Discover America Day and I Love New York Media Marketplace. She loves exploring travel trends by attending conferences likes the one provided by the New York State Tourism Industry Association.

This episode of Destination on the Left is a team cast, in which I talk with Colleen about influencer marketing. What is it, and how can you best use it to bring more visitors to your destination? Colleen has literally written the book on this, working with the Break the Ice team on a new ebook on the subject.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why working with an influencer is different from working with a traditional travel journalist
  • How to understand and set expectations for an influencer you work with
  • Why the number of followers is not the best metric to use in deciding which influencer to work with
  • How to find the right influencer “match” for your destination
  • How influencers can help you reach a new or underserved market for your destination

Is Your Destination Right for Influencer Marketing?

Working with influencers may or may not be a fit for every destination. But it can be an incredibly powerful way of making a big impact through the social media pull of that influencer. Colleen and I talk about how to vet influencers to match the audience you are trying to reach. Who is their audience? What is the level of engagement they receive? If they post content and don’t get much response, they might not deliver the bang your buck that you are looking for.

Understand that sometimes an influencer will come to a destination for the comped travel package alone, but some will be looking for financial compensation. This is how they earn a living, after all. Be ready to know your own budget for the project and be willing to discuss the deliverables you expect for an agreed-on price.

Working With An Influencer

Influencers are looking for a different experience than a traditional travel journalist. Understanding each other’s expectations will make the experience a benefit to you both. For most influencers, capturing great images is the key, so itineraries tend to be more fluid. They need time to get a shot of a gorge or a sunset, or whatever they find interesting about your destination.

To make the most of the opportunity, make sure to supply them with hashtags and links to deals or resources that point the influencer’s followers back to your destination. The impact could be felt months or even years after the influencer has come and gone. Being able to track who expressed interest and who actually booked a visit will help you measure the success of your influencer marketing projects.

Resources:

Episode Transcript

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

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