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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: May, 2019
May 29, 2019

Karyn Gruenberg is senior vice president of partner marketing and strategic alliances at Brand USA, the public/private partnership whose mission is to increase international visitation spend and market share in order to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the USA worldwide.

In this position, Karen is responsible for leading partner marketing efforts as well as building global strategic alliances to leverage the combined resources and expertise of the industry. Her leadership includes development and oversight of all partner-driven marketing programs and key global media alliances that add and create value for partners, amplify partners, international reach and drive, inbound visitor travel and tourism dollars to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five territories. Among her many accomplishments at Brand USA, Karen established a core partner program strategy that today includes more than 100 programs and 200 opportunities and key media partnerships with BBC, National Geographic, Bloomberg, and Your Own News and Alibaba to name a few.

Prior to joining brand USA, Karen led the marketing effort for Meet Minneapolis, the premier Tourism and Convention Marketing Organization of the Greater Minneapolis region. As part of the leadership team, she was instrumental in securing major sponsorships for the city as well as directing all advertising, public relations, digital development, and creative services to market the city. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota and pursued a Master in Business Communications at the University of Saint Thomas, Minnesota.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I ask Karyn to walk us through the many programs available through Brand USA, and how local attractions and destinations can take full advantage of them. We talk co-op marketing, storytelling, and much more – all geared toward the international visitor.

 

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Brand USA uses co-op marketing to bring large-scale messages down to the local level
  • Why storytelling is such a powerful tool in our industry
  • How affordable marketing to international visitors can be
  • The power of proximity campaigns
  • Why coopetition is one of your best tools to bring international visitors to your region

Finding The Difference

How do you market an entire nation? Karyn and I talk about how Brand USA takes a larger message like “Enjoy the Great Outdoors” and helps local destinations craft a message for international audiences.

This happens in many different ways. There are fairly traditional co-op campaigns and there are new and exciting storytelling programs, like the one that Brand USA is rolling out with partner Beautiful Destinations called United Stories. And if you haven’t utilized Brand USA’s Inspiration Guide, now is your chance to learn more about it and put it to use for your destination.

Bang for Your Buck

The value of the dollar is a key advantage for international travelers. Even though over the past year value has dropped a little bit, it’s still a good buy.

Karyn talks about proximity campaigns being developed by Brand USA. Proximity campaigns give regions dollars and ideas to use in order to market to international visitors. You can experience Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, and New York City, all within a short drive. Karyn talks with me about how proximity marketing is being used all around the country to highlight the amazing sights and activities available in a given region.

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/

 
May 27, 2019

We recently attended the 2019 Museum Association of New York annual conference and spoke with attendees from all over New York State representing all types of museums and cultural institutions. I talked with folks from 21 different museums and cultural institutions about how they are creating inclusive environments, attracting new audiences and fitting within the tourism fabric of their community. We used these great insights to create another Museum Series (see last year’s series here) with five episodes filled with knowledge. Through this series, I hope you will find a new perspective on this important segment of the tourism industry.

In this episode, I share my conversations with:

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is using innovative programming and presentations to promote inclusivity and draw a more diverse audience.
  • How the Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society is using collaborations with their local school district in an effort to expand their reach and engage new young audiences.
  • How Hyde Hall is using its historic lighting, including vapor-lit chandeliers, to become a one-of-a-kind destination for visitors from all over the world, as well as a desirable location for TV and film.
  • How the Vestal Museum is making efforts to be not just a historical site and museum but also a center of and showcase for music, arts and culture for the town of Vestal.

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park

David Hutchings shares the history of the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, New York, sharing how the home was built in 1887 to be the summer home of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. After her husband Frederick died in 1899, Mary Clark Thompson toured gardens around Europe for inspiration to redesign the mansion’s own gardens as a tribute to Frederick. David speaks about his organization’s efforts toward inclusivity through programs designed to connect with many different people of many backgrounds, including an upcoming performance by an African-American women’s gospel choir covering the stories of women’s suffrage, slavery and Abolition. He discusses upcoming horticulture programs including one on climate change and the local landscape. David shares efforts to attract new, younger audiences to the gardens, including a Moonlight Stroll series with musical performances. He discusses the significant role the Thompson family played in the development of the local community and the contributions they made throughout the region. David shares future plans for the continual development of the site.

Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society

Nanette Hance shares the founding and purpose of the all-volunteer historical society in Pultneyville, New York. She discusses how the organization is the custodian of the Society house, as well as the nation’s second oldest Little Theater and Pultneyville’s Centennial Park. Nanette explains how the organization is constantly working for inclusivity, including a collaboration between the school district and the historical society. She shares how the society is promoting their exhibits and programs, and some of the programs the society has recently shared including one featuring a well-known children’s book illustrator. She discusses the society’s efforts to reach out to new audiences through community outreach and education. Nanette also shares how the society is more aggressively using social media, and she talks about the success they have found through digital outreach. The Society house is becoming a part of local historical trails as an effort to more fully integrate into the travel fabric of the community, and she talks about efforts to grow the society’s membership and discover new members and visitors.

Hyde Hall

Jonathan Maney describes the history of Hyde Hall in Cooperstown, New York, a fifty-room British-American limestone mansion with a remarkable view and a fascinating history. Jonathan explains how inclusivity at Hyde House goes beyond accessibility for physically impaired guests to also include a variety of programs and events with an intent for outreach. He describes a partnership with the Cooperstown Graduate Program that engages the students to do research and conduct interviews with people who worked at Hyde Hall. He shares how Hyde Hall has been working with Cornell University to digitize the Clarke Family documents and share them online. He also discusses how events have been key to attracting diverse audiences and younger people. He explains how Hyde Hall is working to restore its kitchens and ultimately offer cooking classes there, and he shares efforts to create an engaging experience for visitors. Jonathan also explains efforts to partner with other museums, festivals, restaurants and historic hotels in the area. Jonathan explore the importance of working with local craftspeople to restore the original lighting that was used in the home in the 1800s, and how the lighting has been a significant factor in creating an authentic, memorable experience for visitors. He shares how the lighting and atmosphere of Hyde Hall have made it a significant filming location for major TV series and movies.

The Vestal Museum

Cherese Wiesner-Rosales discusses the role the Vestal Museum, a former train depot converted into a museum, plays in preserving the culture and history of the town of Vestal, New York. She shares the museum’s efforts to promote inclusivity by engaging the history of the local Native American tribe and creating an exhibit, as well as a lacrosse exhibit to draw in new audiences. Cherese explains  how the museum is working to become a living space, music and art venue and a draw to many different ages and cultures. She discusses how the museum is working to become a tourism anchor for Vestal, including making efforts to move the museum back to its original location and create a proper historic district for the town. She shares the effort the museum is making to build funds and develop grants to physically move the museum in the future.

Overview

For each of these organizations and destinations, thinking outside the box and leaning into the distinctive characteristics and offerings that make these locations unique has been instrumental for helping engage new audiences and expanding their reach. Ongoing inclusivity efforts through programs and exhibits that connect the history of these locations to the diverse society we live in today have been an important part of their efforts as well. A broad selection of programs that engage many different kinds of people across ages and ethnic backgrounds will be instrumental in their continued audience-building success going forward, truly highlighting the important role inclusivity can play for the travel and tourism industry at large..

Resources:

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/

May 22, 2019

David Gilbert serves as president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, an organization dedicated to making Greater Cleveland a premier destination for amateur sporting events, and Destination Cleveland, the region’s convention and visitors bureau.

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is responsible for attracting, promoting, and managing major amateur athletic events, and for creating sporting opportunities for youth and amateur athletes. Since 2000 the organization has attracted or created more than 190 events, including 25 NCAA championship competitions. These events have contributed more than $570 million in local economic impact.

At Destination Cleveland, David is responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission to drive economic impact and stimulate community vitality by positioning and promoting Cleveland as an exciting, vibrant destination. Among many accomplishments, they notably landed the 2016 Republican National Convention. David serves as vice president on the board of the International Children’s Games based in Leucine, Switzerland, and sits on the boards of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Greater Cleveland Film Commissionand the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

He was named by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of Cleveland’s 30 top influencers of the past 30 years, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and in 2016 he received the SME Cleveland Business Executive of the Year award.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with David about making destination marketing more entrepreneurial and working more strategically at creating a unified brand experience. All destinations have unique challenges. How do you encourage locals to promote tourism? How do you reach out to potential visitors and make your destination their top choice? David and Cleveland have faced some unique challenges and found some remarkable solutions.

 

What You Will Learn on This Episode:

  • Why DMOs need to become more entrepreneurial
  • The many ways tourism and economic development intersect
  • How to shape the perception of your destination
  • How to be more strategic in your tourism branding
  • Ways to create stronger alliances between DMOs and stakeholders

We’re All in This Together

Unless you’re a literal island, no travel and tourism entity can afford to function as an island unto themselves. When organizations think that way, everyone suffers.

Part of the challenge David faced was to help all the various cultural institutions, museums, sports teams, and local legends to realize they were part of a broader ecosystem. Together, they could accomplish far more than they could alone. But local DMOs also need to make sure all these groups understand the value a DMO can add- then the DMO needs to deliver.

Brand Perception

“Yeah, but you’re Cleveland.” A decade ago, Cleveland had a perception problem. Outsiders had a visceral (read: negative) reaction to the name. A significant portion of the population would not recommend it as a place to visit for friends and family. As you can imagine, that is a LOT to overcome.

But overcome they did. David and Nicole explore how he and the team at This is Cleveland flipped the script. They did it through some very deliberate steps in reshaping the City of Cleveland brand in a way that was both authentic and positive. “If it’s not real, and if you don’t deliver on the brand promise, everyone will be able to see that.” David shared. There is some great conversation about finding the promise of your brand and then living up to it.

To sum it up, David says, “You don’t have a brand for different audiences. A brand is a collection of stories about who you are. And if you hit it on the mark, that’s not going to change. The way you deliver it might change, but the brand will not change.”

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/

May 20, 2019

We recently attended the 2019 Museum Association of New York annual conference and spoke with attendees from all over New York State representing all types of museums and cultural institutions. I talked with folks from 21 different museums and cultural institutions about how they are creating inclusive environments, attracting new audiences and fitting within the tourism fabric of their community. We used these great insights to create another Museum Series (see last year’s series here) with five episodes filled with knowledge. Through this series, I hope you will find a new perspective on this important segment of the tourism industry.

In this episode, I share my conversations with:

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How the Albany County Historical Association is making efforts to become more inclusive by including the stories of the slaves and, later, the immigrant domestic servants who lived in the historic home
  • How the 9/11 Memorial and Museum works to honor all who lost their lives in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as the February 26, 1993, World Trade Center attack, and to preserve the history of those significant events
  • How Fort Ticonderoga works to provide a remarkable two-day destination experience for its visitors, and to promote education and the preservation of its historical heritage and military significance while supporting the region economically
  • How the National Museum of the American Indian established in 1916 became a part of the Smithsonian in 1989, and how its mission is to both preserve the history of Native Americans as well as to educate people about Native American life today
  • How the Hudson River Museum hosts numerous events dedicated to the arts and sciences within the historic home, planetarium, amphitheater, and galleries devoted to arts and environmental sciences

The Albany County Historical Association

Samantha Hall-Saladino shares the history of the Albany County Historical Association, housed in a historic home in Albany, New York. She discusses the efforts the Association is making to promote inclusivity by telling the stories of the slaves and immigrants who at one time lived in the home. She discusses the difficulty of making the entire house accessible for everyone and shares details of the virtual tour that will allow guests to view the second floor of the home in a virtual setting if they are unable to go to the second floor in person. She shares efforts to attract new audiences to the site, including key cross-promotion partnerships. She discusses exciting future opportunities for the mansion to continue its growth and community engagement.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Any Weinstein shares the mission of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to honor the lives lost in the terrorist attacks as well as to document and preserve the story of those attacks. She shares how the Memorial is working to honor all of the first responders and others who became sick due to chemical exposures on that day, as well as anyone who helped with the city of New York’s recovery efforts. She shares how inclusivity has always been a part of the Memorial as people from all walks of life were affected by the terrorist attacks. She shares details of their new Memorial Glade and its designers, and the symbolism surrounding it. She discusses maintaining the Memorial as a place of honor and as a reminder of the past. She talks about the upcoming 20-year anniversary of the attacks that will take place in 2021, and she shares how the staff has been discussing plans to commemorate the significant date.

Fort Ticonderoga

Beth Hill shares the historical significance of Fort Ticonderoga and discusses their efforts to preserve the Fort as an important site of military history. She discusses the unique upcoming opportunity Fort Ticonderoga will have to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. She shares how Fort Ticonderoga is working to create programs dedicated to women and people of color who served in the military, and she talks about why accessibility and inclusion have been of vital importance to their work. Beth discusses why families, not history buffs, are their largest audience, and she talks about building marketing and programs around visiting families. She shares some of the audience outreach work the Fort has been doing. She discusses the Fort serving as a major tourism anchor for the region and shares the economic impact the Fort has brought to the region, and she shares the importance of supporting the local community’s infrastructure development and the partnership opportunities that has brought. She shares future opportunities to expand the reach of Fort Ticonderoga.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Joshua Voda outlines the history of the Museum of the American Indian and explains why one of its important missions is to remind people that, while the history of Native Americans is a rich one, Native American life continues today and isn’t entirely represented by the history we know. Joshua discusses the role inclusivity plays in the mission of the museum, and he shares how the museum works to dispel stereotypes and steer people toward a better understanding of the impact Native Americans have had on all aspects of American history. He shares efforts the museum has made to attract new audiences, including opening the new STEM-focused “Imaginations Activity Center.” He shares details of an exhibit the museum is working on to showcase the Native American history of the New York area. He discusses outreach efforts to help teachers bring knowledge from the museum directly into their classrooms.

The Hudson River Museum

Araya Henry shares the many diverse and multi-disciplinary functions the Hudson River Museum serves, dedicated to both art and science. She outlines inclusivity efforts the museum makes through programs dedicated to teens of all ethnic, educational and economic backgrounds. Araya shares partnership efforts the museum is making to build their audience, including collaborations with nearby museums and cultural sites for cross-promotion and with local businesses to offer mutual discounts. She shares the future opportunities the future is looking to, including working with the local school system and becoming a part of the curriculum for local students. She discusses the local LGBTQ+ Advisory Board and the opportunities for partnerships and promotion that it represents for the museum.

Overview

Each of these organizations has turned to marketing and partnership opportunities as a crucial component to fuel their growth and reach. Working with area schools and offering new educational opportunities has been one avenue for success for many of these museums and historical sites. Developing and promoting inclusive programs and reaching out to different groups of people from all backgrounds have been equally important. A prevailing theme from each of these conversations is that travel and tourism sites such as museums, historical and cultural organizations can only benefit from working together, and the region-wide travel and economic impact these partnerships can create are dramatic and beneficial for everyone.

Resources:

May 15, 2019

For more than 25 years, Robert Rose has helped clients tell their story more effectively through digital media. As the founder of the Content Advisory, the education and consulting group for the Content Marketing Institute, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100.

He has provided strategic marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Capital One NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I’m very excited to bring this episode to you today. He has written several books with CMI colleague, Joe Pulizzi, including Killing Marketing and Content Inc.

On this episode of Destination the Left, I talk with Robert about how the travel and tourism industry can capitalize on and improve our content marketing work. How do you nurture and build trust with your audience? How do you increase your role as a go-to resource for information about the region or entity you serve? We talk about that and more in this stellar, news-you-can-use conversation.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to go miles deeper as a thought leader compared to your competition
  • How to acquire an audience and build trust
  • Becoming a reliable source of information for your travel/tourism customer
  • Why social media followers are not your addressable audience
  • Whether content marketing is part of your marketing strategy or is your marketing strategy
  • How to increase the value of your contact to impact buying decisions

Creating Subscribers

One of the interesting twists Robert brought to the conversation was about subscribers. The goal of content marketing is to create subscribers. He says, “When we think about a Facebook follower, or a podcast listener, or a Twitter follower, that is not an addressable audience. You are still depending on someone else’s algorithm to put our message of trust in front of that audience. A subscriber is something different. They see that post on Instagram or that great post you wrote, yes. But a subscriber is someone who signs up after reading one of those things, not for the thing they got, but for the things that they’re going to get from you down the road.”

Buyer’s Journey

Another piece of the conversation with Robert focused on the buyer’s journey. In your work, what is the buyer’s journey from awareness to purchase? The art of content marketing is understanding when to reach out to the potential buyer and what information or ideas to present at that point in their buying decision.

With the right kinds of engagement, awareness becomes engagement and engagement becomes a trip to your destination, and they guest sharing that experience with their social networks, and maybe even returning again.

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/

May 13, 2019

We recently attended the 2019 Museum Association of New York annual conference and spoke with attendees from all over New York State representing all types of museums and cultural institutions. I talked with folks from 21 different museums and cultural institutions about how they are creating inclusive environments, attracting new audiences and fitting within the tourism fabric of their community. We used these great insights to create another Museum Series (see last year’s series here) with five episodes filled with knowledge. Through this series, I hope you will find a new perspective on this important segment of the tourism industry.

In this episode, I share my conversations with:

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How and why the Russian History Museum came to be found in the unlikely setting of Jordanville, NY, and what valuable cultural purpose it serves
  • How the Phelps Mansion, built in 1870 in Binghamton, NY, was established as a museum in 2005 in an effort to preserve the last home of its kind on what was at one time referred to as “Mansion Row”
  • Why Don Papson and his wife founded the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, NY to honor and preserve the history of the Underground Railroads after a chance conversation in a grocery store
  • How the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park in Port Byron, NY is helping preserve and promote the important historic and economic impact of the New York State canals

The Russian History Museum

Michael Perekrestov discusses the 1930 founding of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, by religious and political refugees from the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution. Michael explains why the Monastery became a center of Russian history and culture within the United States, and he shares how the Russian History Museum came about in an effort to preserve the wealth of Russian artifacts that were kept at the Monastery. He explains how the museum is working to raise awareness and shares the initiatives the museum is taking to expand their audience through partnerships with other museums nationally and internationally. He outlines the opportunities he sees for the museum to engage with the local tourism industry in a mutually beneficial way, and he shares his plans for the future of the museum, including efforts to utilize social media as a way to bring the museum to a “virtual audience” all over the world.

The Phelps Mansion Museum

Toby Manker shares the unique history of the Phelps Mansion in Binghamton, New York, and discusses the challenge and opportunity of turning a relatively small home into a thriving museum. Toby discusses how population and income decline in Binghamton have been an obstacle in bringing in new visitors, and she shares how a wide variety of program offerings has helped work around this problem. She expresses her views on inclusivity and shares how the museum has been able to accomplish a lot on a small budget and with a staff of two. She discusses audience outreach initiatives and talks about how the museum’s primary audience is out-of-town visitors brought to the museum by way of TripAdvisor, and she shares how the museum interacts with the Path Through History Weekend to connect to other tourism drivers. Toby discusses working with university students and partnering with the university’s music department.

The North Star Underground Railroad Museum

Don Papson discusses the founding of the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, New York, after a chance conversation in a grocery store. He shares why he believes in preserving the history of the Underground Railroad, and he discusses the importance of having a diverse organization. He shares the profound story of a six-year-old visitor from a biracial family who was deeply appreciative of her visit to the museum. He discusses the untold history of the Chinese Underground Railroad and the work his museum has done to create an exhibit telling the forgotten story and its historical significance. He shares how the historical context of the Underground Railroads is echoed in the divisive political climate of today. Don discusses the efforts his museum is taking to promote itself and reach out to young people, and he shares how the museum is coordinating efforts with the local tourism industry for cross-promotion.

The Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park

Mary Riley discusses the unique partnership with the state that is supporting the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park in Port Byron, New York, and she shares the park’s mission to help educate visitors and preserve the vital history of the Old Erie Canal and other canals throughout New York. She discusses the pilot program the park is involved in to demonstrate how states can work directly with historic sites. Mary shares how the park promotes inclusivity through making their sites handicap-accessible, designating the park as dog-friendly and providing treats and water for canine visitors, offering printed guide books for hearing-impaired people who are unable to take the audio tour and providing wheelchair-accessible picnic tables for visitors. Mary shares how roadside visitors account for many of their first-time guests, and she discusses working with local tourism destinations to be an addition to visitors’ trips. She discusses future opportunities for growth and expansion of the park.

Overview

Through each of these interviews, a common theme has been the importance of inclusivity efforts and outreach programs as a way to bring the message of these museums and historical sites to as many people as possible. For smaller or more out-of-the-way locations, social media and the internet can be an especially valuable way to get the word out. Likewise, partnerships with other destinations and local tourism hotspots can help generate new visitors and bring in new audiences. These four unique organizations have truly demonstrated that when travel and tourism destinations work together, everyone benefits.

Resources:

May 8, 2019

Andrea McHugh is the senior communications manager for Discover Newport in Rhode Island. Andrea has been in the media and communication space for more than 20 years. Her experience as a magazine editor, copywriter and regular contributor to regional national, an international newspapers, magazines, and websites give her a unique and first-person perspective when serving her organization.

In her role as senior communications manager at Discover Newport, the official Destination Marketing Organization for Newport and Bristol counties in Rhode Island, she has developed a comprehensive communication strategy ranging from amplifying key messages with media to conducting and coordinating all internal and external communications.

Andrea was recognized by Providence Business news 40 Under Forty program and has served on the boards of PRSA Southern New England, and Habitat for Humanity, the editorial board of Engage Newport and the Marketing Committee of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. She had spoken both as a presenter and panelist and multiple topics including public relations, communications, brand awareness and development, social media and more.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Andrea McHugh about challenges that come during the off-season and when local officials are skeptical about the value of tourism. There is also so much opportunity out there right now. When tailwinds are strong, how do you capitalize on that momentum? Listen in and find out.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to embrace and market your off-season
  • Making locals your allies in destination marketing
  • Working with local officials to educate on the benefits of tourism
  • Looking well beyond your region for tourism partnerships
  • How to manage the ebb and flow of visitors with greater consistency

Follow the Money

Sometimes local politicians do not see the value in supporting tourism. But when you show them the tax revenue generated, that makes the case for you. Andrea shared how, in her words, “Part of that solution is constantly sharing the data about the economic impact of tourism. In tourism, we can see exactly where the taxes have grown and when there’s an opportunity.”

This education is not once and done. As new officials come into the office, the data needs to be shared and the case made all over again.

Thinking Outside Your Region

Sometimes opportunity for cross-pollination happens far from your back yard. When Bermuda, New York, and Co, and Destination Newport discovered they were all hosting sailing regattas, they decided to connect those dots for potential visitors who follow that distinctive recreational activity.

What opportunities are there for your destination to partner with other places hosting similar events or attracting similar visitors? That can be a great form of coopetition!

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/

 
May 1, 2019

As a native of Utah, Jason grew up visiting the National Parks, Monuments, and other regions throughout the Western United States. That is where he first fell in love with the history and geology of the area.

As he grew up, he continued to enrich his education and knowledge at nature camps and class trips throughout the Southwest. One of his favorite trips was down to Havasupai Falls and the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Even when he attended college in California, he continued to enjoy the diverse geological and ecological environments nearby.

He has enjoyed camping, hiking, backpacking, and touring throughout the west for the last 20 years. One of his greatest loves is sharing his passion for the history, geology, and beauty of the Southwestern United States with the tours he hosts.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jason about his experience building an adventure tour operation from scratch over the past six years. With tours running all over the southwestern United States (and now in Oregon!) it’s all about relationship-building. From customers to guides, to all those involved with making these unique experiences happen, building relationship and building trust have been the key to success.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Tips for hiring the best client-facing employees
  • How to create an environment of constant improvement
  • Staying connected to customers as you grow
  • The little things you can do to create “Wow!” experiences
  • Building great relationships with DMOs and vendors
  • Why trust is such a crucial ingredient to success in this business

From Point A to Point B

For large tours on the open road, there is a ready solution: buses made specifically for the travel industry. For smaller group tours, Jason was not finding the right mode of transportation. Bench seats in an Econoline might work for very short distances, but not for a 5 to 12-day trip. Through dedication, research, and customization, Jason finally found the right van and now the comfort of travel is remarked on by customers almost as much as the destinations.

That kind of attention to customer experience can set your company apart from the competition. When you’re in a business where the journey is literally as important as the destination, everything that happens between point A and points B becomes important.

Navigating the Travel Ecosystem

As a tour operator, Jason relies on DMOs for information and broader marketing initiatives. He relies on service providers like river rafting companies and glamping outfitters – who could easily undercut him and steal customers away.

It all comes down to trust. That’s why developing relationships is important, from customers to all the players in the travel ecosystem. When you know and trust each other, the opportunity to cooperate gives everyone a fair shake. Wrestling for the same clientele can be nerve-wracking, but you have to put yourself out there and find the people and organizations that are a good fit.

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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