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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: January, 2020
Jan 29, 2020

Executive Director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo since 2012, Kuhar manages the Zoo’s extensive animal collection and oversees the daily operations of the 183-acre facility. Since joining Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2008, he has also served as Curator of Primates and Small Mammals and Curator of Animals. Prior to that, Kuhar was the Research Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, where he studied animal behavior for nearly five years. He previously worked as a Research Assistant at Zoo Atlanta from 2000 to 2003 and at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo from 1997 to 2000.

Kuhar received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Akron in 1997, his Master of Science in zoology from Oklahoma State University in 2000 and his doctorate in experimental psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for four years, Kuhar has served as the Board Liaison to the Animal Welfare Committee, and as a member of the Safety Committee, Animal Population Management Committee, Research and Technology Committee as well as multiple TAGS and SSPs. Kuhar also serves as an AZA Executive Leadership Development Program mentor.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Executive Director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Dr. Christopher Kuhar, joins us to discuss his branding strategy for the zoo. He talks about leading with the mission to increase awareness of the work organizations are doing behind the scenes.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How zoos are weaving their mission into their brand story
  • Why balance is so important
  • How the Cleveland Zoo became apart of an award-winning special parks district
  • How Dr. Kuhar and his team redesigned the messaging strategy
  • What visitors want to know about your destination
  • How Cleveland Metroparks Zoo stands out from its competitors
  • Projects that Dr. Kuhar and his team are currently working on

Rebranding the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Dr. Christopher Kuhar is the Executive Director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, where he manages the Zoo’s animal collection and oversees the daily operations. In Dr. Kuhar’s current role, he is leading the Cleveland zoo into a new chapter with an emphasis on conservation, education, and animal welfare. On top of the massive additions to infrastructure and exhibits that have already been completed, Dr. Kuhar and his team are changing the way that they talk about themselves to the public. Traditionally, zoos have always focused their marketing budget on getting people through the front gates. But there is amazing work happening behind the scenes and Dr. Kuhar is making an effort to weave it into the brand.

What are You Doing to Make the World a Better Place?

For the travel industry in general, there has been a major shift as far as what people are looking for when they travel; and there is a greater concern for the environments they are stepping into. The impact visitors have on the destinations they visit and the footprints they leave behind are out in the open, so brands like the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have capitalized on opportunities to talk about the work they are doing. In polling data from the AZA, Dr. Kuhar and his team have gathered a significant amount of information about their visitors—and they found that the desire to see destination organizations making the world a better place is near the top of the list. That is something every DMO can leverage.

How Do You Show Up in the World?

Many guests at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are completely unaware of the impact Dr. Kuhar and his team are making, so that was a major driver behind the new messaging. They wanted to highlight the conservation work they have been doing for the last twenty years and lead with their mission in every advertisement and every piece of content on social media. So far, this has increased awareness from 50% to 90% and it has even increased attendance from demographics that would normally be considered outliers. How your brand shows up in the world is directly correlated to a traveler’s decision to visit your destination. So, if you want to learn more about Dr. Kuhar’s successful rebrand of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, listen to his episode here: http://bit.ly/36emhjT

Jan 22, 2020

With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.

In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.

As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.

In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we look at the highlights from the final day of our Destination on the Left Virtual Summit.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The highlights from day three of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit
  • Jennifer Barbee’s presentation on Building Relevancy With an ROI Plan
  • Tiffany Gallagher’s presentation on The Evolution of Destination Marketing Funding
  • Sarah Blackwell and Colleen Onuffer’s presentation on Evaluating Public Relations
  • Josh Collins’ presentation on Vibrant Destinations
  • David Holder’s presentation on Measurement Tools and Responsible Metrics

Destination on the Left Virtual Summit: Day 3

The first two days of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit were nothing short of spectacular! It was an honor listening to our ten marketing experts share their thoughts on industry trends and challenges that destination marketers are facing. If you missed either Day and want to revisit the presentations, make sure to check out our recaps of Day 1 and Day 2 on the Destination on the Left website and all major streaming platforms.

In the latest solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we will be rounding out the last day of the virtual summit with a recap and final thoughts about the event. Today’s episode will include highlights from presentations by Jennifer Barbee, Tiffany Gallagher, Sarah Blackwell & Colleen Onuffer, Josh Collins, and David Holder. Learn what they had to say about:

Building Relevancy With an ROI Plan: Jenifer Barbee of Destination Innovate discusses new ways for destinations to think about marketing. She explains why DMOs should design campaigns with key performance indicators (KPIs) to mine data that tells a story.

The Evolution of Destination Marketing Funding: Tiffany Gallagher of Civitas Advisors discusses the development of Tourism Improvement Districts and explains how they are impacting destinations across the country.

Evaluating Public Relations: Sarah Blackwell and Colleen Onuffer of Break the Ice Media explain the Barcelona Principles 100-point scoring system for the evaluation of PR campaigns.

Vibrant Destinations: Josh Collins of Streetsense gave a presentation about the evolution of the experience economy. He explained how destinations can attract more visitors by building trust, leveraging data, curating their culture, and embracing marketing challenges.

Measurement Tools and Responsible Metrics: David Holder of JLL discusses tools and metrics with a metaphor using three buckets. His concepts are broken up by overall destination metrics, travel activity indicators, and annual market results.

If you weren’t able to take part in the amazing Destination on the Left Virtual Summit, don’t fret! You can still watch all of the presentations on our website. Just purchase an all-access pass by visiting www.destinationontheleft.com/summit and enjoy! Otherwise, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement for our next summit in Spring 2020. We hope you can join us.

Resources:

Jan 15, 2020

With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.

In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.

As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.

In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we look at the highlights from day two of our Destination on the Left Virtual Summit.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The highlights from day two of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit
  • How you can use live video and video to increase exposure and attendance at events and destinations
  • How to improve your communication strategy through demographic research
  • How to employ traditional branding tactics as a DMO
  • Why DMOs can benefit from the dramatic change in Chinese travel trends
  • How you can leverage influencer marketing to generate awareness and drive visitation at their destinations

Destination on the Left Virtual Summit: Day 2

On day one of the virtual summit, we were graced with some amazing speakers. If you missed our recap of their presentations and want to revisit them, make sure to check out “Destination on the Left Virtual Summit Recap: Day 1, with Nicole Mahoney.”

This episode will follow suit with a recap of day two and all of the fabulous presentations that came with it. We dive into the talking points presented by marketing gurus Reagan Burns, Susan Baier, Matt Stiker, Humphrey Ho, and Stacy Jones. We cover a wide variety of topics based on current industry trends and marketing best practices, including:

Using Live Videos at Events and Tourism Destinations: Reagan Burns of Lime Creative provided valuable insights into creating live video, and explained how video can increase exposure and attendance at events and destinations.

Going Beyond Demographics and Finding the Visitors’ ‘Why?’: Susan Baier of Audience Audit shares a new perspective on targeting. She explore how destinations can move beyond the typical demographic categorization of audiences and market in a way that answers the visitor’s question of “why”.

What Destination Marketers Can Learn From Non-Destination Marketers: Matt Stiker of Garrand Moehlenkamp looks at destination marketing through a wide-angle lens and discusses the fundamental components of powerful branding.

Changing Chinese Traveler and Travel Trends: Humphrey Ho of Hylink Digital discusses the shift from group travel to FIT (free, independent travelers) and how smaller destinations can take advantage of prospective Chinese visitors doing their own research online.

Using Pop Culture to Market Your Brand: Stacy Jones of Hollywood Branded talks about how destination marketers can use celebrities and influencers to generate awareness and drive visitation at their destinations.

If you weren’t able to take part in the amazing Destination on the Left Virtual Summit, don’t fret! You can still watch all of the presentations on our website. Just purchase an all-access pass by visiting www.destinationontheleft.com/summit and enjoy! Otherwise, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement for our next summit in Spring 2020. We hope you can join us.

Resources:

Episode Transcript

Jan 8, 2020

Aileen Ramos is the Director at the Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau in the heart of South Texas. With a decade of experience in the hospitality industry and a long career in Marketing and Sales, she leads the CVB team in promoting the best of the city she calls home.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Aileen Ramos discusses the unique bicultural community of her city. She explains how it ties into her marketing efforts and shares some of the projects they’ve done to reach a diverse audience. Click here to listen to the episode:

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Aileen leverages the visitor’s perspective to create powerful marketing for Laredo
  • How CVB approaches marketing Laredo’s bicultural experiences
  • The challenges Aileen’s organization has faced with marketing in Mexico
  • Aileen’s strategy for celebrating Laredo’s 265 year anniversary
  • The role of the Laredo community in CVBs marketing efforts
  • How Aileen collaborates with her sister cities and other destinations

Visit Laredo

Aileen Ramos has spent most of her career in sales and marketing roles, but hospitality has always been her passion. She was initially inspired by her grandfather, who worked for a travel magazine and traversed the globe, bringing amazing destinations into the spotlight. Now, Aileen carries the torch, and she is giving Laredo the same magic touch. Aileen has made many trips to Laredo throughout her lifetime, so she brings a unique visitor’s perspective to the table for every project.

A Bicultural Experience

One of Laredo’s most powerful traits is its bicultural community. Laredo is a border town, so it has two distinct markets, two marketing opportunities, and two campaigns. It is a major advantage because Aileen’s team can double-dip with the marketing budget. They are targeting U.S. citizens who are seeking a “true Mexican experience,” and Mexican citizens who are looking for a taste of the states. In the form of restaurants, shopping, and events, both audiences can experience the rich culture of Laredo in totally different ways.

Happy Anniversary Laredo!

Founded in 1755, Laredo is older than the United States. It was a part of the Republic of Rio Grande which turns 180 years old next year, and Laredo will turn 265. It is grounds for a celebration, and Aileen has orchestrated a year-long tribute to the one-of-a-kind destination. As a salute to the rich history, Aileen decided she didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. The staples of the celebration are designed to amplify Laredo’s existing holidays and get the whole community involved! From the university to agricultural businesses, everyone is taking part. There is a collective effort to grow the city—not just for tourism, but for the residents as well.

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