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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: February, 2021
Feb 24, 2021

Taking an unusual path to the travel and tourism industry, Lisa’s background is in marketing and operations. Working for a large corporation in product marketing and then working as an Executive Director for a technology association set the groundwork for her current role as Executive Director for Travel Alliance Partners, a corporation owned by Tour Operators.

Lisa leads the management team in developing operational and marketing strategies to help Travel Alliance Partners strengthen their partnerships, increase their business and expand their company tour portfolios.

The past year has found Lisa and her team reimagining how they can deliver a quality travel industry conference to TAP’s audience of industry suppliers.

Destination on the Left is joined by Lisa Doerner, Executive Director for Travel Alliance Partners. TAP is a North American corporation owned by tour operators from the U.S. and Canada, each with their own unique geographical expertise. On our podcast, Lisa joins us to talk about how TAP has been supporting its tour operators and PPTPs throughout the pandemic. She also discusses the creativity and collaboration behind the live event her team is producing in 2021, as well as how it will ignite travel this year and beyond.

What You Will Learn:

  • Lisa’s journey into travel and tourism
  • What Lisa and her team have done to support tour operators throughout the pandemic
  • How TAP maintains relationships with PPTPs or preferred, professional, travel providers
  • How tap has used innovation and cutting edge thinking to help tourism professionals survive the pandemic
  • How TAP’s virtual event platform has enabled tour operators and their partners to continue developing relationships
  • The live event TAP is producing in 2021, and how it will ignite travel this year and beyond
  • How we can work together during the recovery of the travel and tourism industry

Travel Alliance Partners

Destination on the Left is joined by Lisa Doerner, Executive Director for Travel Alliance Partners. TAP is a North American corporation owned by tour operators from the U.S. and Canada, each with their own unique geographical expertise. On our podcast, Lisa joins us to talk about how TAP has been supporting its tour operators and PPTPs throughout the pandemic. She also discusses the creativity and collaboration behind the live event her team is producing in 2021, as well as how it will ignite travel this year and beyond.

TAP’s Coopetition Model

As the travel and tourism industry starts to return from the pandemic, collaboration is a critical component of recovery. TAP has always been way ahead of its time with innovation and collaboration, as they have been a focus since the organization’s inception in 2001. Their original business model was designed to bring competitors together so that everyone’s business could grow. That mode of operation continues today as the 15-25 tour operators in TAP buy and sell each other’s products and services to generate more tourism dollars for everyone.

Going Virtual

Since TAP is a company of tour operators, many of its team members saw departures for 2020 halt entirely. As they manage rebookings and try to stay afloat until travel fully reopens again, TAP has done everything in its power to support them. Early on, Lisa made the decision to host one of the travel industry’s first virtual events. TAP brought together a broad spectrum of tour operators and the PPTPs to create a platform through which they could continue to develop relationships. It was met with some resistance at first, but virtual vents are now the gold standard for tourism professionals in all kinds of verticals. TAP’s approach to collaboration and innovation has helped many tour operators navigate the challenges of the pandemic, and there is a lot we can learn from it.

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/

 
Feb 17, 2021

Jennifer Lazarz has worked with the City of Gallup for over five years, four of which have been as the Tourism and Marketing Manager. Jennifer’s projects with the City of Gallup include the execution of the 2015 LEDA Grant for Historic Theatres at the historic El Morro Theatre, serving on the team for design and implementation of the GallupRealTrue tourism brand, coordinating the Gallup Native Arts Market with the Native Artists Commission, design of gallupnativeartsmarket.org. In addition, she manages the marketing, PR, sales, lodgers tax fund, and long-term tourism development of the City’s Tourism initiatives. COVID-19 mixed things up and Jennifer also acted as the Public Information Office for COVID and ran the CARES Small Business Grant Program for Gallup, New Mexico. Jennifer is currently the treasurer on the board of the Community Pantry, a local non-profit ensuring no mother’s child goes hungry in McKinley and Cibola Counties in New Mexico. Prior to her time in Gallup Jennifer worked in the arts as a professional opera singer for multiple companies and as an arts administrator for Chicago Dance, Land of Enchantment Opera, and Voicexperience/Savannah Voice Festival. She also served in the hospitality industry in food/beverage and as a tour guide in Winston Salem, NC.

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Lazarz, the Tourism and Marketing Manager for the City of Gallup, New Mexico. On our podcast, Jennifer talks about how her background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry. She also discusses the importance of building relationships within the industry to promote a destination, the value of ‘people’ in tourism marketing, and the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Jennifer’s background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry
  • The importance of building relationships within the industry to better promote your destination
  • Why travel is about the people, not the experience, and how we can leverage that notion
  • How Jennifer is preparing for the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66
  • How Jennifer has been able to capture the unique character of Gallup using creativity and collaboration
  • What Jennifer has done to help Gallup stand out from the crowd
  • The lessons Jennifer has taken away from the global pandemic, and how coopetition helped her through

The City of Gallup

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Lazarz, the Tourism and Marketing Manager for the City of Gallup, New Mexico. On our podcast, Jennifer talks about how her background as an opera singer helps her bring a unique lens to the travel and tourism industry. She also discusses the importance of building relationships within the industry to promote a destination, the value of ‘people’ in tourism marketing, and the upcoming centennial anniversary of Route 66. Jennifer’s insights provide us with a great blueprint to approach our destination marketing strategy for 2021.

Capturing the Character of Gallup

Jennifer describes Gallup, NM as a city hiding in plain sight because it is a very substantial town despite what you might expect. Gallup is thirty miles east of the Arizona border on Interstate 40 and the Historic Route 66. It is surrounded by Native American populations and a significant amount of indigenous land, so Gallup has essentially become the economic hub of the entire region. There is an amazing culture derived from a combination of its coal mining roots and the influence of native cultural arts. Jennifer’s mission has been to capture this unique culture in her marketing efforts, and she has employed an incredible use of creativity and collaboration to do so.

Opportunity Through Networking

Throughout her tenure as the Tourism and Marketing Manager for Gallup, Jennifer has put a lot of effort into simply letting people know Gallup is there. Social media, digital marketing, and traditional out-of-home advertising have all played a major role in the growth of Gallup’s marketing platform. However, Jennifer’s approach to networking is what sets Gallup apart. She has spent a ton of time attending travel and tourism events and developing relationships with industry partners. Once they understood Jennifer’s vision and Gallup’s accessibility, they started providing her with resources to realize that vision. Don’t underestimate what your destination has to offer, there is always an atypical opportunity out there if you are willing to find it.

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/

Feb 10, 2021

Kerri Green is the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango, beginning August 2019. She is a US Army Veteran and has a marketing degree from SUNY Delhi. Kerri has an extensive background in economic development, sales, and in administration. Her background includes a tenure at CDO Broadcasting as Sales Manager for over ten years, and five years in Higher Education working as the Senior Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Hartwick College as well as the Director of Admissions at USC (Oneonta). She has spent over twenty years working wit various economic development agencies and Chambers of Commerce (all-volunteer) before taking the helm at Commerce Chenango.

Commerce Chenango houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce, operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County through the Development Chenango Corporation (DCC) as the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) as well as the Chenango Foundation (501 C3).

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Green has been the lead contact for Chenango County through the Southern Tier Control Room as well as working closely with Empire State Development (ESD) by serving on multiple workgroups and working on the 2021 Strategic Plan for the Southern Tier.

Green resides in Sidney with her husband and two daughters.

Destination on the Left is joined by Kerri Green, the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango. Her organization houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County. During our conversation, Kerri talks about the importance of aligning tourism and economic development. She explains what that synergy looks like in Chenango County and how she is redesigning Commerce Chenango’s business model to maximize it. Kerri also discusses the evolution of her newsletter, “Keep Calm and Kerri On.”

What You Will Learn:

  • The importance of aligning tourism and economic development
  • How Kerri is rebuilding Commerce Chenango’s business model from the ground up
  • The evolution of Kerri’s “Keep Calm and Kerri On” newsletter
  • How this year has taught us to be more resourceful and inquisitive about what our communities have to offer
  • The different collaborations Kerri has initiated in an effort to drive visitor traffic in Chenango
  • How Kerri is managing her own destination on top of building a regional support structure for other communities in the area

Commerce Chenango

Destination on the Left is joined by Kerri Green, the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango. Her organization houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County. During our conversation, Kerri talks about the importance of aligning tourism and economic development. She explains what that synergy looks like in Chenango County and how she is redesigning Commerce Chenango’s business model to maximize it. Kerri also discusses the evolution of her newsletter, “Keep Calm and Kerri On.”

Rebranding from the Ground Up

Whether you are trying to attract new residents/businesses or tourists, there is a lot of competition. It is important to differentiate your destination so it stands out from the crowd. Kerri has had a lot of success with this despite being thrown into the viper pit in the middle of a pandemic during her first year in charge. She has led the efforts of Commerce Chenango’s rebrand with a bottom-up approach. She has addressed their programs, initiatives, funding, and resources to make the greatest impact. Kerri also leveraged Chenango’s rural character to appeal to the shop local movement and attract people who are looking for a charming change of pace.

Creativity in the Face of Adversity

Adversity is no match for creativity, and one of the silver-linings of 2020 has been to watch creativity prevail in so many new ways. Aside from rebranding Commerce Chenango, Kerri has used creativity to engage the community in a bunch of other ways. Her team has produced a series of videos in-house to help people understand what is available in their community during the pandemic. They are also promoting safe events that are unique to Chenango County to drive visitor traffic going into 2021. This year has taught us to be more resourceful and more inquisitive about what our communities have to offer. Chenango is a great example of that.

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/

Feb 3, 2021

Husband and wife team, Tim and Janine Caschette, own Avvino which opened in 2013. The restaurant focuses on seasonal, American cuisine with an International twist and is known for its expansive and highly-curated wine program.

Destination on the Left is joined by the husband and wife team, Tim and Janine Caschette. They are the owners of Avvino, a contemporary American restaurant in Rochester New York boasting locally sourced ingredients and an eclectic, rotating seasonal menu. On our podcast, Tim and Janine share their stories and talk about how they found their passion in the restaurant industry. They also explain how their focus on food, service, and atmosphere combined with a highly-curated wine program helped them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Tim and Janine came to find their passion in the restaurant industry
  • How Tim and Janine’s focus on food, service, and atmosphere combined with a highly-curated wine program helped them navigate the lockdowns
  • Different ways Tim and Janine use creativity and collaboration to stand out from the competition
  • What Avvino has done to overcome the ever-changing lockdown restrictions
  • How Avvino used creativity to bring the hospitality experience to people at home

Avvino

Destination on the Left is joined by the husband and wife team, Tim and Janine Caschette. They are the owners of Avvino, a contemporary American restaurant in Rochester New York boasting locally sourced ingredients and an eclectic, rotating seasonal menu. On our podcast, Tim and Janine share their stories and talk about how they found their passion in the restaurant industry. They also explain how their focus on food, service, and atmosphere combined with a highly-curated wine program helped them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food, Service, and Atmosphere

Tim and Janine had vastly different introductions and pathways into the restaurant industry, but they found common ground in its opportunities to express creativity and passion. Creativity drives everything they do, and they are constantly looking for new ways to make their restaurant stand out from the competition. The triple threat of food, service, and atmosphere that we talked about is extremely important because many restaurants only check one or two of the boxes. Tim and Janine bring different perspectives to the table because of their unique backgrounds and experiences, and their complementary skillsets keep Avvino on the cutting-edge of all three categories.

Overcoming Restrictions with Creativity

In addition to helping Tim and Janine stay competitive when it counts, their approach to creativity also enables them to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. These restrictions are changing on what seems like a daily basis, and you have to be quick on your feet to stay compliant. Avvino revamped its menu to be takeout friendly, and takeout volume went from 1 order to almost 100 orders a night. They also found new ways to bring the hospitality experience to their customers at home by adding a personal touch to each order. As we finally put 2020 behind us, It is important to recognize the level of problem-solving restaurants like Avvino displayed. Restaurants that survived because of their creativity and quick thinking are going to bring a lot more to the table as the country begins to reopen.

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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