Every few years, Destinations International commissions a Futures Study to attempt to identify next steps for DMO pros to consider as we move our sector forward. The latest was released this July at the Annual Convention in Baltimore. On this episode of DMOU, we sit down with Charles Harris (CEO of the Reno-Sparks CVB) and Gabe Sedar (Senior Director of Advocacy Policy and Program Development for Destinations International) to discuss and debate the Top Three Trends revealed in this year's Future Study. Join us.
Since taking the reins of the Greater Boston CVB in 2018, Martha Sheridan has been on a whirlwind ride, made even more so with the events of the past 18 months. Hear the former Destinations International Chair describe how her DMO worked with the City to make the destination more welcoming, secured a Tourism Improvement District during COVID and share the lessons learned in her first three years in a Top 25 city. Oh yeah...and how she found her way into the Destination Marketing world in the Bonus Round Question.
Home to the Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield has emerged as an international destination after Shawshank Redemption was filmed there. But the story goes much deeper, as our guest Lee Tasseff (CEO of Destination Mansfield) shares. In this episode, you'll hear how his DMO worked with the preservationist side of the historic prison to ultimately transition it to a site for one of Ohio's biggest rock concerts.
For Destination Marketing Organizations, proving ROI has been the Holy Grail. And, with political pressures becoming even more pronounced in our world, the need has never been greater. During the pandemic, Experience Kissimmee's Jason Holic dedicated time to developing a tool that his DMO could use as they emerged from they crisis, using a myriad of data points that were already at their disposal. In this edition of DMOU, we go down the rabbit hole with Jason to learn about "The Impactulator," an ROI calculator that Experience Kissimmee is making available to DMOs everywhere.
One of the most recognized and respected DMO pros in America retired this summer after 46 years in the sector. Former Visit Phoenix CEO Steve Moore graciously joins us on DMOU this week to discuss lessons learned and battles won, where he believes the future lies in destination development and what must have been in the water for the Houston CVB to have become a breeding ground for so many DMO CEOs over the years. It’s a fun conversation with lots of Steve-isms…and a Bonus Question that reveals his past as a Dialogue Coach on a major motion picture. Join us.
Little Rock's Gretchen Hall was installed as the new Chair of Destinations International earlier this month at the Annual Convention in Baltimore. In this special episode of DMOU, she shares her three-pronged agenda for the year ahead...Diversity, Global expansion and Advocacy as her pillars. And, she shares the backstory of the video that introduced her and Little Rock to the assembled.
On this very special episode of DMOU, we deviate from our "3 Questions and a Bonus Round" format to ask just one question. Last week, Bill roamed the halls of the return-to-in-person Annual Convention of Destinations International in Baltimore and asked DMO pros to share the one thing learned or implemented during COVID-19 that they intend to continue doing post-pandemic. Thoughtful, sometimes poignant and all adoptable, the ideas and concepts abound. And, thanks to the 20 individuals that took time out to share. Y'all rock.
Tourism Ottawa's Michael Crockatt is our guest on this fascinating look into how his DMO is finding innovative ways to drive business and diversification in Canada's Capital Region. You'll hear about their recent foray into live streaming concerts exclusively into area hotels to encourage overnight stays...as well as their work in launching the global Hybrid City Alliance to drive meeting and convention business. He also shares the work their DMO has been doing through its Indigenous Tourism Entrepreneurship Training initiative, both opening business opportunities and sharing the cultural heritage of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.
Regardless of what it's been called over the past century, the platform for DMO professionals to exchange data on meetings, conventions and events has constantly evolved from paper-based to digital to cloud. Christine "Shimo" Shimasaki joins DMOU to share the exciting upgrades being made to MINT+ through a collaboration between Destinations International and Simpleview. From cleaning up frustratingly inaccurate data to creating a more robust category search function to target specific industries, this new iteration is pretty powerful. And, Shimo shares a sneak peak into what MINT+ hopes to roll out later this year. Cool stuff.
As video becomes increasingly important in all facets of marketing, the team at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater pondered how it could tell the destination's story in a different way. In this episode of DMOU, CEO Steve Hayes joins us to recount how his DMO collaborated with Visit Florida to produce a charming Amazon Prime series called "Life's Rewards," the saga of a down-on-his luck corporate playboy reduced to living on hotel points in an iconic hotel in St. Pete. And, then there's the Bonus Round question where he reveals he high-sticked his own son. Join us.
As we watch DMOs shutter their Visitor Information Centers, we invited Travel Oregon's Welcome Center Manager Allison George and Research mavin Ladan Ghahramani to share recent research into the ROI of interfacing with visitors. The increased spending stats of those that visit Welcome Centers are well beyond anything we've ever seen. And, as we emerge from the Plague, will Visitor Centers become even more important as consumers reject advice from those they don't know? A fascinating conversation that bridges the divide between old-school and new-age visitor engagement.
Former Visit Oakland CSO Rhanee Palma has worked on all three sides of the Destination Sales triangle; hotel sales, DMOs and, now, a Third-Party planning firm. She joins DMOU to share her take on what each partner can learn from the other in our joint effort to bring more business to our respective communities. Plus, in her Bonus Round question, she shares an experience that left a scar...but one she recalls with fondness.
Authentic. It's the word we often hear when Destination Marketers attempt to develop messaging for consumers. But when reaching out to a market that doesn't look or live like you, achieving authentic is often elusive. In this episode, HospitableMe's Billy Kolber and Kenny Porpora break down how DMO pros should approach the LGBTQ+ market. From working with the local community to determine whether your destination is ready to designing and executing authentic messaging, this is a conversation you won't want to miss. Plus, they reveal details on their new Master Class, with a discount for DMOU listeners through June, 2021.
Tourism is one of the most fiercely competitive environments on the planet...yet a new research study shows that collaboration produces more winners than losers. Break the Ice Media's Nicole Mahoney joins us to share the fascinating results of a landmark study into the power of collaboration and coopetition. You'll learn about the three types of collaborators, hear case studies...and, on the Bonus Round question, get the backstory on Visit Syracuse's brand ownership of Winter, one of the gutsiest DMO moves ever. Join us.
Say "High Value Visitor" to most and it sounds somewhat (if not outright) elitist...but not to former Colorado Tourism Office CEO Cathy Ritter. In this episode, she shares several new, inspiring definitions for "High Value." She also discusses how "Dispersive Travel" benefits virtually everyone, her ground-breaking "Colorado Cares" initiative...and how she landed her first State Tourism Director post in Illinois in the '90s. It's 30 minutes that just may change the way you view the future of Destination Marketing.
Kristen Jarnagin has been reinventing Destination Marketing in her community since taking the helm of Discover Long Island in 2015. On this edition of DMOU, she shares the backstories of their recent forays into producing a weekly YouTube TV Show, a Video Podcast and their blazing success on TikTok (where they have over 55,000 followers). Oh yeah...and a Bonus Round question that likely beats your most-unusual-summer-job-ever story. It's a lively half hour of conversation with one of the bright new stars of our sector. Join us.
Earlier this year, Destination Greater Victoria became the first major metro DMO in North America to achieve a Carbon Neutral designation. CEO Paul Nursey shares how Sustainability went from near the bottom of the list of 300 things he planned to achieve when he took the helm of his organization to one of their North Stars. From intentionally analyzing the environmental cost of his own team's travel to launching a national convention (hosted in Victoria) focused on Sustainability in Travel and Tourism, Paul's story is a compelling example of how we all have a role in preserving our communities.
Visit Savannah is known as one of the most innovative DMOs in America...and that didn't stop with COVID-19. On this episode of DMOU, CEO Joe Marinelli shares the story behind one of the first Safety Pledges in the nation...and how the program will likely evolve in the future. You'll also hear how Savannah successfully staged live conventions during the height of the virus (which encouraged other meetings clients to move their events to Savannah) and how the community is just about to break ground on a Convention Center expansion during a moment in time when other destinations are backing off their plans.
Destination DC's Elliott Ferguson is Chair of the recently founded organization called Tourism Diversity Matters. On this episode of DMOU, he shares the vision for the organization, why (with everything else going on in DC the past year) he felt compelled to take on this role at this time and how DMOs can continue to up their game in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is about the uncomfortable conversation...one that Elliott encourages us all to have more often.
We had the opportunity to work with Montana's Glacier Country Tourism last year and were simply blown away with how engaged the Board of Directors was in driving home the Vision and Mission of the agency. CEO Racene Friede joins DMOU to share how their unique brand of onboarding, diversity in member selection and an annual Strategic Planning cycle makes GCT one of the highest performing DMOs in the nation. And, you'll hear how a serendipitous business trip changed her life on our Bonus Question.