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.
Visit Alexandria CEO Patricia Washington joins DMOU for a wide-ranging conversation that focuses on the transformation of her destination. From ensuring a more representative marketing message to flipping the historically heritage-facing brand to a hipper rendition of the community's primary strengths, you'll hear how the DMO and its partners are capitalizing on a more recent heritage that is more compelling for today's consumer that is searching for the truth. And, answering a rare fourth question, Patricia shares her suggestion on how her peers can capture this moment in time and turn it into something special.
On this edition of DMOU, we welcome Destination Analysts' Erin Francis-Cummings to the microphone for a wide-ranging conversation that showcases exclusive new research into how DMO leaders perceive their future. She also shares fresh insights into how Meeting Planners view DMOs in a post-COVID world...and other insights relative to the pandemic that will help DMO pros prepare for the days ahead.
Jim Cowan heads the Chickasha OK Economic Development Council...and is playing the long-game. While he certainly hosts potential investors to the community, Jim is focusing a lot of his work on the Chickasha brand. On this episode of DMOU, you'll hear the unique philosophy and vision of an Economic Development guy that sounds a lot like a Destination Marketing pro. Music Videos. PR coups that go International. And, a story about Jimmy Stewart. It's a refreshing conversation with a bright new voice in Community Development.
It's been over two decades since destination marketing turned digital...and the number of platforms we use to touch consumers and clients has exploded. TwoSix Digital's Dave Serino and Brian Matson share their thoughts on what's next for destination marketing, how DMOs are missing opportunities to own their data and how e-mail marketing is far from passe. Plus, you'll learn what Dave aspired to be, growing up as a kid in Pennsylvania, in the Bonus Round.
As Co-Chair of Destinations International's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Visit Baltimore's Al Hutchinson has been at the forefront of the movement to accelerate change across the travel, DMO and hospitality sectors. In this episode, he shares the backstory of this Summer's manifesto from Black leaders in the DMO space, the newly released CEO Pledge from Destinations International and how Visit Baltimore is partnering with Guinness on an innovative apprentice program. Oh yeah...and a Bonus Round question that screams "Hit Me." It's a great way to kick off a bold New Year of DMOU.
All destinations aspire to be welcoming communities...but only a handful of communities have moved to ensure that the welcome truly extends to those on the Autism spectrum. Visit Mesa CEO Marc Garcia recently shepherded a community-wide effort that resulted in his city becoming the first Autism Certified destination in America. On this episode, Marc shares his story from genesis to certification...and his road to becoming a DMO pro.
Norfolk and Virginia Beach are less than a half hour apart but have been destination competitors for decades. In a DMOU episode recorded in September, VisitNorfolk's Kurt Krause shares the process that brought the two destinations together for a legendary campaign that very well may have serious post COVID legs. You'll also hear how VisitNorfolk is working to bring the story of the region's Underground Railroad to life.
One of the nation's most sought after marketing strategists joins DMOU to offer her take on what's ahead for Destination Marketing and the Experience Economy in a COVID-vandalized world. In this episode, Marsha Lindsay suggests ways for DMOs to underscore relevance and teach our communities how to fall in love with themselves once again. She also shares her views of how forces outside the DMO world will impact our lives going forward. It's a fascinating conversation for anyone trying to divine what's next.
DMOs that are active in the Sports Tourism and Events field have a new tool created to measure their competitiveness, enabling them to make more informed choices in future facility development and event acquisition. On this edition of DMOU, Jon Schmieder (Founder of the Huddle Up Group) shares the evolution of the Sports Tourism Index, how it works...and a sneak peak into the imminent launch of Scout, a new searchable database designed to match events and destinations.
The fall-out from the pandemic has impacted Destination Marketing Organizations particularly hard...and no one is more tied into how that is impacting DMO Culture than Tammy Blount-Canavan (former DMO CEO, past Chair of Destinations International and now EVP with Fired Up Culture). On this episode, Tammy shares her thoughts on how Zooming has impacted leadership and collaboration, how this moment in time is an opportunity to diversify professional staff and much more...including the story of when she once stood on the top of Seattle's Space Needle.