In Maine, all hotel Room Tax revenue (the most common source of public funding for DMOs across the U.S.) is retained by the State. Visit Portland's Lynn Tillotson shares how her DMO has built its programming based completely on private sector investment...and what that meant during COVID. It's a fascinating look at how a business community has come together to power the work of its DMO.
As is our practice at DMOU, we roam the halls at Destinations International events asking attendees a single question. At this year's Advocacy Summit, we asked DMO pros what their "go-to" response was when challenged that Tourism and Destination Marketing aren't critically important to a region's economy and Quality of Life. We offer their responses here to assist you in crafting your next come back.
I heard a line at Destinations International’s Annual Convention this past summer that I think about almost everyday: “Nothing About Us, Without Us.” It refers to how many Indigenous people in Canada are interfacing with their country’s DMOs. And, on this 100th episode of DMOU, we sit down with Ottawa Tourism VP of Destination Development Catherine Callary to learn more about how Canada is working to tell the indigenous story through the eyes and experiences of the people and how Ottawa Tourism has helped develop a program for indigenous tourism entrepreneurship.
As Visit Baltimore's Al Hutchinson enters his Q2 at Chair of Destinations International, he returns to the DMOU mic to discuss two of the four pillars of his agenda for the organization (workforce and DEI). We also discuss the HBCU Scholarship Program that has blown past initial expectations, causing many behind the movement to think even bigger...and he reveals his choice for the best band ever in the Bonus Round. Join us
This year's Annual Convention of Destinations International included a "challenge" from the Foundation: How would members of the 2022 Class of 30 Under 30 and veteran Destination Leaders interact to jointly address issues of violent crime in our communities and developing a new model for community measurement of what DMOs do. In preparation for future conversations on these topics and more at next month's Advocacy Summit in Bloomington MN, Andreas Weissenborn joins DMOU to share the background on this Summer's Challenge and what we can all expect from this year's event.
Later this year, Appleton WI will play host to the World Axe and Knife Throwing Championships. The Fox Cities CVB's Pam Seidl joins DMOU to share how this community of 70,000 beat out major metros for the honor to host this incredible event. She also discusses how her DMO has always been in the destination development game through an innovative grant program that enables capital projects to come to fruition. Join us.
It's been a phenomenon that has been fun to watch. Over the past 20 years, Des Moines has gone from being known as just another Midwest town to being on virtually every cool Top Ten list there is. On this episode of DMOU, Greg Edwards (CEO of Catch Des Moines) shares the evolution story of his destination's ascendancy, how regionalism has expanded its magnetism and how humor and video play a key roll in staying on top. Plus, a Bonus Round question that deals with the concept of perspective. Join us.
Sonya Bradley was the CMO for Visit Sacramento...about as high on the Org Chart as one can get in a DMO without being CEO. But then, she was offered the opportunity to transition to lead the organization's efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this fascinating conversation, Bill and Sonya discuss the process of building a culture of DEI both internally and throughout a community. Plus...a Bonus Round story with which so many of us can identify.
At this year's Annual Convention of Destinations International in Toronto, Terri and I roamed the hall asking attendees to share the new titles or positions they had added at their DMOs (or were planning to add) that never would have been a consideration in 2017. Over 30 DMO pros took our challenge and the resulting answers paint a fascinating picture of our sector's evolution.
Even before COVID, Anthony Everett sensed that a change in how DMOs operated was necessary. But, the pandemic gave him and his organization the opportunity to flesh out the need to transition his DMO to a "Social Enterprise." In this fascinating episode, you'll hear the story of the evolution of 4VI as a force for good and how this new approach to Destination Leadership has attracted other community development organizations to partner with 4VI in ways that wouldn't previously have been imagined.
Tavis Hall (CEO of Experience Waterloo IA) breaks rules. He recently positioned his community as the Black Capitol of the 5th Whitest State in the nation, refers to his DMO as a DXO and is running for political office. Is that enough to qualify for a conversation on DMOU? Absolutely...and his Bonus Round question response regarding his role in the 2008 Iowa Caucus is pretty cool, too. Join us.
Eugene OR is in the midst of a simply amazing year, hosting a non-stop schedule of premier, state, national and international track and field events including, for the first time in the United States, the World Athletic Games. But, when your destination is also home to the Cascades and the Coast, balancing the needs of this sensationally diverse destination requires skillful thought and care. CEO Kari Westlund joins DMOU to discuss how 2022 came about, how the rest of the destination benefits and how the region is contemplating its next facility developments.
When we saw the Rutherford Bound Tourism Master Plan, we knew we had to meet the people behind it. On this episode of DMOU, we talk with the Rutherford County NC TDA's Don Cason and Destination by Design's Eric Woolridge on a range of topics from the genesis story of the plan (a pre-requisite for Don taking the job) to the community buy-in and investment committed to how visualization was key to building wide-spread support for the Plan.
For years, DMOproz has espoused the concept that DMOs should be the marketing agency for every aspect of a community (not just the Visitor Economy). But, nobody has made that case as eloquently as Destination Cleveland's David Gilbert, whose DMO has recently been charged with encouraging top talent to view the city as THE place to relocate. In this fast-paced episode, David shares how having a DMO lead community marketing makes perfect sense...and what DMOs should encourage other organizations to do to elevate their regions.
Visit Corpus Christi CEO Brett Oetting's first day in his new destination coincided with the moment that the world stopped in 2020. And yet, he says his team was more productive in its first year than he could have imagined in two. In this episode of DMOU, Brett shares the backstory of the all new Corpus Christi Tourism Academy, the development of the Gulf Coaster Ambassador program and how he builds a staff of passionate professionals.
We discovered Nicole Hankton (Director of Sales and Marketing at the Walnut Creek CVB) when she was named one of this year's 100 Smartest Women in Smart Meetings magazine...and we were immediately attracted to her take on the DMO world. On this edition of DMOU, Nicole shares her views on the future of destination sales and how she has taken what she learned in hotels to develop a new way to pursue destination marketing...plus a great Bonus Round question.
In theory, merging a Destination Marketing Organization with a Convention Center sounds like a logical collaboration. In practice, however, that's not often the case...except in Akron OH, where Gregg Mervis manages three separate business units under the Akron-Summit CVB umbrella. On this edition of DMOU, we delve into why the "Akron model" works so well and, in the Bonus Round question, hear about a make-or-break moment as Gregg was in the hunt for the Big Chair.
As the Destination Marketing sector began to seriously address inequality and diversity after the Summer of 2020, SearchWide Global helped develop an organization that would go beyond "committee work" to actually address the challenge before us head on, 24/7. That organization is Tourism Diversity Matters and CEO Greg DeShields returns to DMOU to share the genesis story, their successes with DMOs to date and where the organization intends to be by 2023, providing the tools and expertise for DMOs to be their best. It's an inspiring (and fun) conversation. Join us.
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association has identified Climate Change as an existential focus of its work. And, unless you are a Climate Change denier, this is becoming an issue that many DMOs will need to face...but how to address such a monumental undertaking? Deputy Director Arica Sears shares how the OCVA is engaging in this endeavor through collaboration with other agencies and industries...and how other DMOs can take their first steps to be part of the solution.
It wasn't necessarily the pandemic that powered Visit Champaign County to rethink its role in the community...but it gave them time to work through powerful goals in their Strategic Plan. On this edition of DMOU, CEO Jayne DeLuce shares the thinking behind VCC's new Community Benefit Funding Model, the upcoming launch of a sustainable African-American Heritage Trail and the triumphant return of the State Boys Basketball Tournament this month.