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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: 2020
Jun 17, 2020

Jillian Blackbeard’s passion lies in Africa Tourism and Conservation. She has been leading the industry for over 10 years specifically marketing, first for a Southern African hotel and resort chain, followed by five years as director for marketing and product development at Botswana Tourism Organisation, followed by Director for Africa for The World Travel and Tourism Association.

She is now the CEO of The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association, the first purely private sector driven organization representing the entire KAZA region (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) which is undertaking an ambition destination marketing strategy and campaign at all levels of the tourism supply chain. Jillian’s passions extend to conversation, managing the Tlhokomela Endangered Wildlife Trust for five years and continues to support projects that link tourism with conservation.

Over the past years she has spoken at international conferences and events on the importance of Intra-African Travel and opportunities and challenges for the sector across the African continent.

On our podcast, we are joined by Jillian Blackbeard, CEO of The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association, the first private sector-driven organization representing Africa’s KAZA region (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). During our discussion, Jillian shares how her association is creating a powerful, collaborative network to promote the many travel destinations worth visiting throughout the region.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Jillian’s career led her to travel and tourism, and how she helped form The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association
  • How female mentors within and outside of the industry have had a profound impact on Jillian’s career
  • Why women in the travel trade, especially in Africa, face unique challenges and obstacles
  • Why networking and forming relationships can create remarkable new opportunities
  • Why Jillian’s organization was formed to address a deep need in Africa’s KAZA region
  • How collaboration among many groups has become the backbone of Jillian’s organization
  • How the network has helped members more efficiently reuse their limited resources
  • How the association takes a multi-destination approach to the region at all levels of the supply chain
  • How broad reach and participation is helping position Africa as a desirable travel destination

Creating a Powerful Collaborative Network

Jillian Blackbeard, CEO of The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association, the first purely private sector-driven organization representing the entirety of Africa’s KAZA region (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and the region’s many enticing travel destinations. During our discussion, Jillian shares how her association is creating a powerful, collaborative network to promote the many travel destinations worth visiting throughout the region.

One Region, Many Destinations

As Jillian explains during our conversation, one of the integral elements of her association that sets it apart from others like it is its focus on promoting the entire African region rather than one or two specific destinations. The association works to involve businesses at all levels of the supply chain to help cross-promote them and to help them share and repurpose their content and limited resources. By working together, each business is able to amplify its reach and minimize its marketing costs, while still reaping profound benefits and helping to elevate the entire region and its many destinations.

The Power of Networking and Collaboration

A theme that Jillian comes back to time and again during our discussion is the power of collaborative and mentor-mentee relationships. As she explains, women in the travel trade often face challenges different from male counterparts, especially in developing regions. Working together and forming a network of partnerships and mentorships can benefit everyone involved, as Jillian illustrates when she shares the profound impact other women mentors within the industry have had on her own career and opportunities. So too, forming a strong network of collaborators has helped The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association and its individual members pool resources to develop a unified message highlighting the region’s many attractive qualities.

Jun 10, 2020

Julia Feuell grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and settled in the UK in the 1980s. She set up New Frontiers in 1993, recruiting staff all over the travel industry. In 2008, Julia had an idea to create a training academy for call center workers to learn about products and destinations online. This idea transformed into another business called OTT – a global product marketing and communications business accessed by more than 180,000 travel professionals in 17 languages and in 22 countries.

Julia has actively participated in committees – AWTE (as Chair 06-08), Recruitment & Training committee for ABTA, City and Guilds National Advisory Committee (as Chair 2012) and People 1st training committee. She has been interviewed twice by the BBC for NEWS24.

Julia was also a finalist for “Outstanding Services to the Travel Industry” by the Guild of Travel & Tourism and won “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” at the 2008 Shine Awards.

She enjoys Tai Chi, yoga, eating out in good company, and riding on the back of fast motorbikes!

On our podcast, we are joined by Julia Feuell, Founder and Managing Director of OTT (Online Travel Training), a global product training and marketing platform for the travel trade. During our discussion, Julia shares how her organization is working to train travel professionals and prepare them for lasting post-pandemic changes in the industry, while also developing new partnerships and new technologies to help with industry recovery efforts.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Julia and her team founded OTT as a training academy and grew their content offerings
  • Why travel professionals across many aspects of the industry are OTT’s target audience
  • How OTT offers a unique platform for centralizing content and releasing it in 23 countries
  • Why creative thinking is the solution to navigating the challenge of the global pandemic
  • What innovative solutions and offerings OTT has created for members to help address today’s challenges
  • How and why OTT is opening its platform to new tourism niches such as domestic tourism
  • How collaboration with competitors and adjacent tech has been a key component of OTT’s efforts
  • What advice Julia would offer to listeners looking to make strong partnerships and collaborations
  • How OTT has teamed up with an economist to research and track the recovery process

Training: The Key To Post-Pandemic Recovery

Julia Feuell is the Founder and Managing Director of OTT (Online Travel Training, a global product training and marketing platform for industry professionals across all aspects of the travel trade. During our discussion, Julia shares how her organization is working to train travel professionals and prepare them for lasting post-pandemic changes in the industry, while also developing new partnerships and new technologies to help with industry recovery efforts.

A Wide-Reaching Platform

Julia’s organization, OTT, is unique in that it has a broad global reach across 23 different nations and numerous and varied markets. OTT’s clients are able to expand their message while also saving money on B2C advertising costs. Additionally, OTT hosts a vast learning library catering to travel professionals, with more than 200 courses on offer in the industry’s largest e-learning platform. During this unique time of crisis, OTT has shifted its focus to helping industry professionals learn to adapt to the changing landscape of the travel trade as the global pandemic has dramatically (and in many cases, permanently) altered how the travel trade will work.

Monitoring the Recovery Process and the Shifting Needs of the Industry

One of OTT’s core functions during this crisis is to help members cut through the confusing and often conflicting messages to better understand what is happening in the industry during this pandemic. Julia mentioned that domestic travel is likely to be an increasingly important share of the industry as people’s travel habits and expectations change. In fact, during our conversation, one of the points Julia mentioned is that OTT is going to begin researching and collecting information from the global recovery effort to help members better understand what is and isn’t working and to make more informed choices regarding capacity and where to focus their efforts. This information will prove invaluable as the travel trade begins moving forward again.

Episode Transcript

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Jun 3, 2020

A seasoned tourism executive with more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Don Welsh serves as the President and CEO of Destinations International. Since joining the association in March 2016, Welsh has implemented a strategic realignment for the association through a renewed commitment to focus on member needs to deliver the resources members have determined to be essential to the success of their organizations.

Prior to joining Destinations International, Welsh served as the President and CEO of Choose Chicago. Welsh also held the CEO position at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau. Prior to joining the destination marketing industry, Welsh served as senior vice president for Westin Hotels at its corporate headquarters, and has also held senior leadership positions in sales and marketing for Westin Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. A seasoned tourism executive with more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Don Welsh serves as the President and CEO of Destinations International. Since joining the association in March 2016, Welsh has implemented a strategic realignment for the association through a renewed commitment to focus on member needs to deliver the resources members have determined to be essential to the success of their organizations.

On our podcast, we are joined by Don Welsh, the President and CEO of Destinations International. In our discussion, Don shares his perspective on the impact the pandemic is having on the tourism industry. He explains the current and future role of DMOs, the funding challenges they are facing, and how the pandemic has equalized the tourism industry.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Don’s perspective on the impact the pandemic is having on the tourism industry
  • The roles of DMOs now and how they will change in the future
  • The funding challenges DMOs are facing amidst the pandemic
  • How the global pandemic has equalized the tourism industry
  • How the relevance of tourism organizations has been exposed
  • The concept of community shared-value and Don’s new project, Destination Next
  • How DMOs are being incorporated into reopening discussions
  • How smaller destinations are approaching their reopening
  • Why DMOs and the brands they uphold are instrumental in getting tourism moving again

The Equalizer of Travel and Tourism

Don Welsh is a veteran of travel and tourism, and he currently serves as the President and CEO of Destinations International. Throughout his career, he has accrued more than thirty-five years of experience in our industry, holding several senior leadership positions with international brands like Westin Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino. On our podcast, Don shares his perspective on the impact the pandemic is having on the tourism industry. He discusses the current and future role of DMOs, the funding challenges DMOs are facing amidst the global pandemic, and he also talks about how the pandemic has equalized the tourism industry.

A Universal Flattening of Our Industry

Don’s organization represents more than six hundred CVBs and DMOs in over thirteen countries. So the good news is, he has a pretty strong grasp on what’s happening in travel and tourism around the world. Unlike localized natural disasters and other disruptive events that are unique to each DMO, this pandemic has been an equalizer. It has been a universal flattening of our industry, and from South America to Europe, we are all experiencing a similar struggle. It has been a time of transformation, where historic highs for airlines, restaurants, and hotels were tanked almost overnight. We quickly learned what it’s like to not have that, and DMOs are adapting as a result.

More Relevant Than Ever

For a long time, DMOs have made up an invisible industry. They operate quietly in the background doing significant work that often goes unacknowledged. But the relevance of tourism organizations in our communities has been exposed by the global pandemic. The concept of community shared-value ensures there is an alignment with tourism organizations and their local communities. To achieve sustainable tourism down the road, we need to promote the same level of understanding and awareness for DMOs as we do for other organizations in the community. A significant evolution must take place to respond to changes presented by the pandemic, and with the oversight of organizations like Destinations International, the process is already underway.

May 27, 2020

Neal Sherman is the founder and President of TAGeX Brands, a global firm that creates marketplaces for surplus equipment, inventory, and other assets. With a sound foundation in the food industry, TAGeX has expanded into other sectors and focuses on generating return on assets and reducing waste. TAGeX Brands connects buyers and sellers in a common marketplace. The industries served include retailers, restaurants, grocery chains, manufacturers, distributors and convenience stores.

For over thirty years, TAGeX and its affiliated firms have helped clients deal with the challenges of growth, transition, and decline. Serving up to 35,000 locations per year, TAGeX has been a pioneer in the outsourcing of equipment and facility transitions. The firm boasts a multitude of sales channels that serve clients and customers across the nation.

After years of growth and the need for a larger facility, TAGeX Brands relocated its operations from the Washington D.C. area to the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, near Sherman’s hometown of Geneva. This move was prompted by his role in the development of a 1,000-acre portion of the former Seneca Army depot.

Sherman is a committed member of the Young Presidents Organization, with 20,000 members in 300 Chapters in 100 Countries. He has served in a number of roles for the group including Chapter Chair of the Empire Chapter in Rochester, New York, home of YPO Founder Ray Hickok. Neal chaired the Miami YPO/WPO Global Leadership Conference.

In 2017, Neal was inducted into the Fellows Program at the Culinary Institute of America, which is widely recognized as the world’s premier culinary college with an industry-wide reputation for excellence and more than 49,000 alumni.

Sherman was appointed to the founding Executive Board of the Remanufacturing Industries Council (RIC). The RIC serves as the industry advocate for all sectors engaged in Remanufacturing, a market valued at over $100 billion, employing over 500,000 people.

Among a variety of charitable pursuits has been a life-long commitment to cancer causes and disadvantaged youth. Sherman has been honored by a number of organizations including Young Women’s College Preparatory School of Rochester, The Center for Youth, and New Leadership for Israel Bonds.

His unique experience and perspective on the restaurant and broader business environment has been sought by the media, business leaders, and government officials. He has provided his perspective and analysis to a range of media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, Nation’s Restaurant News, Franchise Times, and the Restaurant Finance Monitor. Sherman has also spoken at a number of industry conferences.

Sherman has a BA in Government from The American University in Washington, D.C., studied Economics at the University of London and received a Masters of Business Administration from New York University. He has been a frequent lecturer on college campuses and an adjunct Professor of Marketing at Columbia Union College.

Neal has been married for over thirty years to his wife Pam, a lawyer, actress, syndicated columnist, and global speaker (www.ThePamSherman.com). They have launched two children in the world and live in Rochester, New York.

On our podcast, we are joined by Neal Sherman, the founder and President of TAGeX Brands. In our discussion, Neal shares his perspective on the hospitality and food industries amidst the global crisis. He talks about what it will look like when we come out on the other side, and what strategies we can use to thrive during this crisis.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Neal’s perspective on the hospitality and food industries amidst the global crisis
  • What the pandemic has done to the restaurant and hospitality industries, and what it will look like when we come out on the other side
  • Strategies that businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries can use to thrive during this crisis
  • How restaurants are adapting to the limitations of lockdown
  • Some of the initial rollout contingencies we are seeing in Texas, and how restaurants are navigating them
  • How these changes are forcing us to reinvent the restaurant experience
  • How Neal helps businesses monetize what they aren’t using

Restaurants in Distress

Neal Sherman is the founder and President of TAGeX Brands, a global firm that handles all aspects of facility closure and equipment liquidation in the food industry. TAGeX is a mediator between buyers and sellers of restaurant equipment, facilitating transactions in a common marketplace for the betterment of the industry as a whole. On our podcast, Neal shares his perspective on the hospitality and food industries amidst the global crisis. Neal’s experience on the operations side of the restaurant business enables him to provide a unique viewpoint on what the pandemic has done to the industry. He talks about what it will look like when we come out on the other side, and what strategies we can use to thrive during this crisis.

Change is Inevitable

Many of us have seen the numbers depicting the impact that the global pandemic has had on the hospitality and restaurant industries. But Neal Sherman sees them through an entirely different lens. As of last week, 130,000 restaurants were closed in America, eight million people were displaced from their jobs, and the industry will lose about $225B in total. That number is only the operators—if you take into account all of the ancillary industries as well, the numbers are amplified. It is painful to watch, and even more painful to experience, but change is inevitable and we have to figure this out on our own. We can choose to sit in the corner and sulk, or we can get back in the ring and fight—it is our decision to make.

Communication is Key

The thin margins associated with the hospitality industry contribute to its volatility. But restaurants were not made to sustain protracted periods of time with no business. In most industries, businesses do not operate with a six-month cash reserve, and restaurants have even less of a cushion. They are doing what they can to adapt. Creative twists on take-out and delivery strategies are helping restaurant owners recoup some of their losses. But it is only making up around 10-20%. Restaurants have to balance reopening with what is feasible based on their books, but communication is the key to making it work. Many operators are negotiating sacred topics that are never traditionally negotiated, such as bank loans, rent, vendor terms, etc. It is not going to be easy

Episode Transcript

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/

May 20, 2020

A true visionary and entrepreneur, Brian has over 13 years of experience in the property management and vacation rental industry. Passionate about the budding potential of investing in the Finger Lakes region, and fueled by his love for the area and the outdoors, Brian was inspired to buy 80+ acres of local farmland. Dreaming of the possibilities this land could offer to the public, he formed Lincoln Hill Farms LCC and hired a team of various individuals with the necessary skills and talents to transform this beautiful farmland into an all-inclusive venue and agricultural attraction.

When Brian is not busy working and managing his ventures, he enjoys relaxing with his wife and three children. He also enjoys supporting ROC City Values, a non-profit organization that he founded which sponsors a 5k Walk/Run each June in support of the Rochester City School District.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, we are joined by Brian Mastrosimone, owner of Lincoln Hill Farms on Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York state. In our discussion, Brian talks about the challenges of launching his dream business. He also discusses his use of creativity in the development project, which has yielded numerous different types of uses for visiting guests to enjoy.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How the idea for Lincoln Hill Farms was conceived
  • The different expansions and developments Brian spearheaded to make Lincoln Hill Farms what it is today
  • Different types of events and facilities that you will find at the Lincoln Hill Farms compound
  • What Brian has done to help Lincoln Hill Farms stand out from the crowd
  • Brian’s vision for Lincoln Hill Farms this year and in the future
  • How Brian is navigating the challenges posed by the global pandemic
  • Successful partnerships and relationships Brian has formed to collaborate and expand Lincoln Hill Farms
  • Advice for people who are looking to become entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism space

Lincoln Hill Farms

Brian Mastrosimone is the owner of Lincoln Hill Farms, an agricultural attraction and entertainment venue in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Brian’s background in real estate enabled him to realize his vision for developing over seventy acres on Canandaigua Lake into a multipurpose agricultural destination. This project has spanned the last six years and it is finally coming to fruition, but by no means was it an easy ride. In this episode of Destination on the Left, Brian talks about the challenges of launching his dream business. He also discusses his use of creativity in the development project, which has yielded numerous different types of uses for visiting guests to enjoy.

A Unique Agricultural Destination

Today, Lincoln Hill Farms has expanded to ninety-five acres with three houses, a centralized barn, an event pavilion, and repurposed silos. They do anything from music concerts and family outings to corporate events and weddings. Despite all of the unique attractions that Lincoln Hill Farms has to offer, it is a working farm too. They have animals, an acre garden on which they plan to build a kitchen, and this year they are growing an acre of CBD plants as well. These elements of the farm are not their primary source of revenue, but it adds an extra layer of authenticity to amplify the experience. It takes a creative touch to achieve this type of balance and truly stand out from the crowd.

Driven by a Creative Vision

One of the main drivers of Brian’s creativity is his decision to embrace the farm feel. It is a farm-based more on the space itself and how it is used rather than what the farm produces, and the concept has been unbelievably well received by tourists and locals alike. Everything they do is focused on catering to the visitor’s experience and what those transitions will look like. While Brian navigates the challenges posed by the current global pandemic, he and his team continue to find new ways to realize their vision for Lincoln Hill Farms.

May 13, 2020

Carla Pendergraft is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a B.A. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has a master’s degree in business from Texas State University. Since 1990, she has worked for the Waco Convention Center and Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, first in the convention sales area and for the last 4 years, as Director of Marketing. Carla is the proud grandmother of Aviana, who is 8 years old, and Rosie, 2 years.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Carla Pendergraft, the Director of Marketing for the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau, discusses the growth of tourism in Waco, Texas. She walks us through the introduction of tons of new attractions like Magnolia Market at the Silos, and she explains the impact that television shows like Fixer Upper have made on Waco’s community and brand.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Carla’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • What Carla has done to help Waco stand out from the crowd
  • How Waco overcame its negative image and increased tourism
  • How the Waco brand has changed over the last thirty years
  • The main drivers of tourism for Waco and how Carla has leveraged them
  • How CVBs can do their job while serving the locals
  • How destination marketers are playing a role in local support instead of just tourism alone

Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau

Carla Pendergraft is the Director of Marketing for the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau in Waco, Texas. Since 1990, Carla has developed a broad perspective on the success of her community and the Waco brand. She was there for the Waco Siege of the Branch Davidians compound and witnessed the rebound of the Waco brand after the smoke cleared. There is a lot to be said about a community’s willingness to band together and thrive, especially in times like these. That is why Waco continues to stand out after years with Carla at the helm. In this episode, we talk about the success of the Waco brand and how it has changed throughout Carla’s carer. We also discuss the significant impact Magnolia Market at the Silos and Fixer Upper has made on the growth of tourism in Waco.

An Uphill Battle

Carla fell into the CVB world by accident, but she has been there for thirty years now without having the same job once. There are certainly some glamorous elements to the job, but for the most part, it is all about getting in the trenches and figuring out how to make your destination stand out. Because of Waco’s history, standing out was never the problem. It created an uphill battle for destination marketers like Carla who were tasked with shedding Waco’s negative image. Texans have always known Waco well, but people across the world determine the appeal of smaller destinations in one or two thoughts—if they are negative, it is a lot harder to market the destination.

Putting Waco on the Map

As time went on, the Waco community began to develop organically. Baylor was always a major driver of tourism and as the school grew, so did the travel market. Waco became home to many new attractions like the Waco Mammoth National Monument, the Texas Rangers Museum, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and it is the birthplace of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper on HGTV. Everyone in Waco has a story about how the television show impacted their life. It completely changed the public perception of Waco and made the CVB’s job so much easier. Instead of fighting a negative image, they could focus on using creativity to grow. There is always a way to cut through the noise with creativity and collaboration, and Waco is a testament to that.

May 6, 2020

Rebekah Greenhill is the director of sales and marketing at Greenhill Winery & Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia. She and her husband, David Greenhill, also own and operate Middleburg Life magazine and Greenhill Stables. They are based in Middleburg during the summer and Wellington, Florida in the winter for the equestrian and polo season.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Rebekah Greenhill, the director of sales and marketing at Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, shares Greenhill’s story. She explains what brought national and international recognition to this Virginia farm winery. And she talks about some of the strategic partnerships that helped them expand into new markets.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Greenhill Winery & Vineyards shares the Virginia farm life with their guests
  • The different types of strategic partnerships Greenhill formed to grow their business
  • How Greenhill built an entirely unique experience for its visitors
  • What Greenhill is doing to stand out from the crowd
  • The types of visitors that Greenhill is targeting and how they target them
  • How Rebekah has used creativity to solve unique marketing challenges in the wine industry
  • How Greenhill is working with the local community to build its brand

Greenhill Winery & Vineyards

Last year we had the pleasure of doing an episode with Beth Erickson, the president and CEO of the Loudon Convention & Visitors Association. Loudon County has become the premier region of East Coast wine and Beth provided us with a glimpse into the development of Virginia’s wine industry. So, to learn even more about the growth of Virginia’s wine scene, we invited Rebekah Greenhill, the director of sales and marketing at Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, to join us next. In the latest episode of the Destination on the Left podcast, Rebekah explains how Greenhill designed a unique visitor experience and how they formed strategic partnerships to grow their business.

100% Virginian Wine

The Virginia climate poses major challenges for winemakers in the area because the weather is erratic and the soil is not always perfect. So, one of the ways that Greenhill Winery & Vineyards stands out from the crowd is by embracing those challenges and showcasing the unique flavor profiles that they create. Greenhill uses 100% Virginia grapes while other local wineries outsource them, so it makes Greenhill more consistent, but it also captures the essence of Virginia’s unique soil and climate. The 100% Virginian wines have received national and international recognition with characteristics that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Build a Unique Visitor Experience

Another way that Greenhill Winery & Vineyards has cut through the noise and built their brand is by showcasing their identity as a privately-owned farm winery. Greenhill has truly embraced the farm life and it has been woven into the visitor experience as a whole. Guests get to witness the whole operation, not just the tasting room, and they have cows, honey bees, horses, and much more. Greenhill is inviting its visitors to join this lifestyle and be apart of a unique experience that very few wineries can offer. To learn more about the growth of the Virginia wine industry and what the future holds for Greenhill, listen to the latest episode of Destination on the Left.

We will be hosting our second Destination on the Left Virtual Summit featuring 15 amazing speakers that will be held on April 1-3. The great thing about this summit is it’s free! There is no travel cost for you and you can do it from the comfort of your own office. Click here to learn more details: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcast/summit/

Apr 29, 2020

For ten years Andria has been leading DMO strategy and development by working with the travel industry to navigate the world of data and analytics. Currently, Andria serves as Senior Director of Tourism and Hospitality at ADARA, providing strategic direction and drives cross-team decision making to grow enterprise opportunities in the Americas. Along with her passion for advancing the travel and tourism industry, Andria brings to the team ten years of destination marketing and research experience, as well as expertise in leveraging data to enhance marketing efficiency and promote DMO advocacy. Prior to joining ADARA Andria spent seven years in research leadership positions for destination marketing organizations, including Research Director roles at Georgia Tourism and Texas Tourism.

Andria is an active member of the travel and tourism community, serving on the board of directors for the Travel and Tourism Research Association. She is a proud Texas Aggies receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Texas A&M University.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Andria Godfrey, the senior director of tourism and hospitality at ADARA, discusses the data evolution in travel and tourism. She explains the importance of using data to tell a story, she talks about privacy and how it affects our access to data, and she explains why we need to better understand human behavior and the ‘why’ of our visitors.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Andria’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • The importance of data storytelling
  • How privacy impacts the data we have access to
  • The importance of understanding human behavior and the ‘why’ of our visitors
  • Different ways that Andria has solved challenges using creativity and collaboration
  • How to personalize your communication with travelers
  • Examples of data that we have access to but may not be considering

Using Data in Travel and Tourism

Andria Godfrey is the Senior Director of Tourism and Hospitality at ADARA, a company that provides the travel and tourism industry with greater visibility into the needs and wants of in-market travel consumers. They use people-based insights to increase marketing efficiency, foster growth, and maximize the value of a DMO’s customer portfolio. In the latest episode of the Destination on the Left podcast, Andria discusses her role at ADARA, the importance of data storytelling, how privacy affects access to different types of data, and why we need to better understand human behavior and the ‘why’ of our visitors.

It’s All About the Big Picture

Nowadays, it is difficult to find someone who works at a destination that doesn’t geek out about data. Artificial Intelligence is commonplace, and it has enabled communities of all sizes to access more data than they’ve ever had access to before. It is extremely exciting for all DMOs, but it also presents new challenges as we figure out how to use it. Understanding data for a single destination is powerful, but understanding the same data in the context of the travel industry as a whole is unbelievably powerful. That is the ultimate goal as we mold our data into something meaningful.

Data That Tells a Story

When DMOs understand the story their data is telling relative to the travel and tourism industry as a whole, it enables them to create more effective messaging. For decades, DMOs have designed their communication strategy to tell their destination’s story, but using the right data can give that story even more meaning. It can help DMOs direct their communication efforts to the ideal target audience so they can create a real connection. They can articulate why the destination should matter to them and help them understand what they will get out of their experience. To learn more about ADARA’s work with data collection and measurement in the travel and tourism industry, listen to the latest episode of Destination on the Left.

We will be hosting our second Destination on the Left Virtual Summit featuring 15 amazing speakers that will be held on April 1-3. The great thing about this summit is it’s free! There is no travel cost for you and you can do it from the comfort of your own office. Click here to learn more details: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcast/summit/

Episode Transcript

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Apr 22, 2020

Tanner Knorr manages EplerWood International’s new business, develops the newsletter, and continues to build a presence for the company via public relations, social media, and events. Tanner holds a Bachelor’s in Archaeology and a Master’s in Administrative Studies, concentrating in Economic Development and Tourism Management from Boston University. He was also a Teaching Assistant at Harvard Extension.

He owns a business called Off Season Adventures that strives for sustainable tourism practices in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Nepal, and is the President of Second Look Worldwide, a 501(c)(3) organization that sponsors infrastructure improvements around tourism destinations in the developing world.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Tanner Knorr, the Program Manager at EplerWood International and the Founder of Off Season Adventures, joins us to talk about Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. He discusses the impact of crisis scenarios and overtourism on destinations, and explains what we can do to manage unaccounted for destination costs to provide local infrastructure and protection of eco and sociocultural systems for tourism and local people.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to access The Invisible Burden Report, a report that helps destinations uncover and account for hidden costs to protect and manage vital assets worldwide
  • Why The Invisible Burden Report can help DMOs support responsible tourism growth
  • The primary goal of The Invisible Burden Report and how it came about
  • Who was involved in the collaborative effort it took for The Invisible Burden Report to materialize
  • The individual subsectors of a destination that are affected by overtourism
  • Phase two of the research report and what we can expect to see
  • The key findings of last year’s research report
  • The concept of holistic accounting and how it works

Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Tanner Knorr is the Program Manager at EplerWood International and Owner and Founder of Off Season Adventures. He is a self-proclaimed sustainable tourism entrepreneur who is dedicated to making infrastructure improvements around tourism destinations in the developing world. Through our conversation, Tanner discusses the recently-released research study, Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. At a time when our industry is in turmoil due to the impacts of the global pandemic, there is an opportunity to open our minds to new ideas and possibilities. Download the research report and start understanding what we can do to support responsible tourism growth.

The Invisible Burden

The Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism report was put together by EplerWood International, the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and The Travel Foundation in the UK. The main goal of this report is to uncover the “invisible burden” of tourism which Tanner defines as the unaccounted for destination costs to provide local infrastructure and protection of eco and sociocultural systems for tourism and local people. It is difficult enough for destinations to find those pieces of the puzzle, so EplerWood International and its collaborators are stepping in to help them manage and finance more efficiently.

Overtourism

When we talk about The Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism report, there are a number of different subsectors of a destination that are affected. When tourism populations exceed the populations of the destination, we start to see destinations crack under the weight of it. It affects things like energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, solid waste, sewage, and other natural and social capital. Tanner Knorr and his associates are working diligently to mitigate the risks of overtourism and manage the issues that have already arisen. Currently, they are working on phase two of The Invisible Burden where they will provide the necessary skills training to people on the ground.

Apr 15, 2020

Jim Bartoo has been the director of marketing and public relations at Nashville Zoo since 1999. During that time, he has seen the Zoo grow from local awareness to national and international recognition with more than 1.2 million guests visiting in 2019. Before coming to Nashville, Jim spent seven years marketing the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, OH. He is accomplished in all aspects of marketing and communications initiatives across the Zoos owned, earned and paid platforms. Jim lives in the Bellevue area (southwest Nashville) with his wife Carole and two daughters, Emma and Grace.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Jim Bartoo, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager of the Nashville Zoo, joins us to share his story. He discusses the challenges of marketing a zoo when the destination brand experience is Music City, and he shares the creative solutions his organization has developed to fit into Nashville’s brand.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How Nashville Zoo’s Expedition Peru exhibit received top honors in exhibit design by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • Why the women’s bathroom at the Expedition Peru exhibit as well as the men’s room in the Zoo’s Entry Village were named America’s Best Bathrooms by Cintas in 2019
  • Jim Bartoo’s journey to becoming the Marketing and Public Relations Manager of the Nashville Zoo
  • How Jim’s role has changed over twenty years with Nashville Zoo
  • What Jim and his team have done to help the Nashville Zoo stand out from the crowd
  • Why Nashville Zoo shifted its focus from the local market to the visitor market a couple of years ago
  • Why construction can create a negative effect on your visitor audience
  • How the Nashville Zoo went from a work-in-progress to a full-fledged destination
  • How Jim’s team responds to actionable visitor reviews

Nashville Zoo

Jim Bartoo is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager of the Nashville Zoo. He is a lighthearted and enlightening individual who brings so much value to the table. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, a light-hearted conversation that doesn’t harp on the widespread panic is a much-needed change of pace. Jim discusses the challenges of marketing a zoo when the destination brand experience is Music City, and he shares the creative solutions his organization has developed to fit into Nashville’s brand. His perspective on partnerships and collaborations are invaluable, and he has helped bring more than 1.2 million visitors through the gates in the last year.

Adaptive Marketing

Nashville has a large tourism market and visitors have a certain expectation when they travel there. Being a zoo in the market has been very challenging, but Jim has learned a lot in his twenty years there. At first, it was about letting people know they were there in the first place. The marketing efforts were initially designed to get the local populace over to the zoo to sample what was going on. Discounted or free admission, promotional events, and fundraisers were just some of the ways they managed to draw traffic. But as things progressed, Jim and his team were able to focus on promoting specific exhibits and events at the zoo itself. People became more familiar with it over time, but that does not detract from the challenge Jim faced in separating the zoo from the city.

Becoming a Destination

When you talk about destination marketing, everything is very brand-centric. DMOs are responsible for fulfilling the brand experience they create and ensuring that the experience a visitor has circles back to the brand itself. But that is difficult to achieve when your experience is not complete. Nashville Zoo struggled to wow visitors while major exhibits were being built because the guests felt as though they were missing out on something. When the Expedition Peru exhibit was completed, however, visitors could finally navigate a continuous circuit of attractions. Jim shifted the marketing focus from building anticipation and began to construct the identity of the zoo as a destination. The zoo is not a place for live music or drinking, so they are not the poster child of the Music City brand. But their hard work and creative marketing have put them on the map anyway.

 

 

Apr 8, 2020

Erica Paolicelli is a Partner at Three Brothers Wineries & Estates and War Horse Brewing Company located in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Erica joined the company in 2007, before it opened its doors and helped grow the destination and brand which now sees 150,000+ visitors annually, has distribution regionally to over 300 locations, and employs 150 full and part-time employees. The campus at Three Brothers houses Iron Heart Coffee Company, a café serving lunch (and soon to be dinners) daily and also hosts private events.

Erica is a strategic planner, marketer and brand builder at heart with a keen business sense. She serves on several regional boards including the IDA, the NY Wine Industry Association, the Finger Lakes Community College Advisory Board, and Geneva Community Projects. Together with her colleagues, Erica is one of the founders of the successful Rose Soiree held annually in downtown Geneva which has raised $30k in funds donated to local community organizations.

Erica is a firm believer that the rising tide raises all ships and she thinks it’s her calling to inspire collaboration within her community to help the Finger Lakes continue to be recognized as a premier destination on a global scale.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Erica Paolicelli, Partner at Three Brothers Wineries and Estates and War Horse Brewing Co., explains how she and her team are responding to the current coronavirus pandemic. She discusses the creative solutions they thought up and implemented since the shelter-in-place and social distancing restrictions have gone into effect. And she talks about the unique visitor experiences that make Three Brothers Winery a destination in and of itself!

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why Three Brothers Winery is a destination in and of itself
  • Why the experiences offered at Three Brothers Winery are unlike any other wineries in the country
  • How Three Brothers is developing products like their new wine spritzer to accommodate curbside pickup and delivery
  • Why Three Brothers decided to lean into their online presence in response to the global pandemic
  • How Erica and her team are responding to the current coronavirus pandemic
  • Creative solutions that Three Brothers has thought of and implemented since the shelter-in-place and social distancing restrictions have gone into effect
  • How Three Brothers is using old school communication techniques to garner support from the local community

The Ultimate East Coast Wine Destination

Erica Paolicelli is a Partner at Three Brothers Wineries & Estates and War Horse Brewing Company located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in New York State. In our discussion, Erica shares so many creative ideas about how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic in the travel and tourism industry. Erica and her team have thought up and implemented innovative solutions in response to the shelter-in-place and social distancing restrictions have gone into effect. And their ability to use creativity and collaboration is one of the many reasons Three Brothers Winery is a destination in and of itself!

Rally Around a Vision

Erica started with Three Brothers as an intern before the winery was anything like it is today. Over time, she moved from $15/hour to a 1% share in the company and, eventually, she started buying stock as well. Erica became a partner because she believes in Dave Mansfield’s vision, and that vision made Three Brothers what it is today. It is no small task for a leader to energize people around their vision or to keep their ego out of the mix. Dave did both, and his ability to see what Three Brothers could become combined with Erica’s drive and ability to execute led Three Brothers to become one of the top wineries in the Finger Lakes region.

Use Creativity to Open New Streams of Revenue

The Three Brothers campus has three wineries and a brewery, each with an entirely unique experience from shopping to food and entertainment—it is Disney World for adults. The creativity that makes Three Brothers a destination has also helped them navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, they have been deemed an essential business because they are a beverage manufacturer, but the tasting rooms and communal spaces have been shut down.

They decided to lean into their online presence to engage their current audience to drum up excitement for future events. They are generating long-form content to add value to their customers and give their readers something to look forward to. They are even doing wine slushies to-go which has driven pick-up orders significantly, and they added merchandise to the website. Coupled with a push for real conversations between Three Brothers leadership and their clientele, Erica and her team have seen an outpour of support from the local community and wine lovers all over.

Apr 1, 2020

A thirty-plus year veteran of the Travel & Tourism industry, Amir leads the entire Longwoods international team responsible for the development and execution of all facets of the organization from program development to customer acquisition and retention.

He joined Longwoods in 2015 from his previous role as Vice President, Partner Engagement with Brand USA, the public-private partnership serving as the destination marketing organization dedicated to increasing international visitation to the US. He led the team responsible for helping to increase Brand USA’s partnership base and ensuring that participants received excellent service throughout Brand USA’s deployment of joint marketing programs. During his tenure, Brand USA grew its base to 475 partners, comprised of destination marketing organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, travel brands, airlines, and tour operators.

Prior to joining Brand USA, Amir served as Director of the Ohio Office of Tourism. Under his leadership, the state’s marketing programs realized a tremendous return on investment and contributed to the growth of the state’s $40 billion tourism economy. The programs he developed leveraged industry and nontraditional partnerships that generated $14 in new state and local taxes for every $1 invested and included active participation by thousands of Ohio’s tourism-related businesses. He has also served as Executive Vice President of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Assistant Director of the Ohio Tourism Division, and Sales & Marketing Manager with the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau.

He has been recognized with a number of Industry honors including Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing award (2014) by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI); The Ohio Tourism Industry’s Highest Honor, The Paul Sherlock Award; and The State of Ohio Distinguished Service Medal.

Amir holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International, joins us to share his story and talk about market research in travel and tourism. Amir discusses some of the trends he has seen as DMOs rush to respond to the COVID-crisis, and he talks about the changes in traveler sentiment as the pandemic continues to unfold.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Amir’s journey into destination marketing and the travel and tourism industry
  • How Longwoods Intl. is tracking traveler sentiment
  • How Amir is seeing destinations respond to the global pandemic
  • How Longwoods Intl. is adapting their business model to meet the needs of the COVID-crisis
  • How destinations are using creativity to respond to the pandemic
  • How traveler sentiment has changed since the pandemic was declared a national emergency
  • Why crises produce some of the travel and tourism industry’s best work
  • The short term and long term responses we are seeing in DMOs across the country

Traveler Sentiment Amidst the COVID-Crisis

Amir Eylon is the President and CEO at Longwoods International, a respected leader in market research that helps drive destinations toward their goals. Amir and his team have been tracking traveler sentiment for years, but in the midst of this global pandemic, Longwoods International has started tracking traveler sentiment every week. Their objective is to inform and serve the travel and tourism industry as we collaborate to determine the best response to the COVID-crisis.

Researching Traveler Sentiment

Amir is a marketer who happens to run a market research company, so he speaks our language. He understands how to use research to produce robust marketing strategies and he has been in the travel and tourism industry for almost thirty-two years. In destination marketing, research not only provides us with a roadmap of where to go, it provides us with information about whether our strategy is working. It enables us to accomplish more with our ideas and resources which is especially important when the going gets rough.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Some of our industry’s best work has come out of crises. And be it 9/11, the great recession, or the COVID-crisis, the great minds of travel and tourism have continued to shine by taking creativity, collaboration, and partnerships to a new level. Traveler sentiment has changed drastically since the pandemic was declared a national emergency. The numbers are not necessarily surprising, but it’s not all bad news either. The silver lining in all of this is that Americans are still looking to travel in the next six months. Many trips have been postponed or canceled, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a beacon of hope that we will all make it through.

Mar 25, 2020

In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, BTI’s Nicole Mahoney shares her thoughts surrounding the impact of the Coronavirus on travel and tourism since the pandemic took hold. She discusses the components of great leadership and mental strength and explains the importance of each in times of crisis.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • BTI’s thoughts surrounding the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic after two weeks of lockdown
  • The importance of great leadership in times of crisis
  • Why leadership is defined by behavior, not title alone
  • Steve Farber’s LEAP framework and how to apply it to become a stronger leader
  • How to manage fear in times of crisis
  • Scarcity mindset vs. abundance mindset and how each plays a role in this crisis
  • The big idea from Charlie Mackesy’s book, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”

Emerging Leaders in the Coronavirus Pandemic

These past couple of weeks have tested every aspect of our businesses. The Coronavirus Pandemic is yet to hit rock bottom, and it has forced us to push the threshold of creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in the travel and tourism industry. There are silver linings in this mess if you’re willing to look for them, and one of them comes in the form of team members who are stepping up to the plate. In times of chaos, great leaders will emerge in many different capacities. They are not just leaders by title, they are leaders by behavior, and they are keeping the gears turning as everything around us comes to a halt.

The Leap Framework

If you didn’t get a chance to listen, Episode 166 with author and extreme leadership coach, Steve Farber, we talked about what it means to be a leader. In times like these, great leaders are critical to the survival of every organization. Steve’s LEAP framework breaks down the components of great leadership so we can apply them and become stronger leaders no matter who we are.

Love – Cultivate love; find love in yourself and love in others to lift everyone up.
Energy – Create energy around a vision, a direction, or a response to a crisis.
Audacity – Inspire our teams to follow us into unchartered territory in search of solutions.
Proof – Leaders walk the walk, prove your commitment through action and not just words.

Abundance Mindset

Even with the right framework, coaching, and mentorship, leaders succumb to human fallacies and emotions take hold. If we are operating from a place of fear, we cannot operate effectively as leaders because it hinders our ability to make decisions for our organizations. In these difficult times, we must step out of the scarcity mindset and assume an abundance mindset. We need to be forward-thinking, open to opportunity, and to serve as a beacon for our communities. It will take all of us working together to make it through the pandemic and start recovering—but the will to do so must start with a positive mindset.

Resources:

Mar 18, 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, I lay out some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as we respond to the initial fallout of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • BTI’s initial thoughts on the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • How the Coronavirus Pandemic is impacting the travel and tourism industry
  • Steps that DMOs and other small businesses can take in response to the pandemic
  • Four Strategies to help us maintain our composure during a time of crisis
  • The 3 C’s of Collaboration Framework and how to apply it
  • Why collaboration is critical for DMOs, especially in a time of crisis
  • Some of the key ideas from my new blog post

Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Right now, the Coronavirus Pandemic has the global economy in total lockdown. It is unclear how long it will last, and the unprecedented nature of this virus and the uncertainty surrounding it is raising concern for the future of our industries. But so many of us have been in this position before. When 9/11 took place, and the great recession of 2008 shook the United States economy, the travel and tourism industry bounced back stronger than ever. It is not about prevention anymore; this global pandemic is already taking place. It is about how we react to it, so I put together some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as this series of disruptive events unfolds.

Four Strategies for Responding to the Coronavirus Chaos

Last week, I traveled from Rochester, NY to Savannah, GA in an effort to keep the BTI cog turning and do my part to drive business. However, it didn’t take long to realize that the economic impact of the pandemic stretched well beyond the scope of one country, let alone one industry. It inspired my most recent blog post, where I outline four strategies for responding to the initial shockwave of pandemonium: One, Stay calm. Two, get educated about the situation and stay up to date on the latest developments through reliable sources and your industry associations. Three, prepare to pivot by doing scenario planning. And four, communicate. We cannot stop the spread of COVID-19, but we can survive the fallout if we proactively manage our mindset and collaborate with others in our industry.

A Holistic Approach to Collaboration

Since the beginning of the Destination on the Left, we have talked a lot about collaboration and co-opetition in particular. I believe that, in the complex world of the present-day tourism industry, committing to a holistic approach to collaboration will bring strong market growth and abundance for everyone. The 3 C’s of Collaboration Framework is a system that helps us band together in a time of crisis. First, communication is essential to maintain clarity with your partners and prospects, and it is an opportunity to be a calming voice amidst the uncertainty and chaos. Next, commonality is about identifying common goals and operating with the greater good at heart. And finally, commitment means sticking with your collaborative efforts no matter how tough the going gets because when we bounce back, we bounce back together. Visit the new blog to learn more.

Resources:

Mar 11, 2020

Scott Hutchinson is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau and has been with the WCCVB since June of 2014. Scott oversees the bureau’s marketing efforts, managing its advertising and public relations campaigns, as well as the production of its blog content, e-newsletters, and annual Visitors Guide. Prior to joining the WCCVB, Scott held roles with the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Western & Southern Open and Ryan Partnership – a creative agency in Columbus, Ohio. He also had the opportunity to serve as a correspondent at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Scott is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a resident of Cincinnati.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Scott dive’s into the strategy that has brought Warren County upwards of twelve million visitors annually. He discusses the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand, and he talks about what’s in store for the future of WCCVB.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Scott’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • How WCCVB’s marketing strategy reflects the qualities that define Warren County
  • What Scott’s team at WCCVB has done to make Warren County stand out from the crowd
  • The inspiration and meaning behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand
  • How WCCVB has tapped into the youth and amateur sports travel market
  • Lessons and best practices Scott took away from bringing a major sporting event to Warren County
  • How WCCVB portrays their community events through their PR and marketing efforts

Warren County Has Something for Everyone

As the director of marketing and communications for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Scott Hutchinson oversees the bureau’s marketing, advertising, public relations, and content creation. Warren County, Ohio is nestled in between Dayton and Cincinnati, so Scott is presented with both unique opportunities and challenges as he tries to make the Warren County travel experience stand out. He has already separated Warren County from the pack by rebranding the destination as “Ohio’s Largest Playground.” But Scott and his team plan to drive even more visitor traffic this year when they open a brand new multi-purpose sports complex that will serve as a central hub for youth sports organizations and their families.

Telling Warren County’s Story

Scott cherishes the privilege to promote the place where he built his entire life, and he has done an outstanding job telling Warren County’s story. Warren County is most known for King’s Island, but there is a ton of activity beyond the amusement park. The region welcomes approximately twelve million visitors annually and it continues to grow thanks to Warren County’s close proximity to Dayton and Cincinnati. The Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau has played a significant role in the recent spike of visitors, and they continue to drum up new and innovative campaigns that capture the defining qualities of this unique area.

Ohio’s Largest Playground

While many destinations hone in on one defining characteristic to build the foundation of their marketing strategy, Warren County has done the exact opposite. In fact, the abundance of attractions is Warren County’s biggest strength, and the seemingly endless list of things to do is the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand. They have the state’s second-largest winery, oldest hotel, oldest restaurant, and they even hold a global tennis tournament every summer. With that, we are only scratching the surface of what Warren County has to offer, Scott and his team have embraced the notion that Warren County has something for everyone, and with their central location, they are within a day’s drive for over 60% of residents in the United States.

Episode Transcript

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Mar 4, 2020

To Scott Osborn, Rochester native, the acquisition of Fox Run Vineyards was the natural culmination of his passion for wine and commitment to the industry.

The son of two professors, Osborn’s first interest was international politics. Attending the Friends World College, a unique university with campuses all over the globe, he studied in Kenya, India, Thailand, Japan, and England.

He went into real estate development in 1974, later opening an office in Lake County California, a well-known viticulture area. The move there proved to be fortuitous; living so close to the vines Osborn became interested in wine. In 1980 he took his first job at Konocti Winery labeling bottles. He then went on to work at Firestone Vineyards, Zaca Mesa, and Byron Winery in Santa Barbara. In 1984 During his time at Byron he came back to visit family and during a wine tasting trip around Seneca Lake tasted a Wagner Vineyards 1982 Barrel-aged Chardonnay. It was his first experience with a brilliant cool climate wine and he realized that this was where he wanted to make wines and ultimately own his own vineyard and winery.

In 1985, there were not a lot of winemaking jobs available so he began working for a wine distributor and then went on to be General Manager of Pindar Vineyards on Long Island. In 1993, Fox Run became available and in partnership with Andy Hale, they purchased it.

Since the purchase of the winery in 1994, he has resided in the beautifully renovated farmhouse originally built on the property in 1870. Initially assuming the responsibilities of winemaking, along with the myriad tasks of management, speaking engagements, and travel, he chose to hire a full-time winemaker. His selection of Peter Bell in June of 1995 satisfied his desire to engage the most gifted winemaker in the Finger Lakes region. Their shared vision for quality wine production has freed Osborn to the task of managing the winery and planning for its future. He regularly participates in wine judgings, panel discussions, and symposiums dealing with the many challenges of an increasingly sophisticated appellation.

On Christmas day of 1998 three days after turning 50, Scott married long time sweetheart Ruth Worden, and in 2012, Ruth’s sister Kathy and her husband Albert became partners and now Fox Run is a family-owned winery.

The highly successful working relationship between Scott, Peter, and Vineyard manager John Kaiser has resulted in spectacular grapes, wines, and successful introductions of State-of-the-Art vineyard practices, keeping Fox Run Vineyards on the cutting edge of grape growing and winemaking.

Scott is constantly working to improve our environmental impact and has received the Lake Friendly Farm designation from Yates County Soil and Water Conservation. This award is given to farms whose farming practices do not negatively impact the water quality of Seneca Lake. He also installed a 151-Kilowatt solar system which provides 100% of the electrical needs for the winery, tasting room, and café. They have reduced their herbicide and pesticide use and are replacing them with organic and biological sprays that are less impactful on the environment.

He has been President of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail two times and a founding member and past President of Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, he is a founding member of the New York Wine Industry Association, which was founded in 2009 to represent the Wine Industry to educate legislators in Albany on issues that will impact our wineries and vineyards here in New York State. He was elected by his peers in the NY wine industry and is now the New York representative on the Board of Wine America, which is the national advocacy organization for the American Wine Industry in Washington DC.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Scott Osborn, owner of Fox Run Vineyards, joins us to talk about tourism from the perspective of a business owner. He discusses the new challenges and opportunities presented to wineries in the Finger Lakes, and he explains how tourism has impacted the wine business.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Scott’s perspective on tourism as a business owner
  • How tourism has affected the wine business in the Finger Lakes region
  • How Scott helped create an allure for Finger Lakes wine
  • How Scott uses travel patterns to attract visitors in the highly competitive Seneca Lake area
  • What Scott has done to make Fox Run Vineyards stand out from the crowd
  • How collaboration has played a major role in growing the Finger Lakes wine industry
  • How Scott has been able to garner attention from Europeans

Tourism in the Wine Business

Scott Osborn is the owner of Fox Run Vineyards, a family-owned winery on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. As a business owner in a hot destination, Scott has to operate his winery with the big picture in mind. For instance, in his market, the average wine tasting visitor makes five stops. So, Scott and his team crafted Fox Run’s experiences around this pattern and other trends that travelers follow. But these patterns are constantly changing, which presents new opportunities and new challenges. In the latest episode of Destination on the Left Scott joins us to discuss the impact of tourism on his industry and he talks about tourism from a business owner’s perspective.

New Trends, New Challenges

With some of the world’s most renowned vineyards located in California, many people develop a preconceived notion about what wine should taste like. But every region has a different style and the cool-climate wines of New York provide an entirely different experience. The Seneca Lake winemakers had to work together to get the word out about their region and their labels, and they are still doing it. But now there are breweries, cideries, and distilleries competing for traveler time and dollars as well. So, getting tourists to come to the Finger Lakes and make wine tasting a priority is a much larger challenge than ever before. When Scott Osborn started Fox Run Vineyards, there were about twenty wineries on Seneca Lake. Now, there are over one hundred producing quality and consistency that is appreciated by connoisseurs around the world. It has made it extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd and differentiate Fox Run from other wineries in the region.

It’s All About the Experience

In our last episode with Paul Soseman, we discussed the concept of experiential marketing in tourism. But it doesn’t always have to be labeled as such. Scott Osborn recognized the opportunity to strike an emotional reaction in his audience; not by forcing a clever campaign on them, but by inviting them to experience a different universe. He built the largest sculpture on Seneca Lake in the form of a massive gate. It draws attention from the main road into town, and when they cross the entrance, they are teleported into a new realm. To hear more about the story of Fox Run Vineyards, listen to the latest episode of Destination on the Left.

Feb 26, 2020

Paul Soseman is the founder and CEO of Department Zero, an experiential marketing agency based in Kansas City, MO.

Paul began his career 20 years ago, running the marketing department for a consumer electronics retailer where he oversaw a multi-million dollar advertising budget and created special events and promotions that ultimately became a primary driver of the retailers business. He then brought his event and retail experience to Road Runner, a then startup broadband internet service provider, where he created event marketing efforts to help educate consumers about the difference between dial-up and broadband internet speeds.

In 2003, Paul left the corporate world to start his own event marketing company. Since then, Department Zero has been at the forefront of the experiential marketing industry, producing more than 40,000 unique event activations for a mixture of agency and brand side clients across the travel/tourism, automotive, CPG, and apparel industries.

Paul leads the creative and strategic direction of the company, collaborating with client partners to design, plan + deploy live brand experiences and consumer activation programs that educate participants, amplify brand awareness, attract press coverage, and deliver quantifiable results.

Some of their typical work includes pop-up shops, roadshows, and mobile tours, college campus events, sponsorship activation programs, social media content experiences, as well as press, and retail-focused events.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Paul Soseman, founder and CEO of Department Zero, joins us to share his story. He discusses the topic of experiential marketing and he explains how DMOs can incorporate it into their marketing strategies to drive more results.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How experiential marketing works in destinations
  • Why experiential marketing is so much more effective than traditional marketing tactics
  • How social media has transformed experiential marketing
  • Examples of creative collaborations Paul has done throughout his career
  • How destinations can capitalize on dwell-time with experiential marketing

Department Zero

Paul Soseman is the founder and CEO of Department Zero, an experiential marketing agency based in Kansas City, MO. And while Paul has done projects across a wide range of verticals such as automotive, CPG, and apparel, he has started to make a significant impact on travel and tourism as well. In an industry based on experience and storytelling, experiential marketing is a powerful angle for engaging travelers in any destination. In the latest episode of Destination on the Left, Paul joins us to talk about the different ways DMOs can leverage experiential marketing tactics like pop-up shops, roadshows and mobile tours, college campus events, sponsorship activation programs, social media content experiences, and press and retail-focused events.

Much More Than a Trend

Department Zero has been running seventeen years strong and it has steadily transitioned from events to brand experiences. But experiential marketing is no longer just a trend, it is a staple in the marketing strategies of DMOs across the country. Brands are constantly trying to tell us about their products and services, but when a customer experiences them first hand, it resonates on a much deeper level. Destinations are seeing real results when they add destination marketing to their repertoire and social media is a major reason for this. Social media and experiential marketing are intertwined, and we want people to share their experiences for the world to see. Not only does experiential marketing lead travelers to create FOMO moments, but it sparks a reaction of user-generated content that markets your destination for you.

Leave a Lasting Impression

Whatever the experience is, it has to be designed around specific goals. And whether it’s generating leads, press coverage, or impressions, the experience and campaign must be built to achieve that goal. One example of this is the campaign Paul helped design for Lufthansa Airlines. They were introducing a new, direct-route between San Jose, CA and Frankfurt, DE, and they wanted to find a unique way to build awareness for the new route. Paul’s team created an interactive videogame experience that both educated travelers about Frankfurt and provided them with travel tips as well. And through a live feed with a flight attendant in Frankfurt, they gave out free first-class tickets on the new route, drawing a huge crowd. There are so many ways to interact with your target audience and leave an impression!

Feb 19, 2020

With more than 20 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, Kristen Jarnagin oversees the official regional organization charged with furthering Long Islands $6.1 billion tourism economy. A Long Island transplant from Arizona, Jarnagin’s vast knowledge of the tourism industry spans from state tourism marketing, branding a luxury resort and serving as a lobbyist for tourism advocacy.

Kristen and her team at Discover Long Island work to promote a positive perception of Long Island across the globe, which draws lucrative visitors, stirs business attraction and drives economic development throughout the region.

She’s twice been named one of the Top 50 Women in Business on Long Island and is a graduate from the acclaimed Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Her favorite pastime is discovering Long Island with her two daughters and reigniting the passion for this place we call home for Long Island natives.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Kristen Jarnagin, President and CEO of Discover Long Island, joins us to explain how she and her team captured Long Island’s true story. She discusses their latest work and shares advice for using creativity and collaboration to solve difficult marketing challenges.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Kristen’s journey into destination marketing
  • Advice for marketing a destination as an outsider
  • Why it is important to stay true to your own voice in destination marketing
  • How Kristen and her team at Discover Long Island are telling Long Island’s true story
  • The latest campaign by Discover Long Island and the inspiration behind it
  • Different ways Kristen has used creativity and collaboration to solve difficult marketing challenges

Discover Long Island

Kristen Jarnagin is the President and CEO of Discover Long Island, where she and her team work to promote a positive perception of Long Island across the globe. She may not be a New York native, but as an outsider, Kristen has taken a fresh perspective and a visitor’s lens to the marketing efforts of Discover Long Island. With experience in state tourism, hospitality, and the political sector, Kristen has seen almost every corner of the travel and tourism industry. She is a risk-taker and a talented marketer who is uncovering Long Island’s true story so the whole world can see it. On the latest episode of Destination on the Left, Kristen joins us to discuss her journey and talk about the art of collaboration and creativity in the travel and tourism industry.

What is Your Story?

It is easy to look at what other destinations are doing and think, “it worked for them; it will work for us too.” But Kristen believes the only way to achieve great success in destination marketing is to stay true to your voice. Long Island is different from every destination out there, so Discover Long Island put all of their energy into capturing that. To Kristen and her team, standing out means being themselves. And since Kristen is not a native, she sees the destination how a visitor would see it. You don’t have to redefine who you are, you just have to understand who you are. By listening to the community and articulating your destination’s true story, you can make an impact without reinventing the wheel.

Not Just a Destination

Kristen and her team are finally telling Discover Long Island’s true story in their latest campaign, and it is all based around the idea that Long Island is not just a place to visit; it is a community. The campaign captures the distinct flavor of Long Island, the accent, the proximity to New York City, and a bunch of other factors that make it a one-of-a-kind destination. Whether you are a foodie, a historian, a beach bum, or anything else, Long Island is not a place you go to ‘do,’ it is a place you go to ‘be.’ Chances are your destination also has an amazing story to tell, so go out and discover it; then tell it wholeheartedly with authenticity.

Feb 12, 2020

Listed on Inc.’s listing of the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in the world, and #1 on Huffington Posts 12 Business Speakers to See, Steve Farber is a bestselling author, popular keynote speaker, and a seasoned leadership coach and consultant who has worked with a vast array of public and private organizations in virtually every arena.

Farber is the former Vice President of legendary management guru Tom Peters company and is the founder and CEO of The Extreme Leadership Institute, an organization devoted to helping its clients develop award-winning cultures and achieve radical results. The Institutes team has helped over 25 companies earn a ranking on the Best Places to Work list.

Farber’s third book, Greater Than Yourself, debuted as a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge, was hailed as a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit. And his first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, was named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

His much-anticipated new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, published by McGraw-Hill, is available now.

Farber is a member of the exclusive Transformational Leadership Council, and his column, The Extreme Leadership Chronicles, runs frequently on Inc.com.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Steve Farber, founder and CEO of Extreme Leadership, joins us to talk about his new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business. Steve breaks down the fundamental framework that inspired his book and explains why love is a key element of good business practices.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Steve’s journey into leadership coaching and what leadership means to him
  • What is extreme leadership and how you can use Steve’s principles in the travel and tourism industry
  • Why the quality of leadership separates good companies from not so good companies
  • Why love is a fundamental element of good business practices
  • The elements of LEAP
  • How love can be used to achieve greater levels of productivity in collaborative environments

Beyond Position and Title

Steve Farber is a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, and a veteran leadership coach whose framework in The Radical LEAP has inspired entrepreneurs across the country to realize their dreams. His new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, builds on the principles in the Radical LEAP and explains why love is a fundamental element of good business practices. Like Steve says, “do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” And in the latest episode of Destination on the Left, he dives into this leadership philosophy in detail. There is a lot to gain by understanding Extreme Leadership and how it applies to the travel and tourism industry, and there is a lot to learn from Steve’s journey as well.

Leaders of Meaning Significance

Steve has been an entrepreneur for a long time, but in the beginning, he struggled to fight a waning passion for the industry in which he started his first business. It brought him to a fork in the road where he had to choose between seeking out his true calling or focusing on money alone. The meandering soul search exposed him to many different industries and businesses, introducing him to incredible mentors and providing him with a keen understanding of the one thing that separates great companies from not so great companies—the quality of their leadership. This turned out to be Steve’s sweet spot, and since that epiphany, he has been working to help shape leaders of meaning and significance who produce radical results.

The LEAP Elements

Leaders are typically defined by a prestigious position or title. But the best leaders are defined by their actions alone. That is why Steve’s Radical LEAP framework expresses leadership as a result of cultivating love, generating energy, inspiring audacity, and providing proof. You don’t need a position or title to practice any of these things, and you can apply this operating system in any scenario by molding it to the way you do business. That means it will even work in the frustrating collaborative environments of the travel and tourism industry by increasing productivity and making DMOs operate more effectively. Love is the foundation of the entire framework, so if you can master that element, the rest will take care of themselves.

Feb 5, 2020

Marsha Walden is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Destination BC. A lifelong British Columbian, Marsha’s career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications, and social responsibility. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, loves to travel, and takes full advantage of family life in our extraordinary province.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination BC, talks strategy for provincial destination marketing. She shares insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The work Marsha is currently doing with Destination BC
  • How Marsha made the transition into destination marketing
  • Marsha’s insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.
  • What Marsha and her team are doing to cut through the noise and make Destination BC stand out
  • How Marsha uses destination development plans to draw more tourism to the province as a whole
  • How Marsha got the government involved in tourism
  • Why Destination BC operates with ten-year plans
  • How Destination BC manages a network of separate destinations

Provincial Destination Marketing

President and Chief Executive Officer Marsha Walden has spearheaded Destination BC’s product development efforts, content commonwealth, and tourism data hub; the lifeblood of its growth strategy. And it has enabled Destination BC to realize its vision for the future while staying highly competitive in one of North America’s densest tourism markets. Marsha has spent most of her career in different marketing disciplines and she is a lifelong resident of British Columbia, so the opportunity to combine those parts of her life was irresistible. She joins us on the latest episode of Destination on the Left to talk about Destination BC and share insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.

Destination Development Plans

To cut through the noise and make Destination BC standout from the crowd, Marsha’s approach is to focus on both sides of the revenue-driving equation. Destination BC puts a lot of energy and resources into building its brand and marketing it in the right ways. Marsha and her team maintain a strong digital presence so that they are constantly communicating with their target audience in the place where they spend the most time. Simultaneously, Destination BC creates remarkable experiences to ensure their communication strategy is portraying the most compelling possible product to the consumer. This is accomplished by formulating destination development plans to make each section of the destination the best it can be, and it is extremely effective.

Ten-Year Plans

Determining what you want to be known for as a destination requires a lot of collaboration. So, out of a necessity to grow, Destination BC has invited a lot of new parties to the table. Municipal governments, tourism businesses, industry stakeholders, and other governmental associations/organizations all need to be involved in setting the strategy. But these things take time, so Marsha and her team operate with ten-year plans which allow for realistic timelines to hit their goals. This strategy enables DMOs to take a more reactive approach to new market trends, and it provides an outline that keeps all of the collaborators on the same page.

Episode Transcript

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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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