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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: March, 2021
Mar 31, 2021

As Founder and President, Jennifer Hawkins has overseen the growth of Hawkins International Public Relations from a one-woman start-up to a major player in public relations, media relations, and digital communications for the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Yet even as the agency has grown to more than 30 employees, maintained a robust roster of world-class international clients, expanded with a Los Angeles office, and launched a new division focused on wellness and beauty,

Jennifer remains committed to the boutique and approachable culture she first shaped at the start back in 2002.

“I want to maintain our spirit of creativity and proactivity in everything we do,” she says, explaining that assembling diverse leadership and talent is key to Hawkins International’s ingenuity and maneuverability. Jennifer’s commitment to relevancy encompasses not just current trends in hospitality and wellness, but making certain that the agency is technologically on par and on top of the changing media landscape. She was behind the company’s embrace of social media that created a vibrant division offering influencer relations, social media activation and training, content strategy, and video integration services.

“We celebrate luxury travel and wellness lifestyles through polished personalized attention to our clients and to the media alike,” Jennifer continues. “My role is to bring in interesting clients who are a pleasure for us to collaborate and do business with. That keeps our PR team inspired, our culture dynamic, and our clients squarely in the news.”

Jennifer fell for travel as a girl traveling with a Eurail Pass through Europe with her father. A veritable globetrotter with more than 50 countries across 6 continents stamped on her passport, she long ago gleaned that travel isn’t just about the visitor’s experience – it’s also about providing a real economic impact to countless destinations. She never thought Hawkins International would grow as it has – “I call myself the accidental entrepreneur” – but she has enjoyed the journey. “I can honestly say the majority of clients we’ve signed have come because of our reputation, and they stay because they know we will innovate and deliver.”

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Hawkins, Founder and President of Hawkins international Public Relations and Maverick Creative. Jennifer is a self-proclaimed travel and tourism nerd, working with luxury hotels, spas, resorts, and start-ups through her agencies. On our podcast, Jennifer shares highlights from her recently released Trend Hawk Report. She explains what increased spending on social media means for our industry, how national brands are integrating with local communities, and what our industry can do to prepare for recovery.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Jennifer impacts the travel industry through Hawkins International and Maverick Creative
  • Highlights from Jennifer’s recently released Trend Hawk Report
  • What increased spending on social media means for the travel and tourism industry
  • How national brands are integrating with the local community through the pandemic
  • What businesses in the travel industry need to do to prepare for the recovery

HIPR and Maverick Creative

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Hawkins, Founder and President of Hawkins international Public Relations and Maverick Creative. Jennifer is a self-proclaimed travel and tourism nerd, working with luxury hotels, spas, resorts, and start-ups through her agencies. On our podcast, Jennifer shares highlights from her recently released Trend Hawk Report. She explains what increased spending on social media means for our industry, how national brands are integrating with local communities, and what our industry can do to prepare for recovery.

The Trend Hawk Report

Continuing the theme of 2020, 2021 is already fairly unpredictable. In order to get a handle on what we can expect for this year, data collectors/aggregators like Jennifer have kept an eye on travel and tourism trends that best represent where the industry is headed. Jennifer and her team have measured the impact of social media use in the travel industry as it correlates to social media spend. They have explored the tangential spikes in local business as local travel takes precedence. And they have looked into the overall change in human behavior/communication in relation to travel. We need to keep tabs on all of these trends as the country continues to reopen, so click here for more information.

Setting the Pace for 2021

From hi-tech wellness experiences to digital marketing strategy, there are a lot of trends surfacing in the pandemic that will be differentiators for years to come. Research shows that in times of crisis, companies that adapt, pivot, and invest in their employees tend to come out stronger when the economy returns. In addition, companies that create, innovate, and collaborate with other competitors in their verticals/regions finding tons of new ways to generate revenue and foot traffic during the pandemic. With vaccines being distributed and some semblance of normalcy in sight, it is important that we do everything we can, with everyone we can, to hit the ground running in the recovery phase.

 
Mar 24, 2021

In retirement, Loren is privileged to be applying her experiences and skills to the most important and long-lasting project in which she ever has been involved: the development and construction of a nature trail designed specifically for visitors with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions — located in Letchworth State Park, recently voted the #1 state park in the country AND #1 attraction in New York State!

Destination on the Left is joined by Loren Penman, a retired educator working full time to bring the Autism Nature Trail to fruition. Our agency, Break the Ice Media, is the marketing partner assisting with the public fundraising phase of the capital campaign, which will make the Autism Nature Trail a reality. On our podcast, Loren explains how the trail was first conceived, and how a volunteer group took it from concept to project. She also talks about how the campaign was able to reach its goals in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The story of the Autism Nature Trail is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with the use of collaboration and creativity.

SPECIAL NOTE: Since the recording of this episode, Loren has shared some exciting news with us! The official, COVID-style groundbreaking for The Autism Nature Trail (The ANT) at Letchworth State Park took place on February 19, 2021, and the Trail is on schedule to open later this year.

Also, the ANT has launched a two-month GoFundMe Charity Campaign to fund the Celebration Station — the last stop on the Trail — in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (March) and Autism Awareness Month (April). Please consider contributing to this worthy cause! The link to make fully tax-deductible donations is: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/celebrate-inclusion-and-nature-for-all

What You Will Learn:

  • Loren’s background and involvement with the Autism Nature Trail
  • What the Autism Nature Trail is, and how it got started
  • How our team has been able to get involved with the public fundraising phase of the ANT
  • How Loren and her team took the project from concept to reality
  • How creativity and collaboration were used to help the campaign reach its goal in spite of challenges posed by the pandemic
  • What Loren did to overcome the challenges of a public-private sector collaboration
  • Where the project is now, and where it is heading

The Autism Nature Trail

Destination on the Left is joined by Loren Penman, a retired educator working full time to bring the Autism Nature Trail to fruition. Our agency, Break the Ice Media, is the marketing partner assisting with the public fundraising phase of the capital campaign, which will make the Autism Nature Trail a reality. On our podcast, Loren explains how the trail was first conceived, and how a volunteer group took it from concept to project. She also talks about how the campaign was able to reach its goals in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The story of the Autism Nature Trail is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with the use of collaboration and creativity.

Broadening the Appeal

Loren and her community are finally ready to construct a one-mile looped trail with eight sensory stations in Letchworth State Park—this is the Autism Nature Trail or ANT for short. The ANT is a first-of-its-kind experience that started with a singular slant toward individuals on the spectrum, but it has since expanded to become a totally ADA compliant nature trail for all to enjoy. The special characteristics that make this trail perfect for the original target have a broad appeal to everyone. Our team was lucky enough to help share that message with the surrounding community so Loren and her team could realize their dream.

From Concept to Reality

From a simple, inspirational conversation in Letchworth to a fully-funded private-public project, Loren had her work cut out for her from the start. In order to take this project from concept to reality, she had to address a number of different challenges that required support from the community and local government. Once she had the ear of the right people, Loren managed to raise every dollar they needed through private donations so the park could be operated safely and effectively. This was a $3.7M feat, and they structured the park with the future in mind. From design and build to maintenance and management, this project is blessed with the expertise of many different professionals. This is creativity and collaboration at its finest, and even a pandemic hasn’t been able to stop the momentum they’ve created.

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/

Mar 17, 2021

Kris Kelso is a keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and is the author of Overcoming The Impostor: Silence Your Inner Critic and Lead with Confidence.

Trained and certified as an executive coach, Kris has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, and their leadership teams. He is an advisor and instructor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, is a Facilitator / Coach with The Alternative Board, and is a contributing writer for The Nashville Business Journal.

Kris has founded multiple companies and has served on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations. He lives with his wife and three teenaged sons in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

Destination on the Left is joined by Kris Kelso, a keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and the author of “Overcoming the Imposter.” On our podcast, Kris discusses the topic of imposter syndrome, a complex causing you to believe you’re not good enough and that you’ll somehow be exposed as a fraud. Nicole covered this previously on Episode #141, but it is a topic that couldn’t possibly get enough airtime. During our conversation, Kris explains how to overcome insecurity and self-doubt so you can avoid the comparison trap that leads to imposter syndrome. Kris also provides practical examples and strategies for recognizing and stopping the imposter.

What You Will Learn:

  • What imposter syndrome is, and how it affects us as leaders
  • The fundamental framework of Kris’s recent book, “Overcoming the Imposter”
  • How to overcome insecurity and self-doubt so you can avoid the comparison trap that leads to imposter syndrome
  • Practical examples and strategies for recognizing and stopping the imposter
  • How to turn imposter syndrome from a liability to an asset
  • The prevalence of imposter syndrome in the travel and tourism industry

Insecurity and Self-Doubt in Leadership

Destination on the Left is joined by Kris Kelso, a keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and the author of “Overcoming the Imposter.” On our podcast, Kris discusses the topic of imposter syndrome, a complex causing you to believe you’re not good enough and that you’ll somehow be exposed as a fraud. Nicole covered this previously on Episode #141, but it is a topic that couldn’t possibly get enough airtime. During our conversation, Kris explains how to overcome insecurity and self-doubt so you can avoid the comparison trap that leads to imposter syndrome. Kris also provides practical examples and strategies for recognizing and stopping the imposter.

Overcoming the Imposter

Kris was inspired to write his recent book, “Overcoming the Imposter,” because so many leaders struggle with imposter syndrome. He defines imposter syndrome as the tendency to overvalue the accomplishments of others and doubt the reality of your own accomplishments or success. Nearly 70% of the population experiences imposter syndrome at some point in their careers, and it is even more prevalent among high achievers. It is almost universal among entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t get talked about often because people are afraid to discuss their doubts and insecurities. Kris wrote his book to surface this conversation and show others how to turn imposter syndrome from a liability to an asset.

From a Liability to an Asset

Imposter syndrome is a psychological concept, which means it is largely something you can control. By shifting your perception around imposter syndrome, you can turn it into something beneficial. When you are in a situation where you’re surrounded by brilliant minds, take note of the thoughts and feelings that are coursing through your mind. Remember them, because they are signaling you’re in the right place. Remember the old saying that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room? The feelings of discomfort and doubt can be turned into excitement and anticipation depending on how you perceive them.

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/

Mar 10, 2021

Michelle Carlen is the Founder & President of Alignment Advising. With over two decades of career experience, she is dedicated to helping businesses by creating long-term strategy, growing sales and revenue, implementing process improvements, developing organizational infrastructure, and improving the client and employee experience. She also helps individuals advance their professional development and gain clarity, confidence, and direction along their career paths. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

With professional experience in hospitality, travel, tourism, and property management, Carlen has cultivated a diverse expertise in representing and supporting a variety of business types and managing teams from: attractions, boutique inns, corporate brand hotels, destinations, museums, restaurants, small retail stores, travel agencies, tour companies, homeowner associations, and non-profit specialty organizations.

Carlen applies her unique ability to dial into what prevents businesses and individuals from attaining optimum performance and has a passion for translating those findings into strategic planning and practical solutions. She quickly pulls direction and establishes order from parts that seemingly don’t connect and brings them into superior working alignment.

Destination on the Left is joined by Michelle Carlen, the Founder & President of Alignment Advising. Michelle is dedicated to helping businesses with long term strategy, revenue growth, process improvements, and organizational infrastructure. On our podcast, Michelle talks about leadership development, transition management, and the importance of stepping back to gain a better understanding of the big picture. Michelle shares insights about adopting a growth mindset and leadership strategies that will help us excel. And she also shares specific examples of collaboration through her experience as the leader of a CVB.

What You Will Learn:

  • Michelle’s perspective on leadership development, transition management, and the importance of stepping back to gain a better understanding of the big picture
  • Michelle’s experiences with collaboration as the leader of a CVB
  • How Michelle helps travel businesses with long term strategy, revenue growth, process improvements, and organizational infrastructure
  • Michelle’s insights about adopting a growth mindset and leadership strategies that will help us excel in 2021
  • Why adversity can often lead to opportunities

Alignment Advising

Destination on the Left is joined by Michelle Carlen, the Founder & President of Alignment Advising. Michelle is dedicated to helping businesses with long term strategy, revenue growth, process improvements, and organizational infrastructure. On our podcast, Michelle talks about leadership development, transition management, and the importance of stepping back to gain a better understanding of the big picture. Michelle shares insights about adopting a growth mindset and leadership strategies that will help us excel. And she also shares specific examples of collaboration through her experience as the leader of a CVB.

Professional Development in the Travel Industry

Whether you are apart of a DMO, a CVB, or one of the many businesses that make up the travel and tourism ecosystem, there are a number of different ways to approach professional development. First and foremost, you need to adopt a sense of vulnerability and humility. You don’t know everything, regardless of what your title says, and being vulnerable will earn the respect of your team members. In addition, you must work on being open-minded, improving your communication, and taking advantage of the many tools out there to hone your leadership skills.

Keep Your Strategy Fresh

As leaders in any type of travel-related organization, you are also responsible for making difficult decisions on a strategic level. One mistake that many leaders of DMOs CVBs make is repeating what they did the year before with minor changes. After making it through 2020, it goes without saying that the things that worked one year are not necessarily going to work the next. There are way too many undeveloped markets and untapped targets to go after to be using the same stale marketing strategy you’ve been using for years. Through innovation and collaboration, you can grow your destination to new heights regardless of how the circumstances change.

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/

Mar 3, 2021

Heather Bagshaw joined Greene County Tourism over seven years ago and loves being back in her hometown sharing all the great things she adored growing up. Her role in the tourism industry fostered over the past five years, from being an active board participant and President of both the Catskills and Hudson Valley Regions to sitting on the Board of Directors for New York State Tourism Industry Association and now her recent position as a Board Member on the Wine Water and Wonders Board of Directors.

Destination on the Left is joined by Heather Bagshaw, the Tourism Director of both Greene County and the Northern Catskills in New York State. On our podcast, Heather and I talk about how tourism can attract new residents and businesses to a community. We explore how Greene County positions itself within the Catskills region by highlighting its unique lodging properties and all-inclusive resorts. And we also talk about the silver linings in travel and tourism that came out of the global pandemic.

What You Will Learn:

  • Heather’s journey into travel and tourism
  • How tourism can attract new residents and businesses for a community
  • How Greene County positions itself within the Catskills region
  • How Green County leverages its unique lodging and all-inclusive resorts
  • The silver linings in travel and tourism that came out of the global pandemic
  • How Heather has used creativity and collaboration to drive traffic to Green County and the Northern Catskills

Greene County and the Northern Catskills

Destination on the Left is joined by Heather Bagshaw, the Tourism Director of both Greene County and the Northern Catskills in New York State. On our podcast, Heather and I talk about how tourism can attract new residents and businesses to a community. We explore how Greene County positions itself within the Catskills region by highlighting its unique lodging properties and all-inclusive resorts. And we also talk about the silver linings in travel and tourism that came out of the global pandemic.

Attracting Residents and Businesses

Greene County and the Northern Catskills draw a lot of tourist traffic from the New York City Metro Area. In the last two years, however, there has been a surge of Brooklynites as well. City dwellers from the five boroughs are not only coming as visitors, but they are also opening businesses in the region as well. This has had a significant impact on both tourism and economic development. Residents of Greene County are embracing newcomers and the unique flavors they bring to the community, and this has played a significant role in the region’s growth.

Create Unique Travel Experiences

The organic traffic flow has transformed Greene County already, but Heather has also done a terrific job using creativity and collaboration to better position Greene County within the Catskills. All-inclusive family resorts are a major draw in Greene County, and these resorts continue to attract the same families for generations. But travelers also want to have travel experiences that no one else has had before. Greene County’s unique lodging such as the “Treetopia” RV ground and the tiny home resort offer tourists the opportunity to create a memorable travel experience, unlike any vacation they’ve had before.

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

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