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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: April, 2021
Apr 28, 2021

Roni Weiss was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up in Snohomish County, Washington, north of Seattle.

At the age of 10, Roni began attending Edmonds Community College (now Edmonds College), receiving his Associates of Arts and Science with Honors at the age of 12. He graduated from Lynnwood High School at the age of 15, then attended the University of Washington, receiving double Bachelors of Arts degrees in Drama and English at the age of 18.

Through years of world travels, Roni visited 70+ countries, including every country in Europe, six of seven continents, and taught English in Italy, France, Taiwan, and Chile, both to youth and professionals.

In 2011, Roni founded RW Social, a marketing and consulting company for the travel industry and nonprofits. From 2011 to 2016, Roni worked with Africa Travel Association (now Africa Tourism Association), assisting with and speaking at ATAs events in NYC, DC, and multiple African countries.

In 2013, RW Social launched the New York Travel Festival, an event focused on innovation and sustainability in the world of travel, which served as the genesis for Travel Unity, where he now serves as Executive Director.

Roni lives in Westchester County, NY with his partner, Lauren, and their four children.

Destination on the Left is joined by Roni Weiss, Executive Director of Travel Unity. On our podcast, Roni discusses his unique journey into the travel and tourism industry and the world of entrepreneurship. He explains how a broader view on community impact can create a win-win for both the tourism organization and the community it serves. In addition, Roni makes the case for why representation in marketing and PR needs to be executed thoughtfully and consistently with more depth. This conversation is the key to getting started or leveling up your focus on DEI, and Roni brings so much value to the table.

What You Will Learn:

  • Roni’s unique journey into the travel and tourism industry and the world of entrepreneurship
  • How a broader view on community impact can create a win-win for both tourism organizations and the communities they serve
  • Why representation in marketing and PR needs to be executed thoughtfully and consistently with more depth
  • Personal vs. Organizational Development tactics in the travel and tourism industry
  • Tips for finding the right candidates during the hiring process

Travel Unity

Roni Weiss is the Executive Director of Travel Unity, a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the world of travel through individual and community empowerment. On our podcast, Roni discusses his unique journey into the travel and tourism industry and the world of entrepreneurship. He explains how a broader view on community impact can create a win-win for both the tourism organization and the community it serves. In addition, Roni makes the case for why representation in marketing and PR needs to be executed thoughtfully and consistently with more depth. This conversation is the key to getting started or leveling up your focus on DEI, and Roni brings so much value to the table.

Overcoming Inequality in Travel and Tourism

Travel Unity provided Roni with the opportunity to make an impact on both the personal development side and the business/organizational development side of the travel and tourism industry. The center circle of this ven diagram is the inequality in this world. Initially, that took the form of socioeconomic status in Roni’s work. But as he grew, Roni dove even deeper into the concept of cultural exchange, searching for new ways to bridge the gap between all types of people from different walks of life. When travel organizations adopt a similar perspective and focus on building connections in the communities they serve, it will help develop an environment where everyone thrives.

Be Proactive in the Hiring Process

Once a community has stitched the tears in its connective tissue, the travel and tourism sector can make a greater impact than ever before. Pushing for personal and organizational development in the community will create a future workforce that shares the same values. This is an ideal framework to work from as an organization grows. When adding new team members and filling existing roles, it is important to do everything in our power to build a team that supports our vision for diversity. Homogony doesn’t exist because we aren’t getting the candidates we need, it exists because we aren’t going out there to find them. This is something we have complete control over, and it will change the dynamic of our teams for years to come.

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/

 
Apr 21, 2021

Jeff Gayduk is the president and publisher of Premier Travel Media (formerly known as Premier Tourism Marketing), a multi-faceted print and online publishing firm that specializes in the group travel industry. Our titles include Leisure Group Travel, Group Travel Directory, Sports Planning Guide, Reunions Workbook, Student Travel Planning Guide, Religious Travel Planning Guide, Snowbound and Ski & Ride.

Destination on the Left is joined by Jeff Gayduk, president and publisher of Leisure Group Travel. On our podcast, Jeff discusses the framework and purpose of his new book, “Traveling Tribes: Your Next Gig as a Travel and Tourism Influencer.” He also shares his team’s insights on fueling recovery, which was recently published as a white paper to the benefit of everyone in the travel and tourism industry. Jeff brings so much value to the table in our discussion, providing tons of tips to help tourism organizations build momentum as the world reopens.

What You Will Learn:

  • Jeff’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • The framework of Jeff’s new book, “Traveling Tribes: Your Next Gig as a Travel and Tourism Influencer”
  • How Jeff’s book can shed light on this sector and drive demand for a new pipeline of customers
  • Key insights Jeff and his team have gathered about the recovery of travel and tourism
  • How the group travel industry is evolving, and what tour operators are doing to adapt

Premier Travel Media

Jeff Gayduk is the president and publisher of Leisure Group Travel, a multi-faceted print and online publishing firm that specializes in the group travel industry. On our podcast, Jeff discusses the framework and purpose of his new book, “Traveling Tribes: Your Next Gig as a Travel and Tourism Influencer.” He also shares his team’s insights on fueling recovery, which was recently published as a white paper to the benefit of everyone in the travel and tourism industry. Jeff brings so much value to the table in our discussion, providing tons of tips to help tourism organizations build momentum as the world reopens.

Traveling Tribes

‘Traveling Tribes” is a prescription book on how to lead group travel. Tour operators and their direct markets are full of people from all walks of life. Many of them have unique backgrounds and amazing life stories that are completely independent of their role in travel and tourism. That notion makes it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all solution for developing strong leadership in group travel scenarios. Jeff started compiling all of these different backstories to find the through line and identify common ingredients in each experience. With this recipe, tour operators can adapt more easily as the group travel industry evolves.

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse

By establishing a baseline for leadership performance in “Travelling Tribes,” Jeff and his team have been able to offer more valuable resources and tips to tourism professionals throughout the pandemic. They have kept a finger on the pulse of major trends in the travel industry in order to come up with viable solutions for the recovery period. As a result, they have made it easier for tourism professionals to determine the next steps. Whether that means leveraging pent-up demand for travel, milestone birthdays, bolstered savings, or personal development, the data supports a dire need for the return of tourism.

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/

Apr 14, 2021

Amir Eylon is the President, CEO, and Partner of Longwoods International and a thirty-two-year veteran of the Travel & Tourism industry. Amir leads the entire team responsible for developing and executing 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 increasing 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, composed 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.

Amir 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’s thought leadership in tourism is often quoted by media, and he has appeared in dozens of interviews among many national media outlets, including CNBC, MSNBC, Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc
Amir holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, we welcome back Amir Eylon, President, CEO, and Partner of Longwoods International, who first appeared on the podcast in April 2020. We reflect on the travel trends over the last 12 months, as revealed by research conducted by Longwood International’s Traveler Sentiment Trackers. Amir also speaks to the expectations of the newly conditioned traveler and what first trips will look like for many Americans after a year of shutdowns. He also explores the data on opportunities that can be found for DMOs with the return of day-trippers.

What You Will Learn:

  • What recent data from the Traveller Sentiment Trackers shows, and why the outlook for travel is optimistic
  • Where and why people are traveling – including the most popular domestic destinations
  • Traveler opinions on safety and cleanliness protocols in the communities they visit
  • Why the resurgence of the day trip meant that overall volume wasn’t as low as expected over the last 12 months
  • Newly conditioned traveler expectations and how DMOs can ensure they are catering to the increased desire to feel safe when making bookings
  • Why it is essential to understand the importance of focusing on promotions rather than deep discounts

Understanding Travel Plans in the New Normal

Amir and Longwoods International were motivated to start their Travel Sentiment Trackers in March 2020 by a desire to help the entire travel industry. The data that their research has circulated has been invaluable in understanding how the American traveler feels about vacationing in this new normal and how DMOs can best serve them going forward. He discusses why overall volume in the US wasn’t as low as the travel industry expected and explains which domestic destinations have proved to be the most popular over the last year and why.

Traveler Expectations in 2021

Amir digs into the expectations of newly conditioned travelers and why destinations need to be mindful not to roll back their cleanliness and flexibility protocols too quickly. He also addresses the new-found popularity of the day trip and how destination marketers can leverage those first visitors to promote their community and popularise short overnight breaks. The data shows that clarity will remain an important part of what visitors expect when researching destinations in the future and how communities can ensure that travelers feel safe by continuing to be transparent about precautions still in place to protect guests.

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/

 
Apr 7, 2021

Jennifer Wesselhoff is the President & CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau (Chamber/Bureau). She has served in the position since October 2020.

The Park City Chamber/Bureau is responsible for the marketing and management of Utah’s preeminent luxury tourism destination, driving revenues in excess of $1 billion annually. Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival, the nation’s largest independent film event. The town’s two ski resorts served as major event sites for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the Utah Olympic Park continues to attract Olympians to Park City for high-altitude training. The town also is the headquarters for the US Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA). Park City hosts ski and snowboarding world championships on an annual basis and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has selected Utah for its next Winter Olympic bid in 2030. More than two million skiers hit the local slopes each year at both Park City Mountain, featuring the nation’s largest ski terrain, and Deer Valley Resort, consistently rated amongst the top ski resorts in North America. In summer months, more than one million visitors flock to Park City for hiking, blue-ribbon fly-fishing and biking on its 400-mile trail system.

Prior to arriving in Park City, Jennifer was CEO/President of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, which she joined in 2007. During her tenure, she led Sedona, Arizona to national recognition as a destination. Jennifer guided the Sedona Chamber’s accreditation as a Destination Management Organization, led the development of Arizona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan, and saw tourism grow to become Sedona’s largest industry, with a $1 billion annual impact and 10,000 tourism-related jobs. She most recently represented the region on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force. Jennifer developed and launched successful brand strategies for Sedona, including the “Sedona, the Most Beautiful Place on Earth” campaign and the “Find Your Room to Play” campaign.

Jennifer is a Certified Destination Management Executive with Destination Marketing Association International and is a frequent speaker and consultant on sustainable tourism best practices. She was the former Sedona Certified Film Commissioner with the Association of Film Commissioners International.

Before joining the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, Jennifer taught English in Japan and spent three years in the hospitality industry in Interlaken, Switzerland. She is conversant in three foreign languages and holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When Jennifer and her husband Rick are not running, biking and hiking, they enjoy cooking and traveling with friends.

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Wesselhoff, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau. On our podcast, Jennifer shares her passion for sustainable tourism and talks about the steps you can take to implement it in your own community. She teaches us what DMOs can do to better communicate with their communities and grow the destination organically. And she also explains how the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism for years to come.

What You Will Learn:

  • Jennifer’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • Jennifer’s passion for sustainable tourism and the steps you can take to implement it in your own community
  • How to balance the four pillars of sustainable tourism
  • Why DMOs need to put more focus on communicating with their residents and local communities
  • How the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism
  • Attracting quality vs. quantity when it comes to visitors

The Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau

Destination on the Left is joined by Jennifer Wesselhoff, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce, Convention, and Visitors Bureau. On our podcast, Jennifer shares her passion for sustainable tourism and talks about the steps you can take to implement it in your own community. She teaches us what DMOs can do to better communicate with their communities and grow the destination organically. And she also explains how the pandemic has provided destinations with an opportunity to rethink tourism for years to come.

Becoming a Leader in the Pandemic

Jennifer started her journey in Park City in October of 2020—an interesting time to say the least. Starting a new position, with new people, in a new organization is enough to test any leader, let alone when it is taking place in a remote work environment. Jennifer, however, brings a ton of experience to the table, and she was able to find her stride quickly through the use of creativity and collaboration. Her passion for sustainable tourism has helped her develop those skills day in and day out, and it is a concept we can all benefit from exploring in our own organizations and communities.

The Four Pillars of Community

Jennifer defines sustainable tourism as a way to balance the four pillars of the community, and it lifts up everyone who is apart of it. The pillars are: creating and retaining a vibrant economy, the visitor experience, impact on quality of life, and protecting the environment. While Jennifer always took a data-driven approach to destination marketing, the four pillars of community helped her reshape the lens with which she looked at the data. It gave her a new perspective for addressing unique challenges within the community, and it provided her with an opportunity to partner with other organizations and businesses in the region to solve those challenges. Sustainable tourism is something any destination can adopt to transform the core principles of the community, and there is so much to gain from it.

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