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.
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.
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.
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.