With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for her dad’s car stereo shop, Nicole Mahoney got her start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester, and began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, she headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.
In 2009, Nicole founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. She now hosts “Destination on the Left,” a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.
As a business owner, Nicole knows what it takes to be successful. She founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. Nicole has the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, I host a question and answer session about Break the Ice Media’s acquisition of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP). This is such an exciting opportunity, and I’m thrilled that we can continue to bring together tour operators, suppliers, destinations, and travel buyers to collaborate on creating and promoting travel products. I also want to highlight TAP Dance, which we’re excited to be convening in person in Branson, MO, this May, as a crucial step toward reinvigorating the tour market.
Serge Talbot founded travel Alliance Partners (TAP) in 2001 to bring together a partnership of travel professionals with similar business ethics and product quality. TAP partners leverage joint marketing opportunities and use one another’s products and services in the spirit of mutual trust and respect. During the past 20 years, TAP has become known for its innovative ideas — they were the first to introduce the concept of guaranteed departures, pioneered the TAP Dance conference to allow industry professions to collaborate, and were the first in 2020 to announce a virtual event.
TAP was recently acquired by Break the Ice Media, and it went from a tour operator-owned company to a management marketing company-owned organization, but what TAP does and what it provides won’t change going forward.
Break the Ice Media is excited to have acquired TAP and is committed to continuing the spirit of collaboration that is key to building a successful business. In 2020 Break the Ice Media did a research study to determine how collaboration impacts the travel and tourism industry. And through that study, learned that 90% of the respondents are confident that relationship building is the future of helping the travel and tourism industry survive and thrive.
TAP’s mission is to build a partnership of travel professionals with high standards of business ethics and product quality with the intent to buy and sell products from each other and benefit from collective buying power and develop joint marketing opportunities in an environment of mutual trust and respect.
There are several ways to collaborate with TAP. They have 14 legacy partners who form the organization’s solid foundation and have developed two new partner levels, Growth and Collaborative, that people can now join without the equity buy-in to receive a variety of valuable benefits. They also have Preferred Professional Travel Providers (PPTP), who gain increased exposure to TAP’s partners and enjoy collaborative marketing benefits. TAP supports travel buyers with weekly webinars where our partners host a call and discuss specific travel itineraries, so they dig into the details.
Break the Ice Media and TAP continue to be the place where a wide variety of audiences and members can come to find business growth.