Olivia Novak is the marketing manager for Discover Lancaster. Helping people is Olivia’s passion, and being a resource for others as they plan their trips to Lancaster appeals to that passion. Lancaster, PA, is an up-and-coming destination with so much to offer; from heritage to adventure, there truly is something for everyone.
Olivia’s background in sports has strengthened her understanding of the human desire for experiences. As a former college athlete and Final Four National Tournament participant, she has seen firsthand how to build one moment into a larger-than-life experience.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Olivia Novak about Visit Lancaster’s successful partnership with the Baltimore Ravens and how her small DMO negotiated the relationship. She also offers great advice for young professionals starting out in the tourism industry and shares more about the accessibility project that they are in the midst of launching to make sure their destination is open to all abilities.
Olivia shares her insights on the negotiation process in the destination marketing world. She emphasizes the importance of customizing packages to fit the needs of both parties, especially for smaller destinations. Olivia encourages destinations to have open conversations and find a mutually beneficial agreement with organizations, whether it’s a sports team or any other larger entity.
Olivia also discusses her strategic decisions on which events Discover Lancaster wanted to invest their time and energy into and the importance of being confident in saying no to opportunities that aren’t right for you.
Olivia discusses her efforts to promote Lancaster as an accessible destination for all visitors. This involved creating resources, such as a comprehensive and accurate guide on their website, highlighting accessible attractions, hotels, restaurants, and activities. She also shares more about their collaboration with Tempest, an agency that specializes in creating accessible guides for destinations.
We talked about the DMO’s efforts to partner with local influencers, including a wheelchair user and a family that focuses on accessible travel due to their son’s Spinal Bifida. The goal is to craft staycation experiences for these influencers and have them share their experiences with the public.
Finally, Olivia emphasizes that Lancaster County and its businesses are an integral part of the fabric of the community and need to be represented in the resources provided by the Visitor’s Bureau. She acknowledges that the bureau currently only represents a small portion of the community and outlines the plans to center the needs of the community as a whole in their offering going forward.
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