There is an ongoing debate on how destinations can stay relevant to travelers. It’s a discussion often had among destination marketing organizations and partners whose roles and tactics must evolve as the travel, marketing and technology landscapes continue to disrupt tried-and-true methods of the past.
In the Relevant Destination Q&A series, we hear a variety of perspectives and pro-tips on how destinations can modernize to meet the expectations of a new age of travelers.
This week’s guests:
- Charles Harris, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Visit Anaheim
- Jeremy Harvey, Vice President of Communications & Marketing at Visit Savannah
- Maya Hua, Tourism Senior Manager at Mall of America
- Cree Lawson, Founder & CEO at Arrivalist **TTRA PARTNER MEMBER**
Sincere Thanks TTRA for hosting us at the Biltmore in Coral Gables last week. Key takeaway: Strong destination brands are vital to the long-run health of the global travel industry. Technology and globalization are eroding the unique charm that once made places worth visiting. From store fronts to Amazon Prime. From city centers to incubators. From generational cuisine to fusion. From taxis to Ubers. Local businesses and service providers make up the DNA. Opposites attract. Travelers demand variety. Stronger destination brands will give us reason to travel. Research and data rest at the epicenter of sound marketing and brand strategy. Please fund your local DMO.
Until next time. Happy 4th.
Founder, Head of Insights
The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is as amazing and technologically advanced as it sounds. We have been hearing it for years in movies and documentaries, but now artificial intelligence is present in the real world and is affecting our everyday lives. This extends through to the tourism marketing and the travel and tourism industry in general.
tackled this topic recently on our successful Tourism Marketing Convention, together with her co-director Carolyn Childs and our clients. We discussed the development of artificial intelligence in the marketing sector and how travel and tourism businesses need to adjust in order to keep up with the changes.
There was plenty of travel tech talk at EyeforTravel’s London show this week, and here is a taster
1. The industry is not prepared for blockchain
2. Partnerships rule, and not always in a good way
3. Tours & Activities is still a big untapped opportunity
FEATURING: JULIE KNUTSON | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WATERTOWN CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), a global organization of researchers committed to improving the travel industry by supporting quality tourism research, commends the efforts by the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) to improve the collection and reporting of data they collect on international visitors to the U.S. We also support the recent decision by the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) to suspend data dissemination. Given the importance of international visitation to the U.S. economy, contributing $32 billion in wages to U.S. workers, and responsible for $245 billion in spending in cities and towns across the country, getting the numbers right is more important than ever.
The CBP data from the I94 form, however, is just one component of information used to inform the industry of the behavior of international visitors; the other is the Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) conducted by the National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce.
SIAT is a survey research tool for collecting data directly from visitors regarding their spending in the U.S., their activities while visiting here, who they traveled with, and other important aspects of their visit for which there is no other source of publicly available information.
The data collected from over tens of thousands of international visitors each year forms the basis of the balance of trade calculations by Bureau of Economic Analysis and is used for quantifying travel imports and exports for the U.S. The data establishes what these travelers spend and enables the industry to determine how many jobs and businesses that spending supports.
TTRA supports the National Travel and Tourism Office’s (NTTO) role in collecting and disseminating research that enables U.S. destinations to better compete with other countries vying for international travelers. As the world’s fastest growing industry and with other countries investing heavily in infrastructure and analytics to capture market share, the U.S. government’s role in ensuring access to data on international visitors is critical.
In addition, TTRA looks forward to learning more about CBP’s initiatives with the I94 form and welcomes an opportunity to offer insight and perspective from our members – U.S. destinations that are attracting international visitors and the $245 billion dollars they are spending across the nation.
Marion Joppe, TTRA President
Scott Russell, TTRA First Vice President
Esra Calvert, TTRA Advocacy Committee
Laura Mandala, TTRA Advocacy Committee