Guest Host: Monica Smith
Monica Smith, President & CEO of Southeast Tourism Society (STS), discusses what the country’s largest regional tourism association has learned through the pandemic, identified many professional growth opportunities and programs available through the STS, and provides a “temperature read” on where she thinks the industry is with respect to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Justin Kerns, Executive Director of the Winchester Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Virginia) offers several compelling reasons for why Destination Marketing Organizations must become stronger advocates for tourism and lessons learned through some of this country’s most trying times, including 9/11, the Great Recession and the pandemic. Steve Paganelli shares several things Tripadvisor has learned about actual onsite traveler behavior and what’s next as consumer demand increases. Roy Van Doorn, owner of City Select and Charlottesville Chapter president for the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, talks about perception versus reality as customer patronage increases with local businesses in Charlottesville. And, Dave Bratton shares what Destination Analysts has seen in the way of emerging trends as the country edges more toward a period of normalization.
Kurt Burkhart shares with listeners how they can get in on the contest to win $5,000 of free fuel by entering the “Summer is a Go Road Trip Giveaway” by Pilot Flying J. He says the green light is now on in Virginia for localities to create Tourism Improvement Districts, and encourages DMOs to get creative. And, Kurt gives a shout-out to former Director of the Colorado Tourism Office, Cathy Ritter, on her new consultancy.