I’ve been following the travel industry close and notice that fellow RVers and camping enthusiasts are chomping at the bit as destination open for spring and summer planning.
In an attempt to determine more indications of park and destination openings opportunities, I researched an area of the tourism industry usually not thought of.
In travel and tourism terms, DMO stands for Destination Marketing Organization. They represent destinations and help to develop their long-term travel and tourism strategy.
According to the leading industry group, the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), each $1 spent in destination marketing generates $38 in visitor spending across international markets.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought travel and tourism to a near-standstill, and although we can’t be certain when it will restart, experience from September 11, 2001 tells us we’ll first notice more road trips not too far from home.
A look at DMOs today show their primary focus has shifted to the local market — reinforcing pre-existing relationships with government bodies and other key constituents.
They’re forging relationships that up until now have been deemed as unnecessary or unimportant, such as local media (because most visitors come from outside their market, most DMOs haven’t historically invested many dollars on local marketing efforts).
Unfortunately, an important part of trade lost on many residents in any given city is that the restaurants, retail establishments and attractions they all enjoy are supported by both visitor and resident dollars. And if the visitor dollars go away, so will many of the things the residents love.
Smart cities, not those run by mediocre politicians with a power hungry agenda (yes, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, that means you) quickly turned its attention from travel sales and marketing to community support and outreach.
Fort Worth redirected advertising to promote restaurant pick-up and delivery. Their website gained a big new local following and maintained narrow YTD traffic gains instead of dropping into negatives.
In my neck of the woods, the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg has been forced to eliminate or reduce sidewalk construction, street maintenance and unnecessary travel by city officials.
With a $70 million city budget they’re looking at a $2 million shortfall and contemplating layoffs and staff reductions.
Abilene, Texas is taking a $120 million hit overall in tourism dollars.
Visit Denver teamed up with a multitude of tourism and hospitality partners to develop “Love This City Denver,” a new initiative designed to inspire locals to show their love of the community by supporting Denver businesses and attractions suffering from mandated shutdowns.
Orlando has a “virtual dinner table” encouraging residents to order takeout or delivery from one of the 400+ open restaurants, garnering upwards of 30,000 site visits.
Visit Sacramento. (Agriculturely rich) had a video series in the works called “Breaking Bread,” featuring some of the city’s best restaurants and chefs in an unscripted reality show — but when the pandemic hit, they tweaked the title to be “Breaking Bread…At Home,” now showcasing the ability of the chefs to create spectacular takeout food, and what it means to the local community to do so.
In two months, the U.S. hospitality and travel industry lost 8.2 million jobs.
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.