#eTS20 – Everybody Means Everybody. Click here for a complimentary invitation extended to those whose jobs are impacted by Covid-19.
We’ve got a date. About 21 dates, actually.
And we want everyone to be there.
Every weekday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time throughout the month of October, the virtual version of the 21st Annual eTourism Summit is happening on your screen. *More later about the in-person Orlando event on Nov. 8-10*
Also…it’s last call. There’s less than one week left to submit your eTSY Award application before the deadline on Sept. 21, 2020 at midnight ET.
In July, VisitMexico.com, was accused of neglecting to pay its bills to its host server.
Travelers considering a trip to Mexico found that the country’s official tourism website was not working. According to Mexico News Daily, there was an online notice in Spanish saying, “Suspension for non-payment. It is not hacking, it is non-payment.”
Visit Mexico’s official website has been run by private organizations since August 2019, when the country’s Tourism Promotion Council was shut down. Visit Mexico president Marcos Achar and general director Carlos Gonzalez said that the website had been hacked. However, Juan Sergio Loredo Foyo of Tecnocen.com, which provides the site’s infrastructure service said, “…we are very sorry to have had to resort to this situation of suspending that affects the image of tourism in Mexico, however we were forced to act in this way not receiving a response or even a formal invitation to sit down to negotiate.” An investigation has been launched, reports Travel Pulse.
VisitMexico.com went red-faced again last week, but it wasn’t because of delinquent payments. The site’s careless English translation sprouted a series of comical takedowns. Mexico’s tourism officials issued an apology and put the website on vacation to show a giant banner proclaiming, “New website coming soon.”
State names Guerrero and Hidalgo had been translated in Spanish 101-style as “Warrior” and “Noble.” Tulum was translated as “Jumpsuit.” The Central Mexican town of Aculco appeared as “I Blame,” and the city of Ciudad Madero became “Log.”
“Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” former Mexican President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account, according to the Associated Press.
Back up and running now, copywriters would argue that VisitMexico.com presents an awkward persona and could use some help in its attempt to appeal to English speakers.
Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco relaunched the website last week and told a virtual press conference that the new website will feature the latest and best technology and that companies such as Google, Discovery Channel, Mastercard, Ford, and Aeroméxico, as well as the New York Yankees will partner via sponsorship deals.
Puerto Rico Partnership
Discover Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) signed a collaboration agreement announced this week. The organizations will work together to spread the message of the efforts that are being made, mutually strengthening each other as links in the same economy.
“Since Discover Puerto Rico was established as the destination marketing organization, the Chamber of Commerce has been a strong ally. We are honored to formally establish a collaboration agreement, which allows us to reach out to members of the organization and provide a bridge to the tourism industry. Now more than ever, we must work together to restore business activity and stimulate rapid economic performance,” Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean said. Read the press release here.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky-related news:
Kentucky Department of Tourism announced a new campaign aimed at in-state trips. “Stay Close. Go Far” highlights local tourism partners, communities and businesses. Inspiring content is intended to reminds Kentuckians they do not have to travel far to experience all the beauty, history and adventures the state has to offer.
A recent traveler sentiment survey from Longwoods International showed 63 percent of travelers planning a trip over the next six months centered on driving.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry said, “Kentucky tourism plays a critical role in generating revenue for local economies across the commonwealth. By encouraging responsible in-state travel, we can help drive economic recovery to the local communities that rely heavily on tourism spending and employment.”
KFC has blurred out ‘Finger Lickin’’ from their marketing materials, leaving their slogan to read as “It’s Good” for the time being. Marketers say this not only shows the brand’s social-awareness around hygiene during the pandemic, but also sets KFC up for a huge re-launch branding moment in the future.
It’s a race against the clock at TikTok:
TikTok has now selected a buyer for its U.S., Australia and New Zealand entities.
Kevin Meyer, CEO of TikTok, has resigned less than four months after taking on the role that included chief operating officer of ByteDance, its Chinese parent company. In his note to employees, Meyer speaks of “the global role I signed up for” as the company came under sustained pressure with a deadline imposed by the Trump administration over breaking its ties to China. CNBC reported that Meyer had not been included in buyout talks with Oracle and Microsoft.
The latest speculation about TikTok’s U.S. interests is swirling around Walmart joining with Microsoft in a bid. According to reports, TikTok’s US operations could fetch as much as $30 billion if a deal is reached. Meyer had been chief streaming executive at the Walt Disney Company until May 2020.
CNBC and other news reports indicate that TikTok could announce the sale of the popular video app as early as September 1. However, in an 11th-hour twist, The New York Times reports on potential hurdles raised by Beijing over tech export rules. TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Bytedance, said over the weekend that it would need a license from the Chinese government before it can sell to a U.S. company.
Won’t be pinned down:
Pinterest has changed its mind. The company negotiated a payment of $89.5 million to terminate a lease on their future San Francisco headquarters of 490,000 square feet at a to-be-built mid-rise at 88 Bluxome Street. They will remain in existing premises. Citing a shift to work-from-home, Pinterest will keep its current city offices. “As we analyze how our workplace will change in a post-COVID world, we are specifically rethinking where future employees could be based,” said Todd Morgenfeld, CFO and Head of Business Operations of Pinterest. “A more distributed workforce will give us the opportunity to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences.”
Thanks. Kinda, Sorta.
United suspended their change fees at the beginning of the Covid crisis, but had plans to reinstate them. The airline was charging $200 to passengers who hadn’t purchased a premium priced changeable ticket. Now the airline says the change fee is gone “forever” on domestic flights.
Quickly falling into lockstep, American, Delta, Alaska announced likewise within hours. Pre-pandemic, Southwest was alone among U.S. carriers in not charging for flight changes. United also said beginning Jan. 1, 2021, passengers can join a same-day standby list free of charge; the fee is currently $75. American said it would do likewise from Oct. 1, 2020.
There are mixed responses to the headline, “Delta becomes first airline to install hand sanitizer stations on planes.” One comment reads, “Really? The FIRST airline to do so? In AUGUST (28?) 2020!?” And another, “To be honest, why wasn’t this done sooner?”
Jellyfish and Penguins
A report from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the fish are always in schools, but the doors are still closed. “‘The visitors are gone. The revenue is gone,’ said Julie Packard, the aquarium’s executive director. ‘Meantime, the animals and exhibits are doing great.’ The aquarium missed its entire summer tourism season, and its finances are in such dire straits that more than a third of its staff has been laid off or furloughed.”
A leader in ocean conservation and education, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is considered by many to be the best of its kind in the world.
“Outside, three wildfires have been burning in Monterey County, causing at least one staff member to lose a home and others to evacuate. Animals sensitive to smoke and ash falling from the orange-tinged sky had to be pulled indoors.” – LA Times
Adversity Makes Strange Bedfellows
World’s biggest hotel company in a pandemic-prompted consolidation?
Shares in France’s Accor and U.K. rival InterContinental Hotels Group rose last week, after reports the two companies had explored a merger that would create the world’s biggest hotel group with a combined value of $17 billion. A combined company would have more than 1.6 million rooms, ahead of Marriott International, which had close to 1.4 million rooms at the end of last year.
CNBC analyst Jim Cramer is touting the Airbnb IPO as a “steal” because he says its a better and safer option for travelers than hotels. That’s a red flag for hoteliers, who must step up their games to overcome a perception problem in a post-Covid economy, says Hotels, the industry newsletter. If, in fact, hospital-standard housekeeping is not what’s driving consumer preferences but social distancing is, then the appeal of Airbnb is clear.
People & Events on the Move (and jobs):
Did you know that eTourism Summit was born at the dawning of a new century? Goodness knows, since its founding in 2000, the eTourism Summit has seen quite a few things—from Y2K (remember that scare?) to 9/11 to SARS-CoV-2.
As the 21st Annual eTourism Summit reaches maturity this fall, it’s now old enough to legally buy a drink…(and that timing seems appropriate.) The “party” is shaping up differently than anybody expected but to be frank, it’s looking great. The RSVPs are coming in and all we need is Y-O-U.
Be there with your peers. The virtual registration options for you and your DMO community kicks off in a month, on Oct. 1, 2020. You’re invited for 21 days of relevant, thought-provoking conversations, keynotes and roundtables from the comfort (or chaos) of home.
The 3rd Annual eTSY Awards are accepting submissions in a dozen categories in the search for digital tourism excellence.
Invitations are going out by email now. Get in touch right away if you haven’t received yours. (Contact Us link is in the footer of this newsletter.)
Enhance your home page branding with unified tourism messaging. “Let’s Go There” campaign kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. U.S. Travel Association is asking everybody to join the movement to remind Americans about the joy of travel…even planning to travel…as we look ahead. Everything you need to join the movement is at your fingertips. Get the guide and the toolkit here.
News from Madden Media: “We are very excited to announce that Matthew Clement, CDME has joined Madden Media. We know his leadership will help shape a new future for tourism. Matt will be focused on helping to close the gap between strategic plans, marketing efforts, research, stakeholders, and consumers.
As some of the most trusted organizations in the communities, DMOs have the opportunity to use data to bring stakeholders together to achieve collective impact. Having worked across the industry on many boards and within destinations, Matt understands the importance of collaboration and building relationships. We believe that together with our partners, we can help affect large-scale change that strengthens communities and leads to a vision of a better future.”
Madden Media provided a roundup of their hires from the DMO industry over the past year: https://lnkd.in/ghy3EzK
Rolando Aedo, COO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been appointed to the Destinations International Foundation Board of Trustees. “The Destinations International Foundation believes that destination organizations are essential to the success of destinations worldwide and the cornerstone of their communities. That is why we invest in research, advocacy, talent development and global engagement and exchange.”
Bye-bye Brian Boland. One of Facebook’s longest-tenured employees, and a key insider who has been close to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, has quit. The vice president of partnerships, product marketing, operations, partner engineers and analytics (that’s a lot!), announced his resignation last week on Workplace, Facebook’s own internal social network. Boland posted a picture of his badge to make the statement; it’s a custom among departing Facebook employees.
In Mississippi, Ridgeland Tourism Commission announced Savannah Tirey as its new director of marketing and public relations. Tirey served for four years as a public relations specialist at Mississippi Development Authority serving as the Visit Mississippi marketing and public relations liaison.
Adam Stoker at Relic Agency has posted this opportunity.
Visit SLO CAL: Hiring a Director of Community Engagement & Advocacy in San Luis Obispo, California.
Visit Macon: Looking for a passionate and motivated Destination Specialist to help us tell Macon’s story. More info here: https://lnkd.in/e-bE7bj
People & Jobs
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch of Indiana announced the launch of an arts, cultural and Destination Marketing Organization grant totaling $10 million in financial assistance. The funding for this grant program comes from the CARES Act. In a partnership, Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) and Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) will provide economic support to local organizations whose normal operations have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
Dan Rowe, president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach has been appointed as the 2020-2021 Chair of the Visit Florida Board.
Travis Napper, director of Arkansas Tourism, has been named to the board of directors for Travel South USA and will serve as the 2020-2021 chair of the Advertising Committee.
Randy Newcomb is the new executive director of the Galesburg Tourism and Visitors Bureau in Illinois, a relatively new operation spun off from the chamber of commerce. Newcomb was the longtime executive director of the Kentucky Lake CVB in Benton, KY. Galesburg was part of the 19th century Underground Railroad.
Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Finn Partners as its PR agency of record, its first such appointment since 2018. Recently, Virginia Beach City Council provided funding to help the city’s tourism industry recover from COVID-19.
After more than four years at the helm of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, president and CEO Patrick Hughes is stepping down, effective Oct. 31. The six-block downtown entertainment district is known for its 1,500-foot-long Viva Vision canopy screen. The Fremont Street Experience and its board will conduct a search to find a new CEO over the next several months.
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has retained SearchWide Global to conduct an executive search to find their next President & CEO, to include responsibility for the Detroit Sports Commission. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 10 years executive management experience in a supervisory capacity with hands on experience in budgeting, business planning and analysis, public speaking and strategic planning.
In British Columbia, Canada, Metro Vancouver seeks an Executive Director of Regional Economic Prosperity in the large and diverse Pacific Gateway. Refer to Destinations International job site.
Virginia Tourism Corporation has retained SearchWide Global to conduct a search to find their next Director of Research and Market Intelligence.
Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority has retained SearchWide Global to conduct an executive search to find their next Chief Executive Officer. The ideal candidate for this position will have travel, tourism and hospitality experience with DMO experience preferred.
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau has retained SearchWide Global to conduct an executive search to find their next Deputy Director.
Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau has retained SearchWide Global to conduct an executive search to find their next President & CEO. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of Park City, Summit County and the State of Utah with a minimum of four years of progressive growth and experience in the tourism industry, including but not limited to convention sales, marketing, special events, public relations, and facility management.
In Maryland, Visit St. Mary seeks an Executive Director for the county economic development and tourism job with a minimum of two years’ DMO leadership experience.
In Colorado, the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission seeks an Executive Director with a minimum of 5 years’ sports event and tourism industry experience. Applications are due by Aug. 30, 2020.
Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau (Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism) is looking for a new CEO, a DMO professional with at least 10 years’ experience.
Visit Baltimore is seeking an in-house publicist reporting to the CMO, collaborating with the social media team. New listing. Apply via email@example.com.
In Silicon Valley, California, SearchWide Global has been retained to conduct an executive search to find the next President & CEO for the newly formed Santa Clara DMO.
Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau has retained SearchWide Global to conduct an executive search to find their next President/CEO.
At the intersection of digital media and tourism promotion, the eTourism Summit mission is to “See Tomorrow” in an intimate interactive setting featuring highly relevant, dynamic content. This fall, #eTS2020 will showcase all-new “See Tomorrow” programming focused on digital marketing in the post-pandemic environment.
A hybrid event model offers innovative and flexible choices for marketers and suppliers.
For marketers, a virtual participation package is available via “21 Days of eTS.” This registration option includes curated hour-long sessions throughout the month of October as well as pre-selected private vendor appointments. Virtual registration may be extended individually or company-wide.
An exciting concept for virtual attendance is being newly introduced. Using a unique code, the “Community Pass” allows marketers to share unlimited attendance with their qualified members and partners in a destination.
Will Seccombe, president of Connect Travel: “The eTourism Summit has been the premier industry event for digital savvy tourism marketers for the past 21 years. It’s known for presenting ground-breaking thought leadership that keeps everyone one step ahead of the pace of change. Due to the sudden and rapidly evolving events of 2020, we’ve seen the critical role that technology plays. In the two decades since the founding of eTourism Summit, digital marketing and communications in tourism have gone from emerging to highly relevant to absolutely irreplaceable.”
“Connect Safe Space 2020,” provides leadership in post-Covid environments, ensuring design and implementation of best practices, cutting edge solutions and common sense protocols to enable in-person business events.
You gotta be in it to win it.* The 3rd Annual eTourism Summit Excellence Awards (the “eTSY” Awards) recognizes and celebrates the best of 2019-2020 campaigns and programs with awards in a dozen original categories. Will you help us recognize the best of digital tourism marketing by submitting your entry by Aug. 31, 2020?
*includes virtual attendance
- Best Website – small budget
- Best Website – large budget
- Best Content Marketing Program – small budget
- Best Content Marketing Program – large budget
- Best Influencer Marketing Campaign – small budget
- Best Influencer Marketing Campaign – large budget
- Best Use of Video (live, short-form, long-form) – small budget
- Best Use of Video (live, short-form, long-form) – large budget
- Best Campaign that Went Viral
- Best Email Marketing Campaign
- Best Use of Augmented, Mixed or Virtual Reality
- Innovation Award – best use of new ideas or technology
Small budget = annual marketing budget is under $5M
Large budget = annual marketing budget is $5M and over
See the preliminary agenda, speaker lineup, testimonials, and the WHY — Register for THRIVE.
Come to Las Vegas: Meet with a variety of domestic and international companies for pre-scheduled, one-on-one connections.
Network: Build key relationships between destinations, resorts, hotels, attractions, domestic and international tour operators and travel agents, sports rights holders, media, marketers and brands.
Learn from Experts: Enjoy in-depth sessions about relevant topics led by industry experts.
Unwind and Mingle: Build relationships while the networking continues at our entertaining and interactive receptions.
Tourism Marketers – Join Josh Collins, Streetsense; Scott Schult, Visit Myrtle Beach; and and Katie Cook, Simpleview on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss Agility and Fast Marketing in the next edition of the Connect Travel webinar series.
Tourism bureaus need to be included in stimulus bill
U.S. Travel Association reacted to the sharpest economic plunge since World War II as the pandemic cost millions of jobs and 150,000 American lives in the second quarter.
Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP for public affairs and policy, issued the following statement on the record drop in the GDP announced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on July 30, 2020.
“This morning’s news of a 32.9 percent Q2 contraction is evidence that this economy is not going to be able to make it up off the mat without bold action by Congress to provide significant and meaningful relief.
“The travel industry, which helped employ one in 10 Americans last year, has been hit hardest by the economic fallout of the pandemic—having lost half its jobs already and on track for a drop of more than a half-trillion dollars in traveler spending by year’s end. Travel workers have a strong case to be a top priority in the next legislative package, and unless their employers can survive the worst of this downturn, a massive share of those jobs simply will not come back even as the overall economy begins to improve.
“A broader recovery won’t happen unless a travel recovery can happen, and that is going to take a comprehensive effort of relief, protection and eventual stimulus to prevent the travel industry depression from going on for years.”
The 3rd Annual eTourism Summit Excellence Awards (the “eTSY” Awards) recognizes and celebrates the best of 2019-2020 campaigns and programs with awards in a dozen categories.
From “thrilled” to “major accomplishment,” read what last year’s winners say about the eTSY Awards.
Related: Wanted — Heavenly Campaigns
This is the time to salute the extraordinary talent and dedication of digital tourism marketers who continue to pave the way in creative destination promotion. Help us find the best of the best—submit one or more of your entries by Aug. 31, 2020.
- Digital Content
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- And more!
Leaders from our industry will judge the entries. The award application fee is a nominal $99 per entry. Email eTSYAwards@eTourismSummit.com for more information.
Something Brief: 10 News Items
- Airlines, Amtrak and most public transit systems and U.S. airports require all passengers and workers to wear facial coverings. However, the White House opposes language in a bill before Congress that would require it. Watch for a House vote this Friday.
- Delta Air Lines CEO says if you insist on wearing no mask, we’ll insist you don’t fly Delta. More than 100 people are already on a no-fly list. P.S. Need a medical exemption? A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center expert will speak to you by phone pre-boarding. Southwest Airlines to passengers: You still can’t smoke in the lavatory and you can’t bring your own booze onboard, either.
- Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. after telling a London court it was set to run out of cash next month. The airline will continue to operate while it restructures.
- After reopening to inbound tourism earlier this month, Puerto Rico is now discouraging nonessential travel because of an increased number of coronavirus cases.
- Up in the Arctic archipelago, Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten, the world’s first to re-start cruising, has been suspended after 40+ of the 158 crew and some passengers aboard a ship tested Covid-19.
- Crystal Clean+ 2.0, is catchy branding for health + safety protocol aboard this luxury cruise line, but Crystal Cruises has drawn a line under 2020: no cruises this year.
- Market research: Roughly one out of two of surveyed German, British, and French travelers would rather skip a vacation than take a test, wear a mask outdoors, or quarantine afterwards. Source: YouGov poll in mid-July via Reuters.
- Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, is pressing ahead with plans to acquire TikTok in the U.S. within the next 45 days per White House deadline.
- Singapore says: Everybody who travels must wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance with coronavirus quarantines as borders gradually reopen. Hong Kong and South Korea have also used GPS/Bluetooth tracking wristbands. Following Germany‘s “Corona Warn App,” Northern Ireland has launched a cross-border Covid-19 tracing app (read more here) that informs when a user is near an infected person. Read more here.
- Booking.com is cutting up to 25% of its global workforce of 17,500 as part of a major restructuring of the organization. Booking Holdings also operates Kayak and OpenTable (where cost cutting took place in May), plus Priceline and other brands with 26,000 staff in 65 countries.