Brand Mission: Finding Your Why

Brand Mission: Finding Your Why

If you’re anything like me, it’s way too easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work—meetings, presentations, trips, repeat—and forget the underlying forces that motivate us to keep at it. Of course, we all work to grow our business and make some money, but is that really what gets us out of bed in the morning? What’s the deeper meaning that motivates us to do what we do—and not just work for work’s sake? I started asking myself this question recently after hearing a terrific speaker: Simon Sinek. He called this deeper meaning your “WHY,” and he makes a convincing case that each of us needs to define our mission and values—as individuals, as teams, and as companies—in order to succeed. Here’s Sinek’s argument, in sum: You…
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Uncover Why Many Travel Companies Are Becoming Content Marketers

Uncover Why Many Travel Companies Are Becoming Content Marketers

If you’re an American of a certain age, you probably remember The Love Boat. It was a corny sitcom that ran from 1977 to 1986 and was set on a cruise ship. But beyond the campy fun, the show was notable for something else: It was the first successful example of content marketing in the travel business: The action took place aboard the Pacific Princess, providing invaluable exposure for Princess and the entire cruise industry. I was reminded of the show when reading recently about Carnival’s recent success as a producer of television shows. The corporation, which oversees 10 cruise brands, now creates six different series on major U.S. networks through its Ocean Originals arm—including “The Voyager with Josh Garcia” on NBC; “Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” and “Vacation Creation,”…
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Discover the Unfamiliar Australian Coast of Margaret River

Discover the Unfamiliar Australian Coast of Margaret River

I rarely write about my own travel experiences in this space, preferring to discuss a topic of interest to all of us in the industry, to help set the agenda and stimulate conversation. But once in a while I visit a place so extraordinary that I want to share with as many colleagues as I can. So please indulge me as I recount a recent trip to an area that’s unfamiliar to most luxury travelers but deserves greater attention: the Margaret River region of Western Australia. I found its combination of scenery, surfing, and wine unique, and its unhurried yet sophisticated vibe utterly captivating.   I’ve been to Perth several times and have even made it up to Broome, the remote beach…
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The Everlasting, Indestructible, Unbreakable Industry

The Everlasting, Indestructible, Unbreakable Industry

For those of us in the travel industry, the 24-hour breaking-news cycle is a real stress-inducer. What terrorist attack, natural disaster, international crisis, or tweet-storm is going to be next? Will we see a wave of cancellations? How is it all going to affect our bottom lines? But after a particularly terrible string of events—I can just name-check the places, like Paris, Nice, Puerto Rico, or Hawaii, and you’ll know what I’m talking about—I’ve come to realize that the travel industry is much more resilient than it ever was. Something awful happens, a few people cancel or reroute their trips, occupancy rates drop... and then people start traveling again. Even if travelers temporarily steer clear of certain destinations, their appetite for travel per se is undiminished. They’re not afraid to…
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Solo Travel on the Rise

Solo Travel on the Rise

Given that we’re living in the Selfie Era, is it any surprise that solo travel is on the rise? I keep hearing more and more about this trend—driven by millennials and women, but increasingly popular overall—and I’m convinced that its impact on the industry is growing. A few statistics I’ve come across recently: Roughly one in four U.S. travelers plans to travel alone in 2018, according to a study by MMGY. The US Tour Operators Association says that nearly half (46%) of its members reported a growth in solo travelers in 2017 over the year before. And Google searches for the term “how to travel solo” have risen tenfold since 2008, reaching a peak in January 2018. Solo travelers come in many forms: Some are unmarried, divorced or widowed, while…
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2018 Outlook for Luxury Travel Industry Buoyed by Stronger Economy

2018 Outlook for Luxury Travel Industry Buoyed by Stronger Economy

Top travel management firms express broad optimism in Strategic Vision’s 2018 Pulse of the Industry Survey, despite headwinds from terrorism and other challenges. A strong economy and a desire to experience the world will lead to further growth in the U.S. luxury travel sector in 2018, according to a new survey of top travel management firms. The Pulse of the Industry Survey, conducted in December 2017 by Strategic Vision, reflects even more confidence about the industry than it did last year, despite industry challenges such as terrorism, hurricanes, and Zika virus. “High-end travelers are feeling bullish about the economy, which should lead to another banner year for luxury tourism in 2018,” says Peter J. Bates, President and Founder of Strategic Vision, a global marketing communications firm servicing the luxury travel…
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Take Responsibility – The Importance of Sustainable Tourism

Take Responsibility – The Importance of Sustainable Tourism

Raise your hand if you knew that 2017 was the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. Good for you! Now, how many of you did something about it? It’s understandable if your sustainability efforts took a backseat to this year’s more urgent problems: natural disasters, terrorist threats, disease outbreaks. But sustainability remains one of the greatest long-term challenges faced by the tourism industry. In fact, it underlies all three of the issues I named above, each of which can be tied directly to climate change, globalism, tourism’s impact on communities, and other pieces of the sustainability puzzle. This holiday season, as I reflect on the past 12 months and look at the year ahead, I’ve been thinking about sustainability a lot, and whether the travel industry is doing enough to address…
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What To Do When Disaster Strikes!

What To Do When Disaster Strikes!

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and terrorist attacks. Over the past month, the travel industry has had to react swiftly to get the word about the effects of such natural and man-made disasters. The challenge for hotels, resorts and cities is to ensure they have a strategy in place to clearly communicate with customers, travel agents and tourists who book or visit them. These places need to frequently convey what damage has occurred and when they expect to be back online or cleared for travel. Some might say that a resort seems a frivolous consideration compared to the devastation experienced to homes and businesses from these disasters or attacks. But travel and tourism are virtually the lifeblood of many in the affected regions, so effectively communicating one’s status may mean everything to the…
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The Rise of the Chinese Luxury Traveler

The Rise of the Chinese Luxury Traveler

What’s the impact of the Chinese luxury traveler on the overall luxury travel market? “The Chinese Luxury Traveler 2017” survey by ILTM and Hurun Report Inc., shows how these travelers could have a dramatic effect on the overall luxury travel market worldwide in terms of demand and pricing. What’s the Size of the Market? In 2016, according to a report issued by Ctrip and the China Tourism Research Institute, Chinese tourists made 122 million overseas trips, up 4.3 percent compared with the previous two years. An increasingly larger portion of those travelers are in the luxury category (according to the new ILTM survey), with the number of yuan billionaires hitting 1.34 million last year, up 14.1 percent from the previous year. How Much Do They Spend? The ITLM survey found…
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The Allure of the Celebrity Chef

The Allure of the Celebrity Chef

For a number of years now, top hotels and cruise lines have been forming partnerships with celebrity chefs to boost their culinary offerings. They’ve developed these alliances as a way to turn their hospitality products into true destinations for food lovers, as well as to drive revenues and increase rates. In a straw poll of hospitality providers, we’ve found that the celebrity chef is alive and well, as hotels and cruise lines continue to partner with them. The reason is they still see value in such partnerships, both to their hospitality products and their customers. Value of the Celebrity Chef Tom Kaplan, senior managing partner of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, which has restaurants at a number of top hotels around the world, including at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas,…
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