November 2018
Wisconsin CVB creates ‘I Want To Do That Syndrome’ for group travel
The group tour industry has a perpetual question for destinations: What’s new to see? The CVB in Green Bay, Wisc., changed see to do and then delivered almost a dozen answers. None of its attractions had to raise huge amounts of money to build new facilities – they just had to get visitors involved with assets they already had.

Through a new program called Green Bay Signature Experiences, groups can get inside the local zoo’s nutrition center and animal hospital, become an 1830s soldier just transferred to the frontier, sashay in a musical production’s chorus line in front of a real audience, learn the inner workings of a locomotive at a railroad museum and much more. None of the activities existed previously.

“The travel trends tell us you can’t sit back on your laurels and wait for groups to come through the doors,” CVB marketing director Brenda Krainik told The Green Bay Gazette , explaining that the CVB retained a consultant (STS Marketing College Professor Joe Veneto) to examine the destination, work with various non-profit attractions and create totally new experiences just for groups. That means traditional motorcoach groups along with family reunions, church groups, even bachelorette parties.

The goal, Krainik said, is to drive attendance by making visitors “part of the show.” Krainik said the process proved more complicated than it might sound and that she’s happy to discuss the process with CVB peers. (Zoo photo by the Green Bay CVB)
Post-Maria, New York and Puerto Rico join forces
In a spirit that might inspire other pairs of cities to work together after natural disasters, New York City and Puerto Rico have begun a three-month campaign to boost tourism between the two destinations as Puerto Rico continues to recover from Hurricane Maria. Discover Puerto Rico and NYC & company got some celebrity help from Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda to announce the project.

“(We’re) not just simply open for business, but we are eager to welcome visitors back to the island,” said Discover Puerto Rico DEO Brad Dean in Successful Meetings. Dean left the CVB in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to take up Puerto Rico’s cause in the aftermath of Maria.
SAS produces long-form TV ad without an airplane in sight
Is it possible to promote an airline without ever showing an airplane? SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) did exactly that with this effort and in the process prompts this question for creative tourism marketers: Is it possible to promote a destination without ever showing the destination? Hmmmmm.
‘Be nice to our country’ is New Zealand’s message to tourists

Said ever so tactfully, New Zealand tourism leaders are enlisting visitors to care for their extraordinarily beautiful country – and perhaps delivering a message other tourism marketers could employ.

Seven public and private organizations created the Tiaka Promise, a pledge they hope visitors will take to heart. It’s really simple, but its concepts are not universally observed. The basics are a promise to care for the land, sea and nature, to travel safely and courteously and to respect culture by traveling with an open heart and mind.

Click here to see how the Kiwis are simultaneously enticing visitors to New Zealand and making them conscious of travel’s impact and benefits. The imagery is stunning.
(New Zealand photo by Tom Adkinson)
Asheville pauses to look deep into the future

Somewhat in the same spirit that New Zealand looks to its future, Asheville, N.C., is taking a breath to study how its tourism revenues can be leveraged even better than they are today to benefit visitors and local citizens alike. It is another case of tourism leaders dealing with destination management as well as destination marketing.

A tourism product development grant program that has awarded more than $44 million to 39 community projects since 2001 will pause in 2019 while the Buncombe County TDA launches a long-range process with a community steering committee, STS Marketing College Professor Chris Cavanaugh's   Magellan Strategy Group and PGAV, an architecture/design/planning firm. The basics are here .
A lame duck still can be a productive duck

Congress has begun its lame duck session, so now is the time to push again on important federal legislation, according to STS public affairs advisor Halle Czechowski. Of particular note is the bill to reduce the massive amount of deferred maintenance in national parks.

“If you’ve put off writing your senator or representative, it’s not too late. In fact, letters now can be decisive. Anything not passed now starts over from square one next year,” Czechowski said, noting that help is available in the STS Advocacy Resource Center at .
Tour company ‘dials it back’ to offer independence
“If this is Tuesday, this must be Belgium” is an old punch line about hectic escorted tours. Globus, a Swiss firm that’s been holding travelers’ hands since 1928, has recognized that many people want more independence and has created a new brand called Cosmos Lite. The core product is room, intercity transportation, breakfast and basic counsel. Add more, if anything, off a tour menu. 
A quote to note

“Our goal is not to punish anybody; I don’t want to take anybody to court for not complying.” Michael Shannon, director of San Antonio’s development services department, discussing a new city ordinance that requires owners of short-term rental properties to pay the hotel taxes they owe or face misdemeanor charges.