ConventionSouth

MAY 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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M A Y 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 9 Digital technology has changed every aspect of tourism, according to a recently released study by Paramore, an Osborn Barr company. "Every aspect of the visitor's experience, from the way they plan and book travel to how they share their experiences of their trip, is different than it was before," the executive summary states. The qualitative and quantitative research study, titled "2020 Focus," reveals travel trends that will drive the future of the nation's tourism industry and is the first in a series of white papers designed to identify the changes and challenges shaping the future of tourism leading up to the year 2020. Paramore is a full-service agency based in Nashville that primarily serves the tourism industry but also works with nonprofits and clients in education, finance, restaurant, retail and healthcare. After 15 years of working with dozens of tourism destinations, hotels and attractions, Paramore met with tourism leaders around the country to learn about their top priorities and challenges ahead of 2020. Four areas of focus were identified in the exec- utive summary: Focus No. 1: Build a Great Place "Tourism leaders are beginning to focus on place-making as well as driving tourism from out of market. An additional focus is on providing training for workers in the hospitality industry so that the guest's stay is better and recommenda- tions are positive. Build a great place to live and you'll build a great place to visit." Focus No. 2: Tourism + Economic Development "Tourism leaders now have a seat at the economic development table. Tourism is serious business, contributing $7.6 trillion to the U.S. economy annually. Destination Marketing Organization leaders are becoming managers as well as marketers of their destinations. More and more, their focus includes building value and experiences for locals, in turn attracting more visitors who crave an authentic experience." Focus No. 3: Research, Research, Research "Always a staple for the tourism leader, research is evolving as the traveler evolves. Understanding the gaps between your product and the traveler's desires is key now." Focus No. 4: Understanding ROI The transparency and immediacy of digital advertising has created pressure on marketers and managers to show a positive ROI on all investments. Yet it's still difficult to get to a consistent, measurable ROI. Putting the right metrics in place can ease the stress of this important exercise." Additionally, "2020 Focus" reveals the follow- ing three challenges facing the tourism industry: 1. Getting the right people on the board of directors and setting the right expectations of their roles could be one of the most import- ant factors in the success of a destination. 2. Once the gateway for all destinations, many visitor centers now stand almost empty, replaced by Google, TripAdvisor and the destination website. 3. Most of the challenges that destinations face could be solved if the right strategic plan- ning process was put in place, resulting in a plan that is actually implemented. To learn more, visit http://changingtourism. com. n Eye Protection For Young Travelers Study Reveals Changes & Challenges Facing Tourism Industry For meeting-goers who are combining a conference with a family vacation or just taking children along to meetings this summer, Giggly Goggles offers a new and innovative line of swim goggles that will protect children's eyes during any ocean, lake or pool activities. Made from neoprene and rubber, the goggles are designed to offer great trac- tion and stay in place. It features a unique patented design that allows for easy on and off, with no need for adjustment and the eye mask design protects from UV rays and prevents water from leaking in. The goggles are available in three sizes to fit all: toddlers, kids and teens/adults and can be personalized with names or initials, putting an end to lost goggles. Visit daphdaph.com for more information. n MPI Selects Grapevine, Texas, for World Education Congress in 2020 Grapevine, Texas, has been selected by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as the destination for its World Education Congress (WEC) in 2020. The association will collaborate with the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau to host the conference, scheduled for June 6 – 9, 2020, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. WEC is MPI's signature event through which it delivers premier education, busi- ness and networking opportunities in North America. It attracts more than 2,000 attendees annually, including corporate, third-party and association planners, suppliers, students and industry faculty. "We are elated to partner with the Grapevine CVB to bring WEC to Grapevine in 2020," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. "This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the unique venues and charm of North Texas. With the Gaylord Texan, we will be able to host and house the majority of our at- tendees under one roof and they will also have easy travel access with the nearby Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport." The City of Grapevine features a historic downtown district, special-event venues with more than 1 million square feet of meeting space and more than 5,400 hotel rooms. It is also home to the Grapevine Urban Wine and Craft Brew Trail, has three public golf courses, including the Cowboys Golf Club, the world's only NFL-themed course, and was named a "World Festival and Event City" by the International Festival & Events Association in 2012. To learn more, visit www.mpiweb.org. n

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