Episode 119

The Travel VerticalLaurie Jo Miller Farr

About Our Guest

Laurie Jo Miller Farr

In this episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast, we are joined by Laurie Jo Miller Farr, founder of The Travel Vertical. She offers listeners insight into the industry backed by years of experience working with DMO's. Listen to learn the inside scoop on the Big Apple New York City Campaign, as well as how the Travel Vertical can help you and your destination.

"I think that we've got to keep doing this kind of thing because we are all learning together. We really do need each other and it's great that the community thinks that way."
-Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Episode Highlights

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic Agency
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand
  • Name: Laurie Jo Miller Farr
  • Position: Publisher of the Travel Vertical
  • Favorite Destination: Australia
  • Dream Destination: London

“The Travel Vertical” – Show Notes and Highlights

Show Highlights:

  • The Travel Vertical started as the eTourism Summit Newsletter. 
  • The Travel Vertical has 200,000 views and keeps doubling the audience year on year. It is a B2B for digital marketers focused on DMOs and their agency partners called the eTourism community. 
  • Interesting stories or innovations from destinations over the last several years: 
    1. Tourism Australia Ad
    2. Creative briefs such as VisitLEX
    3. Steal This Idea Section of The Travel Vertical
  • Laurie shared that 2020 is all about community, stakeholders, resident sentiment, local first.
  • Looking ahead to 2021: 
    1. Explore resources on what people are thinking 
    2. Seek out researches being done

 

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Episode Transcript

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:00:00] Yeah, I think that we got to keep doing this kind of thing because we are learning together. Initially, as I said earlier, we were learning the digital space. And, hey, now, we’re learning something completely different, but we really do need each other. And it’s great that the community thinks that way.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:00:20] Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Destination Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Adam Stoker. We have got an awesome show for you today. I would guess that almost every single person in the industry knows who our guest is today. And if they don’t, they need to. So, we’ll make sure that’s a priority by the end of the show. Her name is Laurie Jo Miller Farr. She publishes The Travel Vertical that we all use to get our industry news on a weekly basis. Laurie, welcome to the show.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:00:50] Oh, thank you so much, Adam.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:00:52] Oh, I’m thrilled to have you. And we’re going to dive into all things travel today. But first, we’ve got some important questions that we asked at the beginning of each show. I’m going to ask you to. So, first of all, Laurie, what is your dream destination? 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:01:07] Well, sorry. I thought you were going to ask me how I got four names. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:01:13] Well, you know what? Let’s start there. Let’s start with the four names and then we’ll go into your dream destination. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:01:18] Well, it’s embarrassing about having four names because it sounds a bit posh, and it’s not meant to be. But it does have to do with your other question on what’s my dream destination. The two things are connected because I’m from New York City. I left New York City in the ’80s and I moved to London. I stayed there and raised a kid there, two kids, sorry, and I worked there for nearly 25 years. That’s how I got four names because when I moved back to America, I wanted to be able to connect to people that knew me as Laurie Jo Miller. And because I had added on the married name, I didn’t navigate that, so I just tucked them altogether. So, there you have the answer. My dream destination is my other home, which is London and seeing my son who’s stuck there because of COVID, and I’m stuck here because of COVID. And it was never supposed to be this way. We don’t even have direct flights right now from San Francisco to London. But if I did go, I’d have to quarantine. Anyway, London looks like a ghost town at the moment. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:02:40] Yes, it does.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:02:43] My dream destination is truly a dream because at the minute it doesn’t look like the London I know and love. And the other hometown, which is New York, I’d be there right now. I’d be at the Trap Media, IMM marketplace for the fifth or sixth year, but we’re going to be doing that virtually starting tomorrow. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:03:03] Okay. Well, you know, it’s a unique dream destination, but I totally understand why. In a lot of cases, I say, hey, I want your dream destination to be somewhere you’ve never been, but considering the fact that your son is over in London, you’ve been unable to see him, he’s unable to travel and you can’t go there, I can see exactly why your dream destination is a place you’ve been before. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:3:26] Yes, it’s a place that lives in my mind. It doesn’t look anything in my mind like the way it looks right this minute. So, it becomes a dream. And also, it snowed there yesterday. And that’s just super unusual. So, I’m homesick seeing all those photos of snow falling in London.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:03:42] Well, you know what? It’s snowing here in Utah today as well. So, there’s a little piece of London that I’m feeling today, I guess. Well, okay, Laurie, I think that was a great answer. Tell me now about your favorite trip you’ve ever been on.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:03:59] My favorite trip that I’ve ever been on was, I have to say Australia because I’ve done that a couple of times in the last few years. The Tourism Australia people have looked after me exceedingly well. And then it was Destination New South Wales who also looked after me exceedingly well. Both of those came about because I’m a travel writer on the side. So, publishing The Travel Vertical weekly is one of the things that I write, but I also write for magazines. So, I’m a travel writer and a member of SATW. So, I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to Australia, and I’d go back again in a flash. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:04:42] Okay. So, because you’ve met the folks over there at the Australia Convention and Visitors Bureau, I got to tell you, there’s a Super Bowl ad from a couple of years ago that looked like a movie trailer for Crocodile Dundee and then slowly morphed into tourism. I thought it was fantastic. And since the Super Bowl is coming up, I thought it would be good to bring it back up.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:05:04] You are right. I did cover that article. In fact, when you’re in The Travel Vertical, on the front page, if you ever want to find something, like, if you want to find out, “Well, did she ever cover my destination?” you can just put that into the search bar on the front page, and you can see all the coverage. So, if you pop in Relic, you’ll find out what I wrote, what I didn’t write. So, people are always welcome to send us news like we won’t be keen to publish XYZ destination had 19 million visitors this month, or that there’s a new menu in a restaurant. But we’re always looking for news that your peers want to read about what you’re doing. So, it’s a place for sharing. And the sharing on the Australia commercial, I put that there because it was one of the year’s best ads for any business.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:06:00] Right. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And as I hear you talk about that, anybody that’s listening, go to The Travel Vertical right now and see what’s been written about your destination. I think that would be a fun little search for you to do. I would imagine that something has been- If you’re a destination, Laurie has covered a lot in the industry. So, it would be good to go check it out. Before we get too much though, Laurie, into The Travel Vertical, let’s take a look back. I know you have a very unique background of how you got to where you are today. And I’d love to have you give everybody that background if you don’t mind.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:06:37] Sure. I mean in tourism really, I started at the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. And I went from there to the New York One. It was not NYC and company at that time. It was the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. New York was kind of a scary place to tell you the truth in the late ’70s and the early ’80s. We had a really difficult job of trying to promote New York and decided to try to do that internationally. We went to the first World travel market in London. We went to ITB where I remember that the USA contingent tour, I think there were 10 of us. So, the whole concept of getting international inbound travel at that time was kind of crazy and new because the balance of payments was very much the other way around. 

 

But anyway, so that was the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. And we touted the Big Apple. There was no Internet. I mean, in those days, Pan Am would put me on an airplane, or TWA, or Air France, or British Airways, or JAL, and they’d asked me to go somewhere, and then they would set up sales calls with their team so that I could go and see tour operators and try to get them to give a page or half page. That’s how we measured it, the success of it, I mean, to give it to New York, to put New York in their programs. Without that, the travel agents couldn’t do anything. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:08:17] Wow.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:08:19] That was the objective. There was a lot of resistance, especially in Japan. The Japanese didn’t want to go further than, say, Guam or Hawaii, and a little bit into the West Coast. But anyway, that’s where we were. Now, it has changed again.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:08:36] And I remember you told me that you had unique insight for a lot of us that weren’t in the industry when New York became the Big Apple. What led to that?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:08:46] In fact, I googled it up the other day just to see what the Internet thought and whether the Internet had it right. I just find it — 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:08:55] Are they right or wrong?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:08:56] Basically, nobody knows but when you’re old enough you do know. I did find one article that had it right, but I forget the source at the moment. But the story goes back to Charlie Gillett. He was the president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for a couple of decades and an early inductee into the Hall of Fame, which, now I think, has 102 people that have been inducted. But Charlie started it. And we all wear these little pins, lapel pins that were red enameled apples, and we’d give them out everywhere we went. And the story was that the roots were in jazz, the roots were in Harlem, and that theme musicians at that time would say there are many apples on the tree. But to play New York is to play the Big Apple. And so we just — juicy image from the past, put zero advertising dollars behind it, just word of mouth and invited everybody to wear the pin and call New York the Big Apple, which did catch on brilliantly. 

 

I mean, I think it’s gone out of fashion rather at the moment, but we then work together closely with the state, which came up with the famous I Love New York, which they did trademark and which did have advertising dollars behind it. So, it was the city and the state working together, the Big Apple and the I Love New York campaign. And just trying to explain even to people around the world that New York City and New York state were to different places already was a challenge because the Japanese, for example, would be keen on putting together an itinerary that was kind of, like, breakfast in Niagara Falls, lunch in New York City, dinner in Washington, DC, and now we’re done. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:10:58] Oh, my goodness. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:10:59] So, there was a lot of education required.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:11:03] Well, I’ve kind of imagine being a part of two of the most iconic international tourism campaigns, it’s got to be a pretty special memory for you. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:11:13] Well, you know, we didn’t think it was special when we were doing it. There are a couple of people out there who you probably know that we’re part of this at that time that is still around, and you’ll run into them. In fact, I do run into them so I could give shoutouts to some of the people who were there. And you could check the story out. But there was a gal called Peggy Bendel, who was at the state. And there was a guy called Steve Richter, who was at the New Jersey Department of Tourism before he went to Las Vegas. And there was a thing, and it was called the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey runs the airports, the bridges, the tunnels, and the tolls, collects the money. And the general manager of JFK Airport would go with us on these trips. And we would take the Rockets. We would take the entire cast of a Broadway show on the plane, wigs, makeup men, the whole works present Broadway on a stage in Munich, in Paris, in Buenos Aires. We went all over with the New York message, and the airlines paid for it. And the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the World Trade Center chipped in. That was the job. I think we probably all thought that life was always going to be like that. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:12:45] Wow. How interesting, and how the industry has changed. I’m sure we’ll talk about that as well. But I think gone are the days when the airline pays for us to take the Broadway show overseas, right? But what a cool thing to be involved with. Tell me how you went from there, from New York City to The Travel Vertical and managing that news outlet for the industry. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:13:11] Oh, do you think anyone is still listening? 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:13:14] I sure hope so.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:13:17] How did I do that? Well, let’s see. I went to London because I was a trailing spouse. I got married and Mr. Farr was working for Morgan Stanley, and we were asked to go to London. So, I did that. When I got there, I heard from a colleague who I knew from all these boards that New York was involved in, we were involved in the Pow Wow Planning Committee. That’s before it was called IPW. We were involved in the US Travel Data Center and Discover America Travel Organization before it’s called US Travel, and all those things in their earlier iteration. And this man became my boss. His name is Bob Moore. He was senior vice president of sales and marketing for Hilton Hotels in Beverly Hills. We’d be on trips together. Like I said, ITB, for example, there was maybe 10 of us. So, Hilton would have been one of those early supporters of the inbound US efforts. 

 

Anyway, Bob got in touch and asked me if I could look after Hilton Hotels in Europe. I run the sales and marketing office and the reservations. That’s what I did. So, one thing led to another. I worked in luxury hotel sales and marketing for the next 20 odd years out of London. I didn’t know California. I knew one person in California, I think. But my daughter decided to come to California, used her American passport and do a graduate study here in journalism and promptly became ill. So, I kind of followed her to see if we couldn’t get her through it, but it’s too far of a distance going back and forth to London, San Francisco. So, I just decided to stay here for a bit. That’s when a former colleague from the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, who just retired recently after working at that bureau for about 40 odd years, whose name is Kathy Doren. And Kathy said, “Oh, you should know Jake Steinman, who founded the eTourism Summit”. So, I introduced myself to Jake and asked him how we could work together. He assigned me some blog writing. 

 

So, that just kind of evolved and kept evolving and eventually turned into the newsletter that it is today. So, coming up on 200,000 views for that newsletter and it just keeps sort of doubling the audience year on year, which is great. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:16:06] Awesome.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:16:07] And it’s free, so, why not?

 

Adam Stoker: [00:16:08] Yeah. And how long have you been doing that?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:16:11] We started five years ago. Jake named it. I named it initially. I called it something brief and that’s bad SEO. It doesn’t have the word traveling it anywhere or tourism. But at that time we kept hearing from Facebook, and Google, and Twitter, and inviting those guys to come and speak to the eTourism Summit, and they kept calling it The Travel Vertical. So, we decided, okay, that’s what it is. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:16:42] I like it. And you know what? That’s been a pretty sticky name since you rolled that out. I’m sure there aren’t a ton, but for those that are listening and haven’t encountered it yet before, give us just a general overview of what is The Travel Vertical? 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:17:02] It’s a curated newsletter. It’s a B2B for digital marketers. So, it’s really focused on DMOs and their agency partners, like Ad agencies, Relic, but also PR side, a bit in the PR side, definitely in creative, definitely in media buying, and the research people who support DMOs. So, that’s basically what we call the eTourism community. It’s the North American DMOs and their agency partners who do so much, especially this last year to support everybody in what we all have to do. So, we share case studies, and we share guest posts and thought leadership contributions. We do interviews, and we talk about DMOs doing cool stuff so that other DMOs can steal this idea, borrow this thought, learn from that because as we go through digital transformation unless we all do what we do, we’re all doing it for the first time. We’re all learning from each other. And going back to 2000 when the eTourism Summit was founded, there was none of this. I mean, there was just sort of Ask Jeeves and AOL. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:18:36] Boy, have things evolved since then. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Far: [00:18:38] Right. So, that’s what it is. Does that make sense about what the newsletter is all about?

 

Adam Stoker: [00:18:44] Yes. And I think it puts you in a very unique position in the industry because you’re somewhat of an industry observer. In fact, one of the things that really impresses me about you is that you’re very proactive. You peruse different outlets, including LinkedIn, to see the interesting things that people are working on, and you’re able to proactively go and get it, and publish it. But I think being such an industry observer and being able to see what so many different people are doing, I think it gives you a really unique perspective. And I want to talk about some of the things that you’re seeing after we take a quick break. Normally we would do a pre-recorded promo here, but since we’ve got an event coming up that we’re collaborating on together, I thought it would be fun to just promote that event. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:19:37] Absolutely. Go for it. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:19:38] So, first, do you want to give everybody kind of the rundown of what it is, and then I’ll talk about who’s on and who’s presenting?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:19:45] Sure. So, eTourism Summit, well, we’re going into our 22nd year. And the 21st year wasn’t exactly how we thought it was going to be with everybody coming together and sharing a few drinks at the hotel bar. But we were a virtual conference. So, while everyone is kind of figuring out 2021, we have announced that we will be doing a co-located event together with IPW in Las Vegas in September. I’ll have to look for the dates just to make sure I get them right. But that will happen together with some other co-located events. So, everyone trying to be in one place at the same time going forward. But during the course of the year, we at Connect Travel are going to be running webinars called See Tomorrow Conversation Series that will occur each month, maybe twice a month, and we’ll be talking to industry people on different topics. And the next one coming up on the 10th of February is going to be moderated by none other than…

 

Adam Stoker: [00:21:00] Me. That’s right, which I’m really excited for. And we’ve got a great panel. And we’re going to be discussing basically what is the to-do list for every destination in 2021 after the craziness of the year 2020? What did we learn? Where do we go from here? And it’s going to be a really fun conversation. I’ve got a great panel, including, I’ve got Robb Wells, who is the president and CEO of Beaufort, South Carolina, their destination down there. I’ve also got Caitlin Eskelson, who is president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake, joining us. And then our third presenter is Cheryl Shallenberger from Visit Ventura, California. So, it’s going to be really exciting to have this panel of three amazing industry professionals talking about what did we learn in 2020 and where do we go from here? And it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m really excited about that event. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:22:02] Oh, good. Well, we were doing these webinars last year, all through last year, I think, starting in April, and then we kept it going for quite some time. So, we had thousands of visitors during those which were weekly. And then each week, we present the takeaways in The Travel Vertical. And then, in the end, people can go and hear them on demand if they wish. So, we’ll be doing that again. And if anybody misses it, I mean, we’ll promote it in The Travel Vertical so people see the link and they can register. But if they miss it or if they missed the last one we did last week, then we’ll keep publishing those takeaways because there are a lot of great learnings that are coming out of these things.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:22:45] Well, I’ve got to tell you that the ones that you did last year, especially soon after the pandemic hit, I was able to learn so much from those differences, I guess, you call them webinars that you guys did during that time. And I really think that that value is going to continue into 2021. And I’m excited for all these different webinar series that you’re launching this year. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:23:09] Yeah, I think that we got to keep doing this kind of thing because we are learning together. And initially, as I said earlier, we were learning the digital space. And hey, now we’re learning something completely different.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:23:25] Absolutely.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:23:26] Yeah, we really do need each other. And it’s great that the community thinks that way.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:23:32] Well, you know what, Laurie? Thank you. That’s a great promo for our event. I want to get back to your observations as you’ve been overseeing The Travel Vertical over the last five years, what are some of the more interesting stories or innovations that you saw from destinations over the last several years? 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:23:51] Well, I think one of the really fun things, it actually touches on something we talked about earlier, was this amazing ad that Tourism Australia did a couple of years back for the Super Bowl. But one of the really fun things that I personally enjoy is seeing the creative briefs that come to life and having them sent along so that we can publish them, like a YouTube video that we could just embed into the newsletter. So, if you want to see creative stuff, just Google up VisitLEX, because Gathan Borden and his agency, whose name I’ll think of in a minute, is Team Cornett. They’re called out of Lexington, Kentucky. They’ve got talking horses, the horses that drink at the bar. And they’ve got horses that wear GoPros on their head. I mean million-dollar thoroughbreds. So, that you can see what Lexington, Kentucky looks like if you are a horse, put a GoPro on your head. So, these guys were so creative. I guess that one of the things I enjoy the most is seeing what comes out of some of the DMOs doing really fun stuff. They’re not the only ones, but they came to mind first. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:25:16] Yeah, Laura, I love that example of Lexington. What a great campaign. Any others that stand out to you?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:25:24] Oh, sure. Christmas. Christmas brought everybody out of the woodwork. So, what we do in The Travel Vertical is we kind of group them together, and I usually call it Steal This Idea. And when you do, when you go to the stories that have that heading, you find all kinds of innovative stuff. There was one CEO of a DMO who dressed up as Santa character and sat by the fireplace and read to his staff who were on like Hollywood Squares on Zoom. And he read, it was The Night Before Christmas, but of course, he changed all the words so that it made sense from the destination perspective. And then Adam Johnson came up with something at Adora, where he did a tribute to the lost hotel bar, hanging at the hotel bar after a conference and how much we all miss that. And so his was a poem, an Ode to the Lost Experiences at the hotel bar with our friends in the industry. So, lots of fun stuff happened over Christmas. But if anyone needs inspiration, then you just put it in that search bar on the front page of The Travel Vertical and you type in Destination Inspiration, or you type in Steal This Idea. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:26:50] I love the Steal This Idea section. I use the Steal This Idea section. I love going and looking at that.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:26:56] Yeah. I don’t think anyone would mind that that we call it Steal This Idea because, of course, it’s never going to be the same. And what they do in Visit Savanah, Savanah is not going to look like what they do at Visit Denver, but everybody brainstorms. And everybody comes up with really cool stuff that can easily be adopted, or maybe not so easily be adopted. It keeps the mind active. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:27:22] Absolutely. So, I’m going to ask you two questions that have to do with what did you learn observing the industry in 2020? And then I’d love to know what you would do, if you were running a destination in 2021, what would your priorities be? So, let’s start with 2020 based on your observations in the industry.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:27:43] So, we came up with something, again, that I published. And it was 21 takeaways from all the webinars that we did last year. So, I think one of the really keen things that everybody learned was it’s all about the community that we never had to think about in the past so much, about stakeholders, and about residents sentiment, and about local first, and about VFRs, visiting friends and relatives, and how terribly important it all is for us in recovery that our residents are key to the whole story. In the past, it was about targeting dollars to the major markets coming into a destination. And now we’ve had just rethink that and it’s very much from the inside out. Do you follow me? 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:28:51] Yes. In fact, my hope is that that learning of the importance of stakeholder education and stakeholder engagement continues and that doesn’t go away just because maybe the pandemic winds down or something. Who knows if or when that will happen? But if it does, my hope is that one of the lingering effects of that is that stakeholder engagement stays at the all-time high that it is now, because I think it’s such a critical function for destinations.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:29:19] Yeah, it’s terribly important. Of course, it has been hard for everybody but super hard, I mean, I’m in San Francisco and we have a destination where the hotels have all been shut up. I think this week we’re coming out of lockdown, which we’ve been in since I don’t know when, but literally don’t have restaurants, don’t have outdoor dining. So, California has been super strict on these things. So, everyone has got a very different experience as we go through this because what I’ve just described is quite different from what Florida looks like at the moment.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:30:00] Totally. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:30:01] I’m sure. I haven’t been there lately, but I do speak to people in Florida, so I know that. Yeah. I guess conventions and hotel tax for the urban destinations that are heavily reliant on these things, it has been super tough. And New York City, of course, did a webinar with us last year to talk about their all-in campaign, where it’s about the community and building out from the residents in the five boroughs while inbound travel is stalled. So, everyone has learned that lesson. I don’t think you can go away.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:30:47] Yeah, I think those were great points and probably one of the most important lessons to come out of 2020. What about 2021? As you look ahead to 2021, what do you feel like should be on the to-do list for destinations? 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:31:02] Wow, that’s a big question.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:31:04] I know, right? It’s always hard to speak. Well, I have a big ego, so maybe it’s easier for me. But for people that are sufficiently humble, it’s hard to speak from a “Hey, you should do this” standpoint, but I do think with your role and how you’re able to observe the industry, you have a unique insight into this topic. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:31:24] Well, I don’t think I really do, because I think that it all comes down to resources, people, and budget for each DMO. So, fingers crossed on that. I mean, there are some DMOs I’ve heard on your program who say that they haven’t lost staff. And there are other ones who have had deep, deep cuts and still don’t have a good number of conventions on the books. But I will say that one of the things that is so useful, and I think everyone should be aware of, is how much research is being done. Did you know that Destination Analysts, for example, and also Longwoods International, and Miles, and MMGY, and Arrivalist, and Adora, they’re all doing so much work, that I’m publishing as much as I can with a link to it in The Travel Vertical? But they’re telling us what people are thinking. So, these surveys of American traveler sentiment that are being updated on a weekly basis are an amazing place to go and resource for us to know what are people thinking? Are they thinking that they’re going to travel? In what quarter? Where to? Is it going to be beyond the road trip? How much further would they go if they had a vaccine? What do they think about flying? What about beyond national parks? Anyway, it’s all there. And sometimes it will publish Harris polls and other sources of this tourism economics. There’s a lot of sources, and there’s a lot of information.

 

Adam Stoker: [00:33:20] Yeah. I think you’re so right. Research, in fact, there’s more research being done now than ever before because the answers are changing daily because the circumstances are changing daily. So, your point of, hey, there’s so much research being done, seek it out and look for it and see what people are thinking and use it in your decision-making process, I think it’s great advice. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:33:47] Yeah, I think that would probably be the top thing that I would do. And actually, it’s quite surprising sometimes when we do a roundup and we provide links to all those updated resources that it’s not the most popular article. I would think that it would be, but sometimes it isn’t. The most popular article is always a weekly roundup of people in their jobs who you know what they’re doing, where they’re going. So, we run photos. And we run announcements that I find out myself where people send me that says, there’s a new opening or there’s been someone appointed in a role. So, that’s popular. And then I’m publishing today 122 job openings. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:34:38] Wow. Hey, that’s good news.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:34:40] Yeah. For the most part, they are in DMOs. But I will also publish ones that I think are interesting in related fields or that are looking for people that are skilled in the kind of things that our readers know about, data analytics, research, programmatic, media buying, PR. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:35:03] Well, I think that gives us a good place to kind of wrap up here, Laurie, because it’s important that people understand that for The Travel Vertical, we can send you job openings and you’ll post them. We can send you news from our destination. We can send you interesting things that we’re working on as a destination, and you’re able to curate and publish those. So, if somebody wants to either get access to The Travel Vertical or if they want to send you news, what’s the best way for them to get a hold of you?

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:35:36] Just at the bottom of the footer, it says, Contact us! So, I’m always reminding people, send us your news. It’s a Gmail account. It’s my Gmail account which is my name Laurie, L-A-U-R-I-E, initial J, initial M, Farr, F-A-R-R @gmail. I’m not using a Travel Vertical One at the moment, but it’s at the footer. It just says, Contact us, so just click there. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:36:04] And the website is thetravelvertical.com.

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:36:08] It is. And then we’re on LinkedIn, we’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter. So, I keep those up to date every day. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:36:13] Awesome. Well, Laurie, thank you so much for taking the time to come on and share your experience and your observations in the industry with us today. It was a great conversation. 

 

Laurie Jo Miller Farr: [00:36:22] Thanks a lot, Adam. I’m looking forward to February 10th when we’ll talk again. 

Adam Stoker: [00:3:27] Absolutely. Everybody, this has been another great episode of the Destination Marketing podcast. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed today’s content, please leave us a rating or review. Other than that, we’ll see you next week.