Q: Can you tell us something that not many people know about you?
JB: I began my media career in broadcasting, and actually hosted a home shopping show on the radio (both locally and nationwide) in the mid 1990’s. The business was built around bartering business products, services and gift certificates to be sold directly to the audience, in return for live advertising on the program. In fact, it was due to that radio program that I first learned about the Internet, and I met my first DMO: Evan Smith, then the VP of Marketing at the Newport Rhode Island CVB.
Q: What is new this year from TripAdvisor ?
JB: Two things: First, we have really grown out the partnership aspect of how we work with DMO’s. There are more opportunities all around, for advertising, PR, stakeholder service, use of TripAdvisor content, and sharing of information. We have really been working hard to find new and interesting ways that we can help DMO’s use our website and lift their destinations in the marketplace. Second is a focus on growing in the mobile space. If you have not seen EveryTrail (www.everytrail.com), one of our newest acquisitions, you are missing how a PDA and a vacationer should really interact to record and remember that trip – while they are in-destination!
Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of what you will be featuring at E-Tourism Summit?
JB: This year I’m going to focus on the stakeholder service aspect of DMO partnership: How TripAdvisor can help DMO’s communicate with, facilitate information for, and share useful data with their in-destination tourism partners. As the online and social networking media mature, the ability to strengthen and utilize the connections between the DMO’s, product, in-bound operators, and destination advocates will be even more crucial in building a destination’s brand and getting visitors to put their feet on the ground there.
Q: You attend literally scores of conferences all over the world, how do you think ETS is different? JB: ETS is the only conference within the travel space that attracts such a wide variety of destinations – and with good reason. The focus on just interactive marketing, and the products and trends that are relevant only in the tourism industry – along with the intimate nature of the conference – makes for compelling presentations and information, stimulating discussion, and everybody leaves having learned – a lot! I look forward to this conference every year!