I recently had the opportunity to hang with a community leader that had a hand in luring a low-price airline to his destination, significantly reducing the cost of air travel there, as the previously unchallenged carriers responded by slashing their ubber-high fares.
A good thing for locals, yes? But...just how good?
Turns out that we're talking tens of millions of dollars of savings to locals in the airfares they were initially paying. Which, it would follow, would free up tens of millions into the local economy.
Exactly...and a major retailer that has the database driven capability to connect periodic influxes of cash into the local economy (e.g., IRS refunds and Holiday Bonuses) with increases in local purchases shared said data with this person during a conversation shortly after the low-cost carrier began service.
Sho'nuff...there was a direct correlation. As soon as the low-price carrier came on line, the retailer saw an uptick in local per-customer spending.
The data to prove the impact that travel has is out there, my friends (often in the strangest places). We just need to harvest it.
The cancer that robbed him first of his voice and then his life couldn't slow Levon Helm's music. He was still playing with friends like Donald Fagen and Paul Barrere last month in Chicago's Old Town. And that is just so cool.
A truly original singer/songwriter, he was probably never as well-known as he should have been. Like so many of the most talented, his music was hard to categorize. Americana, roots, whatever...and that meant that radio often didn't know what to do with him.
But those of us that didn't let radio rule our tastes found him...and loved him. If you're late to the party, spend some time on YouTube this weekend with some of his recent solo work.
I had the unbelievable opportunity to interview one of the most influential men in the history of American pop culture. I was a junior in college (1975)...and Dick Clark was an alumni of my national fraternity. Through a freak conversation with a National Rep at one of our infamous lounge parties, I found myself jetting to NYC to interview one of my idols.
I was a DJ at the campus radio station and I dreamed of a career in radio. The Rep thought it was a perfect match for the national fraternity magazine. And, I found myself at the ABC Building watching Dick host "$10,000 Pyramid."
They did all 5 shows for each week in one day to maximize the guest stars that appeared each week (I coudn't tell you the male, but Adrienne Barbeau was the female guest that day...and the crew kept fighting with her over how much cleavage she was showing).
Between taping the Tuesday and Wednesday shows, the cast and crew broke for lunch. Dick motioned to me to follow him and we we whisked up to his penthouse apartment where the interview would take place.
He smiled and said, "we don't have much time and I'm going to take a shower and change clothes for the last three shows...do you mind if we start the interview while I clean up?"
And, what was I to say? Of course...it was a much more innocent time. I never gave it another thought. And the interview began as he stripped down and jumped in the shower.
He was the most genuine individual I ever interviewed in my 15 years in the media. And, I interviewed a lot of famous people. Dick was warm, caring, helpful, insightful, compassionate...he was exactly the man that my generation invited into their homes every afternoon...then every morning...and then, every New Year's Eve.
RIP, Dick Clark. While boomers mourn your passing, we so celebrate your life. And, to our Xer and Millennial comrades...the media you enjoy today is thanks to Dick. For, without him, none of this would have happened. At least not how it did.
While there are those in the Hospitality space that are insanely innovative, most of us follow each other around. How else to explain the sad state of air travel in this country?
So, when the Wall Street Journal publishes a story about how some of the best hotels in the country are focusing on the first 15 minutes of interaction with their guests, you can bet other hoteliers are sitting up and taking notice. Thus, if you are a Destination Marketing pro, this could be a golden opportunity, as smart hotels step up their employee training programs.
Connect with them now and encourage them to include you in the training program to help their employees understand the informational resources you provide. A smile, correct posture and a cookie are all well and fine...but guests will really brighten when they hear suggestions for great restaurants, nightspots and cultural opportunities nearby.
If your hotel partners are training...make sure that training includes the most important things.