I don't sense it's quite as bad as it was...but I know there are still Destination Marketing pros that walk on eggshells in an effort to balance the interests of the consumer versus members of the business community that demand "fairness." That "fairness" mantra holds that if you mention Hotel A, you must mention Hotel B...even if B gets 2 stars on TripAdvisor to A's 4.5 stars.
I know, it doesn't make sense (it's a DMO thing). And, it reminds me of a Q&A session in which restauranteur (and Social Media expert) Joe Sorge was asked how he would handle the fairness thing in Social Media. Because he is not from the DMO world (but, instead, from the real world), he said, "Fair? Fair? If they want you to talk about them, tell 'em to do something cool."
Alas, some of us can't be that flip. So, here's another way around fairness: sponsor somebody else's guide to your destination.
That's what Chris Jennings and the Spartanburg SC CVB just did (for the second time) by sponsoring "The Underground Guide to Spartanburg," a 112-page guidebook by Hub City Press featuring sections on nightlife, eats, arts, outside, shopping and odds and ends.
According to Chris: “Visitors want to go to the places locals frequent, and 'The Underground Guide' highlights them. This publication is sometimes called the 'unofficial visitors guide' because it's edgy, and guests love that."
And, it gets the correct message to the consumer without taking a lot of flak from two star attractions.