Each year, our team meets with hundreds of travel trade buyers. We take time to visit them in their offices, learn about the challenges they face and gather insight on the products, services and themes their customers crave. We’ve also worked with a number of destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, hotels and other suppliers to gather valuable market research, develop incredible training programs and build strategies to capitalize on upcoming buyer needs. 

It’s time to take a look at what you might expect to see in 2019 that will impact visitors and change how we do business. 


How to be an expert (and Spot One if You’re Not)

Recent long flights have given me some time to think about what makes someone an “expert” in their field?

This question first came to mind when I was invited to speak at a conference for shopping center and destination marketers. I realized that I’ve become someone that others look to, an expert, when they need more information on the professional travel marketplace.

When did this happen? I didn’t study tourism in school, I hate shopping and I never even took a class on destination marketing; in fact, I never knew this field existed when I entered the work place. That all changed for me when I accepted a sales position for a well-recognized restaurant concept that has several locations in areas where tourists love to gather. 

Thinking about how I became a “go-to” person on this topic has made me think about how anyone becomes a person to call when others need help, about how people become experts in their field. It isn’t as simple as learning everything there is to know about a topic and printing up business cards. We all know someone who thinks they’ve learned everything there may be to know about a subject and can’t find their way out of a wet paper bag – you have my permission to call these folks “educated idiots.”

So… What is an expert?

This is the personality trait that most often predicts success

The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is…. 

“It’s emerging as one of the primary dimensions of successful functioning across the lifespan,” Paul Tough writes in “How Children Succeed.” “It really goes cradle to grave in terms of how people do.” 

Tough says that people who test high in ____ get better grades in school and college, commit fewer crimes, and stay married longer.