The Travel Insider by Cooperatize is a show about trends and insights about the travel industry. We interview travel professionals and executives about their experience working in this industry and dive into how they became successful in their field. E-mail us at email@example.com with questions, comments, and suggestions. Now, onto the show.
The Travel Insider Episode 15: Conversation With Blaire Massaroni of Cooperatize
Happy 2018! It’s been a while since our last Travel Insider podcast, but we’re glad to start off the year with this awesome episode.
In this episode, we speak with former personal trainer & coach Blaire Massaroni who is an account manager here at Cooperatize. Blaire basically keeps the platform running for all our bloggers and influencers and has a passion for storytelling and traveling, making her the best resource for our community. Blaire recently spoke at The Female Voyager: Navigating the Travel Startup Space, an event focusing on female founders and entrepreneurs in the travel space. Apologies in advance for this audio on this podcast, we’ll have it fixed for the next one!
From Staten Island to Bikini Competitor
As a former personal trainer and yes, bikini competitor, Blaire knows how to go after the goals she sets for herself and for her clients. We discuss how her background as a trainer helped her get into the travel industry and into a startup. Blaire recently moved to Charleston, S.C. and has nothing but positive things to say about the city of Charleston (shout out to Charleston CVB!). Having been a New Yorker for 9 years, moving to Charleston was a big move for Blaire. Blaire talks about the amazing community in Charleston and we’re so glad she’s found a new home.
Taking Risks, Going After It, and Trust Yourself
Blaire discusses how she sets goals and “owns” her situation, no matter how challenging it can become. She elaborates about how she received this trait from her mother, who defines the word “success” for her. Most travel bloggers and influencers happen to be women, and Blaire discusses how female travel professionals can find their voice and own their stories during a time when women’s rights are at the forefront of our national consciousness. In terms of quirky things she believes in, listen to the end of the episode to hear her take on crystals.
Some other topics mentioned in this episode:
* Voyager HQ: a co-working space for travel companies
* Trello and Google Drive for staying productive
* Favorite documentaries: Racing Extinction and Chasing Coral
* Muse Restaurant in Charleston
Follow Blaire on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marilynblaire/
The Travel Insider Episode 14: Conversation With Justin Vallejo of Finn Partners
Justin Vallejo was raised in the suburbs in Australia. He remembers having a great childhood and being fairly immune to the idea that, being a child of immigrants, he was a bit of an anomaly in what he calls “White Australia”. He began a career in journalism in 2000 and covered areas of conflict and crisis. After 9 years, he decided to tell different types of stories and found his way into media. Currently, he is the Vice President of Finn Partners, a global marketing communications firm, and represents various clients in the travel sector.
Journalist, Media Guru…. and Coffee Extraordinaire!
Little do people know, Justin is quite the coffee aficionado and says that the thing that makes him happiest is finding a great new bag of quality coffee beans to use for his (essential) morning ritual. A few of the brands he mentions include La Colombe and Counter Culture (as well as Little Collins and Two Hands for the best places to get a cup of top notch joe to go right here in NYC- (It wasn’t lost on us that these are both Australian 😉 )).
Some of the other stuff mentioned in the episode:
* Confessions of a Modern Traveler report by Finn Partners
* That one time he WROTE LANCE BASS’S SPEECH!!! (nbd)
* The Columbia Study that says you’re probably a worse human when you travel
* The Climate Change Guy
Follow Justin and Finn Partners on Social Media:
* Medium: https://medium.com/@justinvallejo
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinvallejo
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finnpartners
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/finnpartners
* YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/finnpartners
The Travel Insider Episode 13: Stretching Your Destination Marketing Dollars With Influencers
The Travel Insider Episode 13 is the full audio of “Stretching Your Destination Marketing Dollars” where a few destination marketing experts explained to us case studies on using digital influencers. We posted the highlights from the event on this blog post. Listen to the full event audio on this episode of The Travel Insider as our panelists from Visit Czech Republic, Explore Canada, New York Wheel, and Destination Sud de France answer questions regarding digitlal influencers, positive (and negative) outcomes from working with influencers, and how influencer marketing fits into your broader marketing strategy!
Developing Relationships With Digital Influencers
A common theme that came up during the event is this:
Developing a relationship with influencers is important so that both sides feel like they are benefitting from the partnership.
Panelists said the worst type of way to work with influencers is assume they are all the same and you send them a blanket pitch (think back to traditional PR press release days) and expect influencers to post about you. Even if you have invited the perfect influencer on a media trip, things can always go wrong during the trip and this is where the negative experience can lead to negative PR, but at least it’s the “real” experience!
Another important topic that got discussed was measuring the impact of influencer marketing. Halfway through the podcast, Jiří Dužár proposed a formula he heard from Destination Think that ties the engagement an influencer’s post gets with the number of travelers that go to your destination. Take a listen to learn more about the formula.
Here are the slides from the event if you want to follow along with the questions we asked the panel of experts:
The Travel Insider Episode 12: Conversation With Terry Dale CEO of USTOA
Terry Dale was born in Brooklyn, Iowa, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Surprisingly, there aren’t many differences between the two cities and you’ll learn why not in this podcast. Terry’s first job in travel was with the Rhode Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. After a series of other jobs, he eventually landed a role at NYC & Company where his team was instrumental in responding to 9/11. At the USTOA, Terry is constantly in touch with Washington about how regulations passed by the Department of Transportation affect USTOA members.
Building A House In Crotia
Little do people know, Terry is currently building a house in Buje, Croatia. While everyone thinks he’s crazy, Terry fell in love with Croatia after traveling there and found a place to call “home” in the Istria region. During this interview, we dig into Terry’s morning routine, his preference for documentaries on the tobacco industry, and his love for Zipcar. We also discuss some of the pertinent issues affecting the USTOA today such as the opening of Cuba.
Some of the books, movies, and tools mentioned in this episode:
* Cornell Sex, Lies & Cigarettes
* Bose Headphones
* Arthur Robbins (Rhode Island CVB)
Follow USTOA on social media:
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USTourOperatorsAssoc/
* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ustoanyc/
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/USTOA
* YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/USTOANYC
The Travel Insider Episode 11: How Travel Brands Work With Travel Influencers (Event)
Travel influencers have the unique ability to post engaging content on their blogs and social media channels that don’t just promote a product. Travel influencers are able to convey an experience to their audience, which is why so many travel brands–from destinations to hotels–want to work with them to promote their brands. How do brands work with travel influencers? What are the best strategies to engage these popular influencers to help your brand get some amazing content published about your brand? In this episode, we discuss:
* How brands can measure ROI from travel influencers (hint: there’s no right way!)
* What type of content did your influencers create for your brand?
* What new platforms are travel influencers using that brands should know about?
* Campaigns where it makes sense to utilize influencers
* How do you figure out how much to pay an influencer? When do you do a barter with an influencer?
The Brands & Agencies Who Work With Travel Influencers
Our panel consisted of two international destinations and one person from an agency who works with destinations both domestic and international.
Sasha Chou is the Director of Marketing and Sales at UAP Media, a digital/PR agency focused on outbound Chinese tourism. Sasha was the former Marketing Manager at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and also the founder PicVoyage, a premier vacation photography service for travelers around the world.
Justin Vallejo is a Vice President at Finn Partners, a public relations focusing on the travel industry. Justin has worked with destinations including Australia, Turkey, Fort Lauderdale, Hilton Worldwide, and Allianz Travel Insurance. We’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Justin and his team on a few projects.
Paolo Lunardi is the social media coordinator at Switzlerland Tourism. Paolo used to live in Switzerland and was an area manager at Zurich Tourism.
Here are all the slides our panelists presented from the event:
The Travel Insider Episode 10: Conversation With Sasha Chou Director of Marketing at UAP Media
Sasha Chou is the Director of Marketing and Sales at UAP Media, a digital/PR agency focused on outbound Chinese tourism. Sasha was the former Marketing Manager at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau where she managed the Bureau’s presence in the media and elsewhere. In her spare time, Sasha loves photography so she founded PicVoyage, a premier vacation photography service for travelers around the world.
Promoting Taiwan Through Hospitality and Food
At the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Sasha mentioned during the podcast that two main factors draw visitors to Taiwan and were the focus of her campaigns during her time at the Bureau: hospitality and food. From hosting events at Grand Central Station to Smithsonian’s Museum Day, Sasha was able to build Taiwan’s brand into the consciousness of American travelers.
We learned a few new things we didn’t already know given our work with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, such as Sasha’s favorite place in Taiwan (Orchid Island) and a delectable dish called 火雞肉飯 (huo ji rou fan) roughly translated to Turkey Rice from Sasha’s hometown in Chiayi. This dish is essentially the Taiwanese version of the NYC favorite chicken over rice, minus the drunk people in line. We dug into Sasha’s career as a reporter, favorite documentaries, and her side company called PicVoyage.
Books, Movies, and Tools Mentioned In This Episode
* Emily Soto
* Amazon Echo
Follow UAP Media and PicVoyage on Social Media:
* UAP Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uapmediausa/
* UAP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uapmedia/
* PicVoyage Twitter: https://twitter.com/picvoyage
* PicVoyage Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/picvoyage/