Open for Business + Welcoming Business

WEBSITES LINKS It's a small thing but we believe it's important to check to see if your website is live every day. After all, it is your front door to the world. We're a fan of bad links or link checking reports, too. It's nearly impossible to make sure all links are functioning on all of your websites without investing a fair amount of time. As such, we ask our web guys to automatically create/install a bad link checker for each website. A report is generated every other week and indicates what links are broken and where. A county…

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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an Engaging Destination or Tourism Website?

The Bell-Shaped Curve  |   The Original Question  |   Breaking Down the Costs  |  Remember and In Conclusion If your website is nothing more than an online brochure, you may be missing the boat. Whether you represent a destination marketing organization - CVB or chamber of commerce - or a tourism business, your end goal should be to move the user to the next step - to go from being a looker to a booker - to convert them to becoming actual visitors or customers.  Your website should facilitate directing users to where they can book a room,…

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Retouching Food Photos is Simple as Pie

Sometimes, ideal conditions don't exist. Take for instance the photo on the left. It was a glorious day with a blue sky. The sunlight was still soft and the sun was in the right place in the sky. However, the pie's pudding was a bit wet and the graham cracker crust uncooperative. With photo retouching, a fine line exists between a realistic photo and perfection gone too far.  We strive to retouch an image to the point that a realistic photo could have been taken under ideal conditions. To achieve this after-the-fact, we removed the dripping pudding and smoothed out…

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Marriott CEO Sorenson Shares Tips + Trends

During this 26-minute podcast, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson speaks with Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace. Today Marriott is "the" largest hotel chain in the world following a merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Travel Tips with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson Marriott brands include:  The Ritz-Carlton, Edition, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott, Delta Hotels Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard Marriott, Spring Suites Marriott, AC Hotels Marriott, Residence Inn Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, Towneplace Suites Marriott, and Protea Hotels Marriott, Moxy Hotels. Starwood properties that came under the Marriott umbrella:…

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Creating New Roads to Discovery and Revenue

Creating New Roads to Discovery and Revenue An Excuse to Come and Stay Longer - Themed Trails Great opportunities lie ahead for destination management organizations (DMOs) – convention and visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce - willing to blaze trails for visitors to explore. Similar to Lewis and Clark’s Journey of Discovery that opened up the west leading the way for the creation of the Oregon Trail and western migration, trails encourage travel. When I was growing up, my family loved the outdoors. We hiked whenever we could. Some trails were well-trodden paths amid tall pine trees and through…

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I’m making changes to my will …

and wanted to talk to someone about making a donation. Here’s how this story got started. I was having a conversation with a colleague who does public relations (PR) for a destination. He was lamenting how difficult it is to get some nonprofit marketing managers to return an email or a phone call. He wasn’t trying to sell them anything. He was trying to give them something for free - publicity. All he needed was a photograph and in this case also a few lines of text, a paragraph at most. While it was during the 4th of July…

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When You Want People in Your Photos

Stories about modeling agencies and models for hotel and resort photo shoots swing in either direction. At all costs avoid thinking beautiful people will be staying at your hotel or visiting your restaurant and for the cost of dinner or a few drinks you can talk them into being models for your photo shoot. In more than 25 years of being involved with photo shoots, I’ve only seen that happen once and we shot from behind two people as they toasted the sunset. We got lucky. Can you have bad experiences with contracted modeling services? Absolutely. Case #1 The…

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Picture This…

Time and again, we’ve seen our hotel and resort clients use a photographer from the franchise’s list of approved vendors, others that they hire to grab a quick shot and employees that snap photos, too. APPROVED VENDORS You would assume that they know what they’re doing. You would assume that with the amount of money paid that the results would be perfect, especially since they are on an approved list. Not so. You would assume that you could give the “professional photographer” a long leash since they know what they are doing and are supposedly experts, right? Not so…

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