The Future of CVBs and Tourism


My internet work started in the tourism industry, promoting small businesses in the French Quarter in 1995. That grew into building architecture and selling paid and free media for United Airlines, Hotwire, Orbitz and a number of other cities and companies. 

Since those early days, my company has focused on getting to know people, why they travel and why they decide at a deep level. We know why people travel and have a different way of approaching why people pick your DMO to visit. We find insights that are different, beyond age, race, and simple demographics. We focus on the linguistics of personality through our technology and 20+ years of understanding the details of getting heads in beds.

Theories are nice but having concrete material, focused on tax revenue growth is better.

We know your team needs specific help and we never lose sight of that. This is not just how we make our money: it is truly our passion.


My background is similar to yours. I love tourism and also love figuring out why people buy, but I never liked or believed in cookies or click data. It’s not bad data but it often misleads us in the tourism world. Tourism is very much an online and offline experience. I sold a company to Google some years ago and at their suggestion, I got into the predictive CRM business. CRM is a source of truth that helps define why people buy.

If you have a really big CRM, you can figure out why large groups make decisions. Through studying the psycholinguistics of human activities, such as travel, jogging, scuba diving, etc, we form theories about why people do what they do. I have a degree in abstract mathematics and have been practicing computational linguistics for 25 years. For me, content is not just a story but deep patterns of how people think.

The idea is to find a source of truth in your studies, your city, region, visitors and your CRM. While avoiding strict data of the past methodologies, I can infer why people come to your DMO. Inferring from past sales data is fine in many situations, but it becomes powerful if you combine it with predictive data. You probably recognize some of this thinking from Clayton Christensen. He is my main influence, along with David Oreck on how to use data of the past with theories of future behavior.

I acquired two sets of data over the years. One is a CRM which represents most of the United States buying public. It’s about 233 million people and I’ve combined it with psycholinguistic calculations on why they buy. That’s the real nice theory, but it becomes powerful when you connect to research or CRM data. This allows brands to understand audiences in a whole new way, write content that is gripping, that describes your DMO well to the perfect visitor and it helps people make much better decisions about where to go and what to do.

I also have business data on 80 million people and the types of businesses they work for. This helps define the market ecosystem.

By combining all of this together along with information from your DMO, you can remove a lot of executive bias, speed up consumer research, and get content out that is profound and meaningful.

I would call it an ideation process backed by powerful technology. The idea is to limit the bias of people as much as possible and find sources of truth that are predictive in nature.

It works very well.

There’s two postulates that I’m working on:

  1. Only 2 to 4 personality types are profitable for any given DMO. Understanding who best fits your DMO drives higher ratings, better content and more influencers. Ultimately, it means more tax revenue.
  2. The profit differential between best customer type personality and least is at least 10x. Bringing the wrong visitor leads to lower ratings. They don’t return or buy as much as the best customer. So why “average” your efforts when we can find the ideal customer types?

When you look at conversion rates online, and how dismal they can be, you see why marketers tend to swing too wide. Conversion suffers tremendously. Your DMO is an equalizer to the machine-driven thinking that can crush a DMO.

Store conversions above 30% makes sense because the salesperson can be adaptive to the buyer and the very nature of stores is much more dimensional and visual, which aids in basket size and conversion rate.

If you can bring store conversion rates to the online experience, you have an amazing DMO. I’ve been able to increase conversion rates by focusing on who matters most and building look-alike audiences not based on clicks and cookies, but real customer desire.

Bringing a more human way to market to online drives tax revenue.

Imagine building content that speaks to the ideal customer like a National Geographic Traveler magazine with the power of data and machine learning technology. It’s is what drives focus, prioritization and tax revenue.


Find what matters, empower a team, be empathetic, and focus on growth. We assist creating governance and help you define priorities while motivating and emphatically bringing a team together. We help you create process in a chaotic world. Find what matters, open eyes, and grow. Whether it is helping create governance or writing process, our passion is finding you the best visitors.

Scorecard and operationalization drives our decision-making process. We can successfully put in place a way to measure content to tax revenue. By looking at analytics, combined with tax revenue, search data, you can prioritize your next moves.

Dashboards: We help create dashboards that present meaningful information. We live in a world where too much data exists and many struggle to boil it down.

SEO and SEM: We invented ways to create traffic and can get you to 50%+ traffic from free search. We know what search engines expect and what you should expect from search engines.

Gap analysis: Find what is missing on your site using big data combined with site and app traffic. Google expects certain content in order to rank you appropriately. Gain traffic and tax revenue with relevant tactics.

Link analysis plan: This plan shows what sites are not linking to you and who should. We often see links come from easy to get places while the big sites don’t show up. That creates a gap. We have a way to reach out to journalists to promote linking and content creation, which drives traffic and tax revenue.

Content x links = great SEO and tax revenue growth. By prioritizing certain content that is relevant to your DMO, you gain certainty about what matters most.

Competitor analysis dashboard and supporting data: We don’t focus chasing what others do but it can help.

Built-out detailed studies of travelers by segment based on ‘why they buy”. Find out where they go and what they are interested in when they are in market and out of market. We can create custom studies and help define content, even down to what verbs certain segments read best. The experiential traveler is a hot topic and we understand who they are and how your content writers can best approach for your market.

We help you do real work and prioritize what matters

Authentic, real, and personal

In a day and age of ‘Machine Darwinism’, understanding who is real and who can drive value for your your DMO is difficult. Machine Darwinism is when algorithms build content based on data. Ratings, placements, and facts become traffic drivers. The ‘why’ is lost in fads. Machines and platforms can’t solve the problem. Machines might drive traffic but they often fail to persuade people. Your content writers need help to overcome this problem.

While data can’t persuade people and solve ‘why’, you need data to drive focus on who is interested and what it takes to convert them.

  • We have business data including the econometrics of the tourist economy of your city
  • We have people data, 233 million people in all and understand why they travel and what they desire about your DMO
  • Data is the foundation that allows your team to focus on what matters — driving tax revenue


It does not take long, but getting alignment on your strategy is critical.

Understanding your customer

We have developed a scorecard methodology that looks at multiple ways to see a person and the businesses that serve your economy. Our methods do not focus on any one metric, our methods prioritize what to work on first without creating complexity. It’s important to blend many different things such as time on site, click through rate, and bounce rate to name a few.

By prioritizing the most important visitors you can better understand in and out of market priorities for each segment and build content according to their expectations.

By understanding the psycholinguistics of people, you can better build content that interests them.

Measure only what matters and what drives real value. Example: who is your best customer and do you have itineraries designed just for them?

Having a strategy that prioritizes, tests, ramps, and expands what works is important to your DMO’s future.

Building plans that work

We help you define marketplace trends using past, present, and future data sets. Prediction data helps create theories of the future. It is vital to include that data.

By using sources of truth, we can find sound evidence on where to develop plans and guidelines going forward. As people change, their demands change and your members and businesses in your market must react faster than ever.

You supply data to your stakeholders and members that can influence what is capitalized and what is invested in your market.


Business Data

By understanding who is conducting business in your DMO, you have a sense of what exists and how well it serves the visitor ecosystem.

Revenue per person by Business Type: informs you who is profitable, who is doing well, and who is not. Who needs your help? This prioritizes which businesses can best serve what types of tourist.

Economic zones: where is the next area to develop to incentivize?

Some examples of business data that helps define the conditions in your DMO: revenue per SIC and revenue per website.


What should the architecture of my website look like? Does that affect crawl and ranking? These are just two of many questions that are critical in building a website that drives traffic and visitors.

By defining what people are looking for, not looking for, and then building the site in such a way that search engine crawlings rank well, you solve one of the critical pieces in curiosity to tax revenue.

We help build and transition websites. One recent success is New; for over 15 years New Orleans has had multiple websites. We helped craft the agreement to have a single website entrance from multiple sites into one without negatively affecting visitor volumes and tax revenue.

We help how teams work together and how you can help prioritize and scorecard what should be the priorities for driving tax revenue.

Search research

We can gather the search terms that drive visitors to websites and help you define what are the best search terms and content to build.

What is the gap analysis?

DMOs are the great equalizers. In an age of machines ranking websites based on user ratings and social currency, a DMO can help redefine what a city and region is about fairly and responsibly. You can correct what often can be turned into a facade economy.


Help determine the impact of modern technology on the supply and buy side of your tourism economy.

How does Airbnb affect tourism outside of well-known areas? How does Uber contribute to driving people into different regions of your market and its impacting spend?


Determine how your website is performing, where to best get traffic, and how to yield the most from free search. If your site is not getting 50 to 60% of its traffic from search engines you might have a problem.

Write titles and descriptions as well as architecture to improve search ranking.

Determine technical issues that could be affecting crawling and indexing.

Help educate your writers on how to best combine SEO writing styles with reasons for visiting your DMO.

Backlinks and linking: how to help journalists who are influencers find material. How to get quality links that drive traffic and search ranking.

We have a unique way to measure and prioritize where you should seek backlinks. It is one of a kind and helps create a priority that can be tied to tax revenue.

Social: help determine real social influencers. Reach out to legitimate content creators that can help craft real content. How to budget for this, how to determine what value to expect.

Example: we recently worked on a website that gets less than 2% traffic from social. The particular location has great social currency, but the real value comes from traditional journalists. One article in the New York Times is worth millions of social postings. How do you determine who is authentic, who is going to drive traffic and value at a reasonable cost?


We help you determine what works and if you should buy paid search media. Often, a long tail strategy can work, but who is setting up 10,000+ phrases and how much should you pay?

We have a long history of buying media for travel sites: United Airlines, Orbitz, Hotwire to name a few. What you should buy and how you should buy it is important part of a paid media strategy.

Building content with you or for you

Because we know people at a deep level and why they want to travel, we can help you build actual content whether it be itineraries, articles, or organize things to do according to visitor types.


We can perform cluster analysis of why people travel. Using linguistics software, we can ethically discover why people come to your market and what are their needs, reasons to decide, and why.

The diversity of people makes content a challenge. By understanding people at a deep level, you can segment, cluster, and better convert thought more effective creative.

We have many variables that make up your DMO’s economy. Data can help you define who to help, who should be involved.

Store density by employee size and can be configured for heat mapping revenue/employee

Density mapping customer intent by subject matter is a great way to find what people want and helps focus content and media execution.

Here is a list of variables we measure

Examples of NASICS tourist business descriptions

Example of Psycholinguistic research that helps define how to write and what to write. By connecting this data to CRM data we can help Define who is visiting and who is the target segments. That helps Define a Content schedule as well as the tonality of how to reach them best. The blow example is people that Garden in Iowa.


We are here to help DMOs grow. We understand people, specifically travelers, at a deep level that sets the foundation for content, media, prioritization and design.

We are here to help you, not take over. We are an empathetic asset to help you get ahead and grow. By empowering teams with understandable information that can be put to use right away, we remove the unknowns.

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