Want to build your destination brand? Hire somebody to write you a great song!

Galveston, Wichita, Phoenix are not what you might consider tier 1 destinations. Yet for a while they were probably the three US cities that I thought most about. If you’re a fan of great American songwriters you’ll know why – Jimmy Webb wrote three perfect songs with these cities in their titles and then Glen… Read more »

How do you market a destination? Lessons from Memphis

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Tourism-Review.Com recently ran a piece by David Whitley (http://www.grumpytraveller.com) entitled “A Destination Marketing Dilemma: How do you sell a city like Sheffield?” It’s a well written, mildly strident rant about what he calls the “cack-handed, hope-over-reality marketing” that many destination organisations are guilty of. He insists that destination marketing… Read more »

It’s all about the culture, Stupid! Further lessons from last week’s Social Media gaffes

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI My first round of golf for 2012 was somewhat marred yesterday by last week’s social media stories. I knew there was a connection between the McDonald’s, Trip Advisor and culture/strategy stories but I couldn’t figure it out. So I stood up on the tee box, gazed confidently… Read more »

Focus on fake reviews V Focus on what REALLY matters: More on Trip Advisor

Having posted on the extraordinary inclusion of 3 Irish hotels on the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels in the World I was obviously intrigued by Conor Pope’s story which appeared on the front page of Monday’s Irish Times (30 January). Apparently Pope had sight of internal correspondence authored by Jean O’Connell, Director of… Read more »

Irish boutique hotels on Trip Advisor’s Top 25 – lessons in on-line marketing

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI Group As a Irish born meetings professional I was obviously thrilled that 3 Irish properties were included in the recent Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels in the World. 17 countries of the world have properties listed amongst the 25: Greece, Belize, Czech Republic, South Africa,… Read more »

Global DMCs – a beautiful oxymoron?

Global DMCs – a beautiful oxymoron? by Padraic Gilligan Allegedly, when asked for his favourite oxymoron Irishman, global entrepreneur and former international rugby player, Tony O’Reilly, said “Great Britain”. But it may be regarded as crass and unfair to explain the meaning of oxymoron by reference to O’Reilly’s wicked quip (although given the current rumblings… Read more »

It’s not about the money, money, money? Leveraging employee engagement and emotional connections for success

“It’s not about the money, money, money” Leveraging employee engagement and emotional conections for success by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI In the November issue of Pharmaceutical Market Europe, Nick Eve, CEO of UK based communications agency, Pumphouse, writes about employee engagement. He quotes recent research that shows the issues facing major corporations… Read more »

Sweet Home Alabama?

“Sweet Home Alabama?” By Padraic Gilligan, Managing Director, Ovation Global DMC and Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI The much reported story of the German corporate executive who was arrested and jailed in Alabama for not having the required documentation on his person raises some interesting issues for corporate meeting planners and destination marketers. It appears the… Read more »

40 years of growth: the art and science of the DMC

By Padraic Gilligan, Managing Director, Ovation Global DMC [First published in Kongres Magazine, December 2011] According to a recent exchange on Linkedin the term “DMC” or “Destination Management Company” was coined by either Tom Risbecker, Gunter Roleff or Phil Lee. Tasso Pappas and Ralph Holt, both DMC legends in their own right, opt for Europeans… Read more »