Director Travis Napper from Arkansas Tourism joins the HootBoard Visitor Information and Destination Marketing Podcast. We discuss a very interesting historical event about The Sultana that happened on the Mississippi River. We covered the career journey that Travis has been through thus far. We also got into what his strategy of generating traffic and enhancing the image of Arkansas, which is done by doing the work of four areas within the Tourism Division: sales, research and development, communications and welcome centers.
Timestamps and Summaries
0:00 – Intro
3:30 – Sultana vs Titanic Historical Events. Did you know that Arkansas was the location for a Maritime disaster that was even more disastrous, in terms of lives lost, than the Titanic? Travis gives us the historical story on this events, talks about a new Museum that is coming in, and we get to know the area a little bit.
14:40 – We ask the question “If we were going to travel and spend a few days in Arkansas, what would Travis recommend we do in order to get a great Arkansas experience.” We love asking these types of questions to Directors of Tourism. Their knowledge of the area is hard to compete with. Travis covers fun things to do in nature, float trips, digging for real diamonds (that you get to keep!), recreational experiences, and family-friendly fun.
24:40 – We ask Travis about his career, his journey as a destination marketing expert, and how he came to be the Director of Tourism at Arkansas Tourism.
31:30 – We ask Travis a hypothetical question about if we were at the city level of a DMO or tourism entity, and we wanted to get the most out of the state level DMO, what does that relationship look like, and how can we get the most out of our connections together?
43:00 – Travis explains more on what is meant by ‘DMO Sales’ and how it generates revenue for an area.
50:00 – Part of the strategy that Travis likes to employ includes ‘Research and Development.’ We ask him to elaborate what he means by that, what exactly are we researching, and how to put that information into practice.
54:20 – How are regional associations different from CVBs?
59:20 – Travis talks about the visitor center of the near future. What will the next 10-20 years bring in terms of creating a visitor center experience that keeps up with the trends as well as the needs of visitors.
01:06:00 – Travis tells us how to get into contact with their social media
01:06:40 – We say good-bye to another great interview.
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