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Marketing Coordinator
industry support, Miles News

STS Marketing College Scholarship Recipients Announced

As announced in February, Miles Partnership held its annual scholarship program to award one industry professional in each of the STS member states with a scholarship to Marketing College. Recipients receive a scholarship covering tuition, dorm room accommodations and most meals for the upcoming session at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA from June 24-29.

The 2018 Marketing College scholarship recipients are:

Meredith Guzy, Alabama

Luke Wiggins, Arkansas

Veronica Benitez, Florida

Julie Harris, Georgia

Maddy Fritz, Kentucky

Adrienne LaFrance, Louisiana

Tina Blue, Mississippi

Angela Allen, North Carolina

Jessica Gardner, South Carolina

Samantha Ledford, Tennessee

Jenna Wagner, Virginia

Angela Barthelmess, West Virginia


Congratulations to these recipients and thank you to everyone who submitted an application. We look forward to holding this scholarship program again next year and encourage everyone to consider applying.

For more information on the Marketing College Scholarship Program for STS Marketing

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Content Director
Marketing, Personalization

5 Essential Things to Know Before You Dive into Personalization

Many companies are eager to begin personalizing content on websites, email newsletters, digital marketing channels and more. But before you jump into campaign creation and management, set yourself up for success by following a few simple guidelines:

1. Anticipate Time Needed

Personalization is not something to check off a to do list. It’s an ongoing process that requires input and time from content creators, designers, developers and more. From introducing new creative to evaluating and optimizing campaigns — personalization requires a certain level of commitment and dedicated resources. That in mind, it’s important to make sure the benefits of personalization — and your strategy to achieve success — are understood at all levels of your organization from the start. 

2. Audit Content

The basis of any good personalization campaign is stellar, engaging content. You must have enough content on your website and across other digital channels to support your personalization efforts. Before implementing a personalization campaign, audit your site to find gaps in content and create a plan to augment where

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Project Manager and Content Strategist
Marketing, Social Media

What the Changes at Facebook Mean for Tourism Marketers

Introduction: Facebook’s New Focus is Really Just Its Old Focus

User-generated content (UGC) was the fuel that drove Facebook’s growth. Facebook UGC includes status updates, information about yourself, your family and your weekly activities, photos of your favorite meals, videos of your cantankerous cat or of that look on your face the moment you stepped off the ledge of a bungee-jump.

However, since 2015, the sharing of original, user-generated content has declined markedly, while sharing of news articles and outside links has increased (think memes, BuzzFeed articles, videos of celebrity cantankerous cats). Instead of creating their own content and individual social context, Facebook users are sharing links and information from other websites or channels – creating an issue known as “context collapse”. This includes the legitimate and fraudulent use of Facebook to share real and “fake” news stories.  

Facebook is now taking steps to remedy this with new measures such as Facebook Stories – short user-

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Marketing Coordinator
industry support, Miles News

STS Marketing College Scholarship Application Now Open

SARASOTA, FL – February 6, 2018 – Miles Partnership today announced the opening of its application period for 12 scholarships to the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College®, available to tourism industry professionals working in the Southeastern U.S. (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia). This year, Miles will award one scholarship in each state. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, March 2 at 5pm ET.

Marketing College® is an annual continuing education program comprised of a one-week session. During this week, students will participate in courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. Marketing College® professors are working, experienced professionals from across

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Marketing Coordinator
Events, Travel

National Plan for Vacation Day

“Work hard, travel often” is a popular mindset around the Miles offices. For as much time and energy we dedicate to our work, we like to take time to plan and enjoy vacations. Whether it’s a staycation in the comfort of a hometown or an adventure across the globe, we highly value the vacation time we have to explore and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences. As travel enthusiasts, we were thrilled to get involved in Project: Time Off’s National Plan for Vacation Day.

U.S. Travel’s initiative, Project: Time Off, was developed as a national movement to change the way people think about and plan for vacation. According to Project: Time Off’s research, over half of the American workforce did not use all of their allocated vacation days in the past year, leaving a total of over 660 million vacation days unused. Some workers claim they don’t want to return to a pile of backlogged work while others think taking time off shows a lack of dedication. In reality, vacation is essential for workers. Beyond the many added benefits to one’s personal well-being, time off has been shown to boost productivity

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Meetings, Research

Innovation in Meetings

As the “Future of Meetings” webinar and the related research highlighted, the meetings and convention industry is undergoing rapid change and disruption.  The impact of new technologies, the increasing range of online meetings solutions and platforms, shifts in meeting preferences and a demand for new accommodation and venue options are just some of the changes impacting meetings, events and conferences. Destination Marketing Organizations and their industry partners need to respond by understanding these changes and areas of opportunity and investing in new solutions to meet the needs of meeting planners and ultimately, attendees. 

Here are five examples of areas where destinations and Convention & Visitor Bureaus are innovating in the meetings space:

1. High Tech, High Touch

The online meeting planning sites for Memphis CVB and Austin

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Research, Websites

Websites that Drive Travel

Last year we flagged a breakthrough study on the role and impact of destination websites in driving visitation and spending in destinations (Blog post: Destination Websites that Drive Travel). With the support and facilitation of DMA West and its Foundation, and conducted by Destination Analysts, Miles was the sole sponsor of the largest-ever multi-destination website study into what drives travel to destinations. Almost 380,000 website users were surveyed over this full-year study. Since an estimated 36% of U.S. leisure travelers access destination websites in their trip planning (State of the American Traveler, July 2017), this study has given us a far better understanding of an influential part of trip planning resources used by travelers. 

The conversion research study concluded earlier this year and summarized results are now publicly available (see link at the bottom of this blog).  

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Marketing, Trends

Marketing Resolutions for the New Year

At our December “The Year in Review and Year Ahead” webinar, Phocuswright’s Douglas Quinby identified 10 key trends for destination and tourism marketers. Building on five of these key trends, Miles’ Chris Adams summarized specific examples, recommendations and resources for action for destination and tourism managers and marketers. 

As you head into 2018, use these recommendations and resources as inspiration for your New Year’s marketing resolutions: 

#1: Plan Content and Campaigns Around Hyper-Informed Travelers

During the webinar, Douglas highlighted how digital technologies and marketing is now at the center of travel. However, beyond this trend is the broader reality of an increasingly fragmented and complex media and travel planning environment. Visitors are consuming more media and accessing more sources of information that ever before – so much so

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