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2016 TTRA Marketing Outlook Forum
The industry's leading strategic travel forecast conference combining industry networking and quality educational programs.
11.07.16 to 11.09.16
World Travel Market
A leading business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and International travel professionals.
11.14.16 to 11.17.16
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SEO Strategist

Becoming the Journey: Backpacking to Havasupai

“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner.

You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode. There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax, and take it all in.”  -Jac Vanek

There are those who say the journey is the destination. Then there are those who say those people are just making excuses. 

I’d have to agree.

Often times the best part of our journeys actually take place where we least expect it. Often, our best memories from a trip are spawned from bouts of misadventure. 

A recent backpacking trip to Havasupai had my party feeling lost. Very, very lost. We had somehow managed to

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Hospitality, Marketing

OTAs: Their Rewards & Risks in Hospitality, Part 2

Part 2 of a two-part blog: Building a smart and profitable mix of online bookings. 

In Part 1 of this two-part blog I looked at how OTAs have created both opportunities and real risks for hospitality – especially independent properties. I highlighted four challenges: yield, control (of the guest and their information), pricing and tax. 

For these reasons, independent properties need to build a sensible mix of online business – a balance of both direct and OTA bookings depending on the market, guest and season. For most properties, a smart balance means OTAs representing 20-50% (and ideally no more) of their online bookings. 

Unfortunately, many independent properties are poorly prepared in skills, focus and budgets to build a smart and profitable mix of both direct and OTA online bookings.  

Building direct online bookings starts and ends with effective online marketing. However, basic knowledge, skills and resources are often lacking. From the biggest study ever undertaken across

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Hospitality, Marketing

OTAs: Their Rewards & Risks in Hospitality, Part 1

The growth of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) over the last decade has posed both real opportunities and major risks for the hospitality industry. These positives and challenges are particularly pronounced for independent properties around the world  – both larger hotels/resorts and smaller, owner operators. Such properties, regardless of size, often lack the digital marketing skills and knowledge to effectively build a strong online presence of their own. This gap has been seized by OTAs – sophisticated digital intermediaries that market these businesses online and command a commission (and other benefits) for doing so. 

However, building a balanced approach to online distribution – especially with the right mix of direct vs. OTA bookings – is critical to driving success in the hospitality industry. 

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For when you can't catch our live show
DMO Destination Marketing Optimization
Miles Navigator: Mobile Metrics, Best Practices and Practical Tips
Responsive Design: A Way Forward