Bill Baker – On Relevance, Strategy & the Human Touch

Bill Baker’s career in travel and tourism started with a domestic airline in Sydney, Australia over 40 years ago. After this first step in the tourism industry, Bill moved to Australia’s Hunter Valley, where his career in destination marketing really began. In those days, Hunter Valley had just ten wineries, one restaurant, and no lodging. Today it’s one of the most famous wine tourism destinations in the world, with over 200 wineries. Later, Bill joined the Australian Tourist Commission and moved to New York. There, his team launched the very successful “Slip a Shrimp on the Barbie” campaign. Then, he moved to Los Angeles, Frankfurt, and London. During his journey around the world, he continued to develop and refine new approaches to marketing destinations.

Bill Baker established Total Destination Marketing in 1994, based out of Australia. He began adapting what he had learned to benefit the marketing of cities and regions. He moved to the state of Oregon in 2000, where his focus sharpened on the marketing of small cities. His book, Destination Branding for Small Cities, has been a best seller in its category for over a decade. Last year, Bill worked in five countries and was the keynote speaker at the Inaugural International Place Branding Association conference in London. Bill’s destination marketing expertise is known around the world. In this episode, we speak with him to hear his take on place branding and food tourism.  Learn more about Bill Baker here.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  1. How to coalesce a smaller community around its food and beverage assets
  2. What you need to watch to ensure that you always stay relevant
  3. Why you need to share the story of a place in order to sell it
  4. How brand promise affects food traveler expectations – for better or worse
  5. How to create a win-win-win among local residents, destination marketers/governments, and visitors
  6. Why politicians need to perform a cost-benefit analysis before interfering with destination marketing budgets
  7. Why human interaction is essential to a successful food or beverage visitor experience

Discussed in this episode: Destination Branding for Small Cities

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Based mainly in Colorado. Loves cheese, rain, and starry nights. Can usually be spotted in the wild wearing a Spirit Jersey and balancing two cameras. Often laughs and cries at the same time. Barely survived one Master's program, but wants to do another.

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