International travel expert Doug Lansky has been confirmed to speak at the new-look three-day World Travel Market London 2016, it was announced on Tuesday.
Mr Lansky is a tourism development advisor and travel writer with controversial and challenging views on the travel industry, especially the role of Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs).
His keynote presentation will challenge current DMO marketing practices and instead encourage the promotion of individualism, realism and connecting with the true culture of the destination.
He proposes the ‘D’ in DMOs should stand for “management” instead of “marketing”. Lansky highlights Guam, which used tourism marketing funds to clean up a beach instead of having unrealistic pictures of the beach in its marketing material. The strategy boosted the destination’s ranking on TripAdvisor.
Doug is the author of 10 books, including three for Lonely Planet and three for Rough Guides. He served as travel editor for Scandinavian Airlines inflight magazine for three years and, more recently, as Destinations Editor and columnist for Skift.
He has contributed to publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, Men’s Journal, The Guardian, National Geographic Adventure, and Huffington Post.
“I aim to firstly make DMOs think about their current marketing strategies and then educate and inspire them to improve their practices by making the promotion truly unique to each destination”, Mr Lansky said.
According to WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, Mr Lansky will be a “great addition” to the new-look three-day WTM London.
“Doug has fascinating and thought-provoking ideas on the travel industry and in particular how DMOs promote their destinations to entice holidaymakers”, he said.
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of £22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
WTM London 2016 will be revamped as a three-day event from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November, with opening hours extended from 10am – 7pm for all three days.