Reflection: Tourism Cares for Detroit - Travel’s Big Give Community Workshop

Last week hundreds of travel professionals volunteered in the Motor City for Tourism Cares for Detroit. In addition to the traditional physical work projects, we kicked off a skilled volunteering pilot with a community workshop: Traveler Trends and Building Your Brand Promise. We brought together travel industry experts and Detroit’s mission based travel organizations to help the local organizations better understand and engage tourism.

Organizations represented included MotorCities National Heritage Area, Michigan DNR Parks and Recreation, Detroit Zoo, and many more. Attendees learned how to distill their mission into a succinct, emotional brand promise, highlighting the value for target audiences.

Special thanks to Jeanne Chapel, strategic account manager for Amadeus and Mike Geraci, chief strategy officer of MERCURYcsc, for their presentations.

Jeanne shared the latest research from Amadeus, "Future Travel Tribes 2030." We learned about the six traveler tribes: social capital seekers, cultural purists, simplicity searchers, ethical travelers, obligation meters and reward hunters.

Mike focused on consumer branding framework for today’s nonprofits, sharing several examples of the good, bad and ugly mission statements and brand positions out there, honing in on what’s really important.

Brand position is the one thing you want to stand for in the market. Anytime you start looking at the laundry list of a mission statement, it’s got this, this, this, this . . . the brand position is one thing to put a stake in the ground, what do we want to stand for?” – Mike Geraci, MERCURYcsc

Mike led an accelerated case study of local nonprofit The Detroit Experience Factory to illustrate the brand positioning process.

"It was such a great experience! It made me think about our mission and brand in a new way that will be a big help moving forward." - Jeanette Pierce, Detroit Experience Factory

The second half of the session focused on skilled volunteering, assessing the needs of three local organizations, The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), Arab American National Museum, Detroit Historical Society (DHS), include tourism strategy development, website update/redesign, marketing, and social media. Stay tuned for more information as this program develops.

We’ve wanted to add knowledge and pro bono volunteering into the mix of our well established group volunteering. To leverage all the mind power we bring to cities, helping far more organizations around the community and tourism.” – Mike Rea, Tourism Cares

Both slide decks are available for download, Amadeus and MERCURYcsc. The breakfast was recorded via Facebook Live, please visit our Tourism Cares Facebook page to view the workshop.