Innovative Ways to Stand Out and Promote Uniqueness as a DMO, with Jason Jordan

Episode 291

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Jason Jordan joined Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance in February of 2022 with a diverse background in the areas of nonprofit organization management, journalism, public relations,, and public policy consulting.

In his new role, Jason leads the organization’s multi-channel approach to public relations, social media, and communications and facilitates marketing strategies. Former places of employment include Institute for Human Services, Inc., Gatehouse Media, and Giesta Racalto LLC. Jason is a Political Science/Political Philosophy alumnus of Syracuse University. He is a native of Hornell, NY and now lives with his wife and son in Bath, NY. The entire family is avid “Finger Lakes people.”

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jason Jordan about the creative projects that the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance are involved in to promote their destination in New York State. We discuss how they are standing out in a crowded post-COVID travel market and encouraging visitors to spend time in the region. Jason also shares how the FLTA is using partner programs to build an engaged network of brand supporters.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • How an unexpected health issue changed Jason’s career trajectory and how it subsequently brought him to tourism
  • Fresh and innovative ways that the FLTA are leveraging to stand out from the crowd and promote the uniqueness of their destination
  • The importance of building sustainable models of travel and tourism as we go forward and how the FLTA is using data to accomplish that
  • Why the designation of the National Heritage Area will mean so much to the Finger Lakes region and some of the specific things Jason is particularly excited about
  • Some of the wonderful collaborations that Jason and his team have been involved in, including their participation in the AAA and CAA information and brochure exchange program
  • Why Jason believes there has been a marked shift by destination marketing organizations in the post-pandemic world towards collaborative projects

How FLTA Stands Out From the Crowd

Jason highlights the FLTA’s enthusiasm for the concept of coopetition. He explains why having in many services and businesses promoting the Finger Lakes in several different ways all at the same time works fantastically to draw in visitors. One way the FLTA stands out in this crowded travel and tourism market is by drawing on their long history in travel and tourism.

The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance has been around since 1919 which makes them one of America’s longest-running destination marketing organizations. They are an association of over 700 tourism-reliant and hospitality-based businesses, and span 14 counties in 9000 square miles. Jason shares why he has been digging through articles in the FLTA archive to inform how to communicate their point of differentiation through their social media campaigns.

The Importance of Data

Collecting data is a critical part of understanding the story of the visitor economy, particularly when there have been ups and downs as in recent years. Jason shares with us some of the key industrial indicators that FLTA are looking at to help guide them in how widely they can expand drive traffic right now.

Partnership Planning

Jason describes some of his lessons learned and gives his advice on how to make a partnership successful. His best practices in getting a getting a collaboration off the ground successfully hinge on keeping planning simple, keeping it regular, and making it engaging.

Everybody should know what the expectations are coming in, and it’s absolutely critical not to over promise. and underdeliver when it comes to building partnerships.


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