Attract even more visitors/customers/attendees by learning why people visit your festival, event, destination or organization, a crucial element of any marketing plan. Free and low-cost research platforms are discussed, including easy-to-implement solutions.
Making Data Work For You: A User-Friendly Guide to Research
Neville Bhada is the founder and CEO of Tourism Skills Group, a growing organization that focuses on the strategic planning, research and marketing needs of the travel and tourism community, and association industries. Tourism Skills Group assists convention and visitor bureaus, chambers, accommodations, attractions, festivals and related organizations in developing long range plans through research and discussion. Its research methodology is tailored to the unique needs of each client destination and organization and actionable strategies will be developed from the resulting data and community leader input. It provides unique solutions with a customized approach through focus groups, intercept studies, digital studies and more. Some of the entities Tourism Skills Group works with include Rutherford County CVB, The Florida Keys and Key West, Travel South USA, Texas Association of CVBs, Huntsville, Ala., Visit Central Florida, Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Tennessee Valley Authority, Auburn University, several Parishes in Louisiana, and the Eastern Black Sea of Turkey Tourism Development Authority. Mr. Bhada’s experience with research, communication, association management and education make him distinctively skilled to tackle issues facing destination marketing and development. Mr. Bhada serves on the boards of the Atlanta Metro Travel Association as well as Georgia State University's School of Hospitality Industry Advisory Board. He speaks domestically and internationally on a wide variety of tourism topics – from international tourism to defending budgets and has spoken to numerous governor’s conferences on travel. He currently instructs within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University teaching hospitality, events and tourism as an adjunct professor to both undergraduate and Masters students. His background includes serving as the executive director for the Southeast States chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association, vice president of communications for Southeast Tourism Society and program director of WebMD. He also has worked extensively with the media, where he was awarded a Green Eyeshade Award for Sports Reporting, an AP Award for Best Use of Sound and a television Emmy for web strategies for FOX television. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia in international business and a master's degree from Clemson University in travel and tourism. Clemson University recently inducted Neville into its “Outstanding Alumnus” circle for his work in advancing tourism.