Consultant Argues Outsiders Make the Best Tourism Leaders in Smaller Towns

Apr 17, 2014 10:00 am

Skift Take

An outsider brings an objective view of the market, what it has to offer visitors, and the best way to communicate that to new areas. All, without the tainted views of an insider weighed down by community connections.

— Samantha Shankman

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Visit Natchez  / Flickr

Hot air ballons floats during the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. Visit Natchez / Flickr

A tourism consultant is telling the city of Natchez to look an objective outsider to take over the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“There needs to be a clear understanding that this is a professional field, and you need an outside professional to come in and provide leadership,” consultant Berkeley Young told The Natchez Democrat.

“Natchez is a place where everybody knows everybody, and the one person that could be objective for the whole community could be from the outside and provide leadership based on experience.”

The city of Natchez is looking to replace CVB director Connie Taunton, who retired April 1.

Young and his team at Young Strategies conducted an extensive eight-month research study in Natchez last year and completed a strategic plan for the CVB. Now Mayor Butch Brown and city officials want him to search for the right person for the job.

Brown said he is working now on appointing members to a search committee that will lead the effort to find a director. Brown said he and the CVB board will decide on the hire, and the board of aldermen will ratify it.

Brown said he wants to have a director in place Sept. 1 at the latest so whoever is hired can participate in the new fiscal year budget planning.

In searching for a CVB director, Young said, Natchez needs “to hire an industry pro that knows how the CVB and destination marketing works.”

“There are a lot of them out there that would be interested in coming to Natchez.”

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