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At the Intersection of Culture and Tourism, with Tami Brown

Episode 108:

Tami Brown currently serves as the General Manager for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the only independent aquarium in Ohio. Tami promotes the tenets of “servant leadership”, and her fascinating career path has wound between the arts and culture industry and the travel and tourism industry, giving her unique insights into both.

Tami has spent her career working with attractions in northeast Ohio including the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Center for Contemporary Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cleveland International Film Festival. She served as Vice President of Marketing for Positively Cleveland, a non-profit dedicated to using tourism to drive economic vitality throughout the region. She also serves on many boards of directors, including the Ohio Travel Association, the Tourism Ohio Advisory Board, the Center for Community Solutions, and Flats Forward (representing the Flats neighborhood of Cleveland).

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Tami about the overlap between the arts and culture industry and the travel and tourism industry, and why that often-overlooked relationship has the potential to be a powerful driver for both industries. Listen to our conversation, and learn how effective partnerships can benefit everyone involved.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Tami’s career diversion into marketing ironically led her to her dream job in the arts and culture industry.
  • Why authenticity is the key to standing out as a desirable destination
  • The power and potential of leveraging connections within different industries
  • How an unexpected partnership with a local craft brewery to helped grow a program to protect and endangered turtle species
  • The importance of communication when creating a partnership

Why Do Partnerships Matter?

One of the major challenges we the travel and tourism industry face is in finding new ways to promote ourselves. Tami provides a great example of the benefits that partnering with other organizations can provide. Her contacts within both the cultural and tourism industries have allowed her to use outside-the-box thinking to come up with innovative marketing possibilities.

There is an obvious and logical overlap between tourism and the arts and culture industry that is too often ignored. By reaching out and forming cross-industry connections, we can form strong relationships that have broad-reaching effects.

When Opportunity Knocks

Opportunities to promote our industry are everywhere, as long as we remain open-minded and ready to cooperate. We already know the dramatic economic impact that destination marketing can have, so the natural extension of that mindset lies in coordinating our efforts wherever possible. Through its partnerships with businesses and organizations in a variety of industries, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is leading by example. That’s why it was my great pleasure to speak with Tami about her efforts.

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