Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 25

It is important to continually
At Visit Baltimore, we have periodic
educate your congressional leaders
briefings with our congressional
on what your business does, what
leaders so they are aware of our mission,
challenges it is facing, and how their
projects, and economic impact. Because of
decisions and policy will impact your
the relationships we've built over time, we
business. If state and federal delegations
were able to secure representation from
understand your story, they are better
our federal delegation on a call with our
equipped to handle situations that
members to address industry-specific
arise-often before they are known to the
concerns. We were also able to advocate for
general public.
necessary changes to legislation that could
"As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked
impact our organization.
havoc on the tourism industry, I was
"Building and maintaining relationships
thankful to have an existing relationship
with congressional leaders takes time and
with congressional leaders who have an
effort, but it will undoubtedly pay off in the
open-door approach for any concerns. To
long term."
develop a strong relationship with your
-Al Hutchinson, President and CEO,
delegates, consider the following:
Visit Baltimore
"Persistence. Congressional leaders
and their staff have a lot going on, especialWhen a crisis hits, a congressional
ly in situations such as the pandemic. It is
office gets inundated with calls,
important to keep trying to connect with
requests, emails, etc. By forming and
them, as one letter or outreach effort may
maintaining a relationship with your
not be enough. Persistent emails, videos,
member of Congress beforehand, you will
and other updates are important so they
have a leg up on those who have never
can see the situation at hand.
reached out to the member's office-and
"A Custom Approach. There is no
you may even be the person the member
one-size-fits-all approach to congressional
of Congress seeks input from to gauge the
delegations. Find what works for your
situation. Members of Congress and their
state leaders and their
staff cannot be experts
priorities. Oftentimes,
on everything. They
"Do not wait until
it is a fine balancing
rely on you to educate
a crisis occurs
act between multiple
them on your business
to reach out to
topics in congressional
and industry and to
your government
roles. Understanding
share your concerns so
leaders. We at NYC & they can help
that one approach may
Company know this solve them.
work with a certain
individual while
"Do not overthink
all too well from past
another requires things
things.
Beginning
experiences."
to be a bit 'softer' will
a
relationship
with
-FRED DIXON, PRESIDENT AND
help tailor the message
your
congressional
CEO, NYC & COMPANY
to fit the congressional
leaders is as simple as
delegation member.
introducing yourself. Whether you are at
"Combine Efforts. Hearing from
an event, fundraiser, or a meeting in their
multiple operators or organizations with
office, the first step to building a longthe same message is more impactful
term relationship is allowing the member
than an individual. While we are all
of Congress to get to know you and your
competitors, we also face the same chalbusiness. Continue to maintain contact
lenges and should not be afraid to work
with the members and their staff. If they
together as an industry or a state for a
do not hear from you, how can you expect
common cause."
them to advocate on your behalf?
-Elizabeth Hall, Chief Operating
"Maintaining this relationship allows
Officer, John Hall's Alaska
you to have some peace of mind that

when the next crisis hits, you will not
be forgotten."
-Frank Sherman, CEO, Transportation
Management Services
I've had the opportunity to
participate in ABA's government
affairs efforts on specific issues over the
past years. This participation has provided
me and my company with a voice at the
higher levels in our government. Whether
it be with members of Congress, the
Senate, or government agencies such as the
FMCSA, I've had the opportunity to
establish direct communication under
normal circumstances. Therefore, when
situations such as COVID-19 strike and
our political leaders are bombarded with
communications, I feel that a familiar
name among the group stands out a little
bit more than the rest." 
-Terry Fischer, President,
Transportation Charter Services Inc.
and Polynesian Adventure Tours
In a democratic society,
community engagement is vital.
As business owners, community leaders,
industry advocates, and citizens, we have
a responsibility to stay informed and
involved. It starts with registering to
vote-and actually voting-and not just
speaking up when there's a problem. At
the end of the day, our congressional
leaders are like everyone else. They are
going to talk to the people they know. Get
to know them when nothing is wrong, so
that when you want to be heard, they
will listen.
"As an industry, we have to be more
cohesive and engaged. The hospitality
industry is made up of many small businesses. As a result, we don't have the voice
of insurance, automotive, healthcare,
or trial lawyers, so we need to support
our local DMOs, state associations, and
national associations such as ABA and
U.S. Travel. Until we have a unified voice
year-round, we will continue to struggle
for relevance. Engage, engage, engage!"
-Butch Spyridon, President & CEO,
Nashville CVC
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020

\ DESTINATIONS 25



Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 1
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 2
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 3
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 4
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 5
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 6
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 7
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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 16
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 17
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 18
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 19
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 20
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 21
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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 25
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 26
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 27
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 28
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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Insert 1
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Insert 2
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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover3
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover4
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