Ms. Barnes

Karyl Leigh Barnes

Executive Vice President & Partner

Development Counsellors International

Karyl Leigh Barnes is the managing partner of the Tourism Practice at Development Counsellors International (DCI), leading destination marketing campaigns from offices in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1960, DCI has worked with more than 450 countries, regions, states and cities to drive investment and tourism leads. Since joining DCI in 1998 from a New York State destination marketing organization, Ms. Barnes has led destination strategy and campaign implementation for destinations on every continent except Antarctica.

DCI’s Tourism Practice has been recognized recently for its campaign to introduce Namibia to North American travelers, which garnered a Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Platinum Award in 2014, and its work to promote surf culture in Huntington Beach, California, through its “Guinness World Record Surf Board Activation” which was named a HSMAI Platinum Award winner and “Best In Show” in 2015.

The campaigns she designs with her colleagues not only win awards, but increase visitor arrivals and spending to destinations. This helps to create jobs in local communities and improve the quality of life for residents living there. Karyl Leigh is often asked to speak on leisure tourism and meetings industry trends and has been featured at conference by IACC, International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA), IMEX America, IMEX Frankfurt, North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), and numerous Governor’s tourism conferences and tourism summits.

She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and newborn son.

Ms. Barnes can be contacted at 212-444-7123 or karyl.barnes@aboutdci.com

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.