Episode 185: Adversity and Uncertainty vs. Creativity and Collaboration, with Robb Wells

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Robb Wells, President and CEO of the Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB, has been a Destination Marketing Professional for more than 15 years. Starting his career as Executive Director for Duplin County Tourism in North Carolina before moving to become Sr. Director of Marketing at the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation and then became Vice President of the Tourism Division for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce before taking on his current role as President and CEO of the CVB.

Robb is successful at establishing the vision and strategies necessary to ensure a destination’s continued success. He excels at creating relationships, networks, and business connections while partnering with all core tourism constituents to significantly increase the area’s visitor experience and overall economic impact.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, we are joined by Robb Wells, the President and CEO of the Greater Beaufort-Port Royal Conventions and Visitors Bureau in South Carolina. During this conversation, Robb discusses his journey in the travel and tourism industry, and he shares invaluable lessons about responding to adversity and uncertainty. Learn how Robb’s organization is using creativity and collaboration to cut through the noise and make a positive impact on the Beaufort community.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:
  • Robb’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • Robb’s role as the President and CEO of Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB
  • How Robb’s experience with collaboration and interdepartmental connectivity has changed since he first started
  • Why partnerships shape the perception of DMOs in their communities
  • How Robb has used creativity to make Beaufort stand out from the crowd
  • How Beaufort builds powerful public relations campaigns to cut through the noise
  • How Robb uses creativity to overcome the adversity and uncertainty of hurricane season
  • Future projects for the light at the end of the tunnel
  • How Robb is working with other departments and organizations to create something bigger than themselves
  • Advice for how to approach a successful collaboration
Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB

Robb Wells is the President & CEO at Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB in South Carolina. Robb started his journey in travel and tourism with a DMO in a small rural community that was still under economic development. The lessons and experience Robb picked up in that role set the stage for his career and prepared him to lead the operation with the Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB. In this episode of Destination on the Left, Robb shares invaluable insights about responding to adversity. Robb’s community has to prepare itself for hurricane season every year and the lessons he has learned from dealing with that uncertainty are widely applicable to other scenarios as well.

Never Stop Learning

Robb’s first day on the job was a governor’s conference. As a twenty-four-year-old who got thrown into the deep end, Robb had to learn on the fly and work outside of his comfort zone constantly. It is something most of us do now and then, but to this day, Robb is educating himself regularly to serve his community the best he can. Whether you find tourism or tourism finds you, it is important to stay ahead of the changing landscape by leveraging all of the resources you can find. Travel and tourism is a highly competitive space that requires creativity and collaboration to thrive in, and it is woven into the fabric of our communities’ economies.

More Than Tourism

When Robb first got into the travel and tourism industry, everything in his community’s tourism strategy was siloed. Robb put a lot of energy into facilitating interdepartmental connectivity and collaboration. He maintains that emphasis to this day because it shapes the way communities view DMOs. People might not understand the tourism industry, but they understand the role of a DMO in their community because of the prevalence of partnerships. Robb is working with his partners on things like content creation and festival production, contributing to an even greater presence of the CVB in Beaufort. Whether it is aggressive public relations campaigns or new attractions, Robb’s organization is focused on a much bigger picture than tourism alone. They are making an impact on the Beaufort community with everything they do.

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