Five Minutes With … Janette Roush
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital | NYC & Company
Janette Roush came to NYC & Company in 2018 after promoting Broadway shows for 20 years—first through developing group and FIT sales relationships at Broadway.com, and then agency-side, creating campaigns for dozens of Broadway shows including hits like Matilda, Come From Away and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
In her current role, Roush oversees consumer marketing, B2B marketing to the travel trade and meeting planners, and campaigns that support their members during off-peak periods, such as NYC Restaurant Week, which was created by NYC & Company 30 years ago and was the first "restaurant week" program created anywhere.
Whether it's through running programs like NYC Broadway Week or incorporating Broadway performances into press events and at trade shows, Roush says it's special to be able to continue promoting and supporting Broadway in her current role.
When I first started in the travel industry, NYC welcomed 33 million visitors a year. In 2019, there were nearly 67 million. The doubling of our visitation numbers means twice as many potential audience members for Broadway shows, potential diners for our restaurants and visitors to our attractions, and guests to stay in our hotels—a huge opportunity for businesses who understand how to engage with the industry.
NYC & Company has created free programs like Tourism Ready to train businesses across the City's five boroughs on working with tour operators, creating a greater variety of wonderful product for operators to promote to all of these additional visitors, and further opportunity for local businesses to benefit from tourism. It makes New York City a wonderful place to live and one of the best places on earth to visit!
Promoting sustainable tourism will be the great legacy of people working in the industry today. Travel allows us to see perspectives outside our own, and I believe the world getting a little smaller is a wonderful thing.
How can we prioritize projects like sustainable jet fuel? Using public transportation? Spending more time in one destination rather than hopping around to multiple cities? Some of this work will fall to governments and corporations, but it's our role to advocate for it and to encourage travel behaviors that benefit residents of a city, along with its visitors.
This is a business grounded in storytelling, both for us as sellers of travel but also for our customers who want to share the story of their experiences on social media or at happy hour after work. Our opportunity is to expand the types of stories that we're telling to really embrace everything our destinations have to offer.
Yes, I'm excited for people to see my favorite shows on Broadway, but I also want them to visit the Bronx Terminal Market after a trip to the Bronx Zoo or the New York Botanical Garden. Visit one of our observation decks to take in the view from the sky, but follow that up with a visit to Coney Island in Brooklyn or a bite from a street vendor at Corona Plaza in Queens.
The tourism campaigns we create should reflect the diversity of the people who live in our destinations, the diversity of those we want to visit, and the enormous breadth of stories we want travelers to tell about their experiences once they've returned home.
ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS
I used to tell Broadway producers that "groups are people, too,"—meaning that individual members of a group see your consumer advertising . . . they don't live on "Planet Group" where they never see your consumer discounts or messaging. Ensure your pricing and messaging through consumer channels supports the work you're doing in B2B or group outreach.
Edited by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.
This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Groups Today.