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Everyone has that one person in their circle; that trusted individual you can go to for informed guidance, sage advice, valuable experience and more. That person who never fails to bring fresh ideas to the table and challenges what has always been in order to build something better.

In the group travel industry, these are the leaders who have risen to the surface as folks who are always willing to try new things, bolster innovation within the industry, drive others in a positive direction, and are recognizable among group travel professionals as someone who can be relied upon.

We asked our readers to share who among their industry peers should be recognized for their efforts in this realm. Those who were selected to be among the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel were featured in a recent issue of Groups Today

 


 

Sally Davis Berry
Owner | SallyDavisBerry.com, TourismProAcademy.com

With more than 25 years of experience in travel and tourism, Sally Davis Berry has worked in various industry roles, providing her a well-rounded view of the best ways to drive visitation. Davis Berry, who holds a CTP designation, began writing an industry blog in 2016 after realizing the lack of opportunities to learn while working in tourism.

Later in 2019, she launched TourismProAcademy.com, which offers online courses on tourism topics, in addition to free resources for all. Davis Berry also specializes in online webinars for tourism offices to aid their partners and loves to help others succeed in the group tour market.

"I want others to see what an amazing industry this is and that while the days can sometimes seem long and hard, they're worth it," Davis Berry said. "I really love when people attending my webinars tell me that I make things very easy to understand, which allows them to take action. I hope to continue influencing group travel by creating helpful content, whether it's through a blog post or a new course. I also offer a free monthly webinar 'Group Tour Tactics for our New Reality' to help our industry get back on track. I love having TourismPros from around the country join me and connect!"

When it comes to what others can do to influence their own circles and communities, Davis Berry says there are two areas to focus on.

"Helping our hometowns realize the benefits of supporting tourism, and helping to recruit and retain our next generation of tourism pros," she said. "Tourism creates jobs and a better quality of life for residents and it is our responsibility to make sure everyone knows that!"

As the industry rebounds from COVID and plenty of growth and evolution happens, Davis Berry—like many group travel professionals—are examining how they can contribute to building the industry back better. One of the first things Davis Berry does on every one of her webinars is to ask all attendees how long they have been in the industry.

"I ask the 'newbies' to be brave and put their name and email in the chat. Then, I ask the 'old timers' to pick a few of those names and reach out personally to offer to mentor, answer questions and be a resource," Davis Berry said. "Our industry is all about our relationships. With such a large turnover due to COVID, it's our responsibility to welcome and help our new colleagues. I would love to see mentoring programs and meet-ups where we can help newer tourism pros feel supported and welcomed."

To read more about the rest of the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel, click here.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.

 

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