Jim Gaston on Tourism, the Recession and Technology (Exec Q&A)

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Mar. 5, 2012 12:00 am  

Jim Gaston (Photo by Kevin Pieper)

A: The technological advances have been great, ranging from guest services to almost all the marketing. I fear that most of the tourism industry has not kept up to date. It takes time and a lot of work; those who are behind the curve will have a very hard time playing catch-up. Marketing, too, is a moving target. One must review marketing on a day-to-day basis. What is good today may very well be history in six months or less.

Q: How have tourism in Arkansas and the marketing of tourism in the state changed over the years?

A: Wow! Has it ever changed! The Internet, websites, social media - all these have taken the place for the most part of the print media.

Q: As a business owner, what do you know now that you wish you'd known starting out?

A: I started out at 20 years old, so I thought I knew everything! I found out along the way that was not the case. At age 70, I am still learning. I always wanted to own my own business, only to learn that the business owns me. Throughout, there have been and will continue to be many changes. I have come to learn there are two things one cannot change: Mother Nature and the rules of capitalism.



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