The Travel and Tourism Research Association announced yesterday that Dr. Bill Siegel, Founder and Executive Chairman of Longwoods International, is their 2020 Lifetime Achievement honoree. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor given by the association and is presented to the individual or organization who has made a highly significant contribution to TTRA as well as to the travel and tourism industry.
During his five-decade career in market research, with more than 30 years of that focused on travel and tourism, Bill has been a pioneer and a thought leader in researching the many impacts of the travel and tourism industry on national, state, regional and local economies. He revolutionized new methods in data collection and analysis for the industry, applying sophisticated new research tools to a segment that once was poorly tracked or understood.
“Besides helping to transform the way this travel industry looked at market research, Bill has been a thought leader, innovator, mentor, and friend to so many in this industry. Simply put: He has made a difference!”-Amir Eylon, President & CEO Longwoods International
Longwoods’ quarterly Travel USA® study is the most comprehensive tracking research on U.S. travel by Americans. And Bill and the Longwoods team conceived and perfected a new methodology to isolate and quantify the true impact of tourism advertising, including the number of trips generated by the advertising and the financial results of those trips for cities and states. This advertising return-on-investment (ROI) model has aided countless destinations in their marketing efforts and is now the gold standard for such research. More recently, under Bill’s leadership, Longwoods has added research on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry and studies on local resident attitudes toward the industry to its repertoire.
“Our team here at Visit Savannah offers its heartfelt congratulations to Bill for this great lifetime achievement honor, but it comes as no surprise to us. Bill has been an innovator and thought-leader for our industry for decades, and the methods that he and his associates at Longwoods International have developed over the years have stood the test of time. We are long-time customers, but most importantly, we appreciate the personal friendship that we have developed over the years with ‘Wild Bill’ and look forward to making a toast in his honor with him very soon.” -Joe Marinelli, President Visit Savannah
And while Bill is without a doubt a great leader and great thinker in tourism market research, perhaps more importantly, he is also a great person. As a husband, father and grandfather, as well as a friend to literally of hundreds of tourism professionals around the globe, Bill Siegel is warm, generous, fun, funny and one of a kind.
“As a Longwoods “client” since 1997, I have always been impressed with the vision Bill brought to work. He looked beyond the numbers and found the stories and insights to guide future tactical decisions. He flexed to the needs of the client and realized that one size, truly didn’t fit all. He rolled up his sleeves and jumped in alongside you to help you brainstorm the “what if’s” and “how could we’s”. And he brought a joy of life and a culinary flair to everything he did. I cherish my friendship with Bill and know the travel and tourism industry is better off today because of his dream of how research could serve us all more fully, responsively and strategically.”- Todd Davidson, CEO Travel Oregon
We at the Longwoods family wish Bill a most sincere congratulations on this very well-deserved honor. Like so many in the travel and tourism community, we feel we are lucky to know Bill and to work with him.