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Hidden Gems: Meet Danny Guerrero of The Culturist Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danny Guerrero.

Hi Danny, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a first-generation Chicano, born in San Diego and went to college at UC Riverside (first in my family) before moving to Los Angeles in 2002 to start my first job as Communications Manager for the West Hollywood Travel & Tourism Board. For the past twenty years, I have helped travel brands and destinations through marketing and PR campaigns to help attract more visitors domestically and internationally. Travel has changed my life and my perspective on everything. And the longer I’ve been in this career, the more I realize more people of color need to be encouraged to travel.

During most of my career, I was the only person of color and often times the only Latino in board rooms, pitch rooms and executive decision-making rooms in my industry. In 2018 I decided to advocate for a more inclusive travel and tourism industry during my tenure as General Manager of the Los Angeles office for MMGY Global, a global travel marketing and research company. Starting in 2020, I helped to launch the first of its kind research projects on Black and Latinx travelers, become an advocate for more inclusivity in travel and an expert thought leader for multicultural marketing. My work has led to the bestowing of grants and funds to Black and diversity in travel organizations in excess of $100,000 to help empower underrepresented voices in travel marketing and I received an award from the World Travel & Tourism Council for this work.

​I started my own practice, The Culturist Group in January 2022 here in Los Angeles. Our mission is to build a more inclusive industry by empowering travel brands and destinations.

The Culturist Group (TCG) is a 100% minority-owned travel marketing company, and the vision of Danny Guerrero, an award-winning 20+ year travel and tourism marketing expert and thought leader for multicultural and diversity in travel. Danny has been an active proponent of culture-forward thinking for travel brands and destinations as a means to help increase equity and inclusion in the travel industry.

TCG was established at a time when shifting cultural identities and the need for more diversity, equity and inclusion in the travel industry finally became a priority. TCG believes that the travel industry and the brands and destinations that participate in it can be a force for good.

CULTURIST as a concept and consultancy practice, bridges cultural values with travel brand to help clients build and sustain better connections to the consumers who consider where and with whom they travel as an extension of who they are.

I have been at the helm of multiple award-winning brand marketing and communications programs for destinations, hospitality and travel brands on nearly every continent. Prior to founding The Culturist Group, he spent nearly ten years of his career building and leading agency teams at two well-respected firms, MMGY Global and DCI, and another decade in destination marketing organization and in house roles in hotel management and tour operator marketing. His career portfolio includes travel marketing, research and public relations leadership for Visit California, Viceroy Hotel Group, Hilton, Sensei Retreats, Fiji Airways, Turismo Chile, The Travel Corporation, Visit West Hollywood, Los Cabos, Tourism Board, Sonoma County Tourism, Destination Cleveland, to name a few.

I am a frequent guest speaker at travel and tourism industry conferences where he advocates for underrepresented travelers and illuminates how shifting demographics, travel sentiment and culture represent opportunities for the travel industry. The recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ granted by the World Travel and Tourism Council for his work advancing diversity and equity in the industry in 2021, and the Chairman’s Award granted by the National Association of Black Meeting Professionals.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest struggle is feeling like I am very literally a minority voice in advocating for better multicultural and inclusive marketing practices in the travel industry. The industry lacks diversity at the c suite level so it is difficult to find professionals at the decision-making level who espouse diverse perspectives at times.

The pandemic and the operational and financial struggles that have impacted travel and tourism are also obstacles because brands and organizations are operating on lean teams and revenues. But it is my hope that once travel fully rebounds, that marketers will understand why multicultural marketing is essential for growth and sustained success.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Culturist Group?
The Culturist Group is a multicultural travel marketing enterprise that exists at the intersection of advocacy, insights, and an evolved integrated marketing approach for our clients.

CULTURIST represents the flagship marketing consultancy for hospitality, travel brands, and destinations, helping them to compete in a marketplace where demographic, social, and multicultural consumer preferences are shaping demand and affinity.

Consumers are increasingly spending with brands that align with their values and identities. They are looking to culture to validate their choices and to compare how the brands they consume show up against closely-held values systems.

Our approach helps brands to develop affinity and increase revenues and visitation from emerging and multicultural travel audiences.

Organizations who struggle to apply diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to executable multicultural travel marketing strategies will find that our approach evolves the conversation and provides guidance on where (and how) to go next.

Our clients seek to demonstrate progress against diversity marketing objectives and more importantly, to deepen connections with existing audiences, grow new multicultural audiences and properly engage underrepresented stakeholders through authentic connections deployed with multichannel travel marketing, advertising, digital marketing, and communications.

We are a minority-owned and operated multicultural travel and tourism marketing consultancy specifically developed for tomorrow’s inclusive travel and tourism brands.

What does success mean to you?
Success is knowing that you have opened up minds and had an influence (or hand) in going against the status quo to effect change for the better in an effort to do good. Success for my business will mean we have helped the travel industry be more accepting and welcoming of travelers of all beliefs ethnicities and truly represent local communities in everything we promote to achieve true representation.

Contact Info:

  • Email: danny@culturistgroup.com
  • Website: culturistgroup.com
  • Instagram: @theculturistgroup

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