Journey Through Tourism with Tony Lyle of Visit Galveston

In this captivating episode of the Tourism Academy's Business Class Podcast, your host, Stephen Ekstrom, sits down with Tony Lyle, the Executive Director of Visit Galveston. Join them as they explore Tony's remarkable trajectory from a ski rep in Vermont and Tahoe to leading tourism efforts in the charming town of Galveston.


Tony shares insights into the dynamic nature of the tourism industry, emphasizing the importance of selling dreams and creating emotional connections. Reflecting on his earliest travel memories, Tony takes us back to skiing in Austria and family holidays in Ibiza, highlighting the enduring power of sensory experiences in shaping our recollections.

The conversation delves into Tony's unexpected entry into the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) world, where he discovered the intricate art of not just selling a resort but an entire destination. Discover what surprised him the most about Galveston and why he believes it's one of the friendliest places in the U.S.

As a seasoned professional, Tony provides valuable advice for those starting their careers in this "hidden industry," stressing the importance of networking and genuine curiosity about others' stories. Uncover surprising facts about Tony, from his past as a radio presenter to solo travels in North Korea.

Learn about Tony's continuous pursuit of learning, both professionally and personally, as he navigates the complexities of leadership in a medium-sized DMO. From his love for exploring diverse cultures, especially in Africa, to the spiritual connection he finds in the natural beauty of Galveston, Tony's passion for his work shines through.

Tune in to discover Tony's perspective on luxury experiences and the unique charm of Galveston, a place where the island's dimensions stretch far beyond its physical size. Finally, explore the most rewarding aspects of Tony's work, where team collaboration, partnerships, and the art of storytelling take center stage.

For more insights and to explore Galveston's wonders, check out Join Stephen and Tony on this enlightening journey through the world of tourism, where every destination has a unique story waiting to be told.

Business Class is brought to you by The Tourism Academy - harnessing the power of science, business psychology and adult education to advance the tourism industry and build sustainable economies. Learn how to engage your community, win over stakeholders and get more visitors at

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