Laurie Jo fell in love with international tourism while working as a French-speaking Boston tour guide during college.
Queens and Cocktails
Tapped as a tour guide and organizer for the royal visits by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Elizabeth II to America, she worked with the Danish overseas press corps, U.S. Chief of Protocol, and Buckingham Palace to smooth out details of the monarchs' movements, each accompanied by their dashing prince consorts.
She accompanied the wives of the governor and mayor to lunch at the Ritz to brief them on etiquette, gloves, hats, handshakes, and place settings. One highlight Laurie Jo recalls was sharing a gin and tonic (no ice) served from a silver tray, being entertained by a chatty Duke of Edinburgh aboard the splendid Royal Yacht Britannia during an impressive naval ceremony known as Beating the Retreat.
Laurie Jo went on to work at the Boston tourism bureau before heading home to NYC. There, she spent a decade working with airline partners, tour operators, travel agents, and the media while traveling five continents to promote New York City (remember the I Love NY and The Big Apple campaigns?) as a destination for domestic and overseas leisure visitors.
The pull of Europe proved strong! She followed that appointment as a luxury hotel sales and marketing professional and international relocation and residential lettings expert based in the heart of London, England, for just shy of 25 years.
Have Laptop, Will Travel
A dedicated urbanite who loves walkable cities, Laurie Jo is a dual citizen who raised two children abroad. As a travel writer, copywriter, and editor currently based in San Francisco, she gets inspiration from sparkling bay views seen from atop its crazy signature hills and frequent forays into California wine country.
Her destination, food, and wine articles are also found online at USA Today, Yahoo, SF Eater, CBS local and national, SF Travel, Bay City Guide, Fast Company, Where Traveler, eHow, We Blog the World (with more than one million Twitter followers), Gastronomique en Vogue magazine, Visit Britain, and more well-known media titles.
Additional content from Laurie Jo is also found in the worldwide app, Zipkick, where her dining out reviews are published as a food and wine influencer.
Other Side of the Pond
While living in London, Laurie Jo contributed to a British English/American English translation manual for ex-pats. Have some fun testing your own U.K. knowledge with her popular USA Today quiz, Can You Pass For a Proper Brit?
Laurie Jo also keeps a robust portfolio of private clients, creating blogs, websites, email campaigns, branding guides, and social media content for a mix of hotels, cruise lines, realtors, public relations firms, digital marketing agencies and others.
Keeping an ear to the ground on the inside track, Laurie Jo is editor-in-chief for a weekly travel industry newsletter with a nationwide audience of tourism destination digital marketing managers and their media agency partners. After all, the next successful I Love NY type of campaign must be out there somewhere! She consults on the curation of topics and speakers for a twice-annual digital travel industry conference founded in 2000, designed for B2B delegates.
Although Snapchat has eluded her, Laurie Jo regularly tweets @ReferencePlease and posts on Instagram as @lauriejmfarr.