By: Erin Rheinschild, True Omni
The evolution of digital to not just inspire visitation, but transform the entire visitor experience works in harmony with the strategic opportunity to build a community shared value model. For the DMO. Quality of place has been shown to have a direct connection to community values, landmarks, culture, art, and more through the innovative marketing programs born of necessity in the pandemic.
In this blog we will walk you through how we’ve seen organizations successfully work through the process of connecting technology with Sustainability, Stewardship, and Community goals.
1. Define Your Stakeholders
- Your "usual suspects" were likely involved in your Visitor Experience digital innovation phase.
- Identify “the unusual suspects” - and invite them to contribute ideas for interactive experiences in workshops and committees.
2. Research Roundup
- Review your resident sentiment scores - how your community feels about tourism is an important indicator of where you need to begin.
- Check out the latest studies to understand how to connect with diverse audiences, like: Black Traveler Study from MMGY; Think With Googe - Localism Brand Engagement; Think With Google - Next Gen Traveler.
- Understand the Omnichannel Marketing trend, which is about connecting with visitors with consistent content and brand experience across every device, driving more engagement and data.
3. Destination Planning: Define your goal, and how you will get there
- Check out the destination planning efforts from Hawaii Tourism, Visit CA, and more. They have successfully tied technology to destination management action plans to ensure organizational resiliency.
- Begin connecting digital visitor experiences with the right community stakeholder, and find the right partners to begin your journey towards Destination Management.
4. Values-Based Content to Consider
- Shopping - Locally made products and women and minority-owned businesses, shopping passport programs to support.
- Culture - Interactive trails & itineraries around local landmarks. Educate visitors and offer perspectives on history that highlight diverse viewpoints. Do as Hawaii did, and include “talk like a local” language lessons.
- Art - Don’t just showcase the local arts community, invite them to play! Travel Manitoba has invited an indigenous artist to help design the navigation and features on cultural trails apps, we need more of this.
- Outdoors & Responsible Travel - Responsible travel pledges, camping & fishing permitting information, reservations, etc connect visitors with the rules of the road.
- Transportation - Trolley trackers, public transportation directions, and incentives.
5. Secure Your Funding: Economic Sustainability & Environmental Sustainability
- Renevue generation opportunities via advertising, ticketing, and in-market media networks are an important funding mechanism to reinvest in your stewardship and sustainability programs. Revisit your revenue strategy and tie it to new digital interactive programs.
- Relief grant programs for the tourism industry are approaching their suggested deadline of March 15, 2022. Check out our recommendations now to connect digital visitor engagement with your sustainability & stewardship strategy, and secure EDA funding.