StrategyStrategy planning & execution

5 Common Mistakes in Business Planning

“The business of a business is business” goes the famous saying. Simply put, it means that a business needs to be practical (has a sound model, makes money) and realistic (whatever you set out to achieve, you should be able to achieve it) to operate successfully. However, growing a business that is both practical and realistic is much easier said than accomplished. Businesses are complicated and they contain a lot of moving parts. Here are 5 common mistakes you should be wary of so that your business remains practical and realistic during the planning stage:

  1. Not understanding the difference between planning and a plan

Tim Berry, the founder of Palo Alto Software stresses that the value is never in the original plan. Rather, it is in the implementation. He stresses that a plan can serve as the foundation providing a strategic direction but it is never valuable unless it is put into action. Planning is a continuous cycle, which takes a plan, puts it into action, compares the outcome with the projected results, and uses this new data to adjust the plan and set goals accordingly. It is the planning that creates value and allows a business to learn its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as the time goes by – not the original plan. Therefore, a planning cycle should be put into place and the plan needs to be reviewed & appropriately changed on an annual basis to guide the business towards the desired end. This in turn, makes your business practical and realistic in response to the market.

  1. Ignoring market realities

The market is of a crucial importance to every company operating around the world. Susan Ward, co-owner of Cypress Technologies and an IT Consulting business, illustrates that a company can have an amazing product or a service that they would like to sell, but if the consumer is non-responsive to the product and does not want to purchase it, then the company will never be successful.

For example, if a company sells umbrellas in a place where it only rains 5 days a year, people would not purchase the umbrella. If the same company sells an umbrella in a market where it rains 200 out of 365 days a year, the demand is higher and umbrellas will likely sell. Even then, there are several other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Take a look at a business’ environments and corresponding factors in diagram below:

Adequate research into market dynamics needs to be conducted annually to understand the business climate, set realistic goals and assumptions, understand the competition, and price the products/services appropriately.

  1. Being everything to everyone

Bill Cosby has famously said, “I don’t know the secret to success; but the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Pick a focus. Pick a problem to solve in the market. Solve it. It is crucial to pick a focus for your business and it is crucial to keep sight of it. It keeps things practical and realistic. Spreading yourself too thin trying to go in numerous different directions will most likely result in nothing working out too well. Ensure you have clear objectives when business planning and ensure that you tailor your plans to suit your business purpose. Whatever you pursue, make it your singular focus. Tim Berry defines strategy as “… focus. It’s as much what you aren’t doing as it is what you’re doing.” Therefore, be clear in what you do so that you can save time, money, and set goals that correspond with the purpose of the business. You don’t need to please everyone.

  1. Thinking that big picture is the key!

Tim Berry states that a “good business planning is nine parts implementation for every one-part strategy”. Therefore, while it is commendable to have a vision and a strategy, as they act as the guiding forces, a detailed action plan is very necessary to achieve the desired end. You should have a goal and underneath list all of the steps that need to be taken to accomplish that goal. More so, you should detail who is responsible, the dates and deadlines for the tasks, forecast the outcomes, design suitable key performance indicators to measure success, measure success against projections, and review the efforts to make decisions for the future of the company. The point is to put planning into action in such a way that there is accountability for each task and action, and you can measure each component. That will provide a much-detailed outlook onto what is working for the company and what areas require improvement. The big picture paints a pretty sight, but the details and implementation make that sight a reality.

  1. Treating it as a race or sprint

Being an entrepreneur is not a race. It’s a disciplined lifestyle, which demands time, persistence, and commitment. Therefore, to minimize risk, continuous business planning is essential and should become a natural rhythm rather than an activity you pursue irregularly. A plan should be carefully put into action. The actions then need to be measured. The new insight you gain should influence your plan. One also continuously needs to be wary of their market, consumer demands, their product/service offering, and pivot in response to the change to business’ environments.

A plan is not a final product, only a beginning. It’s the implementation, continuous planning, and the ability to adapt to the changes that will prove your efforts fruitful and help you retain an edge in the market.

In the end, business planning can indeed be a daunting task. As long as you ensure things are practical, realistic, and the plan is being implemented and reviewed regularly taking into account the change in business’ environments – your business should thrive.

This blog post is from: http://www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/item/164-5-common-mistakes-in-business-planning

Marketing 3.0StrategyTourism marketingTourism trends

What’s Involved in Destination Leadership Success?

I was delighted to recently receive a copy of Bill Geist’s new book, ‘Destination Leadership’. I found his last book of the same name to hold so many epiphanies in regard to understanding and responding to the challenges that face DMOs.

I’m delighted to say that this edition again hits the mark time and again. It makes sense of much of the landscape that DMOs are dealing with. It helps that Bill has several decades experience working with over 200 DMOs to provide him with real world insights.

Destination Leadershipshows how to build the most effective DMO, structure and Board for today’s destinations. He explores the nexus between economic development and tourism, and how places can orchestrate the greatest synergy from them. I found his advice on creating and managing the DMO Board to be particularly important for successful destination leadership. He also points the way for recruiting the best and brightest to the Board.

This is the ideal book for DMO staff, executives, board members and key stakeholders, as well students, academics and government officials wanting to better understand how to introduce and sustain successful tourism organizations of all sizes.

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationTourism trends

Serving up a storm

What the sharing economy has done to accommodation and transport, it is now doing to food and fine dining.

Peru has been top of my wish-list for many years, and while the country’s stunning landscapes and rich Inca heritage were an obvious attraction, my main motivation to fly for nearly 13 hours from London to Lima was the country’s food.

The country may be seem quite remote for those of us in Europe or North America, but its cuisine has been undergoing a steady rise in popularity in big cities around the world. With a heavy emphasis on fresh produce, unique flavors and local ingredients, Peruvian food (and drink) really does stand out as one of the world’s finest.

By designing my trip around opportunities to try as many different foods in as many different settings as possible, I joined the many millions of travelers globally who are putting food at the center of their travel plans. This megatrend has certainly caught on around the world, to the extent that in its 2016 Megatrends report, Skift declared food as ‘the leading hook in travel’.

Increasing numbers of destinations and travel businesses are responding to this demand by using food to transform their brand image: just think of Copenhagen’s promotion of Danish cuisine on the back of the top-rated restaurant Noma, or the many airlines that are upgrading the food and drink they offer on board, flying dedicated chefs between continents to keep their customers happy and well-fed. Brand transformations and new food-tourism concepts are springing up on a daily basis, all fueled by mobile devices, P2P platforms and social media. Events that bring new places to eat and drink to the fore, such Dine Athens Restaurant Week by Diners Club bring locals and visitors together to share new food concepts every day. With so much going on, it can be hard to keep track of it all!

It’s time to come to terms with the fact that, just as with accommodation and transport, more and more individuals are starting to offer services and experiences directly to visitors, bypassing traditional tourism businesses such as bars and restaurants. Examples include meal-sharing platforms such as Withlocals or Eatwith, but there are many other platforms offering other concepts that connect travelers with food and drink. Just as we’ve seen with accommodation, the rapidly-growing numbers of travelers who go to strangers’ houses for dinner do it not for the novelty, but because they see it as part of their way of life. Consumers are also increasingly interested in their own diet, fitness and where their food comes from. These provide just a few reasons why this phenomenon is here to stay.
If increasing numbers of travelers are buying experiences directly from local people, and discovering the destination through the eyes of a local, then doesn’t it make sense for destination management and marketing authorities to get involved? Local people are rapidly becoming part of the destination’s brand and are taking on the promotion themselves.
While we believe that this is definitely something to be celebrated, it does raise some difficult questions over the role of local authorities in formally involving these local people in their destination marketing and management, as well as how they can ensure quality and safety for visitors. We understand that these are big questions to handle for DMOs that are short on time and resources, especially since the world of P2P platforms, their listings and partnerships grow and change so quickly.

To help answer these questions, last month Toposophy in partnership with European Cities Marketing produced a free, practical guide for DMOs on how to successfully integrate sharing economy services into what they do, and use it as a tool for improving how they manage destinations. It also gives tips on how to form partnerships with existing platforms, something which can potentially cause conflict with ‘traditional’ tourism service providers if not handled properly.

With this in mind, here’s a summary of the presentation to the CityFair audience in London:

  • Get involved: The sharing economy is here to stay, and consumers are rapidly converting to using the many services on offer. It’s in your interest and theirs to join the conversation.
  • Do an audit: Do a deep analysis of P2P platforms to understand how your destination is being promoted by local people, and how this fits (or not) with what you’re already doing
  • Set your policy goals: Thinking beyond tourism, what are your organization’s policy goals for local people, and how can you use P2P platforms to help support these through providing tourism services?
  • See the sharing economy as a useful management tool: Check out our detailed infographic to discover how the sharing economy can boost the visitor experience, as well as improving city management and local social cohesion.
  • Build partnerships based on your goals: Work with platforms and partners that are aligned with the policy goals (note: they’re not always directly linked to tourism experiences) that your organization wants to achieve. It’s fundamental to put local people first.
  • See tech as a way of putting your local cuisine on the world stage: Whether through events such as the Restaurant Week we ran in Athens or working with tour-guide apps to bring people to specific places, tech is providing a window for something that’s unique to your destination: the food, drink and the people who create it.

This blog post is from     www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=428

Marketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studiesTourism marketing

Using Twitter for Storytelling

There’s an excellent post on the problems and experiences of Twitter storytelling at Sliverstring Media but while I’m waiting for my comment to be moderated I thought I’d re-blog it here:

The key to success with storytelling in any media is to work with the strengths of the platform. Twitter is a real-time, social, conversational stream that is best used to invite and build participation. Thinking of Twitter as thousands of 140-character “book pages” is the wrong mindset. It’s like thinking that a short story is just a long story with fewer pages or a short film is a 15 min feature film.

The key to Twitter storytelling is:

(a) use it to invite participation. Create scenarios and “exercises” that open the door to followers to contribute. Make it conversational. Allow followers to become advocates by facilitating the spread of the participation, not only the spread of the tweet. That is, it’s not simply a RT of the story tweet but an invitation from one follower to a non-follower to get involved – perhaps using some game mechanics with the storytelling to provoke and reward that.

(b) recognize that Twitter is both a Discovery and an Exploration platform. That is, current & recent story tweets and the participatory tweets are Discovery content – they’re luring audience into the world. At the same time the historical Tweets offer backstory and context – Exploration content – for those in the  audience that want to dig deeper. Hence you’re right that audience should be able to dip in at any time in the life of the story and become immediately engaged without having to read the premise/synopsis etc. The way to achieve this is to finely craft each Tweet so that it works like a Zen koan – it’s a 140 character meditation on the story that is revealing, intriguing and surprising. This is particularly important if the tweet is from the voice of a narrator rather than a character. I have always measured the strength of a short story by whether it leaves me thinking about the premise of the story for longer that it took to read. The same should be true for every Tweet. Remember that twitter is a real-time news stream which means you’re only as good as your last tweet

(c) use it to build & populate the world. As I hinted above, a story might have several Twitter streams from the perspective of different characters or entities. This means that while a “narrator” stream might tell *the* story, other streams might shed new light and different perspectives on the narrator’s voice. As with any transmedia experiences, these new streams should all add value to the core narrative yet at the same time be optionally consumed. One example I’ve been exploring with a storyteller is to have a twitter stream for a fictional Government bureau in much the same way as George Orwell has in 1984 – the  stream sends continual optimistic official news  “production up by 120%”, “inflation static at 1%”, “crop yield the best since records began” – which is directly contradictory to the experience of the narrator! Such a stream builds out the world with a new richness but is timed to impact the through-narrative should someone choose to read both. I appreciate that this may contradict the “Zen koan rule” but then it’s not being used for Discovery, it’s Exploration so I’ll allow myself some latitude

In terms of commercializing the Twitter platform, it’s value is in the social spread of the story and the building of audiences. Revenue should be taken from other platforms.

Calls to participate “case (a)” are much easier to provide examples for than the koan “case (b)” although you’ve listed some good places to research.

Jay Bushman’s Twitter stories are always provoking and inspiring followers to create their own stories. He brings the fictional setup, let’s say the context or the world, but then it’s up to everyone else to bring their imaginations and participation.

For #sxsw we’re running a rather trivial story of the Three Pigs by way of illustrating the mechanism of participation and interactive narrative. Firstly we stage the story as a competitive game between the pigs and the wolf – the battle outcome determining the course of the story – and secondly we’re using tweets from the pigs and wolf to provoke reaction and participation from friends and followers. Using our Conducttr platform we can facilitate some of the invitation to participate using our “3rd party reply” feature which takes a follower’s friend’s Twitter ID and sends it a message from the fictional character. What we’re doing is not meant to be a gold-standard example of this thinking/storytelling in action but a simple eye-opener.

This blog post is from http://www.tstoryteller.com/blog/page/15

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketingTourism trends

How to work with travel bloggers

A FEW SIMPLE GUIDELINES FOR DMO’S AND BRANDS TO FOLLOW WHEN WORKING WITH TRAVEL BLOGGERS & INFLUENCERS

July 25, 2016   TAGS: bloggers trip, Blogger outreach, campaigns, destinations, DMOs, Destination Marketing, travel trends

I’ve outlined in this post a few simple key guidelines that DMOs and brands should follow based on my previous experience of running blogger campaigns and being involved in them as a blogger.

Clearly outline the social goals and content expectations of the campaign to the bloggers

The key deliverables of any blogger focused campaign from a blogger stand point is the blog content and secondly the social media expectations aka real-time storytelling aspect of your project.

You need to have a clear idea of what the overall deliverables are for the campaign and communicate that well in advance with each individual blogger.

Managing expectations is key in any kind of project and especially when it comes to influencer relationships. It sounds like common sense but it is amazing how many tourism boards or brands fail to specify clearly what is expected of bloggers when it comes to inviting them.

For example in a recent campaign with the Athens tourism board a group of 6 leading travel bloggers were asked to create content on their blogs and also on their social media channels using the #ThisismyAthens hashtag.

The bloggers were strongly encouraged in the briefing, wherever possible to interact with locals, both offline and online and ask them questions about the history, culture, food and traditions of the locations they visited.

Engaging and involving locals of Athens was a key deliverable of the campaign so this is something Toposophy made very clear in our list of blogger deliverables.

We also wanted to secure advance permission to use the blogger’s names and content on their owned social media platforms for the #ThisismyAthens campaign microsite on the agreement that Toposophy would credit and link directly to the blogger’s social media channels.

Again, common sense but seeking these permissions and being transparent, helps in building trust with the bloggers.

Quantifying the number of blog posts expected is important and also mentioning the minimum number of social media updates per day.

Guideline recommended (depending on which social media channels you are targeting) is at least 4 tweets a day, 1 Instagram and one Facebook post.

I have seen agencies asking for 5 Facebook posts, 5 Instagram posts and 5 Tweets a day. This is in my opinion is no longer destination marketing but asking the bloggers to spam their followers with content about your destination. The bloggers have often taken years to build up the trust of their followers so it is really important to respect that relationship and keep the expectations to a reasonable but defined minimum.

It is useful also to outline in your briefing to bloggers, the key headline figure for what would be seen as success for the campaign. While bloggers are not marketeers in the traditional sense, they understand the marketing needs and demands of DMO’s and will welcome you sharing information about your key campaign goals , the hard and soft objectives.

Again going back to the blog content, it would be good to specify the deadlines for delivering the content.

Ensuring bloggers stay connected at all times to the internet and giving them a mobile-WiFi device

Having access to the internet from the moment the bloggers land at the airport…..( not until they reach their hotel) will be extremely important for the bloggers ability to tell the story of the destination effectively in real-time.

Despite talking about this to numerous DMO’s and brands, it is amazing the number of times DMO’s forget to provide a mobile-wifi device or are unwilling to invest in a few. This is again a long term investment for the DMO, having these devices so it makes a huge difference having a few of these to hand out to bloggers with simcards. Also it is worthwhile having a few battery packs (10000 mah) to give to the bloggers to help charge their devices on the go. I have this but some bloggers may not have this so again worth thinking about this for current and future campaigns.

Sometimes, bloggers have unlocked phones : all they need is a sim ( I would need a micro-sim for my iPhone 6, so important to ask what kind of phone they have) and they maybe no need for a mobile-WiFi device. So this is something you should ask bloggers in your pre-departure checklist.

Some bloggers may have their phones locked so best investing in a state of the art mobile WiFi device that offers 21.6 kbps download speeds and is 4G friendly. Huawei sells these and I would check the battery life on these.

Sometimes even if a tourism board remembers to offer a mobile-WiFi device , they don’t offer enough data. This leads nicely to our next recommendation.

What amount of data should we offer per blogger? Again this depends on the social media campaign and goals.

We are now entering the world of live broadcast with Periscope and Facebook Live. So if you are encouraging bloggers to do a few Periscopes which again is a great tool for sharing the experience in real time, a ‘scope’ or Facebook Live chat can need about 1 GB of data for just a 15-20 minute live session. Based on a three-five day campaign to be on the safe side, I would make sure there is at least 10 GB of data available.

In that case, if data is unused, it can be used by the next blogger or for a future campaign.

Keeping the lines of communication open at all times

It is always great to have an open line of communication between the bloggers, the campaign managers at the DMO and partners on the ground: restaurants/transport providers/ tour operators who are welcoming the bloggers.
With this in mind, setup a closed Facebook group for the campaign which gives ‘room’ for the bloggers to talk about their experiences, ask questions, a place for local partners involved in the campaign to share tips , assist the bloggers and feel involved in the campaign. The Facebook group will also be the place where post campaign, bloggers share their articles which the group can then share on their personal FB pages.
Just as a back up, it would be great to create a list of the social media profiles of all the people involved in the campaigns. Starting with the social media coordinator at the tourism board, the bloggers handles and also all the hotels/guides/ tour operators/museums- everyone involved in the campaign.
Circulate this list to everyone in advance of the campaign so everyone can follow each other in advance and break the ice.

Curating the content of the bloggers in real-time

Again, a major failing of many blogger activated social media driven tourism marketing campaigns is the failure of the client to not curate the social media content of the bloggers in real-time.

Bloggers create, DMOs curate
. If there is one line you remember me from this guide, let it be this line.

Bloggers have the ability to share the stories from the trip via a number of channels: Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and now you have Periscope/Snapchat/Facebook Live.

DMOs has to curate and share these stories in real-time on their own social media channels. You can use the social media content of the bloggers to start a conversation with your fans on Facebook or Twitter when the bloggers are in the destination. This is a crucial aspect of the campaign that must be addressed.

It is very frustrating when a tourism board spends a lot of money to invite me to promote their country, only to find them not sharing any of my content on their social channels.

By retweeting and commenting on a tweet whether it is a memorable meal or learning glassblowing in the glass museum- it amplifies the conversation to a bigger audience which in turn then gets more people involved into the conversation about the destination.

Plus it shows that the DMO is passionate about the bloggers involvement and again it reinforces the trust element. So don’t be passive. Curate. Curate. Curate the bloggers content in real-time.

Beside retweeting on Twitter, share images on Facebook page and re-share on your Instagram feed. I would also recommend using Storify to summarize the social media activity and stories from each day. This storify can then be published as a blog post.

Creating a ‘My destination according to locals’ document

To help bloggers prepare for their trip and give them a flavor of what to expect, it always great to give them a briefing document.

Besides including the itinerary, key things mentioned like contact details in case of an emergency, social media handles which we’ve discussed already have a section dedicated to tips based on the key themes of your campaign.

Crowdsource these tips from within your organization. Crowdsource them from locals and partners involved in the campaign. Encourage them to share their tips with bloggers in advance of their arrival on their social media channels using the campaign hashtag. This again is a good way to engage, involve more people in your campaign.

Share with the bloggers the best places to eat street food, drink , party and also any cool, unusual facts and pieces of history about the city. This again is a great exercise for engaging locals and again gives the bloggers some really cool, unusual tips. If time and resources permit, we can divide these suggestions based on the key personas that the bloggers cover. This is what we did for the #ThisismyAthens campaign and the end product was a document with more than 100 tips. The city of Athens tourism board will use the tips and recommendations made by locals and partners for future campaigns with bloggers and journalists so this kind of exercise has long term value.

You can also add to this document, articles that were written about the destination based on previous campaigns. In fact, if possible, contact all the bloggers, journalists involved in previous campaigns and encourage them to share their old content using the hashtag before the campaign launch and also to offer suggestions and tips to the bloggers involved.

Make sure the document has practical things included like nearest pharmacy to the hostel/hotel where they are staying, English language website which give people information about the city plus essential apps to download to help plan their trip better.
Also if any bars or restaurants would like to invite bloggers for a meal or offer discounts: include this in the document.
Make sure this document is personalized and sent to each blogger in advance of their arrival.

Helping plan the blogger itinerary

The briefing document should have all the information, tips and advice that the blogger needs but depending on the blogger niche, each blogger may have a specific request or need for information. So again, it would be great to have someone dedicated within the tourism board who will be available most of the time to help plan or offer suggestions.

For the #ThisismyAthens campaign we offered a fixed amount for daily expenses of up to €50 a day that could be used by bloggers to cover meals (excluding drinks) and other incidental expenses, as long as they held onto receipts. This allowed the bloggers to be flexible in planning their daily itinerary and reduced the workload for the tourism board. Feedback I received from bloggers and based on my personal experience is that this is something bloggers will prefer this. This allows for more spontaneous travel and gives the bloggers more freedom to make the most out of their day. This is something worth considering when planning the individual itineraries.

As is standard practice when hosting journalists, it is also great to have a letter from the tourism board that explains the purpose of the trip and setting up access to all the key visitor attractions in advance, in case the individual blogger wishes to visit them.

I hope this posts covers key points. I think if you follow these guidelines you are definitely on the way to having a very successful blogger campaign.

Kash Bhattacharya Blogger outreach specialist, Toposophy and publisher, editor of BudgetTraveller.org

This blogpost is from   www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=430

StrategyStrategy planning & execution

Your Road Map to a Great Tourism Business Plan

Any great tourism business begins with a great “road map.” This road map serves as your business plan with actionable steps for moving forward with developing the enterprise. There are seven key components to your road map.

  1. Clear Concept- Before you can dive into the road map, the essential first step is to clearly articulate your enterprise concept. What is your enterprise? What do you do? What are you trying to achieve? What impact do you expect your enterprise to generate? Before you move further down the road map, be sure that you put some thought into these questions and can clearly define the concept of your tourism enterprise. Try to condense this concept into a simple one to two sentence pitch that clearly articulates your business concept.
  2. Market Analysis- Your market analysis includes the international, regional, and national tourism statistics and travel trends, the profiles of your target market segments, and a value chain/ industry analysis. Begin by getting an idea of the relevant tourism trends and statistics. What percentage of tourists coming to your destination region, country, or city are country nationals versus international visitors. When is the peak season that tourists come to visit? What are the typical demographics of visitors? Has the number of international tourists to your destination been increasing or decreasing? Addressing these questions will help you to better understand your market before moving forward.

From here, you can develop the profiles of your target market segments. Determine the nationality of your market, their wants and needs, their budget, etc. Think about whether your target traveler is seeking adventure and physical challenges, luxury and relaxation, or service and learning opportunities. Additionally, you will need to analyze the existing tourism industry in your destination. Especially if your enterprise will work with intermediaries; investigate the existence, success, and business models of tour operators, travel agents, and hotels; as they relative to your business concept to market or sell tourism products.

  1. Sales and Marketing Strategy- At this stage of your road map, it is important to determine strategic positioning in terms of the pricing, placement, and promotion strategies of your business. There are numerous factors, both short and long-term to consider for pricing including the value provided compared to that of competitors, the price the market is willing to pay, the revenue needed to enable the business to reach its financial goals, and profit maximization. Your placement, or distribution, may be conducted either through direct or indirect sales. Your promotion strategy will describe the sales and marketing techniques used to reach your target market and should include online and social media marketing.
  2. Competitive Analysis-Complete a summary of competing businesses and products, and determine your competitive advantage. Begin by defining your business competition- the people and businesses that offer similar products and services and seek the same markets. Research these competitors and assess their products or services on a number of factors, such as pricing, product quality, and customer service. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis is a useful tool to use for a through investigation of your competition. By assessing your business competition against your proposed enterprise, you will gain a better understanding of where your business stands and how best to leverage your strengths against your competition’s weaknesses. To determine your competitive advantage, simply outline the major advantages that your enterprise holds over the competition.
  3. Operations and Training Plan-Consider your business structure and the key personnel and training needs that will be required to support it, while also keeping in mind any legal considerations. Will your enterprise be a private company, a partnership, a limited liability corporation (LLC), a cooperative, a non-profit organization, or an association? There are pluses and minuses to each, and it is extremely important to think carefully to determine the best structure for your enterprise. Once the structure is determined, consider the number of employees needed and the roles and responsibilities of each. Consider the hierarchy of employees in your business and how profits will be shared.  Finally, the legal environment is key to consider; think about potential requirements like business registration, employee/membership agreements, permits, and insurance coverage.
  4. Community and Conservation Support- Consider sustainable tourism as a cornerstone to your business plan. Sustainable tourism has the potential to not only mitigate potentially harmful impacts of visitation to a site, but it can also support conservation of the resources upon which it depends. At Solimar, we employ a market-based approach that links jobs and revenue generated by sustainable tourism to support conservation of the resources upon which the tourism depends. To develop a sustainability plan, begin by assessing the conservation threats related to your tourism enterprise. Once these threats have been assessed, you can choose tourism conservation strategies that address those threats, such as an environmental education program or a trail monitoring and research program. Lastly, be sure to budget for the implementation of your sustainability plan, including salaries, equipment, materials, and trainings.
  5. Key Milestones and Workplan- Lastly, now that your business plan has been fully considered, you can create a timeline of the major activities related to the establishment of your enterprise and its tour products and services. Create a comprehensive list of the milestones to be completed for the successful establishment of your business and determine the order in which they shall be addressed. With each milestone completed, you are one step closer to being the proud founder of a great tourism business!

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/item/163-your-road-map-to-a-great-tourism-business-plan

 

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

How Should You Assess a Destination Tagline?

Rarely a week goes by when we don’t see another round of city and destination slogans and taglines announced. Some are pretty good, many are plain lame, insipid and self-congratulatory, and some are just downright infuriating.

A tagline is a word or short phrase that captures the spirit of the brand promise and its essence. It can be a tease, a short descriptor, a call to action or an explanation, and succinctly stated in no more than five words.  Too many destination taglines are simply examples of marketing speak or clichés that do nothing to advance the identity of the place. Many end up with a tagline that is so esoteric that it needs extensive (and expensive) marketing communications to convey its meaning. Few small cities have the marketing budgets to communicate the meaning and relevance of their taglines through advertising.

All tagline options should be tested before they are approved by gauging the reactions of target audiences through research. However, prior to undertaking that research the following filters may be helpful as you initially assess the various options:

  • It captures and dramatizes the brand promise
  • It’s ownable and not the same or similar to other places
  • It hints at a reward, benefit or experience that customers value and can expect
  • It’s short, usually less than five words
  • It works with, and enhances, the logo
  • It’s credible, sustainable and matches the reality of the place
  • It’s easy to remember
  • It does not have negative connotations

In a nutshell, a tagline (and logo) should act as a trigger or cue to aid recall of the positive associations that the place is known for. Too frequently, the power and role of a tagline is
over-emphasized, i.e. no one will respond positively to a tagline and then decide to visit a place if they haven’t also been exposed to other compelling stimuli about the place. Let’s hope that in 2013 we see a lot less of the insipid and self-congratulatory efforts and more well-researched and meaningful taglines.

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/city-branding/page/3/

Collaborative business modelsIntelligenceTourism trends

How Airbnb has given local restaurants a boost

The AirBnB phenomenon was not a completely ground breaking concept. The concept of staying at a guesthouse and kipping in a spare room has been around for for centuries. The Pubs and Inns of the 1600’s often had a room for weary (and drunk) passers by to rest their tired souls in exchange for a shilling or two.

What AirBnB has done so well is use technology to make it easier for this to happen in advance of a stay and allow those who have not thought about renting out a spare room or making a little extra cash, to do so.

The slogan they use of “ Live Like a Local” is something that I really like and something that I certainly did when I backpacked through south east Asia. I stayed in a lot of guesthouses which not only made me feel at home, but also gave me an authentic experience that i talk about to this day.

If you look at my home city London, there are over 20000 beds available to rent on AirBnB and although it is a threat in many ways to the hotel and hostel sector in regards increased stock, I think it has led to a new positive shift for other hospitality businesses.

For me living like a local doesn’t mean just your accommodation…
It means the full experience. For me this starts with food (I am a food lover after all). Back in 2003, in the first guesthouse I stayed in , in Hanoi, the first thing I did was sit with the mother of the household, and have a cup of tea and a bowl of freshly cooked Pho. Amazing… and experience I still talk about to this day.

Fast forward to 2016, and you look at the boom in street food, food markets and pop-up restaurants in London and you can see the shift in food culture which in turn creates a new form of tourism where people want to eat, drink and sleep like a local! The full “Living like a local” experience.

I found an awesome BBQ joint when on a business trip to De Moines, Iowa (Called Jethrows in case your interested, 8 types of BBQ sauce, amazing Ribs & featured on Man Vs Food!) by going on Facebook and using the “Near Me” functionality and could see great ratings by people who I didn’t know but were probably “locals” . I in theory asked the local crowd where was good to go and that answer was delivered to me.

Those restaurants and food outlets that are aware of the shift in travelers demands, and are active in their restaurant marketing , must be finding a new wave of different tourists (not always from abroad!) that find their local venue through the web, word of mouth, social media or food bloggers insights. Restaurants and other foodie places offering unique and authentic experiences, alongside quality service and food, will be a success in my opinion.

I think there is an opportunity for more strategic thinking between the likes of AirBnB and gastronomic outlets in regards encouraging the “eat like a local opportunities” to their customers rather than traveler being lured into the big branded places.

I think the opportunity is there for smaller restaurant operators to really fly, as long as they make themselves accessible through simple marketing and provide consistently authentic experiences to their customers to make them feel like a local, whether they are or not.

This blog post is from  www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=433

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsMarketing 3.0StrategyTourism trends

It’s time for DMOs to take the leap on the sharing economy

The sharing economy is booming, but until now most European DMOs have largely stayed out of the conversation, seeing this new economic model as a cluster of problems, rather than as a useful tool to meet their policy goals. It’s time to turn the tables and get involved.

For many European destination marketing & management organizations, the sharing economy is regarded variously as a source of conflict, a fascinating (if frenetic) economic model, a shadowy way for some to make money, or just a plain headache. This is quite understandable, given the near-weekly emergence of new products and platforms, the anger expressed by many of those running traditional tourism businesses, and the uncertainty around rules and regulations. Activities such as short-term apartment rentals don’t just concern the city tourism board: housing, planning and taxation departments also have good reasons to be interested in what’s going on.

While the challenges can at times seem overwhelming, it is still a fact that the sharing economy is really just becoming the new rental economy or, in some respects the collaboration economy. Consumers love it, and the types of people who are getting involved are becoming more and more diverse. Private tours, home-cooked meals, apartments and other tailored experiences for travelers are becoming more exclusive every day! The main thing however, it that it just works. Barriers to becoming a ‘user’ or a ‘provider’ in the sharing economy are low, and the platforms are generally attractive and user-friendly. As a movement, the ‘collaboration economy’ is enabling citizens to cooperate, meet, solve problems and share local resources like never before.

This month’s Annual General Meeting of European Cities Marketing in Madeira took the theme ‘Dare To Share’ reflecting the desire of ECM members to engage with the sharing economy. With DMOs facing so much pressure from all sides to do more with less, engaging in a serious way with the whole concept of the sharing economy can sometimes seem too daunting for a simple city DMO to take on. At the same time, it’s perfectly clear that it isn’t going to go away, and that consumers are using it as a normal part of their daily life at home, and while traveling.

It’s time for DMOs to turn the powerful aspects of the collaboration economy to their advantage and take the leap. After all, many DMOs are under pressure from reduced budgets and higher expectations to participate in local economic development. They’re also increasingly expected to manage the destination, rather than concentrate purely on marketing. As we illustrate in the infographic below, the sharing economy can, in fact, provide a very useful tool for managing cities in a smart way, while improving social cohesion and enhancing the visitor experience.

While we believe that the sharing economy can offer real opportunities for city tourism authorities, it is however vital not to ignore one group of people: local residents. Local people provide the secret ingredient to great, authentic product development and marketing. At the same time, it is essential to ensure that sharing economy activities don’t impact negatively on their quality life or cost of living for the wider population. P2P platforms can open up the destination to new types of travelers and provide a valuable source of income for local people, however there is a darker side to this activity. Many are used by unscrupulous companies and individuals to evade safety rules and taxation, and platforms are accused of unfairly hoarding data when it could help in enforcing compliance with local laws.

Therefore, working closely with other government departments, DMOs have to ensure that when building partnerships with platforms, or even building their own, that they put their local people and policy goals first. To help DMOs understand how to ‘take the leap’ in a responsible, informed way, we’ve set out a seven-step guide.

This blog post is from    www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=427

Business model innovationInnovationMarketing 3.0Tourism trends

Connected Museums and connected learning

The presentation below was originally given as a keynote in Taiwan to the Chinese Association of Museums.

Our belief is that the technology like Conducttr can create “intelligent interpretation” – personalized connected experiences that see the museum as part of a deeper ecosystem that includes informal and formal learning.

In the diagram presented here, a cloud-based intelligence understands the learner’s current interest and tailors physical and digital environments to suit.

Note that a common problem for major museums is traffic flow. That is, most visitors want to see the museum’s top attraction. Using Conducttr connected to traffic sensors, guides and screens can be adapted and tweaks to direct visitors to less busy parts of the museum.

 

This blogpost is from  http://www.tstoryteller.com/blog