As collaborative models, destination models 3.0 are based upon leveraging the potential of an extensive partner network, where we may find several kinds of profiles:

  • Service suppliers are mainly the local micro-entrepreneurs that are to become the backbone of the destination model, providing accommodation, food & beverage and activities. They are the main experience providers, and the ones who bring along hospitality and authenticity to the destination. Here, the destination model intends to foster entrepreneurship in the base of the pyramid to alleviate poverty. These are to be the bulk of the partner network, helping the platform in the development of economies of scale. However, it would also welcome experienced professionals to gain know-how, and for some critical activities such as the organization of events.
  • Sponsors could be an extra source of revenue, so long as their business activities are also aligned with the destination model’s mission and vision.
  • Tour-operators and travel agents are likely to become key partners especially along the early development stages of the destination model, as explained in the Marketing Channels section.
  • Non profit organizations bring in the know how on addressing the environmental or social challenges set up in the mission, as well as workforce and funding in some cases. They also hold a high credibility to act as brand ambassadors.
  • Volunteers bring in extra workforce to accomplish the social or environmental missions, guided by the non profit organizations partnering with the destination. Furthermore, volunteering may be also used to assess many potential employees or potential partners, thus playing a strategic role.
  • Government should take a key role in facilitating the development of the destination model, and if possible as a long-term investor or guarantor. At a minimum, it should guarantee a harmonized urban landscape by carrying out the necessary investments and adapting the regulations.
  • Opinion leaders such as bloggers, journalists and other influencers will be the first who will spread the stories to their followers. They are key players in the starting-up of the marketing system.
  • Community leaders in the role of influencers to engage the rest of the community, and then to participate in the creation of experiences and stories for the destination.
  • Educational institutions may be valuable partners, from the primary school level in the story creation to the vocational school level in the training for entrepreneurship in the base of the pyramid. They may also be a source of volunteers through educational volunteering programs.
  • Strategy consultants may be necessary to provide guidance in the management and the business model innovation.
  • Financial institutions may be needed to provide funding for investments in infrastructure and facilities. Further, they could provide micro-loans to the entrepreneurs in the base of the pyramid.
  • Investors may be necessary whenever expensive infrastructures and facilities need to be built. As explained in section 3, it is critical to sell the destination model vision in order to attract long-term oriented investors, as well as to create a two-tier shareholding structure limiting power to the short-term oriented investors.
  • Land owners are likely to be critical partners, to be fully integrated as shareholders to the platform as long as possible, engaging them for the long term. These are among the first partners that need to be attracted, accounting for one of the key success factors to start-up the business model development.
  • Storytelling facilitators are key players in destination models 3.0, for they are to help all stakeholders in developing their storytelling skills. These could be partners or platform employees, as they not only should be required to train new partners, but also to offer storytelling workshops as one of the life-changing experiences offered in the destination.

This section should explain all kinds of partners that the model intends to attract, specifying which value they bring in and how they are to be rewarded. They should be specified their kind of expected participation within the open innovation system, considering the possibility of using the innovation system for inside-out innovation, leveraging the collective intelligence to their advantage, under previously specified conditions. In the case of the local service suppliers, there should be specified their rights and obligations they have to comply with to become platform’s partners.

Would you consider any other type of partner?

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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