If the Marketing Audit depicts the portrait of the destination’s present situation, the Vision depicts the portrait of what the destination is to become upon accomplishment of the Mission, and the Mission is the ultimate reason for the destination development. To define the Vision, Mission and goals, it is convenient to engage stakeholders through the following steps:
- Community leaders’ mobilization. The first step is to create awareness of the need for a new destination marketing model, to boost the tourism business in favor of the community in order to address critical issues and concerns, namely poverty and the environment. Community leaders are the first to participate in the discussion as they should also be the first to be engaged with the new marketing system, though in the following phases other community members should also be consulted. These have to be defined:
- Current and future challenges affecting the local communities to be addressed
- Specific constituents of these challenges, namely those at the bottom of the pyramid
- Other concerns related to environmental and cultural issues
- Voting proposal and opening participation. Once the community leaders agree upon a mission proposal addressing the critical issues they consider as priorities, this should be voted upon by all interested community members, who could also bring up their ideas.
- Refining and approving mission. In accordance with the votes and suggestions, the mission proposal may be refined and approved without voting if there is consensus.
- Tourism experience value proposition. Then, there should be the drafting of the part of the mission statement related to the tourism experience value proposition, which is associated with the socio-cultural transformation connected to the life-changing experiences. This step also requires the participation of industry leaders, influencers and stakeholders in general, who are to become key brand ambassadors for the destination’s development. This part of the mission statement intends only to orientate and inspire the life-changing experiences of the product developers, and so does not need the approval of the whole community, though their contribution should be encouraged.
It is necessary to highlight the importance of engaging as many industry leaders, influencers and creative activists as possible from the outset, as long as the new destination marketing development needs to leverage their influential power, especially at the beginning.
Therefore, by engaging them from the outset and giving them the chance to bring in their ideas, and showing them somehow that their contribution has been incorporated into the mission guidelines, they will feel as if they are co-creators of the new project and will establish an emotional connection with the destination, which in turn encourages them to keep on contributing, so long as they are willing to tell a story of success in which they took part. Such engagement should be maintained by inviting them to participate in regular meetings to track the evolution of the destination development and mission accomplishment.
Would you consider any other step in building the vision and the mission statement?