The future of destinations is likely to depend upon a strong force that breaks the traditional rules of competition through stimulating cooperation, hence causing the union of its poles. Therefore, the future of destinations will be based upon the capacity of creating those conditions.

It is necessary to make repelling agents such as businesses and people, work together creating synergies benefiting the whole community. This change entails developing a new culture, which means changing values, beliefs and attitudes in both poles: businesses and consumers, as well as other kinds of stakeholders.

Throughout history, societies that have developed an economic system but not a culture to drive it forward have collapsed. Nowadays, the speech about entrepreneurship in Europe puts its focus on the need for creating spaces for entrepreneurs, when the real need is to develop a culture of entrepreneurship.

Therefore, when we talk about smart cities or smart destinations, are we only talking about urban and system planning? Good systems themselves are useless if there is no active culture of cooperation among agents.

Hardware x Software = System or Economy x culture = Society

The future is a destination where there is cooperation in two ways: a smart destination from the systems perspective and collaborative from the social perspective; a destination where there are thousands of exchanges and connections between business agents and social agents; destinations where products and services are developed in cooperation with social entrepreneurs. A destination where business and social agents are not connected is likely to fail, because the future of the economy is based upon collaborative models.

Therefore, the future of destinations is not based only upon developing infrastructure and technology, but on creating the conditions to facilitate efficient and long-lasting cooperation among all stakeholders.
This post has been inspired by an article in www.infonomia.com , the leading Spanish Forum on innovation.

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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