Beyond developing new business models at a local level, it is possible to foster Tourism 3.0 from the regional level. Destination intelligence 3.0 envisions how the practice of collaborative research and innovation is to become a key discipline in sustaining competitiveness and improving the destinations’ marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Further, by fostering collaboration and innovation at a region-wide level, it becomes a powerful change agent to promote this culture down to the local level.
Destination intelligence 3.0 envisions how the current practices in research and monitoring of the tourism markets and destination performance may be improved to keep track of the fast-changing environment and leverage all the collective intelligence available through the existing networks. Moreover, market intelligence systems may be expanded to become open innovation systems to further leverage the collective intelligence of the industry stakeholders in bringing in fresh, new ideas for business model innovations, new products, management practices, marketing practices, etc.
The key idea is to foster collaboration among all stakeholders to both monitor the market and social trends in a deeper sense to better orientate the tourism development, and to innovate in all aspects of the business models to continually improve competitiveness.
The Whitepaper “Envisioning Destination Intelligence 3.0” explains in detail the vision on this new approach to collaborative research and innovation.
In which aspects do you think there is room for further cooperation between DMOs and operators in producing and sharing intelligence data and insights?
The new realities of communitization and increasing competitiveness inevitably demand a cultural shift towards more collaboration and innovation, not to say that the most effective innovation is to be carried out through collaboration, as it is the case with open innovation systems.
Fostering a cultural shift towards further collaboration and innovation is not likely to be a minor challenge, depending on the local culture of the destination. However, the great advantage of tourism destinations approaching the “Vision of Tourism 3.0” is that mission driven purposes are those which naturally motivate the most contribution and collaboration among humankind.
As the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” is to explain, such change has to be driven primarily by the right kind of leadership and an adequate system of rewards to change attitudes and build trust throughout the community.
What kind of cultures do you think are more likely to succeed in developing destinations based upon the Vision of Tourism 3.0?
In marketing 3.0, consumers gather in communities, which become the main source of information when assessing brands and products. The trust has gone from vertical to horizontal, and consumers trust other consumers rather than companies.
Therefore, communities are the new marketing channels, and so brands should encourage and help consumers join these communities. Eventually, so long as brands deliver the promised value, communities are expected to support them by becoming a network of brand ambassadors.
Brands have to understand that communities are trust networks that exist to support its members, and therefore the strategy to gain the trust of the network members is to support the members by addressing their concerns and aspirations. This is something that has to start in the mission definition phase, and by identifying such concerns and aspirations, the destination model may create a value proposition that addresses them to engage the community members.
What kind of cultural barriers do you think need to be overcome by the destination executives to empower the communities to develop the aforementioned role?
The main drivers of the socio-cultural change entailing the aforementioned trends are called the “creative society”, hereby referred to as “Tourists 3.0”. Such tourists are concerned about the impact of the tourism activity on the environment and the local communities, and are driven by the aim for contribution to make the world a better place, and for spiritual fulfillment above other motivations, which makes them the primary target to take into account in mission driven destinations.
Tourists 3.0 are engaged in communities and are very active in social media networks, where they are opinion leaders and change agents. Such networks are becoming the main and most trusted source of information for most consumers who increasingly trust other consumers rather than companies. It is through these social networks that consumers share their knowledge and are to share stories about the life-changing experiences offered in the destinations.
Unlike typical passive consumers, tourists 3.0 are willing to take an active role in their relationships with their favorite brands, through co-creation of products and marketing contents. They want to be active players in the brand’s marketing activities, mostly through the social media networks. They are the ones who hold the community’s trust, and so have the power to decide which brands are to be supported.
In the destination, they look for authentic experiences through which to develop new skills, learn about new realities, cultures, and ways of life, which open their mindset and ultimately change or influence his life. These are the so called life-changing experiences that set destinations 3.0 apart from others.
Beyond developing life-changing experiences, what challenges do you think that tourists 3.0 pose to the destination’s executives to leverage all their influence power?
As with non-profit organizations, destinations approaching the “Vision of tourism 3.0” intend to address some of the issues that concern the stakeholder community, primarily related to environmental protection, socio-cultural transformation and poverty alleviation.
Such a mission is at the core of the destination model’s value proposition and hence is also the essence of its brand identity, being the main driver of the so called “human spirit marketing”. This new marketing concept approaches not only the clients’ needs and emotions, but also their spirit. Such a mission has to be the primary goal of the destination model, to really engage all kinds of stakeholders. Only by being faithful to the mission will the destination model keep the stakeholders commitment and transform them into an expanding network of brand ambassadors who end up being the drivers of the destination’s marketing system.
Such a mission and its related vision is the guiding force that motivates all stakeholders to contribute to the expansion of the destination model, bringing in all their creativity and effort in benefit to the community.
What types of missions do you envision to commit the local community and appeal to the tourists’ human spirit?