Category: Tourism trends

Trends shaping the present and future of the tourism industry and case studies

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketingTourism trends

Integrated, Multichannel Tourism Marketing: Gadgets, Books, Films & more

When content is king and there are multiple channels to distribute various types of content, how can we make sure that the right message appears at the right people at the right time? Today that travelers are using a combination of offline/online sources and platforms throughout the travel buying cycle, it is crucial to develop integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns as a result of proper strategic planning. Right content at the right time means appropriate messaging per channel, smartly using available tools which will all come together to complement the overall destination brand. DMOs are called to utilize any given opportunity to pull their audience deeper into the destination’s brand, by being active content distributors, combining traditional promotional tools and marketing activities in smart ways which place excellent content where their target market is. Let’s have a look at a variety of recent destination marketing initiatives across various channels and mediums:

First Google Glass Tourism Campaign

Tourism authorities at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel have become the first to use Google Glass technology for a tourism marketing campaign,  wanting to give visitors a hands-free way to capture their vacation. The Floridian beach area saw 1.3 million people create 17.9 million social media impressions in four days earlier this month when five bloggers, writers and authors visited the area under the #FindYourIsland hashtag, with the new glass technology to test whether this could actually be a new way of visitors’ destination experience.

Google Glass can show users various information through the lenses while it allows the user to take photos and video and share them on social media platforms by voice command. New way of experiences on the way?

The five ambassadors showed the region’s natural beauty, history, outdoors, art and culture and culinary offering through a series of challenges. Potential tourists participating had the chance to win a holiday to the area or a pair of Google Glasses when they become available in 2014. Tweets included the #throughglass hashtag to maximize the spread of all the images, videos and blogs.

Tourism Ireland Launches Online Foodie Films

Tourism Ireland has launched the first in a series of new online short films, with the intention of enticing foodies across the globe to visit Ireland.  For the first short, online now and available to view here, Cobh and Cork are in the spotlight.

Tourism Ireland aims to tell the story of our indigenous food, to capture the attention of foodies worldwide. The short videos, called Flavours of Ireland, aim to whet the appetites of those interested in a culinary journey on their holiday or short break. at the same time,

Florida Tourism is Getting into Reality TV

The chief marketing officer for Visit Florida recently announced that the state’s quasi-public tourism marketing agency is supporting three new reality TV shows with three cable networks. The shows on the Golf Channel, Telemundo and BET will feature Florida settings and start running next year. It’s the first time Visit Florida is getting into the reality TV business, although the agency has supported other television ventures, including a Florida cooking show with Emeril Lagasse that will have a second season. Meanwhile, going beyond movies,

Hong Kong Tourism Marketing through Books

In its latest marketing drive, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has collaborated with bestselling Indian author Durjoy Datta to write a romantic novel set in the city, “Hold My Hand”. The HKTB firmly believes that the passion of Indian consumers for books and Datta’s popularity in the market will generate huge interest in Hold My Hand and Hong Kong, the city where the love story in the book takes place. HKTB Executive Director Anthony Lau said, “India, with its rapidly growing outbound tourism, is one of Hong Kong’s five key new markets. Seeing Indian’s passion for books, we decided to go for an unusual way this year to attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.  We hope that our ground breaking PR initiatives, including the book, will help us consolidate Hong Kong’s presence in the market and attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.” Leveraging the novel, the HKTB will collaborate with major attractions and other trade partners in Hong Kong to develop a special “Hold My Hand” Travel Package that features the romantic places visited by the novel’s protagonists. It will also partner with Macau and Indian travel agents to promote multi-destination itineraries to Indian travellers. Sources: Hong Kong Tourism BoardVisit FloridaTourism IrelandThe Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

This blogpost is from   http://www.toposophy.com

Environmental sustainabilityMarketing 3.0SustainabilityThird sector and social sustainabilityTourism marketing

Destination Marketing for Voluntourism

Increased awareness of world issues and global needs has led to a rise in the desire to help others abroad. Travelers want to reconnect with humanity, find a sense of meaning, and help their global neighbors in a hands-on way, rather than simply through monetary contributions. While there has been some push-back questioning the merits of voluntourism, many eager travelers are still looking for opportunities where their time and skills will be useful to others.

What is Voluntourism?

Voluntourism, the responsible travel experience which combines helping, learning, and exotic traveling, is becoming increasingly popular for people of all ages who are concerned with world issues and social responsibility. Travelers use their holidays to give back to others, rather than as pure recreation. These trips can be anywhere in length from a few days to a few months. Projects can involve teaching, building schools or other infrastructure, helping with agriculture, or assisting with disaster relief.

Participants typically pay their own expenses when volunteering abroad, but some costs can be tax-deductible. In exchange for their time, voluntourists typically receive an affordable alternative to a vacation that includes orientation, language and technical training, a safe place to live and work under conditions common to the country, and a network of logistical staff to help plan the trip.

Types of Voluntourism

1. Philanthropic or donor travel. Travel philanthropy differs from other types of voluntourism in that its purpose is to supplement a philanthropic gift. Charitable organizations sometimes plan or even sponsor trips for their donors so that they can experience first-hand the work that the organization is doing. The trip could be intended to research a cause, establish a relationship with the recipient, or as reassurance that a philanthropic gift is worthwhile.

2. Private or group travel. Individuals or groups who want a charitable experience during vacation can participate in cultural or community exchanges in which they can volunteer their time. Families, groups, or individuals can create their own voluntourism holiday with a tour operator or join an existing trip with an organization.

3. Urgent service travel and disaster relief. There is an abundance of intense volunteer opportunities in second-response disaster zones after any type of natural disaster. This type of voluntourism tends to be less expensive than other types, although some organizations require that the participants raise additional donations above the cost of the trip. Skilled professionals like doctors and construction workers are in high demand, though almost anyone can help to provide immediate relief.

Voluntourism Marketing Strategies for Destinations:

  • Review the region’s current service assets to identify unique opportunities for visitors.Creativity and uniqueness are important, because travelers have a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from. Offering one-of-a-kind experiences to travelers with differentiate a destination from its competitors.
  • Build on exisiting organizational relationships.Choose service projects that will also support tourism-related causes, issues, and events, such as museums, zoos, historic buildings, national parks, and conservation efforts that will interest tourists as well as connect them to the region’s other offerings.
  • Add information about volunteering to destination websites. The Alabama Gulf Coast’s website promotes future travel experiences in voluntourism on its website and across its social media platforms as a fun activity to participate in that will preserve the coast for generations to come.
  • Create a catalog of volunteering options for travel planners.Providing a program of unique voluntourism activities will interest tour operators as well as individual travelers. For example, partnering with zoos and national parks can provide sustainable conservation opportunities, while arts programs and museums can provide cultural opportunities for volunteers.

This blog post is from  www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Destination%20Management?start=10

Environmental sustainabilitySustainabilityTourism trends

Six Models that Link Tourism to Conservation, (I)

One of the ways that tourism benefits destinations is by augmenting conservation efforts. After conducting an analysis of both internal and partner projects, Solimar International has identified six principal sustainable tourism models that link tourism to conservation:

  1. Improve Tourism Operations and Guidelines:

This model emphasizes limiting or reversing the negative consequences on nature that can result from tourism. There are three principal strategies for improving tourism operations and guidelines to promote conservation efforts:

         1.1. Promote Sustainable Tourism Guidelines with Visitors

By promoting a ‘code of conduct’, destinations can ensure that visitors, for example, do not leave trash, pick endangered flora, or use flash photography where it might be harmful or startling to wildlife. It is important that these codes of conduct are communicated effectively through signage, pamphlets, interpretive guides, or even on websites and social media so visitors have an understanding of conservation before they arrive. Myanmar, new to hosting significant numbers of tourists, provides a great example of a visitor code of conduct with their ‘do’s and don’ts‘ campaign.

          1.2 Promote Sustainable Tourism Guidelines within the Travel Industry

By promoting effective guidelines within the travel industry, local businesses and organizations can work together to limit their impact on the natural environment. Agreeing upon certain standards, preferably before a destination attracts large numbers of tourists, can maintain the natural beauty of an area before it’s too late. For example, businesses and organizations can work together to establish best practices for responsible seafood harvesting, responsible souvenir gathering, and responsible boating practices.

          1.3 Promote Sustainable Tourism Guidelines within Protected Areas

Promoting conservation efforts within protected areas requires significant interaction from a wide range of stakeholders, both public and private. Example guidelines to follow may include limiting camping to select areas within a park or limiting the number of fish to be taken from rivers or lakes each day. Once a plan has been formulated, effective promotion is imperative to the success of the plan.

  1. Increase Tourism Awareness and Constituencies:

This model moves beyond simple education about tourism impacts to emphasize the active role that both visitors and residents can play in conservation efforts. This model incorporates three principal strategies to augment conservation efforts:

      2.1 Increase Awareness and Conservation Support of Local Residents

It is important that conservation efforts begin with locals, as residents are as much of a conservation threat as tourists. Lack of awareness, lack of economic alternatives, and long-standing traditions are often reasons locals engage in damaging practices such as unsustainable extraction of resources. Ways to increase awareness and reverse damaging actions include teaching environmental education classes with local groups or organizing a local festival to celebrate the very resource being damaged. In Latin America, sea turtle educational classes and festivals have been organized to raise awareness about the importance of sea turtle conservation and the damaging effects of poaching their eggs.

       2.2 Increase Awareness and Conservation Support of Visitors

Guides are vital to informing visitors about threats to conservation and explaining to the visitors how they can help whether that be through a donation or “adoption” programs. Programs such as these can help visitors develop an attachment to an area, increasing the likelihood of a donation, and also to spread the word about the importance of conservation when they go home.

       2.3 Link Benefits of Sustainable Tourism to the Community as a Whole

As local residents see benefits from sustainable tourism increase, the likelihood of long-term sustainable practices increases, too. Direct beneficiaries include tour guides, hotel managers, and chefs while indirect beneficiaries include family members of direct beneficiaries as well as operators of ancillary services such as construction companies or grocery stores. Non-employment-based ways the tourism industry can benefit communities includes the organization of local clean-up events, improving sanitary services, or hosting volunteers.

  1. Increase Income Diversification

If local residents realize sustainable tourism presents a livelihood, they are more likely to behave according to sustainable tourism principles. Two main strategies for assisting conservation evolve according to this model:

      3.1 Target Resource Extractors with Sustainable Tourism Employment

It may seem counterintuitive, but poachers can become optimal tour guides. Poachers often know a lot about a particular animal and can share stories and knowledge on a unique level. “Reformed” poachers often provide a unique human interest story as tourists are very interested in how and why their behavior changed. Resource extractors are much more likely to change if tourism provides an increased wage through tips, salary, or a year-end profit sharing program.

      3.2 Developing Tourism Products that Directly Mitigate a Conservation Threat

An optimal situation occurs when new products, jobs, and revenues develop and directly support conservation efforts. Local residents can create arts and crafts out of old newspaper, cans, bottles or other upcycling methods and sell them to visitors, eliminating solid waste and creating revenue simultaneously. Artificial coral reef creation has been effective in attracting divers and photographers away from susceptible natural coral reefs, where damage from tourists is common.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides a framework for destinations seeking to develop a sustainable tourism strategy. Many of their guidelines apply to the conservation-related ideas discussed in this post.

This blog post is from   www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/A%20Business%20Approach%20to%20Conservation

Collaborative business modelsTourism trends

Sharing economy and tourism: seeing the elefant in the room

With the aim of monitoring the growth and influence of sharing economy in the wider field of travel services, many institutions such as the Institute for Tourism Planning and Development from Portugal in their ‘Tourism Trends Review‘ have highlighted the impact and evolution of this phenomena:
As a new style of peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce, sharing economy does not merely involve an unusually large number of options for transport, accommodation, and recreation activities. It has also provoked a shift in role of service user and provider. In this environment, contemporary consumers can openly express their individual interpretations of tourism product uniqueness and authenticity as well as indulge themselves in an imaginative manner while moving around well-known and emerging destinations.

This issue was also discussed in 2015 during the 1st Semi-Annual Meeting of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association with ECTAA and HOTREC representatives and Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission.

In the European Cities Marketing Annual meeting of CEOs of Capital and Major Cities 2015, was an occasion to examine latest destination trends at an influential policy level and focus on the respective impact of sharing economy stakeholders. In two sessions, brainstorming between ECM members and a vivid debate with Airbnb also shed light on what it takes for destination authorities and P2P platforms to work together and deal with issues of common interest over the provision and consumption of travel services. Particular emphasis was also given in exchanging views with representatives from Barcelona and Amsterdam, two cities which have already developed approaches to sharing economy and monitor their results.
It is a fact, however, that both these influential events were only the tip of the iceberg during a busy 2015 including relevant speaker engagements in countries such as Israel, Montenegro, Belgium, Estonia, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Latvia, and the UK. In all these cases there were moments of great empirical value, especially when we were given the opportunity:

– To realize how market dynamics together with latest statements of UNWTO/EC officials put sharing economy on the spot in this year’s World Travel Market, while only on the sidelines last year.

– To take a look at the actual results of Tel Aviv’s recent partnership with Airbnb to promote the city in joint manner and exchange views with representatives from Barcelona and Amsterdam, two cities which have already developed approaches to sharing economy and monitor their results.

– To learn under what conditions sharing-economy friendly legislation has been in place for decades in Croatia and how hotels team up with BnB apartments and offer them concierge services.

To concentrate for the purpose of this blog post on HOTREC project, the key objectives of the policy paper were to understand the various issues that arise due to the fast growth Short-Term Private Accommodation Rentals (STR) and contribute to the development of a suitable regulatory environment to level the playing field.

When traveling for business or leisure, booking a private house or apartment to stay in via a P2P platform is seen as a trendy and affordable choice: booking, arriving, collecting the key and making oneself, quite literally ‘at home’. More importantly, a simple fact is already common knowledge.

Although the Global Economic Crisis reinforced an interest towards the more effective use of existing resources and the development of new sources of income, advances in technology such as social media and mobile devices accounted for the strongest driver of the sharing and trading of private assets particularly in the case of travel and tourism services.

To examine how the STR have evolved in recent years and transformed the ‘playing field’ for all those involved in offering visitor accommodation, HOTREC policy paper takes into account the following perspectives and international trends.

Business growth: From 2010 to 2015 venture capital firms have invested billions in the “sharing” economy start-ups, with the sectors of transportation and accommodation receiving the biggest shares of funds. Major companies such as Facebook and Amazon are also included lately among potential entrants to the “sharing” economy through the development of peer-to-peer services and partnership-building with existing start-ups.

Consumption patterns: Younger generations (Millennials are commonly identified as those born between 1980 and 1999, and who entered their teenage years as from the year 2000, putting them currently in the 18-35 age group) appreciate a lot customization in customer service at a global level as enabled by technological advancements. P2P Platforms have been effective in using global tools to enhance interaction between service providers and users at local level as well as in providing affordable options for value-seeking Millennials.

–  Entrepreneurial mobility: P2P platforms are  also providing a range of products and services for a new type of footloose global entrepreneur, often freelancing or part of a SME (of which there are now many more, in the wake of technological developments and the global economic crisis). “The way we think about long-term residents versus an emergent and more globalized and mobile population” is actually changing due to the growing appeal of P2P services in transportation, accommodation, and all sectors defining the business travel experience.

–  Forms of employment: P2P platforms provide alternative sources of income to individual service providers, who opt to work as micro-entrepreneurs of the freelance economy. A gradual transition from contractor to employee relationships is however less likely to happen in the accommodation sector, where properties are managed by their owners or tenants. The issue lies in that the sum of individual and commercial activity undercuts hotels on price. When there is also a negative effect on hotel revenues and jobs, it might be another case where technological progress has not yet proved to be a driver for jobs creation.

–  High-level policy making: The activity of the “sharing” economy start-ups has also drawn the attention of national governments and supra-national agencies. Elements of innovation are not rejected in principle, yet political parties in countries such the UK and Canada already participate in a vivid exchange of both positive and negative views on the “sharing” economy.

As these perspectives frame the discussion of various issues including terminology and scales of activity together with suggestions for legislative work, you can a have a look at the HOTREC Policy Paper if you’d like up-to-date knowledge on the agenda of Short-Term Private Accommodation Rentals or even share your thoughts with us.

This blogpost is from  http://www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=418

Environmental sustainabilityMarketing 3.0SustainabilityTourism trends

Tourism and Conservation: Connecting the Dots

It’s no secret that ecotourism, which in turn evolved into sustainable tourism, was born out of the conservation movement. From international NGOs like Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy to their local counterparts, conservation organizations poured considerable resources into the ecotourism boom of the 80s and 90s. But that interest and investment began to ebb about a decade ago – most likely due in part to the lack of success stories or replicable models illustrating how tourism could reduce biodiversity threats, not just contribute to them.

 As more than one billion travelers traverse the globe each year, efforts to reduce their impact must increase, especially in fragile ecosystems. WWF’s Global Marine Program decided to address the ongoing coastal development, so long as it is second only to unsustainable fishing as the primary threat to the world’s coastal and marine ecosystems. WWF realized the importance of developing a strategy to address the impacts of tourism in coastal areas head on, including efforts to create industry standards and to encourage alternative livelihoods for fishing communities.

Another potential reason for the renewed interest of the conservation community in tourism is because travel market trends increasingly favor destinations and businesses that embrace sustainability and offer opportunities for visitors to personally experience that wonderful space where tourism and conservation overlap.

For the past two years, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has worked in the Nicaragua Caribbean to help establish Kabu Tours, a tour company owned and operated by ex-sea turtle fishermen who are attempting to transition from resource extraction to sustainable tourism.  These ex-poachers have been trained by WCS to lead overnight trips to the Pearl Cays Wildlife Refuge where visitors learn about the organization’s sea turtle monitoring program and, if they’re lucky, watch a sea turtle lay her eggs.

Turning a sea turtle poacher into an interpretive guide and environmental ambassador has an obvious upside for conservation, but so does giving an accountant from Sacramento a chance to be a marine biologist for the day. Doing so provides not only a world-class tourism experience, but it also increases visitors’ understanding, appreciation, and support of the destination and efforts to protect it.

What is needed to preserve the heritage through tourism development?

For tourism to contribute to environmental outcomes, whether it’s through job creation for resource extractors or increased funding for conservation activities, a destination must first be successful in tourism. That requires demand-driven products, innovative marketing, and great delivery.

Second, tourism is one of the world’s most complex, dynamic, and historically fragmented industries. You need to know which partnerships are important, and how to build them.  Whether it’s connecting a community-tourism cooperative to a German outbound tour operator or convincing a global hotel chain to adopt sustainability criteria, identifying and realizing mutually beneficial interests is vital.

Finally, you need a blueprint. A comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect threats to biodiversity at a site, as well as a clear vision of how tourism can positively affect the socio-economic conditions that result in environmental degradation such as lack of economic alternatives, awareness, and industry standards.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/A%20Business%20Approach%20to%20Conservation

Environmental sustainabilitySustainabilityTourism trends

Tourism: The Business of Protected Areas

Some might think that “business” and “protected areas” should not be used in the same sentence, but the reality is that the majority of protected areas around the world rely on tourism for a good portion, if not the majority, of their revenue, which in turn helps manage and conserve important landscapes and precious resources.

Tourism is often the financial backbone behind protected areas and we have worked around the world helping protected areas enhance the benefits they can derive from tourism. Although each destination is different and needs its own specific strategy, we tend to take four approaches that support protected areas through tourism:

  1. Creating partnership programs to support protected areas
  2. Tourism product development in protected areas
  3. Community linkages with, and benefits from, protected areas
  4. Linking markets to protected areas

Each of these approaches, whether integrated or implemented on their own, help increase revenue for protected areas and enhance protected area conservation and law enforcement activities. The following paragraphs give a brief overview of each of the four approaches and how they enhance the business of protected areas. For more detailed information, check out our Destination Development and Marketing Case Study.

Protected areas are utilized by a broad array of people and organizations, many of which rely on the protected areas for their income. However, these stakeholders are often underutilized as a resource for the benefit of the protected area. A protected area partnership program protected area partnership program establishes a network of public and private sector stakeholders with common interests to support the protected area both financially and through in-kind contributions. The approach we take is to stimulate collaboration and communication among stakeholders through quick catalytic activities (such as cooperative destination marketing). These help build momentum behind the group and establish long-term collaborative partnerships.

Many protected areas also require improvements to their tourism infrastructure, products and services so that they can attract more visitors, attract a specific segment of visitors, keep visitors in the region longer, or drive visitation to new areas of the protected area. To improve the tourism assets of the region, we take an approach that works with protected area authorities to evaluate the conservation, management and resource needs of the destination. Based on this tourism assessment, we identify which opportunities can address the goals of the protected area. Throughout this process we also work with the tourism market to help identify, refine and validate opportunities that fit with market needs and then develop new products or enhance services through the protected area managers themselves. The goal is not tourism for tourism’s sake, but strategic tourism assets that help achieve the long-term conservation goals of the protected area.

Communities are a part of the broader ecological landscape around protected areas and are therefore an important part of the overall business approach for protected areas. If neighboring communities benefit from visitors to the protected area then their relationship with the protected area improves. We have a comprehensive tourism enterprise development program that is explained in detail on our website, but the essence of the goal is to work with communities in or around protected areas that have an interest in tourism, a willingness and capacity to host visitors, and viability in the tourism market to create a business that is owned by the people of the community. Depending on the situation, the tourism facility can be run by the community or as a concession to a private sector operator. Either way, the objective is to go beyond just employment to tangible ownership of business assets that link the community to sustainable benefits from the park.

To successfully utilize tourism as a tool for protected area management, marketing and market linkages are vital. However, this is often an activity that is marginalized within protected area management practices. To drive people to protected areas and to keep them there for longer, they need to know about the destination and what to do within it, but this is not a task that one person or organization can achieve. Cooperative marketing, leveraging partners that also have a business interest in the protected area, helps to expand the market reach of the destination and build collaboration among regional partners.

For protected areas, a mix of traditional push marketing (sales manuals, print collateral, etc.) and inbound (pull) marketing (web-campaigns, social media, news stories, etc.) helps to build awareness about the destination with travelers and the tourism trade, and then drives travelers interested in the protected area to the travel trade to make the sale. Media, past travelers, travel trade partners and others are all utilized to increase the visibility of the protected area and track that back to actual visitors to the region.

When combined, these four approaches help to improve the business of protected areas, using tourism as a tool to increase revenues that in turn help to manage and protect these valuable natural assets.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/A%20Business%20Approach%20to%20Conservation

IntelligenceTourism trends

Out now: stepping out of the crowd

How to ease the pressure on crowded visitor attractions while giving first time visitors the authentic, local experience they’re looking for? How can secondary destinations benefit from increased numbers of visitors from Asia’s emerging markets?

Encouraging visitors to leave crowded hot spots and go in search of more enriching experiences has never been more important for destinations looking to capitalize on the rising tide of visitors from Asia’s emerging outbound markets. This is especially the case in Europe, where local residents in some of the continent’s most popular tourist hot spots have already started calling for restrictions on visitor numbers and outright bans in some neighborhoods.

While better visitor management is clearly needed in some cities, we believe that not all solutions to this dilemma have to involve clamp-downs, restrictions, bans and penalties. Just as forward-looking cities are learning to integrate the sharing economy into their tourism ecosystem (something we’ve talked a lot about recently in countries such as Portugal and Croatia), they are also finding creative ways to spread visitor spending further away from the city center, or even to surrounding towns and villages.

This is something that we make clear in the report ‘Stepping Out of the Crowd, Where the Next Generation of Asian Travelers is Headed and How to Win a Place on their Travel Itinerary’.

This comprehensive 150-page report draws on unique consumer research carried out among Asian Millennials, as well as expert opinion, case studies from leading travel brands and data from PATA’s own forecasts on cross-border travel. It also gives practical recommendations on where to start when putting a dispersal strategy in place.

Main features of the report:

  • Unique consumer research from Millennials in 13 outbound markets across Asia on their attitudes towards trip planning, city visits and going ‘off the beaten track’.
  • Data from the PATA five year forecast to show how international arrival arrivals will affect APAC destinations in the coming years
  • Expert opinion from 14 market-leading tourism organizations, travel brands and influencers on how to set out an effective dispersal strategy.
  • Recommendations to public and private sector organizations on how to create more effective and rewarding products that encourage dispersal for Asian Millennial travelers.

How to get the report:
Full report – PATA Store (free for PATA members, US$100 for non-members)

Executive Summary (free download)

PATA press release

This blog post is from www.toposophy.com/insights/insight/?bid=422

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 3.0Tourism 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