How to Be Resilient, Innovative and Purpose-Driven in 2021

We live and work in a whole new world, thus, Digital Innovation needs to be considered in a completely different way.

Nonetheless, whatever action we decide to take and whatever initiative we will put together, we need to keep in mind that the Tourism Industry will bounce back stronger than ever.

We live and work in a whole new world, thus, Digital Innovation needs to be considered in a completely different way. Nonetheless, whatever action we decide to take and whatever initiative we will put together, we need to keep in mind that the Tourism Industry will bounce back stronger than ever.

Consumer Behaviour

The consumers that we target has changed behaviour, needs and wants, and the way we engage with our customers online need to be adapted. To be successful for the next period, we need to be resilient, apply innovation and be driven by purpose.

Digital Transformation has taken on a whole new meaning: it now means embracing the change in consumer behaviour, who's spending more time online than ever before. Consumers are downloading apps to connect, be entertained, learned and engage. For example, relationship with family and close friends is one of the things that matter the most right now.


Exploring how people engage online and how organisations can respond, have a look at the following best practices.

  • Visit Philadelphia stepped up and stood for the community that they represent, telling the stories of and for the people of Philadelphia as a city. They focused on BLM and created a podcast called Love & Greet to reach out and speak directly to the local market.
  • Tourism Australia responded to the fact that people couldn't travel to Australia with a series of initiatives. For example, Live From Australia, an example of how to create different experiences to engage and use the channels that we have at our disposal to build a sense of excitement for the audience worldwide.

Keep your destination top of mind for those who can't travel, but are looking forward to it.


People spending more time at home are more interested in exploring and learning new things.

  • TikTok shows us how Millennials and GenZ are turning to social media to have fun but also to be part of movements, follow along with other people who they admire.
  • YouTube has seen a huge rise in people learning along with celebrities or normal people through videos.
  • South Dakota has created a series of content and lessons for homeschooling and people who are spending lots of time at home with children.

Explore how you can create an audience through new channels and showcase your craft, expertise and USP.


In the time when we are all far apart, it is important to create meaningful connections.

  • Secret City Trails creates self-guided playful digital experiences to take people outdoors through curated discovery.

There are so many opportunities to engage and connect with people online. For those who struggle to have the same numbers of visitors, creating digital experiences can help boost engagement.

Global Trends


Openness in terms of being transparent in the way you open up to your audience, but also in the way you take people out and bring them to experience what you offer.

  • More and more hotels have redefined their offers repurposing their spaces: for example, cabins in the woods for work or hotel rooms to self-isolate.

Online tribes and communities are an opportunity to have a conversation with people around their passion and what matters the most for them.


Demonstrate how much you care about the environment and your community. Young generations are keener to support brands that have a positive impact.

  • Soneva is a great example of a resort that is open to answer any kind of question about the way they operate.

Commit to positive impact by becoming a Glass Box Brand.


Safety is essential, but why don't you create a differentiator through what you do to keep people safe and distant.

  • Truman Brewery and Stella Artois have created a mural on the floor to keep people at safe distance but enable them to enjoy their beer outdoor. Great social content as well!

Think about how you can take an extra step in the way people can have a safe experience by redesigning and making good use of the environment around you.


Of course, the impact of sustainability has never been stronger.

  • The city of Helsinki has launched ZeroBnB as an initiative to support those who intend to make sustainable choices when they travel.

Be bold in the way you react and the way you support people who are open to taking concrete action for a better future.

Pivot Through Innovation

There has been a huge shift in demand. If you were used to relying exclusively on inspirational content, you may find yourself in need of investing more in other steps of the funnel. When it comes to attracting the domestic market, you may want to lower the price or repackage the offer in things such as deals. This is only temporary, but it may be the necessary shift to create a sense of demand and look at the price point and see what works for the domestic market.

  • Newfoundland & Labrador used to do an incredible job in creating immersive and inspiring content to build the brand. Now they have shifted and created an entirely new concept which taps into the need of local people.
  • BeRightBack is a subscription-based travel experience. This is a really interesting way of serving new audiences and developing new concepts.

Think about how you can tap into loyalty, personalisation and diversification. Tell your customers that the immersive experience is designed around their needs. Even if we travel less, people want to have an amazing unforgettable experience.

Key Takeaways

This is a 30-minute keynote, full of examples and best practices of businesses that have pivoted and adapted what they offer to the needs of their audience.

1. Design your products and experiences around changing needs.

2. Be prepared for the future: map scenarios, work with data and be ready for uncertainty.

3. Think about the visitor journey and how you can use the tools available today to automate it. Respond to routine customer questions, for example, and automate the way your customers flow through your business.

4. Think about the contactless digital experience: this is needed right now but will also remain in the future.

5. We still need to work on Awareness: think about content that keeps people engaged even when they can't travel.

6. Offer transparency and show every detail behind the business as a true Glass Box brand.

7. Provide detailed answers to people's questions. Be competitive in how you bring the offer forward: the USP is now complete and utter flexibility.

8. Diversify and sell content and experiences in completely different ways. Diversify so that you have different revenue streams.

9. Don't be afraid of partnering with competitors.

10. Think about how you can bring people to experience the world around your business, not only within those walls and use digital to do that.

11. Beyond today there is tomorrow and there are still some major challenges that need to be solved. Consumers really care about those problems and as a business, we will find ourselves in a competitive winning position if we step up and show that we care about the things that matter the most.  

Published on:
January 2021
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