Every DMO has a responsibility to their industry, to help them develop, connect the community and keep the destination competitive. Ultimately, this is the key to delivering the best possible visitor experience by being present at valuable touchpoints in the journey, and ensuring all digital activities are aligned to the destination’s overall goal.
The #DTTT's Industry Development Programme is designed to help DMOs deliver a structured plan to support the digitalisation, growth and competitiveness of their tourism industry. The Programme is built according to the destination's needs and can be run in a series of stages, with the aim being to provide targeted action on specific needs and challenges faced by SMEs on an everyday basis.
In Spring 2019, our team delivered a full Industry Development Programme for 25 SMEs in the UK, as part of an EU funded project, conducted in 4 regions Belgium (West Flanders), France (Pas de Calais), Netherlands (Zeeland) and United Kingdom (Kent and Essex). The project was conducted in several phases:
- Phase 1: Businesses filled in the Digital Maturity Assessment and received their Digital Profile
- Phase 2: 1-to-1 Business Coaching
- Phase 3: 11 Businesses were selected to receive a bespoke Innovation Plan to implement
- Phase 4: An Innovation Think Tank meeting took place in July alongside experts from partner regions
- Phase 5: Tourism Innovation Awards and Networking Award Ceremony in September
Digital Maturity Assessment
The Digital Maturity Assessment created by the #DTTT audited all businesses across a range of different factors, looking at all aspects of their business. The key areas included Culture & Organisation, Technology & Innovation, Market & Industry, and Product & Content, with the role of digital front and centre. The assessment answered various questions on digital activities, monitoring and team skills to get the best understanding of each business’s position.
The 1-2-1 business coaching sessions helped to develop the innovation plan, designed to help give each business one-to-one guidance on where they can take action and make improvements going forward.
Coaching sessions covered a range of different aspects; reviewing digital activities, current business performance and business models, to identify where support was needed, and where challenges and opportunities lay. Each session was tailored to the business, focusing on the areas most relevant to each. For example, in-depth Content & Engagement checks, Website checks or Product checks.
With an in-depth understanding of the wider business’s challenges and needs, the DTTT team then developed a bespoke Innovation Plan. Each plan was tailored to an individual challenge from 4 key areas; Product Development, Digital Marketing, Business Management or Collaboration. Based on the key challenge, each plan provided a detailed summary on implementation, financial planning, partner consideration and marketing and promotion.
The general consensus from all businesses participating in the Innovation Challenge is that it was useful, insightful and they were provided with actionable suggestions they were able to start implementing straight away.
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