At the #DTTT, we are working closely with destinations to find out what's going on behind the scenes. A different week brings different perspectives. This week on the #DTTT's sixth Tourism Impact Call, we discussed the role of technology and innovation as a solution for the industry, as well as featuring innovative community initiatives, and response and recovery plans. Read our key takeaways for more of the latest insights.
Every Tuesday at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET, we will hold a weekly 30 minute 'Tourism Impact Call' to give the lay of the land in terms of what's happening, how the industry is responding and we will provide a weekly summary. Open to all, every perspective welcome. Join Call
Week 6 - 21/04/2020
This week we welcomed contributions from The Travel Corporation, thecamp and industry expert Isabel Mosk. The strategy for many destinations now is to look at different ways to reinvent the industry. Designing the future of tourism using technology as an enabler, delivering the right message to potential visitors and continuing to promote safe and conscious travel.
Key takeaways from the Industry
Design the Future of Tourism using Technology as an Enabler
Destinations have the opportunity to turn a bad situation such as COVID-19, into a moment of optimism. The pandemic has given destinations a chance to take a step back, review their product and make effective changes to improve it. With the world now online, travel has gone digital. At the #DTTT, we see this as an opportunity for destinations to implement solutions and create an even better digital experience for their visitors. DMOs can enhance the online UX, using process automation, chatbots and virtual reality. As Pashû Chistensen from thecamp advises, technology can be used for good, to protect the environment and people. Using technology, destinations can design the future of tourism.
Destinations must deliver a clear message
As an industry it has been a difficult time, but for travellers it has also been confusing. With various global travel restrictions in place, and destinations in different stages of recovery, there is much uncertainty around travel in the short-term and the long-term. From the #DTTT’s perspective, we believe that it is absolutely vital for destinations to provide clarity in their public messaging. As a trusted source of information, DMOs need to be aware of the confusion that visitors will have as the situation progresses. Destinations must provide a clear message about their destinations, especially around safety and government travel restrictions. A faster recovery will be achieved if the message is clear.
Destination communication should be emotive, not commercial
Local stories and storytelling are a huge part of attracting visitors to a destination. During the COVID-19 pandemic, destinations should create a strong online community of destination ambassadors, who will keep the destination visible, and potential visitors engaged. A great example of this is Terschelling, as explained by Industry expert Isabel Mosk. The Dutch island has a strong and engaged online community, whose positive sentiment changed to negative, due to the mixed messaging they received about the island’s accessibility. In response, Terschelling, along with tourism businesses, created a video for its guests. The video explained the island was missing its guests and wanted to see them again. The message was emotive, not commercial and used UGC to explain the island’s situation to guests. Essentially, it delivered the right message at the right time.
The rise of Conscious Travel in the consumer mindset
Conscious travel is now more prominent than ever. 63% of young people aged 16 and over are more likely to buy from a brand if it supports a cause or charity that is important or relevant to them. According to The Travel Corporation, the first demographics to return to travel will be youth, adventure and LGBTQ+. Now that people have experienced some of the positive effects of COVID-19, such a cleaner air, a noticeable reduction in pollution, and more interaction with nature, there will be an even stronger inclination towards conscious travel and off the beaten track itineraries. Destinations must be aware of this trend when they plan for recovery. People have seen the positive effects to the environment, and will want travel to be cleaner and healthier.
Focus on a domestic product development strategy
As destinations plan for recovery, both a short-term and a long-term strategy is required. The short-term strategy will involve support from DMOs. DMOs must relay the #postponedontcancel message, keep audiences inspired to travel in the future, provide clear communication about their destination opening, and lobby governments for financial investment. Early recovery will then be followed by domestic travel. The Travel Corporation see this as a trend, and as an international operator primarily they are considering ways to come to market with product that meets this growing domestic need. To begin recovery, every DMO should be focusing on developing their domestic product and domestic travel experiences. Connecting travellers to local places whilst giving them peace of mind for their wellbeing while travelling.
At the #DTTT,we believe that as we emerge from COVID-19, DMOs need to lead the way in being part of the solution, to bring back tourism and all its benefits. The industry must design the future of tourism by adapting with technology and innovation, to create the right product and environment for the destination to thrive.
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