Opinions: 

#DTTT Blog

In Week 5 of the #DTTT’s Weekly Tourism Industry Impact Call series, we followed the progress of more destinations as we learnt about their recovery strategies. Sharing perspectives and solutions with a wide-range of key industry experts. Each session is providing more clarity of the COVID-19 situation from an industry perspective, and the impact it is having worldwide. In our key takeaways we captured 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 5 - 14/04/2020

This week we welcomed Visit Inverness Loch Ness and industry expert Giovanna Tosetto, who shared their insights and recovery strategies. The priority for many destinations now is to support local businesses and focus on regional tourism. Many destinations are now starting to prepare for recovery, with initiatives in place that involve the local communities and collaborative DMO efforts.

Key takeaways from the industry 

 

Destinations are the new resource hubs

In responding to the local community and visitors, destinations are becoming a key resource hub, not just to potential visitors but to locals who are sourcing shopping, gifts and amenities online. Antwerp Tourism is a great example of this, having created an online e-shop, bringing shops and restaurants in Antwerp to people at home. Antwerp contacted businesses that were closed to get them to sign up and formed a successful collaboration. This initiative is key to supporting local businesses. 

Local businesses must go digital

The impact of COVID-19 is not as limited as we hope it would be. The remote lifestyle is likely to go on for quite some time. Therefore businesses need to adapt and increase their online presence by staying visible and top of people’s minds. Businesses must go digital in order to reach their potential customers who now have plenty of time on their hands at home. It is essential for business recovery that a business is seen as open, accessible and ready to welcome customers.

Destinations need to invest in digital experiences

To capture the imagination and attention of potential visitors, destinations need to become more creative with the experiences they are offering. Digital experiences such as virtual tours, online events and live streams are now becoming key features on many DMOs websites. There is no certainty as to when people will be able to travel again, therefore destinations must bring themselves to potential visitors. Digital experiences can enhance a destination by showcasing all of its USPs and offerings to a captive audience. The use of digital technology such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) can transform a destination and inspire visitors to book a live visit.

Destination product and businesses must adapt to survive

Seasonality and businesses closing present challenges for many destinations. Visit Inverness Loch Ness has confirmed that since COVID-19, businesses that usually shut for winter now have to stay open. They are working with large businesses to create a Winter Destination Pass, developing a better product to be ready for recovery. DMOs must use this time to review their products and see if they can improve them and adapt them. Create a product that addresses the issue of seasonality to ensure a year round revenue for the destination.

Diversify the destination’s offering 

Visit Inverness Loch Ness have implemented a strong marketing strategy. During COVID-19, they have encouraged businesses and members of the community to share their stories. They have launched a new promotion video, encouraging potential visitors to take time now to think about Scotland. Being cautious about revenue streams, Visit Inverness Loch Ness have diversified the destination’s offering to find new revenue streams. The destination has adapted so that people can have a holiday with social distancing. 

With the narrative changing quickly, Visit Inverness Loch Ness are reminding people what they have to offer, why they are unique and are developing a better product that will suit future visitors and the community. Visit Inverness Loch Ness is focused on collaboration and sharing visitors with destinations close by. They are expanding and extending the destination’s offering. Cutting back on anything that does not benefit the recovery plan. 

Destination recovery strategy will be led by local people 

A destination’s recovery strategy will be led by local people on what they can offer. By implementing strategies at a local level, a destination will be able to recover more effectively. Industry expert Giovanna Tosetto, reiterates that in order to achieve recovery, destination’s must involve the local community. They must use visitors' memories, share experiences and promote a healthier destination. Working with locals and participating in online training to keep everyone updated. Developing a new offer with the locals around nature and the different ways to appreciate the destination.  

These are some of the takeaways from our fifth weekly tourism impact call.The key focus for DMOs now is to support small businesses which need to be up and running for tourists. They must provide a hub of online and digital resources that can benefit the locals and visitors as the destination prepares for recovery. DMOs must review their destination’s product, diversify, extend and expand it so that it is a better product. Present a new offer that shows a different way to appreciate the destination. Create inspiring digital experiences and focus on delivering a product that meets the needs of the post COVID-19 traveller.

Recovery must remain the key focus, and destinations must remain agile and adaptable in order to achieve it.

More from #DTTT

  • In October we present:
    Delivering an Industry Development Programme
    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 [...]
    #digital maturity #industry development #dmo #industry
  • In October we present:
    X. Festival: Reshaping the Visitor Economy
    Reshaping the Visitor Economy I believe it was February when we started thinking about how feasible it was to run our next event. Organising two flagship events twice a year presents us with a very tight schedule when it comes to finding speakers, selecting venues, coordinating with sponsors and dividing the work amongst team members. [...]
    #reshapingtravel #digitalevent #event
  • In October we present:
    Defining the Ingredients of a Good Destination brand Experience
    A lot of DMOs are asking themselves, "how can we help our industry to pivot, to design new experiences and to prioritise sustainability in recovery?" Defining the Ingredients of a Good Destination Brand Experience Destination branding is driven by three main factors; reputation, identity and perception. However, the ultimate factor, the key ingredient that brings [...]
    #dmo brand #recovery #brand experience #brand #destination
  • In September we present:
    Market Pivot with Slovenian Tourist Board
    Building a Recovery Strategy that attracts the audiences in the 'new normal' The old way of targeting, converting and growing needs a revision. Gone are 'emerging markets' and 'disposable income' as audience criteria. We need to hit reset. Now more than ever, it is important to be sensitive to the concerns of visitors and to [...]
    #visitor journey #slovenia #consumer behaviour #trends #workshop
  • In June we present:
    New Normal, Same Visitors
    How can destinations safely reopen to international visitors? What are the strategies behind the reopening and what's the role of DMOs? These are only few of the questions we asked to VisitJamaica, who told us how they successfully managed to keep the nation safe for both of international tourists and locals, developing effective protocols and solid [...]
  • In June we present:
    Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 13
    DTTT · Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia Where do destinations find inspiration for their campaigns during COVID-19? How do they convince people to travel again and engage with the local tourism sector? With the focus on recovery and the domestic restart, we have seen many different campaign approaches aimed at the domestic market. The latest [...]
    #domestic tourism #recovery #COVID-19 #visit-estonia #storytelling #strategy
Show more
© 2020 Digital Tourism Think Tank