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ONLYLYON on Smart Tourism for the Future of Travel

Lyon attracts more than 6.5 million visitors and a 20% growth in tourism every year. In less than 20 years, it has become one of Europe’s major tourist destinations, popular for its rich history, beautiful architecture and famous cuisine, widely considered the French capital of gastronomy. After winning the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 (joint with Helsinki), we were keen to learn more about how this achievement came to be, and what this means for the future of travel in Lyon. 

The destination’s DMO, ONLYLYON, was established in 2007, and the goal to develop responsible tourism by way of a collaborative and agile approach has been consistent from the outset. For ONLYLYON, it has always been important to manage the delicate balance between destination stakeholders, local residents and visitors, and this is a huge part of its strategy to being a smart destination. 

European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019

Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fast-changing sector”, and the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative recognises European cities who are effectively doing so based on 4 key areas;

  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Digitalisation
  • Cultural Heritage & Creativity

ONLYLYON successfully achieved a good balance between all four pillars, but more specifically on the digital side. Ongoing development of smart tourism will include; involving local residents and visitors to encourage a positive relationship between key parties, boosting local actors’ involvement, and the latest initiative, ONLYLYON Experience, involves partners working together with data to optimise the visitor experience. 

Above all, it is all about customer data in today’s industry and the primary goal is to guarantee the best possible experience.

ONLYLYON Experience

ONLYLYON Experience launched in 2019. An innovative CRM tool which involves city wide innovation and involvement from both private and public sectors. The principle of ONLYLYON Experience is to collate information and insights from key actors in the destination such as hotels, museums, services providers etc, to compile a central database that will facilitate valuable data sharing. This data can then be used in future communication plans to all the key actors in an omni-channel / omni-partner marketing approach, 'Marketing Collectively'.

For example, for a first time visitor, all partners can share and use data to tailor and customise the message. Together, they agree through a 'communications architecture' on what messages will be communicated to different profile groups. 

Key takeaways

Data sharing - Sharing data is the key driver here and will enable the destination to learn more about visitors to develop the tourist industry and to better future experiences. 

Content is the keystone - ONLYLYON Experience will enable partners to create hyper targeted and relevant messaging through tailored content, specific to the visitor profile and stage of the visitor journey. This will ensure the visit meets expectations by enhancing the whole visitor experience.  

Managing tourist flows - This data will also be instrumental in managing tourist flows to help alleviate overtourism in busier areas and effectively spread visitors across the destination.  
How do they get all the different stakeholders to work together, to share data, and to release information that is usually commercially sensitive? Find out the answers to these questions at #DTTTGlobal, where we will be joined by Camille Lenoble, Marketing Director at ONLYLYON, sharing insights on the opportunities, challenges and learnings of building this vast partnership database to offer a better visitor experience and to combat overtourism.

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