Opinions: 

#DTTT Blog

In 2018, the Californian tourism industry generated $140 billion in travel spending, $19 billion in state and local tax revenue, and employed 1.2 million Californian workers. What is the impact of such success on the destination experience and how does California manage this? 

Earlier this year we attended Visit California’s annual Outlook Forum, and the truly inspiring opening keynote from President and CEO of Visit California, Caroline Beteta. Sharing insights on Visit California’s continuous growth over the last few years, we were happy to see that sustainability was front and centre of all planning efforts to successfully shape a sustainable destination environment. 

Shift from Destination Management to Destination Stewardship

 “Sustainable growth requires more than marketing, it requires stewardship” - Visit California

We have spoken previously about the shift from destination marketing to destination management, which is evolving further into destination stewardship. The fundamental role of the DMO has always been to promote the destination. While this still remains its primary focus, many destinations across the world are now opting for a more comprehensive approach which encompasses destination development, community collaboration and sustainable development destination-wide. 

New Era of Stewardship & Sustainability

Visit California is a huge advocate of destination stewardship and believes this is the key to future sustainability in travel. By definition, stewardship refers to the ‘responsible planning and management of resources’. Tourism is the largest sector in the world and it is expected to continue growing 3.3% annually until 2030. For DMOs whose primary role is promoting a destination to attract visitors, there is now an increased level of responsibility to encourage travellers to plan and visit responsibly. DMOs have the power to influence collaboration across the destination, and to leverage the visitor economy for the benefit of visitors, locals, the environment and the industry, and this is the basis of destination stewardship. 

Key takeaways

  1. Destination stewardship is the key to future sustainability within the travel industry.
  2. The traveller experience is paramount, and it is the role of the DMO to reach visitors at different stages of the journey to encourage responsible planning and travel. 
  3. Collaborative action and community alignment are crucial. Encourage local communities, businesses and other stakeholders to get on board with your objectives to enhance and protect the overall destination experience for travellers, residents and the environment. 

Finally, our favourite takeaway is this direct quote from Caroline Beteta,

“We are really at a moment in time to redefine ourselves as communities and destinations.” 

Since awareness about sustainability rose significantly over the last few years, we find ourselves in uncharted territory for what lies ahead. Embrace the opportunity to take a step back, and review ways in which your destination can ‘Rethink, Redirect and Reposition’ your strategy to ensure you are able to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability successfully. 

If you are already a member, you can watch the full talk here. If not, here’s how you can sign up

 

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