5.6 Co-Designing Strategies for a Sustainable Future: Bordeaux Tourism

In this case study, Julie Benisty, from Bordeaux Tourism, explains how they use digital tools to support their digital strategy and how they co-create the destination's strategy with the locals.

This case study helps you understand how the local community can play a crucial role in preparing a strong sustainability strategy. You'll also discover some examples of how digital technologies can be integrated to develop sustainable solutions.

Digital Tools to Support Strategy Development

This case study helps you understand how the local community can play a crucial role in preparing a strong sustainability strategy. You'll also discover some examples of how digital technologies can be integrated to develop sustainable solutions.

In this case study, Julie Benisty, from Bordeaux Tourism, explains how they use digital tools to support their digital strategy and how they co-create the destination's strategy with the locals.

Main Takeaways

  • There is a need to involve the community in strategic planning to achieve a more sustainable destination.
  • Sustainability isn't only about the environment, but it can be reflected in the community, websites and much more.
  • Design thinking methods are a great tool to ideate and find new solutions to problems.

Julie starts by providing an overview of Bordeaux's commitments to sustainable tourism. Their first step was to get the ISO 20121 certification. They have also been ranked as the 9th destination in the top 10 of the GDS-Index 2021 ranking. In addition, they also adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which they implement throughout their strategy.

She then provided examples of how they implement sustainability through four different initiatives. Vacances & Familles is an organization that plans holidays for families in precarious situations. Bordeaux Tourism organised specific tours for these families in collaboration with the local organisation. Another initiative involves completely electrifying their river cruises. They also created an official hiking path through 18 cities by means of attracting visitors to the greater Bordeaux area. Lastly, they created the "Out and about in Bordeaux" campaignwhich comprises a week of visits for locals to discover more about the city.

Julie moved on to some of the digital tools they developed to promote the sustainable tourism offer:

New eco-designed website.
Webzine for local tourism.
Responsible communication on social media.  

She then explained how they decided to go much further than that on sustainability, and involved their stakeholders to co-write their strategy for the next five years. The project is called Agora Tourism Bordeaux, and through it Bordeaux implements participatory governance to reinvent the codes of urban tourism and event activity. The decision process is as follows:

Why change the strategy?

The aim is to drive a positive social impact on residents, as some issues such as the increase in property prices and housing difficulties are believed to be due to tourism.

Their response

They built open governance for tourism which integrates all stakeholders, co-builds a strategy with them for sustainable and inclusive tourism, collectively promotes the messages with a positive social, environmental and economic impact for residents, and generates a sense of belonging and commitment to shared values.

Methodology

Initial Results Obtained

After the forum, they gathered 780 ideas, which were summarised into 55 topics on which the participants could vote to raise awareness of the main priorities to be addressed in the final strategy. All of this resulted in 35 action processes to support local businesses, local heritage and living together.

What was the difference made?

It has empowered people, created an open talk on real impact, has provided full transparency, and has allowed for sustainability to be at the core of everything they do.

What works... and what doesn't!

Julie then guided us through the successes and falls of the project. She highlighted that design thinking methods are effective, the DMO acts as a link between actors, and that sustainability is not a debate but an accepted necessity and challenge. When covering the falls, she explained that involving residents and associations isn't easy, as well as keeping focus on concrete actions, but that anticipating with dedicated funding was also quite hard.

Before ending the session, Julie was asked the following question:

What was the response from the community when you worked with design thinking?

She explained that the community was extremely involved and kept interested in the project. She emphasised the interest didn't remain as strong in all subjects, but generally, they were very involved because it related to people’s concerns, their life, and jobs as a community.

This case study helps you understand how the local community can play a crucial role in preparing a strong sustainability strategy. You'll also discover some examples of how digital technologies can be integrated to develop sustainable solutions.

Digital Tools to Support Strategy Development

This case study helps you understand how the local community can play a crucial role in preparing a strong sustainability strategy. You'll also discover some examples of how digital technologies can be integrated to develop sustainable solutions.

In this case study, Julie Benisty, from Bordeaux Tourism, explains how they use digital tools to support their digital strategy and how they co-create the destination's strategy with the locals.

Main Takeaways

  • There is a need to involve the community in strategic planning to achieve a more sustainable destination.
  • Sustainability isn't only about the environment, but it can be reflected in the community, websites and much more.
  • Design thinking methods are a great tool to ideate and find new solutions to problems.

Julie starts by providing an overview of Bordeaux's commitments to sustainable tourism. Their first step was to get the ISO 20121 certification. They have also been ranked as the 9th destination in the top 10 of the GDS-Index 2021 ranking. In addition, they also adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which they implement throughout their strategy.

She then provided examples of how they implement sustainability through four different initiatives. Vacances & Familles is an organization that plans holidays for families in precarious situations. Bordeaux Tourism organised specific tours for these families in collaboration with the local organisation. Another initiative involves completely electrifying their river cruises. They also created an official hiking path through 18 cities by means of attracting visitors to the greater Bordeaux area. Lastly, they created the "Out and about in Bordeaux" campaignwhich comprises a week of visits for locals to discover more about the city.

Julie moved on to some of the digital tools they developed to promote the sustainable tourism offer:

New eco-designed website.
Webzine for local tourism.
Responsible communication on social media.  

She then explained how they decided to go much further than that on sustainability, and involved their stakeholders to co-write their strategy for the next five years. The project is called Agora Tourism Bordeaux, and through it Bordeaux implements participatory governance to reinvent the codes of urban tourism and event activity. The decision process is as follows:

Why change the strategy?

The aim is to drive a positive social impact on residents, as some issues such as the increase in property prices and housing difficulties are believed to be due to tourism.

Their response

They built open governance for tourism which integrates all stakeholders, co-builds a strategy with them for sustainable and inclusive tourism, collectively promotes the messages with a positive social, environmental and economic impact for residents, and generates a sense of belonging and commitment to shared values.

Methodology

Initial Results Obtained

After the forum, they gathered 780 ideas, which were summarised into 55 topics on which the participants could vote to raise awareness of the main priorities to be addressed in the final strategy. All of this resulted in 35 action processes to support local businesses, local heritage and living together.

What was the difference made?

It has empowered people, created an open talk on real impact, has provided full transparency, and has allowed for sustainability to be at the core of everything they do.

What works... and what doesn't!

Julie then guided us through the successes and falls of the project. She highlighted that design thinking methods are effective, the DMO acts as a link between actors, and that sustainability is not a debate but an accepted necessity and challenge. When covering the falls, she explained that involving residents and associations isn't easy, as well as keeping focus on concrete actions, but that anticipating with dedicated funding was also quite hard.

Before ending the session, Julie was asked the following question:

What was the response from the community when you worked with design thinking?

She explained that the community was extremely involved and kept interested in the project. She emphasised the interest didn't remain as strong in all subjects, but generally, they were very involved because it related to people’s concerns, their life, and jobs as a community.