Stage 12. Exploration & Innovation

Prioritising innovation as a process to tackle challenges, evaluate trends and identify opportunities.

This part of the Transformation Series focuses on Exploration & Innovation. It presents how crucial it is to prioritise innovation as a process to solve challenges, evaluate trends and identify opportunities. The same importance is demanded by exploration, which every organisation should find some time for.


This part of the Transformation Series focuses on Exploration & Innovation. It presents how crucial it is to prioritise innovation as a process to solve challenges, evaluate trends and identify opportunities. The same importance is demanded by exploration, which every organisation should find some time for.

It is key to keep an eye out in the market and detect what changes and shifts are happening, and where the industry is progressing fast. Considering to innovate, it is important to remember that the biggest opportunities can impact any aspect of the DMO - internally, the products and experiences and the way of engaging with visitors. Nonetheless, four factors can help measure innovation: economic, social, cultural and symbolic capital.

The best way to become innovative is to change the mindset of people within the organisation, and the most successful way of doing so is by applying Design Thinking methods. These will be presented in this chapter, where you will find an explanation of the fundamentals and principles of this method and interesting activities, as well as heaps of useful resources.

As usual, the chapter includes a series of further resources, such as Templates, Case Studies, Talks and an Asana Template that DTTT Members can use to start their journey towards innovation.

This will include:

  • An introduction to the importance of including Exploration & innovation in the daily routine
  • The Relevance of Human-centred Design Thinking, its principles, fundamentals and useful resources to apply it in your destination
  • An overview of how to change the mindset with Challenge Camps and Academy
  • Industry Innovation and Collaboration, Industry Development Programmes, the benefit of collaborating with Innovative Businesses in the destination
  • Examples and best practices of centres of exploration and innovation
  • Technology to enable a positive impact in the future
  • Diverse innovative approaches
  • Tips for DMOs on how to work in an innovative way, leaving space for exploration and on the simple steps you can take to make your work more creative
  • Templates and Packs to run sprints, workshops and challenge-solving sessions in your destinations

Case studies and Talks

  • Tourism Ireland on using Machine Learning & AI in Digital
  • Switzerland Tourism Transforming the DMO Website through Data & AI
  • Repositioning the Destination Digital First with Visit Wales
  • Les Îles de la Madeleine: Applying Design Thinking
  • Designing Signature Experiences to Build Brand and Narrative with Destination Canada
  • Accelerating Innovation through Hacks and Challenges
  • What do innovators want from destinations
  • Eindhoven 365 - Technology, Design, Knowledge  and Unconventional Ideas X Collaboration = Energy
  • How Mural is pioneering Remote Design Thinking
  • Visit Valsugana: Experience Finder Tool
  • WeGoEU - Connecting Chinese Travellers to Europe through WeChat
  • Tourism Victoria & Real-Time Campaigning
  • Space Nation: Tourism of the Future


Exploration & Innovation - Sprint

This template is the best way to run a sprint in your organisation. A sprint is a brainstorming session in which you can gather different people to brainstorm about a topic. In this case, it will be possible to explore new opportunities and see where to apply innovative methods and technologies to enhance the destination and the organisation. The first thing is to evaluate the current level of innovation and see what needs to be changed to enhance the work culture. This will allow us to find the ‘X’ of the DXO and consider how it can become a centre of excellence and knowledge for the whole organisation.

This Template is a great tool to gather different ideas, organise thoughts and opinions and see how the whole team can contribute to the journey to become more innovative. Printing this big worksheet and putting it on a wall in a meeting room will create the right space for a dynamic and effective internal workshop.



Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Wonderful Copenhagen

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Destination Canada

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Human-centred Design Thinking

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Iles de la Madeleine - Design Thinking

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Mural

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: How to Measure Innovation

As explained in this document, it is crucial to evaluate the performance of the DMO in terms of innovation and in order to do so, it is relevant to take into account four types of capital. This will allow considering if the technology implemented is having a positive or negative impact and if this impact is high or low. With this template, it will be possible to consider different factors that you feel are included in the innovation and put them in the right position in the graphs. Some extra space is left for further considerations.

Furthermore, in this template, you will be able to evaluate the wealth that is generated from the implementation of some innovative ideas, measure the level of connections and networking with the stakeholders or third parties of interest, measure the revolutionary role that the DMO is playing in the industry and, finally, decide how meaningful this is for the destination and people.



Industry Innovation and Collaboration

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Space Nation: Tourism of the Future

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: WeGO about growth hacking

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Eindhoven talk Global 2018

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Accelerating Innovation through Hacks and Challenges

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: DTTT Design Pack

The Launchpad includes a series of templates to work on solving any challenge a DMO or organisation may face. This is all the material used at the first edition of the DTTT Academy, in September 2019 in Canterbury. The event was all about Human-Centred Design Thinking and what here you can have access to the whole process to be followed with your diverse and empowered team in the office.

  • 1x The 5 Why’s Activity: ask why you are facing that challenge; transform your challenge statement into a Problem Statement.
  • 1x Empathising: understand and be aware of the feelings, thoughts and experience of another individual user.
  • 2x Defining: cluster common actions, thoughts and feelings under the same group. Identify small actions that can be taking to start solving the challenge
  • 2x Ideation: come up with ordinary and absurd ideas to solve your challenge.
  • 2x Prototyping: decide on a solution, gather the previous thoughts and come up with a pilot idea to test if your solution can work.




Discover more here: ✏️ #DTTT Design Pack

Destination Innovation

Technology to enable a positive impact in the future

Destination Innovation: Tourism Ireland: exploring data to influence the consumer journey

Destination Innovation: Visit Valsugana Experience Finder

Destination Innovation: Alex Bainbridge What do innovators want from destinations

Destination Innovation: What simple steps can you take to make your work more creative?

Destination Innovation: Visit Wales website rebranding

Destination Innovation: Australia on sparking interest with content

Destination Innovation: Overtourism Challenge Pack

If one of the biggest challenges your destination is facing is overcrowding, it is a great idea to organise a design thinking session that aims to find a feasible solution to the challenge with this pack.

The templates included in the pack are six:

  • 2x Inspiration Canvas, where it is possible to learn how two big cities like Paris and Amsterdam have overcome the challenge of overcrowding in tourism.
  • 1x Empathising Template: gather different perspectives and look into the problems to understand the challenge.
  • 1x Defining Template: organise problems and define needs.
  • 1x Ideating Template: put ideas together and vote those to take forward.
  • 1x Prototyping: taking one idea forward and developing initial prototype concepts.



Discover more here: Overtourism Challenge Pack

End of the Course

Congratulations on finishing the 12-Part-DMO Transformation Online Learning Course!

This part of the Transformation Series focuses on Exploration & Innovation. It presents how crucial it is to prioritise innovation as a process to solve challenges, evaluate trends and identify opportunities. The same importance is demanded by exploration, which every organisation should find some time for.


This part of the Transformation Series focuses on Exploration & Innovation. It presents how crucial it is to prioritise innovation as a process to solve challenges, evaluate trends and identify opportunities. The same importance is demanded by exploration, which every organisation should find some time for.

It is key to keep an eye out in the market and detect what changes and shifts are happening, and where the industry is progressing fast. Considering to innovate, it is important to remember that the biggest opportunities can impact any aspect of the DMO - internally, the products and experiences and the way of engaging with visitors. Nonetheless, four factors can help measure innovation: economic, social, cultural and symbolic capital.

The best way to become innovative is to change the mindset of people within the organisation, and the most successful way of doing so is by applying Design Thinking methods. These will be presented in this chapter, where you will find an explanation of the fundamentals and principles of this method and interesting activities, as well as heaps of useful resources.

As usual, the chapter includes a series of further resources, such as Templates, Case Studies, Talks and an Asana Template that DTTT Members can use to start their journey towards innovation.

This will include:

  • An introduction to the importance of including Exploration & innovation in the daily routine
  • The Relevance of Human-centred Design Thinking, its principles, fundamentals and useful resources to apply it in your destination
  • An overview of how to change the mindset with Challenge Camps and Academy
  • Industry Innovation and Collaboration, Industry Development Programmes, the benefit of collaborating with Innovative Businesses in the destination
  • Examples and best practices of centres of exploration and innovation
  • Technology to enable a positive impact in the future
  • Diverse innovative approaches
  • Tips for DMOs on how to work in an innovative way, leaving space for exploration and on the simple steps you can take to make your work more creative
  • Templates and Packs to run sprints, workshops and challenge-solving sessions in your destinations

Case studies and Talks

  • Tourism Ireland on using Machine Learning & AI in Digital
  • Switzerland Tourism Transforming the DMO Website through Data & AI
  • Repositioning the Destination Digital First with Visit Wales
  • Les Îles de la Madeleine: Applying Design Thinking
  • Designing Signature Experiences to Build Brand and Narrative with Destination Canada
  • Accelerating Innovation through Hacks and Challenges
  • What do innovators want from destinations
  • Eindhoven 365 - Technology, Design, Knowledge  and Unconventional Ideas X Collaboration = Energy
  • How Mural is pioneering Remote Design Thinking
  • Visit Valsugana: Experience Finder Tool
  • WeGoEU - Connecting Chinese Travellers to Europe through WeChat
  • Tourism Victoria & Real-Time Campaigning
  • Space Nation: Tourism of the Future


Exploration & Innovation - Sprint

This template is the best way to run a sprint in your organisation. A sprint is a brainstorming session in which you can gather different people to brainstorm about a topic. In this case, it will be possible to explore new opportunities and see where to apply innovative methods and technologies to enhance the destination and the organisation. The first thing is to evaluate the current level of innovation and see what needs to be changed to enhance the work culture. This will allow us to find the ‘X’ of the DXO and consider how it can become a centre of excellence and knowledge for the whole organisation.

This Template is a great tool to gather different ideas, organise thoughts and opinions and see how the whole team can contribute to the journey to become more innovative. Printing this big worksheet and putting it on a wall in a meeting room will create the right space for a dynamic and effective internal workshop.



Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Wonderful Copenhagen

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Destination Canada

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Human-centred Design Thinking

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Iles de la Madeleine - Design Thinking

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: Mural

A focus on Exploration & Innovation in your DMO: How to Measure Innovation

As explained in this document, it is crucial to evaluate the performance of the DMO in terms of innovation and in order to do so, it is relevant to take into account four types of capital. This will allow considering if the technology implemented is having a positive or negative impact and if this impact is high or low. With this template, it will be possible to consider different factors that you feel are included in the innovation and put them in the right position in the graphs. Some extra space is left for further considerations.

Furthermore, in this template, you will be able to evaluate the wealth that is generated from the implementation of some innovative ideas, measure the level of connections and networking with the stakeholders or third parties of interest, measure the revolutionary role that the DMO is playing in the industry and, finally, decide how meaningful this is for the destination and people.



Industry Innovation and Collaboration

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Space Nation: Tourism of the Future

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: WeGO about growth hacking

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Eindhoven talk Global 2018

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: Accelerating Innovation through Hacks and Challenges

Industry Innovation and Collaboration: DTTT Design Pack

The Launchpad includes a series of templates to work on solving any challenge a DMO or organisation may face. This is all the material used at the first edition of the DTTT Academy, in September 2019 in Canterbury. The event was all about Human-Centred Design Thinking and what here you can have access to the whole process to be followed with your diverse and empowered team in the office.

  • 1x The 5 Why’s Activity: ask why you are facing that challenge; transform your challenge statement into a Problem Statement.
  • 1x Empathising: understand and be aware of the feelings, thoughts and experience of another individual user.
  • 2x Defining: cluster common actions, thoughts and feelings under the same group. Identify small actions that can be taking to start solving the challenge
  • 2x Ideation: come up with ordinary and absurd ideas to solve your challenge.
  • 2x Prototyping: decide on a solution, gather the previous thoughts and come up with a pilot idea to test if your solution can work.




Discover more here: ✏️ #DTTT Design Pack

Destination Innovation

Technology to enable a positive impact in the future

Destination Innovation: Tourism Ireland: exploring data to influence the consumer journey

Destination Innovation: Visit Valsugana Experience Finder

Destination Innovation: Alex Bainbridge What do innovators want from destinations

Destination Innovation: What simple steps can you take to make your work more creative?

Destination Innovation: Visit Wales website rebranding

Destination Innovation: Australia on sparking interest with content

Destination Innovation: Overtourism Challenge Pack

If one of the biggest challenges your destination is facing is overcrowding, it is a great idea to organise a design thinking session that aims to find a feasible solution to the challenge with this pack.

The templates included in the pack are six:

  • 2x Inspiration Canvas, where it is possible to learn how two big cities like Paris and Amsterdam have overcome the challenge of overcrowding in tourism.
  • 1x Empathising Template: gather different perspectives and look into the problems to understand the challenge.
  • 1x Defining Template: organise problems and define needs.
  • 1x Ideating Template: put ideas together and vote those to take forward.
  • 1x Prototyping: taking one idea forward and developing initial prototype concepts.



Discover more here: Overtourism Challenge Pack

End of the Course

Congratulations on finishing the 12-Part-DMO Transformation Online Learning Course!