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    Destination managers have a massive amount of information and (in theory at least) destination knowledge and content. At present many of them believe they have to have their own website and they work very hard to drive traffic to that website, sometimes to the exclusion of other content. They will increasingly need to acknowledge that “official” channels are not always preferred and visitors need information through a variety of channels to help them access the incredible variety of tourism experiences that are available to them. If destination managers could move from “come to my website, where we’ve hoarded all the information we have” to “here’s all our information and content about our fantastic destination – we want to show how much we know, how marvellous this place is so please take our content and information and please use it in any way and any how you want” then we’d be making it MUCH easier for visitor to access the information and inspiration that could trigger more visits and enjoy more experiences.

    I also have a “vision” for Tourist/Visitor Information Centres to be transformed into Visitor INSPIRATION Centres, where the TIC/VIC manager doesn’t just display the information that’s sent to them, but aims to surprise, delight and inspire visitors (and locals since VFR is so important) with ideas for things to do, upselling, and showing them the less obvious sights beyond the piles of standard brochures.



    Completely agree with Susan (hello there!). It’s typical of public sector evaluation and reporting frameworks requiring ‘evidence’ of individual campaigns so that DMOs focus on driving visitors only to their own website even though they struggle to evidence conversion to sales. Or what can often happen is that there is double or triple counting when every participating organisation in campaigns wants to ‘claim success’ – not helpful either.

    Helen Palmer – Creative Tourist



    I think that destinations which are effectively using the social platforms where their customers are active make a real difference – when visitors ask questions or recommendations of where to visit and what to see, the really switched on destinations and providers are quick to respond and share information. I think there are a number of destinations who are moving away from the model described, they are building the content on their websites but they are sharing other content, blogging about experiences and encouraging others to do the same thing – creative hashtags and links to events are also enabling visitors to engage in and with an experience. Being ‘where’ the customer is will be key – either physically in a TIC or a hotel reception or a petrol station, with a new way of providing the information, or virtually, on a social platform or a hot spot.

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