be threatened by the Digital Age and new tourist expectations, tourism managers
should embrace them by fostering a city -or region- wide culture of innovation,
adaptation and collaboration. Crafting the brand of a tourist destination is
more important than ever.
The days of
a destination manager simply pumping out advertising and PR releases to
influence consumer preferences are over. Savvy DMs are now tapping social and
mobile networks, smart phones and tablets, GPS apps, e-commerce and booking
engines, Google maps, user-generated-content, kiosks, crowdsourcing and the
opportunity to economically reach consumers globally.
can now deploy video, text, audio, photos and real time comments from
customers. So tourists also have their say; before, during and after their
visit. User-generated content enables consumers to thoroughly compare options,
rate experiences, post images, and make comments to assist others.
little room for hype, boosterism or propaganda.
thrive and survive, destination managers must learn these new skills and be
more adaptive in conveying their destination’s distinctiveness and benefits —in
short their brand identity. They must be guided less by politics and
appeasement, and more by collaboration, product development, and true customer
true that the technological innovations are many, it is more true that the more
profound changes have been to consumer behavior influencing how we communicate,
buy, work, relax, learn, consume and react.
destinations that adapt to the new rules and consumer behaviors and continue to
use their brand as their rallying point for partners will thrive and build ever
more meaningful brands.
Marie Nelson for Mijo! Brands of Mexico.