How destinations can support more visitors while hitting sustainability initiatives and connecting with the next-generation of travelers

During the DI partners meeting this year, I gained a deeper understanding of where our industry was going and how our technology could have a positive impact on the world and the environment. It’s something we have been talking about for years, but connecting these dots was a big moment for me and our company. We love what we do, and we use the innovation of travel as our mantra. However, saving the Earth and creating a better place for people to live is something that I don’t think most technology companies think about.

In this blog, I will do a quick overview of how we see the 3 Pillars of Destination Engagement, as it pertains to Visitor Experience. Also, l earn what impact technology can have on overall awareness and connection points.

Destination stewardship: Destination Organizations are collaborating more closely with their local communities to define a shared vision for the future. This vision involves provision of long-term benefits for both key stakeholders and residents.

Ways Visitor Experience Technology can impact:

  • Connecting the dots between online engagement and in-destination experience through visitor self-service tools that connect visitors and locals.
    • Social connect – New technology that allows users to share from any device through social networks or through localized private social networks to connect to the locals, visitors and businesses.
  • Providing new ways for locals and businesses to engage through visitors’ mobile devices and build ongoing communication points.
  • Real-time notifications, sharing of events and local knowledge (how locals, businesses and visitors are coexisting).
    • Push notifications, Geofencing, and Beacons provide the backdrop for allowing visitors to have up to date information ranging from promotions to road closures.

Community alignment: Increased emphasis on community-driven destination development aligns with the three integrated pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability to drive competitive advantage in today’s global visitor economy.

  • Utilizing new technology to allow digital connection points for all 3 pillars here are a few:
    • Visitor Center Technology that will promote and track how visitors are engaging.
    • Providing new options through mobile and interactive screens so visitors and stakeholders can find new ways of sharing information and exploring.
    • Better digital signage to allow up to date information on things that impact the community and how visitors travel through different locations and attraction areas.
    • UGC, Social and Community visuals connecting visitors not only to the fun side of tourism but the community and cultural side allowing them to get a better feel of the people that live there and the things they love about their home

Digital conversion: The increasingly sophisticated digitization across the industry is connecting destination partners and individual consumers more directly than ever.

  • Implementation of Digital Kiosks and 24×7 Visitor and Destination information tools.
  • Utilizing mobile applications (PWA) to direct visitors to areas of the destination that can reduce the impact on locals and drive sustainability models.
  • Trolley trackers and Transportation notifications – Use next-generation tools to allow visitors to easily connect and track local transportation models. Work with DOT can help as well or City connections. With the goal of decreasing rental cars driving around highly populated areas while providing better options closer to visitor’s proximity.
  • Reduce paper trail and connect to the device’s visitors are using:
    • Digital brochure racks, providing sharing options and offering new ways to distribute local partner information.
    • Mobile versions of visitor guilds can allow flip through access and sharing capability, as well as drive better analytics for your advertisers and stakeholders.
    • Consider digital signage and interactive ways for users to engage with your destination. Look at high traffic areas and host property solutions that can connect destination marketing and local areas from hotel lobbies to attractions.

These are just a few things to consider as we all look at how we shape this industry we love. The core to me is understanding that all industries are shifting, the way people perceive value and how they connect to travel is changing. We have to look at digital, AI and the connection between the new world and the old to bring to life new opportunities while keeping a strong identity. What I have learned as we evolve destinations from San Francisco to Louisiana, is bringing together technology with visitor experience. Connecting staff and marketing without being afraid to set our sights outside of our comfort zone, realizing the next generation of travelers will do it differently. Take a look at some of our case studies on Hawaii and Louisiana at OmniExperience.com, and read through DestinationNEXT, it’s definitely a great look into the future. If you want a specialist to assist with your personalized solution, call us at 833-300-6664 or email us at [email protected].

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