Building a community in a destination is much more complicated than simply creating a channel or group using social media. The critical part is connecting the two worlds of "digital" and "analog."
The community in a destination is neither of those things in its entirety. It is more of a hybrid of the two. The same guest who plans his or her vacation or day trip using digital means will then also physically travel to the place and experience what has been planned in real terms. Conversely, a guest will also digitally document, manage and share his or her experiences. It is therefore important to create a permanent connection between the real world and the 'digital twin', with multiple touchpoints that allow you to switch back and forth.
Digitizing your destination
Your core focus should first be to create this digital twin of your destination in its entirety. You can forget about all the print media, your website, marketing campaigns, social media channels and everything else that will not generate data in your destination database. As long as there are still things that have not been captured as part of your database when you look out your window, the task remains open. This data is both the bedrock and foundation of everything you will do in the future.
Taking back your control when it comes to communication
As long as visitors are continuing to gather information, book, and navigate using the major Internet platforms, destinations will no longer have any meaningful influence on visitors. By switching to the driver's seat and taking the wheel (again) themselves can they play a role in digital visitor control.
Forming an alliance of "officials"
Instead of finding fault with the likes of Open Street Map (OSM), social media channels, and route portals, tourism associations, protected areas, and service providers have the opportunity with Outdooractive to actively participate in digitization their business, thus letting them regain control.
Digitizing your processes
Guests are already familiar with getting information, booking, and paying digitally. You need to ensure that questions can be asked, purchases made, and that checking in and out can all be done digitally as well. Registration forms and guest cards must be smoothly and seamlessly integrated everywhere and any service requests, surveys, reviews, and complaints directly integrated into your database. Data collection must be GDPR-compliant and as convenient for the user as possible.
Digitizing your guests
Get to know your guests digitally and turn anonymous visitors into a vibrant community. They already are, just not yet digitally. Use Outdooractive to generate guest profiles and enrich them within your CRM (Zoho) with additional data from the bookings you receive.
Digitizing your population
Digitizing your population
Get those living in your destination involved and use the possibilities of the digital community to give them a voice. Make good use of the recommendations and knowledge of local service providers as well as those not directly linked to tourism such as farmers, hunters, foresters, and landowners - and then add these to your destination's database.
Managing your community
You should consider everyone in your destination as members of your community - guests and locals alike - and it is your responsibility to ensure they all benefit from being there. Guests should enjoy their visit and feel they are welcome, and locals should feel a positive impact on the local economy and minimal disruption. By digitizing hitherto analog processes, everyone can have a better experience and learn and profit more.
Please contact us for more information and advice.