How to collaborate with your local community to create authentic experiences
The role of a DMO has shifted from a “one man show” approach where the DMOs tend to hold tightly to the reigns when it comes to promotion, communication and marketing of their destination towards that of a conductor, coordinating his orchestra to create memorable experiences for their visitors.
Think about your destination as the stage, your visitors as your spectators and your orchestra as your local community, residents, businesses and organizations having you in the middle, coordinating the show to successfully create those authentic experience for your visitors.
The bigger the stage, the bigger the orchestra, the bigger the responsibility and the challenges are. Some of these challenges include the need to:
- create a destination experience and destination branding together
- share authentic stories and user generated content
- connect with influencers and advocates and give them a voice
- innovative ways to collaborate with local partners and residents
DMOs should be tackling the challenges together with their partners in a collaborative way. By working together, everyone benefits. More importantly, everyone will promote a shared vision for the destination.
The first step towards a coordinated approach is to identify key partners. Take a look at collaborators, ambassadors and representatives of your local community to help you find your Unique Selling Point – what makes your destination unique.
It’s usually an array of unique attractions and hidden gems that make your destination worth visiting. The people who are always on the ground taking the pulse of the community are the best to give you those insights.
For example, Harghita City Council in collaboration with the civic initiative „Székelyföldi Legendárium”, allows tourists to create their own unique historical and cultural experience while visiting Harghita. Visitors can plan their itinerary using storytelling and over 50 authentic legends of lost treasures, valiant kings, knights and maidens.
The next step is the collaboration in the creation of content. Again, your partners are the best ones to help you create the content your visitors are looking for. From articles, photography, social media posts to useful information, it should all be united under one communications umbrella. You should also create partnerships with local, national and international media, bloggers and influencers to help you carry your message. The idea is to create a remarkable experience for you visitors before they even reach your shores.
Take Visit Harghita, for example. Harghita City Council managed to bring together tourism experts, service providers, local guides, entrepreneurs, photographers, professors, tourists and city hall representatives. They all managed to collaborate and contribute to the creation of content designed to help visitors experience Harghita in a unique way.
To tackle the need for innovative ways to easily collaborate and connect with partners, the third step would be to provide them with the right platform. A platform that enables them to contribute with exclusive insights, tips and useful information that helps visitors experience your destination in a unique way.
What platform should you chose?
When it comes to planning trip activities, 85 percent of leisure travellers decide on activities only after arriving at their destination, where they are most likely to use their mobile devices to do so.
This implies that first of all, you should opt for an easy-to-use web and mobile platform. The platform should contain both iOS and Android native apps and a responsive website so you can create a comprehensive visual identity for your destination online.
Second of all, this platform should allow you to give your partners access to start creating and sharing their own content as well promote their services and offerings. This will save you save time and effort in the process of collecting relevant information and it will make it easier for tourists to keep up to date with the latest communication, events and activities.
By building your web and mobile platform with Eventya, you can give granular access to the backoffice of the platform to unlimited contributors and choose the type of access levels you want to assign to them. Choose from owner / administrator / user so you can start seamlessly direct your orchestra to make the music you desire.
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