A Heavy and Critical Responsibility on the Shoulders of Tourist Boards.
What Does an Ecosystem Mean for “Destination eLearning”?
The business life and the private life, just like nature is, actually a very simple and integral system. The basic knowledge we have; everything is interconnected and interdependent to each other.
If you are doing business with the direct or indirect point of the travel industry, you are also a part of the Destination eLearning Ecosystem.
While “Destination eLearning is already a new definition on its own, what is the ecosystem that encompasses it?
In its simplest term; the destination elearning ecosystem is the comprehensive structure starting from the promotional decision of a city, country or region, to the two travellers completing their travel by touching a minimum of 50 different suppliers in their travel story.
In the past, all operations were on the basic marketing ways and the destination promotions were standard in general marketing activities for both B2B and B2C.
But today, with the uncertainty in tourism, the promotion and the marketing activities of destinations are carried out in hybrid solutions with classical methods and with the help of new technologies.
So for the future, we have to ask some questions first for choosing a direction;
1. You can make your destination more valuable if you create the demand. So how are you going to create tomorrow’s demand starting today?
2. Who is the final decision maker you need to educate: Traveler? Travel advisor? Tour Operator?
3. On the one side, there are tourism offices that have not fully utilized the power of digital marketing yet, and on the other hand, there are tourism offices trying to adapt to the new normal. So, what will be the new standards in destination promotions in this competition?
4. Technology is now going faster than ever. Each of us liked or got bored in webinars and video conferences so far. What will a long-term destination marketing investment be like to keep the engagement alive?
The Answers within The Questions:
Tourism offices need to add digital learning to digital marketing strategies and create their own ecosystems. But remember, an ecosystem may be healthy or unhealthy, able to survive on its own or needs help, just like nature itself.
From the hotels to the airlines in destinations, the city guides, restaurants, museums and suppliers, tourism has a very large impact incapacity. Now, we all know by our hearts, the domino role of tourism in the whole economy. Therefore, the responsibility on the shoulders of tourism offices, NTOs, DMOs, CVBs is very heavy and critical. Spotlights are now turning on them.
Digital learning is a new industry if we compare it with tourism, which has been developing for 20 years and has created giant awareness in the last few years. As with every new development, there are lots of trial versions available in ed-techs. Therefore, it is very important for tourism offices to closely follow the digital learning market due to their critical positions.
Let’s take a look at the future of the destination learning ecosystem, which is going to be based on present trends:
Destinations have their own cultural colors, so do the foreign travelers and their tour operators. Destination contents will be the key factors to inspire B2B learners – so that they can inspire B2C learners, in order to get the expected tourist profile and the highest ROI.
Tourism is a human-based social industry, so destination learning has to be social too. Tourism offices may need to focus more on returns in the destination marketing activities.
Focus on Practical Result
In the real world, what matters more than destination knowledge is the competency of sales for the related destination. That’s why the major focus of NTOs, DMOs and CVBs will shift from general destination knowledge to practical and scaled competency. Make sure if your destination is on the sales list!
Every person has their own learning path and capabilities. Personalization of content has slowly been a trend; however, it needs to be much more focused. In the near future, we will discover more personalized B2B contents with tailored destination concepts.
There are always highly motivated B2B buyers who wish to learn more and design new programs. The new Learning Management Systems can give this opportunity to NTOs, DMOs and CVBs to create new big potentials while allowing them to concentrate on their other works. Please check the Top 9 Benefits of Digital Transformation in Tourism Related Corporate Training article to learn more about it.
The destination elearning ecosystem now exists. It is a must to get familiar with it and understand the existing ed-tech tools. I hope tourism offices can solve their heavy workload effectively with the right choices. It is important to thoroughly investigate which solution and which application is compatible with the tourism industry and B2B destination marketing.
The online learning tools will surely play a giant role in shaping the Destination Marketing Ecosystem for every sized region, cities and countries.
A word of caution must be said here, some local economies are 85% or more dependent on tourism revenues. And each one’s ability and capacity to get the most out of the future depends on the choices made today.