Destination Management: Building Sustainable and Thriving Tourist Locations

Scenic view of The Lake Furnas. Sao Miguel, Azores. By JJFarquitectos

The convergence of sustainability and tourism has emerged as an impactful area of research in the 21st century, presenting a myriad of opportunities and challenges. In an era where the effects of overtourism and environmental degradation have become starkly apparent, sustainable destination management is pivotal in ensuring the longevity of tourist locations (Koens, Postma, & Papp, 2018).

Sustainable destination management encapsulates a holistic approach. This approach navigates the intricate balance between stimulating economic growth, advocating for environmental conservation, and endorsing active community involvement – the three pillars of sustainability (Bramwell & Lane, 2013).

The recent management strategies adopted by the Azores, a group of Portuguese islands, provide an inspiring example of this balance. To manage growing tourism numbers and prevent environmental degradation, the Azores implemented the “Azores for All” initiative in 2019, fostering sustainable and accessible tourism. This included developing sustainable accommodation options, ensuring accessibility for all tourists, and prioritizing local involvement in tourism planning and operations (Azores for All, 2019).

On the economic front, the success of the “Azores for All” initiative stimulated local economic growth by fostering an inclusive tourism economy and creating job opportunities for the local community (Azores for All, 2019).

The environmental conservation efforts have also been commendable. To minimize the carbon footprint, the Azores have encouraged the use of renewable energy in the tourism sector and focused on waste management, water conservation, and sustainable transport (Azores Government, 2020).

Moreover, the initiative has ensured that the local community remains at the heart of these development plans. It encourages local businesses and stakeholders to partake in decision-making processes related to tourism, promoting a sense of ownership and aligning development with community needs (Azores Government, 2020).

Therefore, the Azores exemplifies how strategic destination management can contribute to creating sustainable and thriving tourist locations, demonstrating the vitality of the sustainable destination management model for modern tourism.

References:

  • Azores for All (2019). About Us. Retrieved from https://azoresforall.com/en/
  • Azores Government (2020). Sustainable Azores. Retrieved from https://sustainable.azores.gov.pt/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/EC08_01PlanoAcao2019-2030_EN_s.pdf
  • Bieger, T., Wittmer, A., & Laesser, C. (2016). Transportation modes and travel behavior: The role of accessibility. Journal of Travel Research, 55(6), 673-686.
  • Bramwell, B., & Lane, B. (2013). Getting from here to there: Systems change, behavioural change and sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21(1), 1-4.
  • Buckley, R., Zhong, L., Ma, J., & Chen, N. (2019). Sustainable tourism: Progress, challenges and opportunities. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(7), 644-660.
  • Hall, C. M. (2020). Tourism and regional development: New pathways. Routledge.
  • Koens, K., Postma, A., & Papp, B. (2018). Is overtourism overused? Understanding the impact of tourism in a city context. Sustainability, 10(12), 4384.
  • McKercher, B., & Prideaux, B. (2014). Academic myths of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 46, 16-28.
  • Rossi A. (2022) Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo, KDP
  • Sigala, M. (2018). Tourism and customer value co-creation: A critical overview and research agenda. Current Issues in Tourism, 21(4), 455-476.
  • UNWTO (2021). International Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals – 2030 Journey. United Nations World Tourism Organization. Retrieved from https://www.unwto.org/global/publication/tourism-and-sustainable-development-goals-journey-2030
  • Weaver, D. (2020). Sustainable tourism: Theory and practice. Routledge.
  • Xiang, Z., Du, Q., Ma, Y., & Fan, W. (2017). A comparative analysis of major online review platforms: Implications for social media analytics in hospitality and tourism. Tourism Management, 58, 51-65.

#SustainableTourism; #DestinationManagement; #CommunityInvolvement; #EconomicGrowth; #EnvironmentalConservation; #ThrivingTouristLocations; #AzoresForAll; #TourismDevelopment; #BalancedTourism; #SustainableTravel; #ResponsibleTourism; #TourismTrends

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Targeted Online Communication in Tourism

Young volunteers planting trees in green park together. By LightFieldStudios

With the development of digital media, which are more widespread and targeted compared to broadcast and generalist media, it is possible to carry out targeted communication towards specific audiences, stimulating the needs, desires, and dreams of particular groups (targets/segments/niches) of tourists with greater precision and detail.

For example, in Figure 1, we see the web page of the globalvolunteers.org website [globalvolunteers, 2023], which showcases different types of volunteer tourism (also known as volunteering or voluntourism). In fact, volunteer tourism, despite already being considered a niche tourism, is no longer a single concept but is divided into numerous categories that volunteers can choose based on their inclinations.

Analyzing the projects offered by the website, which correspond to different types of volunteer tourism, we have the following:

  • English conversation
  • Healthcare assistance abroad
  • Summer camps
  • Building repair and painting
  • Projects for children abroad
  • Parenting workshops
  • Classroom tutoring and teaching
  • Computer skills
  • Gardening
  • Food education
  • Health and hygiene education
  • Administration and finance
  • Home visits in villages
  • Food production
  • Elderly care
  • Literacy and math testing
  • GED tutoring (General Educational Development)
  • Women’s sewing/knitting cooperatives
  • Professional assistance
  • Housing assistance

Fig. 1 – The evolution of volunteer travel according to [globalvolunteers, 2023].

If we examine another volunteer travel website (Fig. 2), www.projects-abroad.co.uk/, we find a classification of different volunteer tourism types that partially differs from those found on the previous website. This demonstrates that even tourism niches are highly fluid today, and the challenge of effectively communicating one’s offerings lies in the ability to know, understand, and reach one’s specific target audiences.

Exploring the project menu on the website [projects-abroad, 2023], we encounter a new extensive list of possible volunteer tourism proposals (Fig. 2):

  • Volunteer abroad: Childcare; Wildlife conservation; Marine conservation; Teaching; Construction; Women’s empowerment; Youth development; Sports coaching; Archaeology; Refugee support.
  • Internship abroad: Medicine and healthcare; Medical internships; Law and human rights; Microfinance; Economics; Engineering; Journalism; Veterinary medicine and animal care; Social work; International development.
  • Study abroad: University abroad; Language learning.
  • Authentic adventures: Gap year projects; Going beyond: immersive gap year abroad 2021; Discovery tours; Food and wine tours; Traditional healing and wellness; Cultural immersion; Family trips.
  • Ethical consumerism travel: Wine and culture; Coffee and chocolate production; Fast fashion awareness; Plastic education and recycling.

Fig. 2 – The evolution of volunteer travel according to [projects-abroad, 2023].

In conclusion, the emergence of digital media has transformed the landscape of targeted communication, enabling precise and detailed messaging towards specific audiences in the tourism industry. This is exemplified by the evolution of volunteer tourism, which has expanded into numerous categories catering to volunteers’ diverse inclinations. Websites like globalvolunteers.org and projects-abroad.co.uk exemplify the fluidity of tourism niches, as they offer distinct classifications of volunteer tourism types. The challenge lies in effectively communicating offerings to these specific target audiences, necessitating a deep understanding and knowledge of their preferences. As the tourism industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for providers to adapt their communication strategies to effectively reach and engage their desired segments. By doing so, they can successfully promote their offerings and meet the evolving needs and desires of today’s travelers.

References:

[globalvolunteers, 2023] globalvolunteers.org

[projects-abroad, 2023] www.projects-abroad.co.uk/

[Rossi, A. 2022] Rossi A., Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo, KDP, 2022

#TargetedCommunication; #DigitalMedia; #TourismIndustry; #VolunteerTourism; #Volunteering; #Voluntourism; #NicheTourism; #SpecificAudiences; #TourismSegments; #DigitalMarketing; #AudienceTargeting; #CommunicationStrategies; #TravelIndustry; #TourismTrends; #VolunteerTravel; #TourismEvolution; #TourismNiche; #InclusiveTourism; #TravelersPreferences; #SustainableTourism

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Mastering the Digital Marketing Funnel for Business Success

Business success. By AnnaStills

The Digital Marketing funnel is a strategic model that represents the entire customer journey of tourists, from the moment they come into contact with the brand until they become customers and then loyal customers. It is called a funnel because it resembles a funnel that gradually narrows down (at least in the first part).
The concept is widely used by salespeople but has also become a fundamental resource for the success of marketing and communication efforts. There are numerous approaches to the funnel concept, and the model presented in this paragraph, proposed by Marketingprofs.com [marketingprofs.com, 2016], is divided into six stages (Fig. 1):

  1. Exposure
  2. Discovery
  3. Consideration
  4. Conversion
  5. Customer relationship
  6. Retention

Fig. 1 – The Digital Marketing Funnel, adapted by the Author from [marketingprofs.com, 2016]


First, we can divide the funnel into three sections [marketingprofs.com, 2016]:

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
  • Top of the Funnel (TOFU): The top portion of the digital marketing funnel (exposure and discovery) represents the first interactions that tourists have with the brand. Today, these interactions can come from various directions. The most common are “organic” search results (i.e., non-advertising-related), but that’s not always the case. Therefore, the first step is to understand which channels people are using to discover our content.
  • Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): In the middle of the funnel (consideration and conversion), interested potential customers (called leads) move from the initial interaction towards making a purchase or possibly making additional purchases based on their experience with our brand so far.
  • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): The bottom of the funnel is where customer relationships are managed, focusing on customer care and satisfaction to generate new purchases from loyal customers.


Going into more detail about the stages [rockcontent.com, 2020]:

  • Exposure: On average, there are about 75,000 searches per second on Google. This means it is necessary to be present and, more importantly, be visible within this channel. Therefore, we need to start our Content Marketing strategy (which we will see in Chapter 3) by strengthening our presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO, which we will see in Chapter 4) techniques or even paid advertising on search engines. The important thing is for the user to enter a specific keyword (keyword), and our page appears among the top results. In this stage, the goal is to produce content that captures the attention of users, such as informative videos and infographics. Now is the time to attract as much qualified traffic as possible. On the blog, we should focus on materials targeted at people who are not familiar with our brand or on the fact that we can offer solutions to some of their problems. The formula for this step is simple: to increase exposure, the brand should work with topics that attract a large number of people. To do this, they can conduct research focused on a short-tail keyword with thousands of searches per month.
  • Discovery: In this next step, the ideal is to focus on producing content that encourages users to become interested in our brand. After all, even though the previous stage means they already know our brand, we need to make them stay on our page to discover our products, services, and solutions. There is no point in bringing a user to our website if they have no interest in our brand. This will only increase the bounce rate of our site, which can even harm the exposure phase. The main goal of this stage is to turn the visitor into a lead (interested potential customer). And now the first challenge arises: offering material or content that encourages the user to provide their contact information by creating an account, for example, or asking users to take action (e.g., subscribing to a newsletter). The most suitable suggestion for this stage is to provide rich and informative content that presents offers aligned with the needs, desires, and passions of tourists.
  • Consideration: Consumers are in a consideration stage when they are aware of our brand and know that we can provide offers aligned with the needs, desires, and passions of tourists. But we are not the only ones. Some competitors are also in the decision-making process. It is up to us, then, to provide materials that facilitate their decision-making process towards us. Therefore, the most suitable materials are those that explain the differentiators and advantages of our offer. In this stage, we already know a bit more about the leads (potential interested customers) and what they are looking for. Our content should present facts and information that demonstrate the superiority of our proposal. It can be helpful to present frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address the main issues or relevant evaluations from other customers. After all, there is nothing better than the opinion of someone who has already tried a specific product or service to make a decision. Investing in examples and concrete cases of experiences lived by other tourists, for example, is an excellent way to clarify any doubts they have about what we offer. The idea is to communicate everything necessary to confirm the superiority of our offer.
  • Conversion: Now that we have showcased the pros of our offer, it is time to help potential customers make the decision. So, it’s time to focus on increasingly personalized content based on our goals, preferences, and challenges. It’s time to create personalized campaigns. With sponsored links, we can draw the user’s attention to a specific landing page, a special page on the website created and focused solely on converting users. In all communications, it is necessary to focus on the benefits and emotions that the tourist can experience with the help of our brand, while slightly neglecting the technical and informational aspects. The idea is for them to understand practically how what we offer is better than what our competitors offer and, therefore, make a purchase.
  • Customer Relationship: With the conversion of leads into customers through the purchase, the next step is to get closer to our customers. It is essential to set aside brand advertisements and focus on providing tourists with the best ways to experience their time with us. This closer contact can become a source of great competitive advantage. For example, investing in an Email Marketing/Messenger Marketing strategy can further strengthen our relationship with the customer. This way, we can establish a direct channel with them, including all social contacts, and be available to resolve their doubts now that they know our brand and how we can provide them with an unforgettable experience.
  • Retention: The work has been extensive, but it’s not over yet. It’s time to think about actions and content focused on the challenge of customer retention. In other words, we need to ensure that the consumer who already knows our brand and has purchased our product or service continues to make new transactions. Especially in the long term, this phase is crucial. In addition to continuing the production of content from the previous stage, it is essential to regularly monitor and analyze our communications with customers. A very efficient way to do this is by interviewing customers, perhaps by asking for a qualitative and quantitative evaluation to create case studies to be used in the previous stages.

Creating a Digital Marketing funnel for our business is, therefore, essential to develop increasingly accurate actions and generate an impact on our target audience.

References:

  • [marketingprofs.com , 2016] marketingprofs.com, Matt Banner “Today’s Digital Marketing Funnel (and How to Optimize Your Conversions)” 22 march 2016, https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2016/29582/todays-digital-marketing-funnel-and-how-to-optimize-your-conversions ; retrieved 22.05.2023
  • [Rossi A., 2022] Andrea Rossi “Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo”, KPD, 2022
  • [rockcontent.com, 2020] rockcontent.com, Rock Content Writer, 31 march 2020 “Digital Marketing funnel: what is, how to create one and what type of content work in each stage” https://rockcontent.com/blog/digital-marketing-funnel/ ; retrieved 22.05.2023

#DigitalMarketingFunnel #BusinessSuccess #MarketingStrategy #CustomerJourney #CustomerRetention #OnlineMarketing #MarketingTips #DigitalAdvertising #ContentMarketing #CustomerExperience

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The Art of Tourism Marketing: Essential Strategies for Success

Adventure tourism. By nd3000

In the ever-evolving landscape of tourism marketing, contemporary strategies have begun to place a significant emphasis on digital tactics, targeted outreach, and unique brand development. With the rise of social media and online platforms, the ability to effectively engage and entice potential tourists is an art unto itself (Sigala, 2018). This post will discuss the key strategies for successful tourism marketing, including targeting the right audience, building a strong brand identity, and creating engaging content across various platforms.

Targeting the Right Audience

Successful tourism marketing begins with a clear understanding of your target audience. In recent years, there has been a substantial shift towards personalization in marketing strategies, aimed at providing individualized experiences to potential tourists (Li, Li, & Hudson, 2013). The tourism industry has increasingly recognized the value of tailoring marketing content to align with the specific interests, values, and preferences of different demographic groups (Bieger, Laesser, & Wittmer, 2011). For example, millennial and Gen Z travelers show a marked preference for authentic and experiential travel experiences over traditional tourism offerings. As such, tourism marketing strategies have begun to highlight local and immersive experiences, geared towards these younger demographics.

Building a Strong Brand Identity

In an increasingly competitive market, establishing a robust and unique brand identity is essential for a destination to stand out. A strong brand identity not only differentiates a destination but also creates an emotional connection with potential tourists, promoting loyalty and repeat visits (Konecnik & Gartner, 2007). For instance, since 2018, several cities have launched innovative branding campaigns to highlight their unique attractions and appeal to specific demographic groups.

Creating Engaging Content Across Multiple Platforms

Creating and distributing engaging content across multiple platforms is another crucial component of successful tourism marketing. With the rise of social media and digital technologies, tourists now have access to a wide array of online content (Munar & Jacobsen, 2014). This content, whether it be stunning visual imagery, compelling narratives, or interactive virtual experiences, plays a significant role in influencing tourist behavior. In recent years, destinations have begun to leverage user-generated content, such as photos and reviews shared by tourists on social media platforms, to enhance their marketing efforts (Sigala, 2018).

In conclusion, the art of tourism marketing hinges on understanding your audience, crafting a strong brand identity, and creating engaging content that is distributed across multiple platforms. As the tourism industry continues to evolve and adapt to changes in consumer behavior and technological advancements, so too must the strategies used to market destinations (Sigala, 2018).

References:

  • Bieger, T., Laesser, C., & Wittmer, A. (2011). Consumer heterogeneity in the context of different levels of destination loyalty. Journal of Travel Research, 50(3), 274-287.
  • Konecnik, M., & Gartner, W. C. (2007). Customer-based brand equity for a destination. Annals of tourism research, 34(2), 400-421.
  • Li, X., Li, X., & Hudson, S. (2013). The application of generational theory to tourism consumer behavior: An American perspective. Tourism Management, 37, 147-164.
  • Munar, A. M., & Jacobsen, J. K. S. (2014). Motivations for sharing tourism experiences through social media. Tourism management, 43, 46-54.
  • Rossi, A. (2022) Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo. Ed. Rossi
  • Sigala, M. (2018). Tourism and customer engagement management in the digital age. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 35(7), 771-779.

#TourismMarketingTrends; #DigitalEraTourism; #TargetAudienceInsights; #BrandIdentityInTourism; #EngagingContentCreation; #MultiPlatformMarketing; #PersonalizedTravelExperience; #AuthenticTravel; #TourismBrandingCampaigns; #UserGeneratedContent; #InfluencingTouristBehavior; #ImmersiveExperiences; #TourismEvolution; #DestinationMarketingStrategies; #SuccessfulTourismMarketing

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“Vilnius’ Belated Birthday Cards” advertising for Lithuania

Group of young people taking selfie at a birthday party. Photo by vladans

In this brilliantly innovative advertising campaign, the creators playfully tackle the obscure nature of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, with a delightfully tongue-in-cheek approach that combines humor, nostalgia, and a sense of adventure. Drawing upon the city’s previous promotional campaigns, which daringly labeled Vilnius as “the g-spot of Europe” and playfully subverted the conventional Christmas carol narrative with the strikingly titled “Christmas in Vilnius: Amazing wherever you think it is,” the minds behind this effort have truly outdone themselves with their latest endeavor. Celebrating the momentous occasion of the city’s 700th anniversary in 2023, the campaign adopts a retro aesthetic that masterfully encapsulates the essence of the 1980s while simultaneously offering a fresh, contemporary twist.

The captivating video, which can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAfZJRbgih0, humorously acknowledges the general public’s lack of awareness regarding Vilnius’ geographical location and historical significance. In doing so, the video presents a novel and engaging solution for commemorating the city’s 700th birthday: a “belated birthday e-card collection” that injects an irresistibly whimsical sense of fun into the proceedings. This inventive approach not only pokes fun at the fact that many people have overlooked Vilnius’ previous 699 birthdays, but also serves as a clever way to bring attention to this captivating city that has, until now, been relatively hidden from the international spotlight.

The video, steeped in nostalgia, walks viewers through a series of entertaining and visually striking cards, each more amusing than the last. The campaign encourages viewers to send their own belated birthday e-cards, thereby creating a sense of personal connection and investment in the celebration of this extraordinary milestone. The video concludes with an uplifting and memorable message, reminding viewers that while they may forget the date of the anniversary itself, the celebration of Vilnius’ rich 700-year history will be an unforgettable experience. The city, in all its vivacity and charm, is described as being “700 years young,” a testament to its enduring spirit and the ever-evolving cultural tapestry that makes it such an exceptional destination. This audacious and remarkable advertising campaign deftly showcases the indomitable character of Vilnius, inviting viewers to join in the festivities and discover the magic that awaits them in this enchanting, often-overlooked European gem.

#Vilnius700; #HiddenEuropeanGem; #BelatedBirthdayCards; #RediscoverVilnius; #VilniusGSpotOfEurope; #CelebrateVilnius; #700YearsYoung; #RetroVilnius; #VilniusAdventures; #UnforgettableVilnius; #DiscoverVilnius; #VilniusAnniversary; #WhimsicalVilnius; #VilniusMilestone; #VilniusUncovered; #InnovativeAdCampaigns; #VilniusRetroRevival; #RememberVilnius; #CulturalTapestryOfVilnius; #IndomitableVilnius

Tourism Innovation: How Technology is Shaping the Future of Travel

Two girls having fun with vr glasses virtual reality inovation at home or in office. Ph by dvatri

The tourism industry has always been at the forefront of adopting new technology, seeking ways to enhance and streamline the travel experience. As we continue to dive deeper into the digital age, the scope of technological innovation in tourism has expanded exponentially. This article explores some of the latest developments in technology that are shaping the future of travel, offering more personalized, convenient, and immersive experiences for tourists around the world.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

One of the most significant technological advances in recent years is the integration of VR and AR into the tourism industry. These immersive technologies allow travelers to explore destinations and attractions from the comfort of their homes, offering a new way to research and plan trips (Guttentag, 2010). VR and AR are also transforming on-site experiences, with attractions and museums providing visitors with interactive and educational content through the use of smart glasses and mobile devices (Yung & Khoo-Lattimore, 2019).

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning have become indispensable tools in the tourism industry. These technologies enable the creation of personalized itineraries, recommendations, and travel experiences tailored to individual preferences (Li, Wang, Liang, & Huang, 2018). AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants have also made customer service more efficient, providing instant and accurate answers to travelers’ questions (Gretzel, 2011).

  1. Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is revolutionizing the tourism industry by connecting devices, systems, and services to create seamless travel experiences (Delen, Kuzey, & Uyar, 2018). Smart luggage with built-in tracking systems, smart hotel rooms with voice-activated controls, and connected transportation services are just a few examples of how IoT is enhancing the travel experience (Bujoreanu, 2017).

  1. Biometric Technology

Biometric technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in airports and other travel-related facilities, as it allows for faster and more secure identification and authentication of travelers (Morphis, 2016). Facial recognition, fingerprint scanners, and iris recognition systems are being used to expedite immigration and customs processes, as well as to enhance security measures (Bagaric & Xynas, 2017).

  1. Sustainable Travel Technologies

As the tourism industry faces growing concerns about its environmental impact, sustainable travel technologies are emerging to help address these issues (Bieger, Wittmer, & Laesser, 2017). Electric and hybrid transportation options, solar-powered accommodation facilities, and innovative waste management solutions are just a few examples of the technologies being implemented to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint (Pantano, Pizzi, Scarpi, & Dennis, 2017).

Conclusion

The ongoing integration of technology into the tourism industry is reshaping the way we travel, offering more personalized, convenient, and immersive experiences. With constant innovations in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, biometric technology, and sustainable travel solutions, the future of travel is undoubtedly an exciting one. As these technologies continue to advance, they will play an increasingly important role in driving the growth and evolution of the tourism industry, ultimately shaping a more connected and sustainable world.

Bibliography

Bagaric, M., & Xynas, L. (2017). Migration and human rights in the era of biometric identification: The case for privacy-enhancing migration controls. International Migration, 55(6), 97-110.

Bieger, T., Wittmer, A., & Laesser, C. (2017). Transportation mode and travel behavior: A study on the role of electric and autonomous vehicles. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(6), 811-828.

Bujoreanu, I. C. (2017). Internet of things and smart tourism development. Valahian Journal of Economic Studies, 8(2), 41-46.

Delen, D., Kuzey, C., & Uyar, A. (2018). The impact of the Internet of Things on the tourism industry: An exploratory study. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 9(3), 286-300.

Gretzel, U. (2011). Intelligent systems in tourism: A social science perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 757-779.

Guttentag, D. (2010). Virtual reality: Applications and implications for tourism. Tourism Management, 31(5), 637-651.

Li, X., Wang, D., Liang, X., & Huang, D. (2018). A personalized travel recommendation algorithm based on collaborative filtering and time-aware POI visit probability. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 8, 206-215.

Morphis, A. (2016). Biometrics and international travel. Journal of Airport Management, 10(3), 271-279.

Pantano, E., Pizzi, G., Scarpi, D., & Dennis, C. (2017). Competing through responsible innovation: The case of the travel industry. Journal of Business Research, 77, 139-148.

Rossi A., (2022) “Comunicazione Digltale per il Turismo”, Rossi A., 2022, ISBN 9791221004175

Yung, R., & Khoo-Lattimore, C. (2019). New realities: A systematic literature review on virtual reality and augmented reality in tourism research. Current Issues in Tourism, 22(17), 2056-2081

TourismInnovation, #FutureOfTravel, #TravelTech, #VirtualReality, #ArtificialIntelligence, #IoTinTravel, #BiometricTechnology, #SustainableTravel, #SmartTourism, #TravelTrends

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Spellbound by Sweden: the “Scandi horror flick” advertising campaign for Sweden

Trail in a dark pine forest on the slopes of the mountain. The Swedish Forest By goinyk

The “Scandi horror flick” advertising campaign for Sweden is a truly innovative and captivating way to draw visitors to the country. In an effort to tap into the popularity of horror and suspense,

Visit Sweden has crafted a two-minute horror film that is both frightening and alluring.

The film, which can be found on YouTube at the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2nLmi6dCIE, is narrated by “Sweden” herself, and takes the viewer deep into the heart of the country’s forests, where they encounter a mysterious woman who turns out to be a huldra, a creepy forest nymph.

The video of the destination ADV campaign of VisitSweden

As the story unfolds, Sweden warns the viewer that what they are about to experience is not a dream, but a chilling reality. The film is expertly crafted, with a perfect balance of suspense and terror that will leave the viewer on the edge of their seat. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the beauty and majesty of the Swedish forest, while also hinting at the danger lurking just beneath the surface.

The “Scandi horror flick” campaign is not just a short film, however. It is part of a larger effort to promote “Kiln,” a “chilling audio story” by John Ajvide Indqvist, which is only available to be downloaded in the Swedish forest. This unique marketing approach is sure to pique the interest of travelers and horror fans alike, and encourage them to explore the country and experience the story for themselves.

The video, which has been well-received by viewers, has garnered a significant amount of positive comments and engagement. Many have praised the film for its suspenseful and creepy atmosphere, while others have applauded the stunning cinematography and attention to detail. Regardless of one’s personal opinion on the horror genre, it is hard to deny the impact that this advertising campaign has had, and the buzz that it has generated around Sweden as a travel destination.

The “Scandi horror flick” campaign is a bold and daring way to promote Sweden, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who view it. Whether you are a fan of horror and suspense, or simply interested in exploring the beauty and mystery of the Swedish forest, the “Scandi horror flick” campaign is a must-see. So, if you’re looking for a truly unique and unforgettable experience, then why not plan a trip to Sweden today?

Bibliography

#ScandiHorrorSweden; #VisitSweden; #HorrorsOfSweden; #SwedishForests; #HuldraMystery; #KilnAudioStory; #CreepyTravel; #SwedenAdventure; #UniqueMarketing; #SuspensefulJourney; #DiscoverSweden

https://www.andrearossi.it/en/contacts/

Integrated Online and Offline Communication

Handshake after a good deal. By ijeab

The advent of digital communication has not eliminated offline channels, that is, traditional communication (newspapers, weeklies, monthlies, guides, radio, TV, etc.), which continue to have their audiences and therefore continue to be important for conveying our tourism messages.

An effective strategy in the digital communication era must therefore be able to integrate online and offline channels (Fig. 1), involving our audiences (especially fans on social media channels) to share our messages. To succeed in this endeavor, communication needs to be coordinated between the offline and online parts, both between the destination and the operators and residents as much as possible, conveying a well-defined tourism identity.

Fig 1 – Integrated communication diagram in Travel and Tourism (created by the Author)

Bibliogrphy

[Rossi A., 2022] Rossi Andrea, “Comunicazione Digltale per il Turismo”, Rossi A., 2022, ISBN 9791221004175

#OnlineOffline; #OnlineAndOffline; #OnlineAndOfflineChannels; #IntegratingOnlineAndOfflineChannels; DigitalCommunication; #TraditionalCommunication; #TourismMarketing; #TourismIdentity; #Coordination; #AudienceEngagement; #SocialMediaMarketing; #DestinationMarketing; #OfflineMarketing; #OnlineMarketing

The Crisis of Traditional Communication

Heap of retro TV sets with no signal. The Crisis of Traditional Communication (By maxxyustas)

Traditional communication, constrained by rigid tools and a poor understanding of the target audience, their needs, passions, uncertainties, and their position in the customer journey, is not very effective in meeting the needs of new tourists who are more skeptical than ever of stimuli sent by traditional and institutional communication, and are also more accustomed to online research and a new ability to discern information and news.

In addition, even those entities that previously succeeded in influencing tourists’ choices, such as travel agents, tour operators, catalogs, mass media communication on TV, newspapers and radio, famous testimonials, have lost much of their influence compared to tourist reviews and especially influencers, who offer more modern and audience-friendly languages, styles, and formats.

Influencers are creators who have managed to show credibility and gain the trust and following of numerous fans, and can be bloggers, video makers, photographers, online journalists who have learned to use new languages, forum administrators, social media stars who have found their expressive niche and/or their particular passion and following.

Depending on their followers, influencers can be divided into various categories, e.g., Bella Foxwell of iconosquare.com [Foxwell B., 2021] classifies influencers into 4 categories:

  1. Mega: 1 million or more followers
  2. Macro: between 100,000 and 1 million followers
  3. Micro: between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
  4. Nano: 10,000 followers or less

Based on the ability to engage audiences, influencer marketing has emerged, which is the use of online experts in the field who have a fairly large audience that respects and trusts them. In the case of tourism, influencers can be tourism experts, but also specific experts of the target audience (e.g., families, singles, seniors, etc.), or even experts in experiential themes that the destination offers, such as sports influencers, food influencers, etc. Therefore, in tourism, it is important to use not only travel influencers, but also a range of specializations that fully represent our destination.

Bibliography

[Foxwell B., 2021] iconosquare.com Bella Foxwell, January 28th, 2021 “A Guide to Social Media Influencers: Mega, Macro, Micro, and Nano” https://blog.iconosquare.com/guide-to-social-media-influencers/ accessed on January 23rd, 2022

[Rossi A., 2022] Rossi Andrea, “Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo”, Rossi A., 2022, ISBN 9791221004175

#TraditionalCommunicationCrisis #InfluencerImpact #TourismMarketing #InfluencerCategories #EngagingAudiences #TravelInfluencers #SpecializedInfluencers #DigitalCommunication

The Five Stages of a Tourist’s Customer Journey

Young traveler planning vacation trip and searching information on laptop and smartphone, by kitzstocker

According to the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) [López de Ávila A., 2011], a tourist’s customer journey (the process that characterizes the interaction between consumer and brand, from need to purchase and post-purchase) consists of 5 stages [Fig. 1]:

  • Dreaming
  • Researching
  • Booking
  • Experiencing
  • Sharing

Fig. 1 – The Tourist’s Customer Journey (own elaboration)

The Dreaming stage is the most critical phase of the tourism customer journey, as it is when the tourist starts to consider traveling without a clear idea of where to go. Tourists search for information, compare offers, ask for advice, and typically use the internet as a source of inspiration, utilizing search engines, social networks, blogs, travel websites, and encountering shared tourist content (texts, photos, videos) from destinations, operators, residents, media, influencers, and other tourists.

The Researching stage involves the tourist investing time in a more in-depth exploration of potential destinations and the feasibility of their travel intentions (prices, availability, offers, services, connections, etc.). They use numerous online services like TripAdvisor, Booking, eDreams, Expedia, Airbnb, Trivago, Skyscanner, etc. Opinions from other users, tourists, or influencers remain crucial at this stage.

The Booking stage increasingly occurs online, particularly for short and medium-haul trips or short and medium-duration stays. However, traditional travel agencies and tour operators still play a significant role, especially for long-haul or extended-duration trips. Tourists book necessary resources, such as accommodations, transportation, local activities, and event tickets. Online bookings have grown exponentially on desktops/laptops and mobile devices. As a result, booking websites must be intuitive, easy to use, responsive (adapting to the tourist’s device), and offer optimized mobile apps. Tourists place greater trust in other users’ reviews than in institutional advertising, which has lost credibility.

During the Experiencing stage, tourists seek contextually relevant information and content at their location, tailored to their interests and passions, primarily using smartphones. Responsive websites, apps, web apps, and social channels must provide real-time access to routes, recommendations, schedules, maps, transportation, events, services, and any other information the tourist may need during their stay. Tourists increasingly access real-time information upon arrival at their destination instead of preparing in detail in advance.

In the Sharing stage, tourists share opinions, information, and content (texts, photos, videos, stories, reels) about their vacation in real-time or later (creating albums, retouching photos, or editing videos more structurally). This sharing is made possible by smartphones, increasingly widespread free Wi-Fi, and reduced data costs (5G, 4G) even while roaming. These valuable feedback (photos, videos, reviews, opinions, or general information about the trip or destination) influence other tourists’ decisions and the actions of operators and DMOs (Destination Management Organizations) that can capitalize on this information.

Bibliography

#TouristCustomerJourney; #TravelPlanning; #DreamExploreBook; #TravelStages; #TravelExperience; #TourismInsights; #DigitalTourism; #UNWTO; #TravelSharing; #SmartTravel

https://www.andrearossi.it/en/contacts/