Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, destination organizations were midstream in dealing with digital disruption. Marketing for most destinations had shifted from predominantly paid media placement to earned media and intelligent social content. However, there was still a long way to go for destination marketing to become truly social and virtual.

At the same time, demand was on the rise for tourism to create legacy value improvements and assets for the people and places that choose to play host to visitors. By legacy value, I mean assets that stick around for a while and add to a destination’s authentic flavor. 

So the question becomes: is there a way to combine digital development and legacy value creation? 

For the answer, I talked with Ben Switzer, chief growth officer of EXAR Studios, and Ed Tomasi, co-founder and managing director of Subnation, the esports powerhouse. 

Switzer and EXAR Studios develop augmented reality assets for tourism destinations and power immersive environments designed to captivate audiences through audio and visual technologies.

Tomasi leads Subnation’s esports advisory services team, developing and executing strategies for municipal and regional markets looking to build or grow their esports ecosystem.

In both cases, it's a deep and consultative process with stakeholders from across the spectrum. Also in both cases, the result is a very polished, high-value, always-on digital asset that will serve the destination and its citizens for years to come.