In this time of global crisis and uncertainty, we put the call out to leaders, CEOs, strategists and consultants to sit down and tell us, in their own words, what is going on and what is going to happen next in this vital global industry.

In September, I did a guest spot on Bill Geist DMO Proz podcast and he asked when we would do a Future of Tourism episode on the new tools we've been developing at Simpleview… Well, today is that day.

I'm David Peacock, Senior Advisor to the Future Tourism Group at Simpleview.

Ten years ago in the province of Ontario, Canada, I was tasked with building a tourism development incubator to understand and address the changes that were taking place in tourism in the face of a rapidly globalizing world and pervasive digital disruption. 

We began our work by doing A/B testing, comparing investments in traditional DMO activities such as marketing and promotion to more alternative investments in building stakeholder or member digital competencies, fixing digital hygiene issues with key stakeholders and tourism demand generators, and creating destination networks of key partners who would build, guide and fund destination development and animation.

Over that decade a number of key developments were happening elsewhere in the tourism industry. Destination Next, commissioned by Destinations International, shone a bright spotlight on one of the most important and pressing aspects of destination management. That being… stakeholders and how their meaningful and ongoing engagement were essential to the future success of destinations. 

Jack Johnson and his team Destinations International took that took it a step further and created a lexicon of tourism that clearly led us the truth that shared community values and the need for the rapid adoption and integration of a resident and community-based approach may well be the biggest existential challenge that we face as organizations and destinations.

The pandemic of March 2020 has accelerated all of these challenges; the need for digital excellence, the pressing need to support and equip our stakeholders as partner players and the need to build a foundation of shared community values.

At Simpleview in March of this year, when the pandemic hit North America, we were just getting ready to share two advanced products we've been working on:

  • A Digital Influence Report that can measure the cumulative digital footprint of a destination across all key stakeholders and members, and second,
    Digital Influence Report
  • A powerful digital tool that gives DMOs the opportunity to bring cutting-edge digital reputation management and listing syndication to all of their members and stakeholders. 

These tools both exist in what I call the perfect trifecta, the intersection of three pressing needs: they provide a structured and measurable opportunity for ongoing, meaningful, demonstrable and productive stakeholder engagement; they address the pressing need to improve the destination’s overall digital footprint in order to meet the consumer where and how they shop in a rapidly changing digital world; and they create legacy value digital assets dispersed throughout the community that have enduring value and are literally “always-on.”

I won’t go into the details here on how the Digital Influence Report was developed and how it works or the intricacies of the Simpleview YEXT reputation management tool. For that I suggest you watch the video with my guest Alton Wells from Simpleview or reach out to me directly.

But know this, they are two powerful new tools that are both effective and very cost effective resources foster meaningful stakeholder engagement and demonstrate the destination organization’s commitment to serving the community and people it represents.

And that is the future of tourism.