William Ury is a professional negotiator has been involved in resolving some of the toughest conflicts.
In his TEDx presentation he poses a solution to the Middle East conflict. Ury and his team created Abraham’s Path, a route of walking and cultural tourism which follows the footsteps of Abraham or Ibrahim through the Middle East.
Never though tourism could be the solution for a problem as big as that.
Every year I use the ‘quite time’ around the holidays to have a look at what other DMO’s around the world are doing. I love poking around to see what I can learn. I’m thinking of creating a giant presentation with my findings (let me know if you’re interested).
One of the things I’m looking at is what DMO’s are doing to incorporate real time information. This is a trend DMO’s can’t ignore. Brochureware websites are no longer acceptable and consumers expect content that is timely as well.
Florida has created a Florida Live section on their website. The page includes their Twitter feed, Flickr photo’s, YouTube videos etc. It also includes a Google Map with the Twitter feeds from local DMO’s, live webcams, YouTube videos and Fishing Reports.
The fishing reports are very cool. Every day the captains call in from their boats to give an update of the fishing conditions of their area. Users can listen to each captain reporting on the conditions.
Incorporating expert content from industry members or residents is something I’ve been pitching for a long time now. Most DMO’s do this with expert bloggers (some better than others). This is a very creative idea to make it timely, relevant and credible.
Great idea, good content, good execution. I love it.
Do you have examples of ‘live information’ incorporated into DMO or other tourism websites?
Interesting post from Jeremiah Owyang today about his research findings that Social Media Boutiques are Winning Deals Over Traditional Digital Agencies. And although I think the line between traditional, digital and social media agencies is a lot more blurred than the post suggests, it’s an interesting read.
Jeremiah’s research concludes that especially the clients who are more advanced in social media leave traditional agencies for boutique agencies for the following reasons:
I would add to that list that ‘traditional’ agencies often lack the culture necessary to really make social media (or digital for that matter) work.
And at Think! Social Media we can add a specialized focus on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as well. This industry isn’t easy to figure out and you need to understand the specifics in order to deliver real value to your clients.
Jeremiah also identifies some weaknesses boutique agencies can have:
At Think! we’re already rapidly expanding to offer full digital services with integrated social media. We’re achieving this though great partnerships (including ‘traditional’ agencies) and by acquiring new talent, here in Vancouver, but also around the world.
It’s safe to say that 2011 will be very exciting.
Listening to your users? Absolutely. But giving a sh*t about your users is way better. –Gary Vaynerchuk (Web 2.0 Expo, 2008)
A couple of weeks ago, I cancelled a flight from Innsbruck to Vienna with Austrian Airlines. It was a connecting flight to Amsterdam. Because I took the train to Vienna a couple days earlier to meet up with my friends Martin and Olaf, I didn’t need the flight to Vienna anymore but I still needed my flight from Vienna to Amsterdam.
Austrian Airlines charged me $250 to cancel the first leg and keep everything else the same.
They were legally in their right but it goes against all common sense. Charge me a $25 or $50 admin fee? Sure. It took 10 minutes over the phone to make the change. Instead they charged me the maximum penalty. Because they could.
The person on the phone was very understanding. So was the person in the customer service department I emailed to complain. But the standard form letter was clear.
Please note that the change fee forms part of the existing air tariff as filed with the Department of Transportation. In the case of special fares once transportation has commenced, the change fee may not be waived especially when a situation arises that is beyond our control. […]
We trust that your flights with Austrian Airlines were otherwise pleasant, and it will be our pleasure to welcome you soon again on board.
Austrian Airlines listens. But they don’t give a shit. That’s not a winning business model.
When we were on vacation in Ireland a few years ago we went to kiss the Blarney Stone of course. When I was trying to find out what the stone is about, why people kiss it and when it all started it turned out there are all kinds of legends but no real definitive answer. The only reason why people kiss the stone seems to be because everybody else does it.
We also went to this festival called Puck Fair, where a little town parties for a whole weekend. They catch a wild goat (the puck), get it crowned as king by a young girl and hoist it on top of the main stage for the duration of the event. Why? Nobody is really sure. But the town is packed.
In Rome, people throw about 3000 euros a day in the Trevi fountain. In Prague, people rub the Statue of St John Nepomuk.
People are social and people want to be part of a story. For a tourism business or DMO, traditions can be remarkable experiences that put people in the story of your destination. People will go out their way not to miss them.
What traditions and folklore does your destination have people can be part of?
It doesn’t have to be steeped in history either. It can be as simple as nailing a pair of shoes to a tree. Next thing you know it’s a tradition, everybody is doing it and you have a tourist attraction like in Prince Rupert, BC.