The travel and tourism industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. Last year, the growth of the travel and tourism sector surpassed the growth of the global GDP for the eighth year, and added a staggering $8.8 trillion to the world economy and contributed more than 300 million jobs.
The travel industry contributes a significant amount of growth to the economy. When an industry is this important, and this influential, the need for destination marketing strategies
is obvious. However, a topic that is often not discussed frequently enough is how organizations in the travel and tourism industry can work towards more effectively managing stakeholders with a destination marketing strategy.
There are many layers of complexity in destination marketing, and the stakes are usually fairly high. For this reason, organizations in the travel industry must devote time and resources to creating planning models that outline their goals, initiatives, budgets and process.
The key imperatives outlined in destination marketing plans may include ways to optimize the local geographical financial impact of tourism, how to support and empower the local tourism industry, establishing values through tourism, and last but not least, a business plan that outlines best practices for effective operations.
One of the most valuable, but underutilized, uses of an effective destination marketing plan is that they can be leveraged to help manage and improve stakeholder relationships.
For the tourism industry to continue to grow and succeed at the rate that it has been globally, organizations is the industry have had to develop an approach that involves a more diverse pool of stakeholders. The differing perspectives and opinions allow tourism operations to create models that are more realistic and super targeted on goals.
The downside of this is that differing perspectives and opinions don’t always live in perfect harmony. This can make it difficult to manage stakeholders, while working to keep them engaged and soliciting their involvement and cooperation.
There’s an interesting synergy that exists between stakeholders and destination marketing plans – you can’t really implement the initiatives of the plan without stakeholder cooperation, and the plan itself relies almost entirely on the support of the stakeholders in question. Destination marketing plans are used to manage stakeholders, but this only works if they’re completely on board.
The question is how you can use these marketing plans to manage stakeholders and keep them engaged and open to collaboration. There’s one word that comes to mind here – alignment.
While stakeholders might have differing thoughts, it’s key that your destination marketing strategy work to get them all aligned to the common goal. Not only is communication a must, but you must also be willing to have difficult discussions with stakeholders and be prepared to defend yourself by illustrating the short and long term economic impacts, both locally and globally, presented in your strategic plan.
Managing your stakeholders requires strategy, communication and leadership. At Coraggio Group, we happen to be experts in all three. We’re here to be your partner in developing a strategy for your destination marketing plan and for generating the response you need from stakeholders. Reach out to us at the Coraggio Group, and let’s start working on enhancing your tourism industry business together.
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