A few comments on the positive things to come out of 2020 in the world of destination marketing.
No doubt you’ll read a number of 2020 reviews which reflect on the business impact of C-19. How’s the way we do business has changed forever, how it has blunted the sword of many business and set them back years, but for others it has helped sharpen the blade and accelerated the adoption of new technologies and enforced new thinking and new ways of doing things.
These are, of course, all true. No review of the year can be taken seriously if it is not viewed through the prism of C-19. However, I’m not going to add to the ranks of these types of articles, instead I’m going to celebrate three great things about destination marketing in 2020 (without even a further mention of the c-word!).
I’m not saying in any way that those involved in destination marketing were not always interested in value, but in 2020 ‘value’ seemed to become more multi-faceted and take on a sharper focus.
Value for users, value for stakeholders, value for businesses. Value for all concerned.
As far as we at DestinationCore are concerned this is exactly as it should be. Destination marketing budgets have been under pressure for a number of years. It doesn’t matter if you are a BID, a DMO, a shopping centre or a leisure park you’re all under pressure to make budget stretch further and perform better. This pressure has focused attention on the value you derive from the technology you use and the partners and agencies you work with.
This is positive news for us at DestinationCore HQ. We’re confident in the value offered through our products, and we’ve won contracts from competitors where clients didn't feel 'value' or 'valued'. Destinations; keep your focus on value in 2021 and beyond, it will keep your website and technology providers honest.
These are all things which have been talked about for a number of years, but more often than not the parties involved have just been perhaps paying lip service. But in 2020 we’ve noticed a shift from talking to doing. It could be the shrinking economy and the smaller budgets that are available to work with, it could be that after years of talk it has just started to fall into place, but it’s definitely starting to happen – and we hope it continues.
People who are visiting your destination don’t care about imaginary borders, or disagreements between the local council and BID/DMO, or if one technology provider doesn’t like another. What they care about is their experience – and their experience will be better if all the parties concerned work together as harmoniously as possible.
There’s so much to see, and so much to do in the UK. 2020 seems to be the year that vast swathes of the British public have woken up to the idea that they don’t need to jump on a plane to indulge in much needed R&R.
Yes, this has mainly been enforced as travel has been restricted, but it’s happening, and it will continue to happen in 2021 – and hopefully beyond too.
If you’re a DMO and you’ve seen an uplift in staycation activity in 2020 then it’s your job to give your tourists and visitors the best possible experience, so they tell their friends, so they come back, so they stop thinking about trips abroad and start thinking that the UK offers the best option for their valued time away.
And how do you do that? Focus on value and collaboration. Of course!
Happy Christmas, Destination Marketeers. Here’s to 2021.