Doug Lansky, destination strategist
"The tourism industry needs a new sheriff in town. It will, I’m confident, long-term make it more sustainable and more profitable for the destination and make the life quality better for the locals that live there."
Quote from Doug Lansky, a destination strategist, in an article on PhocusWire this week on applying tech to visitor marketing and "overtourism."
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
When a new sheriff comes to town, he or she expects and is expected to take charge and make changes for the better.
Very often that change is in the way of thinking - the accepted “this is how we’ve always done it” way is dispensed and new practices are adopted.
In tourism and destination management, it's increasingly about data, joining the dots and action.
Lansky’s comments about a "new sheriff" is a call for everyone to come together to redress the tourism “unbalance” and develop sustainable destinations for the common good.
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He talks about data sharing and destinations having a digital infrastructure which connects ticketing systems and removes the need for guesswork.
And, for someone in authority to lead that charge.
It's a tall order but real sharing and collaboration, that comes from the top (without the politics), would enable destinations to build a much bigger picture of what is going on at any given time.
The digital infrastructure is an important part of that and connecting ticketing systems would be just one element.
Armed with the latest demand data, destinations could yield manage in the same way as hotels and airlines do, and offer alternatives as Lansky highlights in the article.
This would spread out tourism in a natural way not only within a destination and its attractions but also to other destinations that could be proposed as alternatives in a “people like you also visited…” way.
Joining up the dots would also improve overall efficiency for destinations as well as deepen the experience for visitors who might discover something new and unexpected.
And the caveat to all this is not only that Google or someone else will step in and take over but also that regulation could be imposed with controls put on destinations and attractions.
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