Building a Social Destination

Social Media TourismWe have written previously about the slow response of most tourism destinations to the opportunities and threats presented by Social Media.  As recently as March, 2011, we wrote:

….few National DMOs (Destination Marketing Organisations) in Europe are fully utilising the interactive power of Web 2.0 for building strong customer and network relationships; for engaging with and energising online communities. This is a worrying conclusion given the revolutionary impact of Web 2.0/social media on the global travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

Other previous blog posts on Social Media and World Tourism can be found here.

Not surprisingly, the last 18 months or so has witnessed significant progress in this area with the majority of DMOs becoming actively involved. However, an important questions remains. Are tourism destinations ‘being social’ or just ‘doing social’? The words of Brian Solis are very relevant here:

Brian Solis Social BusinessWe’re already approaching the first of many crossroads that new media will present. Do we take the path of a social brand or that of a social business? What’s the difference? A social brand is just that, a business that is remodeling or retrofitting its existing marketing practices to new media. A social business is something altogether different as it embraces introspection and extrospection to reevaluate internal and external processes, systems, and opportunities to transform into a living, breathing entity that adapts to market conditions and opportunities.

Previous Energise articles on Social Business can be found here.

Advance TourismAttached to this post you will find a Module Outline for a ‘Leadership and Management’ course we are delivering at the end of October as part of the EU/MTA supported Advance Tourism Programme in Malta/Gozo.  Advanced Tourism is a 3 year Management Development Programme aimed at ‘developing leaders for change and innovation in tourism and hospitality’. Fifteen hundred managers will have progressed through the programme by the end of this year.

With October being the final Core Module on ‘Leadership and Management’, we are going to conclude with a number of workshops addressing two key questions critical to the future growth and competitiveness of Malta/Gozo tourism and hospitality:

  •  To achieve sustained growth in visitor numbers and value, do we need to become a ‘Social Destination’?
  • If yes, how do we ‘get there’ – what key actions and initiatives are required?

Malta GozoWhile the sessions address these issues only in the context of one tourism destination, the two questions are relevant to all of us regardless of sector.  Your organisations is probably ‘doing social’ now; but ‘how social’ are you?

Do we need to move from doing Social Media to becoming Social Organisations?

As usual, comments and feedback are very welcome.

Jim, Alan and Vincent

Leadership and Management Module Outline

Malta and Gozo Building a Social Destination

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