post by : yasmine.burnet
What will the tourism office of tomorrow look like?
The article "L’office du tourisme 3.0" written by Johanne Settler and published by the magazine GourmetJournal last August, talks about a project that questions the form, content, function and tasks of a tourism office at the time of digitalisation.
The project is based on a national analysis conducted by several innovation partners from the business world (like Ergonomen and Open Data) and some High Schools (Lucerne and Rapperwill). They interviewed tourism providers and hosts between January and April 2018 in order to get data. Bases were then developed with the participating destinations to carry out pilot projects.
Practical information: Customers attach great importance to ensuring that information is current and valid.
Accessible information: Missing or insufficient signals can make access to the tourism office difficult. Some people therefore prefer the Internet as a source of information: easier to find and "open" 24 hours a day. Survey participants want longer hours and a WhatsApp service available at all times.
A reliable source of information: Some hosts consider that information received at the tourist office is unreliable. They dread the tourist traps.
Individual / personalized information: Customers look for individual and personalized information. As they can get standard information themselves without much effort, the hosts hope to find a "partner" who provides them with interesting information as well as tips from connoisseurs.
Authentic experiences: Customers want authenticity. All that represents the destination must therefore be experimented on a small scale at the tourist office. The information is thus more sincere and credible.
According to the authors, tourist offices must now be redefined. In fact, the way visitors get information has changed: Smartphones allow them to access most information in digital form, 24 hours a day.
For this reasons, the authors are convinced that the tourist office 3.0 must be more interactive and inspiring.
The nature of the tourism office of the future has to be based on 3 essential steps:
"Data management": The work of the tourist office of the future is more focused on the customer. He must know better the host. The development and use of data is the key to achieving this.
"Networking / Cooperation": The hosts want to be advised where they are: at the hotel, in a taxi, at the ski lifts, at the store.
All the employees of the destination in contact with the costumers are an extension of the tourism office. For this reason, they should be trained in order to be able to transmit information.
"Transmission of emotions": The physical tourism office of the future is a place of meeting and inspiration. You have to give up the walls of soulless pamphlets and allow customers to have emotional experiences."
Boeri Gaia and Burnet Yasmine
In foreign countries, such as Tokyo and New York, the electronic facilities for tourists are indeed, well developed. In Tokyo, many touchscreens, installed by the office of tourism, are available in the city. You can find any information related to the city wherever you are and without having to look for a Wi-Fi. In New York, you can create your itinerary on tablets or touchscreen and send it directly to your phone by e-mail. The employees at the office are able to communicate many languages, which is really useful to ask for information.