March First Friday – Ten for Ten
This month it is the turn of international sustainable tourism expert Tim O’Donoghue to answer our First Friday – Ten for Ten. Tim O’Donoghue is the Principal of Riverwind LLC. He is leading the sustainable community development efforts of Teton County, Wyoming through the Jackson Hole & Yellowstone Sustainable Destination Program. These include participation as one of six global destinations selected worldwide by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to adopt the world’s leading sustainable tourism destination criteria. This program and Jackson Hole were selected by National Geographic as a Destination Leadership Finalists in the World Legacy Awards and among the world’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations.
Ten for Ten Questions – Tim O’Donoghue, Riverwind Foundation
What do you think will be the most main focus in destination marketing in 2021?
While I think it will be attracting more visitors for most destinations to help with economic recovery from the pandemic, I hope it will be to coordinate with and support destination management priorities and strategies, including outreach to and educating travellers on the environmental, community, and/or cultural values of the destination and how those can be experienced authentically and responsibly. Transitioning away from destination marketing companies to individuals who provide creative content and influence based on authentic experiences in the destination. Connecting locals with visitors through apps and other digital means to share community values, guidance, and stories. Continued messaging about public health and safety
Where will be the focus on innovation for the outdoors and activities?
Education and experiences of the health benefits of being in the outdoors. Recreational strategies and experiences that meet the destination’s conservation objectives and environmental priorities, including net zero carbon emissions
What will be the most immediate change in the use of technology in the tourism industry this year?
The use of apps to provide real-time information on the availability of accommodations, restaurant seating, parking, and recreational access and alternatives to congested sites to support spreading visitors over time and place. Increasing collection of destination management and marketing data from apps and cell phones
What is the new opportunity for community tourism in 2021?
To be at the heart of rebuilding, recovery, and resiliency of tourism – to be the predominant voice for determining, planning for, and governing the future of tourism in their destination and community-owned/supported enterprises. Reclaiming, restoring, and sustaining the character and culture of their community, including reducing or eliminating the displacement of long-term residents by short-term rentals
What will be the biggest trends in food tourism this year?
Consistent with the new opportunity for community tourism will be organic and whole food sourced locally by locally owned businesses, including as part of a packaged trip. Special diets will be increasingly and creatively accommodated and woven into the overall visitor experience. Food and beverage will increase in its share of a traveller’s expenses
What aspects of wellness tourism will be the fastest to grow this year?
Promoting nature as health and medicine. Providing the settings and slower experiences for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health
What will be the focus for large urban destinations in attracting back visitors in 2021?
Creation of activities and experiences that are safe from infectious diseases. Providing cultural experiences for small groups, couples, or individuals, i.e., settings and activities that avoid large groups and concentrations of people
What will the new emerging factors motivating visitors to select one destination over another?
Ready access to nature, scenery, and open space. Safety and health protocols, and low/no active coronavirus cases.
What will be the greatest area of focus for sustainable tourism development?
The establishment of Destination Management and Marketing Organizations (DMMOs) that coordinate the policies, strategies, and actions to create mutually supporting, integrated management and marketing functions
Quick Fire Round
Favourite holiday destination
Anywhere a long walk or pilgrimage through history, culture, and natural beauty can be found
Best ‘Hidden Gem / Off the beaten track’ place you have visited?
Yachats, Oregon coast, USA
What is the most memorable food tourism experience you have enjoyed?
Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, USA for their surf and turf farm to table extravaganza
Name one place you haven’t visited but is top of your bucket list?
Walking the Way of St. Francis from Florence to Rome