Empowering local tourism

“In April the decision was taken to fund our next generation website as well as rebranding architecture. That has cost millions but we feel will make a difference in the long term.” – Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Bill Hanbury

The Tourism Authority has spent millions on a “website as well as rebranding architecture”?  That needs a lot more explanation because it is hard to understand how this could possibly be justified and how one can imagine what they’ve really built.  Hopefully more details are forthcoming and we aren’t following the same mistakes of the past of throwing a lot of money at hail mary ideas.  Spending millions on a website and branding is concerning as the Tourism Authority already focuses too much on marketing at the detriment to private business.  The Tourism Authority needs to be more than just a marketing entity.

That being said the Tourism Authority is started down the right track with positive efforts that should be recognized.  Their focus on investing in tourism experiences is wholly welcomed and applauded.  As much as it can it should be focusing on facilitating and empowering not only new players but also existing players across the tourism industry.  It should be helping every tour, activity, guesthouse, hotel and tourism participant on how to get the most our of their efforts.  Training and assistance should be offered for how to improve their own marketing efforts.

For example, here are a few efforts / seminars etc that would be nice to see happen:

  • How to build a good website
  • How to do search engine optimization
  • Education on tools available such as google analytics
  • How to maximize reviews and feedback
  • How to do social media marketing
  • How to generate content
  • How to empower your users and your brand
  • Facilitate strategic partnerships between various tourism industry participants to improve distribution of product and branding.

Today the Tourism Authority will be holding a Tourism Summit which will hopefully introduce and cover many of these, though the fear is that it remains far too hotel focused as it has been in the past.  Hopefully there will be a broader focus that attempts to empower all participants across the tourism spectrum with ideas like those listed above.