What Defines a Destination?
Destinations and the journeys that accompany them are continually adapting and diversifying for the coming trends in travel. Destination management has become increasingly important as tourism leaders coordinate the management of all elements that make up a destination, including the attractions, amenities, access, marketing, and pricing. But what actually defines a particular place from a tourism perspective? The following aspects factor into the many ways we explore and adventure through a destination to ultimately shape its identity.
Where a destination is located is the most obvious factor. Geographically, destinations can be defined as individual towns, cities, regions (such as states), countries or routes comprised of multiple locations often linked together through a particular theme. Destinations that are part of a larger route will often partner with other businesses and vendors to create a more streamlined and accessible experience for travelers. To learn more about the creation of a route where businesses are partnering together, read more about Solimar’s work along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Destinations are also often defined by the area’s attractions. If your location is famous for its national parks, for example, consider centering management efforts around carrying capacity to protect biodiversity while reducing overcrowding to ensure an enjoyable visitor experience. The key attractions of a place is also vital for establishing a brand identity and marketing to potential customers.
For example, the owner of a hotel in Armenia may recognize that their clientele is mainly travelers with an appreciation for the country’s local culture and gastronomy. This hotel might partner with local businesses that offer master classes in local handicrafts or wineries that offer tastings, and create a package with these stakeholders. This strategy creates a more attractive experience for visitors while encouraging them to stay longer and increase their spending.
3. Target Market
It is crucial to remain cognizant of the buyer persona when creating, marketing and defining a tourism destination. Are people coming to your destination to relax, to learn, or to explore? Emerging destinations may choose to analyze their suppliers by conducting data analytics online or by doing market research collection through the use of customer surveys. This research will provide excellent insight into partnership opportunities, pricing structures and target markets.
Over the years, Solimar International has consulted with hundreds of tourism destinations and destination management organizations to help them in their journey towards developing and operating in a sustainable way. Read more about some of our projects here.