Welcome to the first post of my first-ever blog, an initiative aimed at helping my colleagues in the global travel and tourism industry to understand Generation C – the connected generation – and their travel habits, today and tomorrow.
Sounds like an ambitious plan, right? With legions of bloggers, social media experts, tourism strategists and global consultants out there, what can I be expected to offer the world’s destination management organisations (DMOs), corporations and industry associations?
Firstly, I wouldn’t have started this initiative if I didn’t think it might be a useful resource for industry colleagues to consult, dip into or share. Almost every tourism conference you attend these days features a session on technology, trends, the ‘visitor experience’ being at the heart of the customer journey and of course the keys to making social media work for your brand. It’s all relevant stuff, and I will aim to use this blog partly to share some useful insight on those issues. However destinations need to plan ahead.
Secondly, even if short-sighted political expediency occasionally gets in the way, it’s essential to have at least one eye on where tomorrow’s visitors are going to come from and what they’re likely to expect. Those visitors are today known as Gen C -the connected generation- and they, together with today’s high-spending young traveller are the subject of this blog.
As you can see, the blog is work in progress (though I’ve already put up some useful resources), and I aim for it to be a great place to come for ideas and best practices. These are often best explained first-hand, so I’ll be inviting a range of industry colleagues (from a broad a spectrum of sectors and backgrounds as possible) to share their insight into Gen C and what DMOs can usefully do to catch their imagination and customer loyalty, often on a limited budget.
I’ll leave you with this quote by Benjamin Disraeli, stencilled on to the side of the Sir Albert boutique hotel in Amsterdam (click on the image to view a larger version) It’s not the best photo but a) I took it with my trusty Samsung Galaxy R, and b) you’re looking at typical Amsterdam ‘Tupperware weather’. I spotted the stencil on my way to my Dutch course this morning and immediately wondered whether for today’s traveller, it might be more appropriate to replace the verb ‘see’ with ‘experience’. Chew on that…