The Tourism Experience as a KPI


Certainty gaps commonly exist in-between assumptions made by the tourism destination.

And tourism destinations commonly make assumptions about the tourist because of two factors:

  1. The travel planning funnel.
  2. The umbrella metaphor.

An Overflowing Funnel

First, the funnel.

A 5-step cheat sheet to ensure your marketing campaigns, social media efforts or QR code on a banana (wait, did we approve that?) connects to the consumer.

Dream > Plan > Book > Experience > Share

However, the funnel…brilliant as a strategic guide…has become an oversimplified summary of the tourism experience.

Tourists are destroying the funnel with each click, swipe and search; moving between levels with little regard for your careful planning. Consumers are now sharing dreams, planning while experiencing and booking throughout the entire trip.

Based upon client research, we have observed consumers interacting with more than 110 information sources, 80 contact instances (talking with a real human) and an average of 67 travel brands through the tourism experience.

Your view of the travel planning funnel is too simplistic, which leaves you holding an undersized umbrella.

What Is The Opposite Of An Umbrella?

We represent the entire tourism experience.

Are you sure?

The umbrella metaphor asserts that the DMO maintains an advantage due to size, scope and scale that individual tourism businesses could not achieve.

Simply, bigger is better.

The Tourism Umbrella

The challenge is that organizations underneath this umbrella rarely communicate with each other for benefit the consumer. Oh sure, they might run a co-op contest or recommend an adjacent business, but they are silos in the transfer of the tourism experience.

From taxi to hotel to museum to restaurant, the tourist stays consistent, but the experience evolves.

And it is within these service transitions where we commonly discover certainty gaps, as well as opportunities for the DMO.

Only the DMO can claim expertise across the entire tourism experience, because only the DMO can observe the entire tourism experience.

This is where we flip the umbrella upside down.

The Tourism Experience

And this is where the future DMO finds relevancy.

By focusing on a strategy of support and a clear understanding of the entire tourism experience, the future DMO can reestablish a valued and relevant role within the tourism community.

Beyond basic visitation numbers and demographic statistics, the future DMO will know the transportation patterns of tourists who arrive at the airport…and can recommend service enhancements to improve the experience.

The future DMO will know in which order the average tourist visits major attractions…and can provide analysis on the best location for a future attraction.

The future DMO will observe negative aspects of the tourism experience…and can guide the improvement of the overall experience through advocacy.

[Tweet “The future DMO is relevant due to its expertise of the entire tourism experience.”]

Tourism Experience Expertise

With a wider view of the travel planning funnel and clear expertise across the entire tourism experience, the future DMO can begin measuring success through relevant metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS).

(Our peer William Bakker wrote an excellent post on NPS.)

As the DMO begins to gain a clear understanding of the tourism experience, it can identify certainty and service gaps. By identifying these gaps, it can help guide the improvement of the tourism product. When the product improves, tourism improves. When tourism improves, NPS improves.

The future DMO does not need to market, manage or maintain.

The future DMO needs to support the tourism experience by flipping the umbrella upside down.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.