Exploring innovative examples

Tourism destinations in their action plan can no longer consider exclusively visitors’ interests, they also need to ensure tourism does not affect the wellbeing of residents. In this sense, smart destinations could be the ones that use technological innovations and global trends cleverly, to enrich the destination and to have a positive impact on the localities and local communities. 

We explore as follows 3 current trends and how destinations are exploiting them to make sure tourism has a positive footprint. 

  1. Use of Artificial Intelligence

The use of AI is on the rise and it is revolutionizing the travel industry.

 

Visit Finland uses AI to improve the offer of tourism experiences. They employed this innovative technology to analyze the images of video cameras spread all across the country and track how the foliage phenomenon changes with time and according to the different latitudes. The images are used to create a Live Map that informs tourists on time and incentivises them to travel in the region off-season, providing several outdoor experiences connected to it. 

Visit Denmark used AI to bring the most famous portraits of the National Gallery to life. They are displayed in a marketing campaign whose aim is to spread visitors in space and advise them to see other famous landmarks of Denmark besides the most iconic attractions of Capitol City. In this case, the AI is used not only to create the visual part, but also the script being the first marketing campaign of its kind.

 

  1. Digital Nomadism

Remote work is on the rise and a cultural shift is taking place, involving not only young adults but also families, mainly from developed countries, that perform the most diverse occupations. The increasing cost of living, the desire to enhance one’s well-being and the ease of obtaining a digital nomad visa contributed to fueling the global trend. Some destinations are exploiting this travel tendency to their benefit targeting digital nomads because they usually stay longer in the destination, they are interested in meeting local people and experiencing the local culture, providing long-lasting benefits to the locality they visit. 

  • Costa Rica, with a promotional video, puts the Country in the spotlight as a perfect place to work and live and provides all the necessary information for digital nomads on a specific page of the destination website. 
  • In Madeira, the Regional Government in collaboration with Startup Madeira has launched a pilot project called Digital Nomads Madeira Island. The initiative aims to attract digital nomads from all over the world to live and experience the local culture performing some activities together with the local community, having a strong positive social and economic impact in the destination.
  1. Attracting the conscious traveller.

To preserve the beauty of the natural environment, and to fight mass tourism at the same time, destinations are creating marketing campaigns addressed to the specific target of conscious travellers who care and respect the local environment. Some others are proposing tourism experiences whose aim is to improve the quality of the natural wonders, using tourism as a driver for environmental protection and positive change. 

  • New Zealand created a marketing campaign to promote the importance of taking care of the destination and to respect and dive deep into the local culture. Tiaki – Care for New Zealand expressly wants to attract only conscious travelers providing them with a set of guiding principles to protect and preserve their land while visiting it. 
  • Hawaii proposed eco-tourism and Voluntourism experiences, where tourists have a role in preserving the fragile ecosystems by cleaning the beaches and planting trees, establishing a connection with local people and their culture.   

These case studies enlighten innovative ways of experiencing destination and of using tourism in a clever way to drag a positive environmental, social and economic impact. 

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