Inaccessible beaches, leisure activities at a standstill, the curtain down on restaurants and shops, the few hotels still open in recent weeks have not been able to fill the reservation book. However, beyond the constraints of administrative closures for health reasons, this period was also an opportunity to remember that tourism can only be conceived in a well-established ecosystem, where the offer is complete and attractive and the organization able to build customer loyalty.
It’s no secret that local tourism players such as bed and breakfast, small campsites, historic heritage managers do not have the time, the means, or the technical skills to think up a global offer. coordinated on a territory, combined with a real tourist experience. Admittedly, the offices, regional and departmental tourism committees admirably play the role of aggregator of offers, which over time has evolved into a real promoter and facilitator for the local leisure and tourism industry. But in such a tense competitive environment, promotion alone is clearly no longer enough, nor even isolated marketing initiatives.
Develop your vision of dynamic local tourism
Local tourism players rely mainly on large reservation centers to sell overnight stays and visits, giving them up to 20% of their profitability without guarantee of better visibility.
However, there are already some French initiatives that show that it is possible to better sell activities and more. All are based on technological concepts combining online reservation solutions, creation of customer profiles, guarantees and payment facilities and above all tourism value propositions. Thus planning solutions for itinerant tourism enthusiasts can be built from catalogs of localized offers and around predefined itineraries. But the tourist examples are not the only ones to know how to nourish the inspiration. Sometimes it is enough to look at what is happening nearby in other areas. Supermarket drives, for example, strive to offer their customers products that can be accommodated with what is already in the basket.
So, in terms of local tourism, how can we offer consumers a truly stocked basket? To move from a codependency of tourism stakeholders to a co-construction beneficial to all in a given territory, it is necessary to understand the principle of omnichannel, remote contracting and the importance of the role of payment in monitoring. and customer loyalty.
Objective: push contractualization to the end
While it is not a question of definitively banning the large reservation centers which can play an interesting role in off-peak periods, it is not relevant to use them in high season, where demand is high and pending. of value propositions. To succeed in attracting and retaining holidaymakers, we need to design a range of services that will add to the attractiveness of a territory, in a logic of a unified customer journey, consolidating a sparse and disseminated local offer.
To cement a process made up of dispersed acts of sale, and nurture the local economy, this is where digital reservation and payment solutions come in. Today they do much more than organize payment, they are the foundation of loyalty. They make it possible to draw up a customer profile, likely to be found by any tourism actor integrated into the digital ecosystem. This profile facilitates future purchases, whether online or on site, and is an incentive. The history it establishes makes it possible to anticipate new needs and to offer adapted services, which until now had not enough visibility to be consumed.
The right structure
In these territories benefiting from a brand that the tourist offices intend to promote, a digital ecosystem made up of multiple individuals can be deployed. But to make it sustainable, it must be supported by a structure with strong enough backs to ensure its technological functioning and take responsibility for omnichannel marketing in a context of federated local players, promoters of each other.
Will the tourist offices and committees take on this role to definitively exit from the sole aggregation of offers? A hotel chain perhaps, already used to the exercise and sensing all the interest in communicating on a range of richer tourist offers? An existing local tourist market place? There is not only one form of organization and certainly local particularities will play a full role in the definition of the future local digital tourism ecosystem.
From local to national, unite around standards
The new French OTA project provoked a lot of reactions, often dubious. This is partly because the federation of local tourist actors on a national level has always been an Arlesian. Faced with international platforms, holders of immense technological know-how, moreover, the ambition to challenge tourist disintermediation is something to be wondering about.
The disruptive innovation that the tourism and leisure sector is calling for is not always where it is expected. In this case, it lies much more in the creation and sharing of common standards than in the construction from scratch of a national platform. It is only around fully adopted technological standards that the local tourist offer will find value and French destinations marketed, why not, ultimately, within an OTA that is both sovereign and efficient.