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Managing Tourist Destinations: The Challenge of Hyper-connectivity

The speed with which things happen and hyper-connectivity are two characteristic features of today’s world. They are factors that make permanent updating essential and which affect both the personal and professional realms, as well as the management of companies and tourist destinations.

Hyper-connectivity subjects companies and individuals to the constant scrutiny of the public eye

Reputation management is increasingly important in this sector for companies and tourist destinations alike.

The big change is that “people influence people,” said Newlink CEO Sergio Roitberg, “whereas before this had only been a possibility for the media.”

In a world in which everything happens so quickly, the formula for soundly managing a tourist destination may be very fleeting. “Working methods change constantly. They’re in permanent ‘update’ mode. No definitive version of things is ever found, because they’re always subject to a new change. The destinations themselves also change every day,” said Argentine business leader Sergio Roitberg, CEO of Newlink Group, a Miami-based communications consulting firm that operates throughout Latin America and also in Spain since last year through its merger with the agency Globally.

He said today’s world is driven by four forces: speed, transparency, collaboration, and social awareness. The other key element is hyper-connectivity, which “despite being relatively new” is transforming everything, including the leisure industry, Roitberg said. “The big challenge is determining which parameters to use to situate myself in a world where everything changes all the time.”

Hyper-connection is a challenge for organizations and individuals, according to Roitberg, because it subjects them to the constant scrutiny of the public eye. “We’re all exposed – in our underwear in a store window,” he quipped.

The Big Change

According to Roitberg, the big change that tourist destinations, and all agents in this sector in general, must bear in mind is that “people influence people ... whereas before this had only been a possibility for the media. The destination, hotel, or airline therefore needs to evolve to be able to understand that change.”

Establishing a connection has become essential, and tourist destinations need to understand that “rather than merely communicating, they now need to connect,” he added.

“In today’s world, your Twitter is your patrimony,” Sergio Roitberg said.


But how does one adapt to change? In his newly published book “Expuestos. Las nuevas reglas del mundo transparente” (Exposed: The New Rules of a Transparent World), Roitberg proposed a strategic framework and road map that he terms orbital thinking, taking into account that the world has changed and doing things the same way is no longer an option.

He said we all belong to one or even several different orbits. These include the places where we interact with friends, family members or colleagues, but also spaces in which we have contact with people we don’t even know personally and who may in fact be in other countries.

This framework calls for a target re-categorization. According to Roitberg, “the goal of a tourist destination used to be, for example, to attract people who might want to spend their vacation in Ibiza. But now consumers are empowered actors, and you have to know how to reach them.”

The only way to do so is through what he terms a shared purpose, which must encompass both individual and collective interest. That is to say the individual interest of an institution, government, or company and the collective interest (what the people want).

“If I find a shared purpose for the tourist destination, and there’s a methodology for discovering it, it’s on that basis that I’ll forge my entire connection with the people I want to connect with,” he said.

Reputation

Roitberg also added that reputation management is becoming more and more important in the sector for both companies and tourist destinations. But it’s an increasingly bigger challenge at the same time because “we’re transparent.”

He said a great deal of work needs to be done in this area because “the impact of reputation on my travel destination decision is greater every day, extending beyond the transactional offer.”

Link to original article in Spanish

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