The British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training made a couple of noteworthy announcements this week. First (and possibly the most interesting and potentially controversial), is the re-branding and re-launch of Tourism BC as ‘Destination BC’ with a primary focus on destination marketing. Significantly, there was little, if any mention of ‘destination management’ in the release or any of the media coverage. This omission is important to recognize, as you can expend vast quantities on marketing initiatives which may have relatively marginal impact if the products and services you are promoting are not sufficiently developed and managed to meet the needs of a hyper-competitive international marketplace. Second, the Ministry highlighted investments in skills training for the tourism sector…this is an integral piece of the ‘destination management’ pie which should be integral to any destination development strategy. In 2011, I was involved in a BC regional tourism/hospitality skills training, capacity-building project which focused on essential skills and customer service training. In a brief that I recently produced, I have highlighted some of the issues, challenges, and strategies that should be considered for tourism/hospitality employers to attract and retain employees, improve employee morale and productivity , and enhance overall organizational performance.
Sales is one of the most important components of tourism development. Developing the skills of your front line sales team is critical to successful guest experiences. Along with the basic understanding of the procedural aspects of conducting a sales call and prospecting, we go deeper and try to understand the motivations for your customers. Research into the constraints to participation in leisure activities allows staff to empathize and respond to objections more effectively. Ultimately, your team should see the guest experience from the outside-in. Organizations that are focused on the customer experience from the outside-in will see revenue increases and cost savings. An on site workshop is an effective way to re-orient your sales system to exceed guest expectations.