Destinations

Destinations

BehaviorSMART™ solutions can optimize destination management efforts by activating behavioral thinking across the different strategic areas of destination leadership, including promotional efforts.

They can help set desired behavioral norms for both travelers and locally operating service providers to optimize the footprint of tourism and minimize the possibility for unsustainable acts.

Illustrative Programs

Post-COVID-19 recovery – realigning the traveler experience to the New Normal
COVID-19 has disrupted our industry’s realities and has put us in a transitional mode of temporary restrictions, limitations, and reorganizations. It is obvious that tourism will have to adjust to new operational realities that prioritize the well-being of workers and clients while striving to deliver impactful and profitable experiences. It is time to start the transition from the temporary solutions that are currently in place to prevent the Old Normal to the design that will enable a permanent transition to the New Normal. What does that look like? Destinations and large recreational areas will have to employ space design (physical space inside or outside, green spaces, etc.), visitor infrastructure (benches, paths, signage, markings, etc.), technology solutions (time slots management, e-ticketing, e-queuing, visitor flow monitoring, etc.), and nudges (incentives or barriers encouraging or discouraging certain behaviors) in order to facilitate a destination experience that feels safe and exciting at the same time.

BehaviorSMART™ thinking can help:

  • Design promotion and information that minimizes the sense of risk and prompts interest in visiting
  • Inform physical space setups that strengthen the sense of safety without undermining pleasure
  • Identify technology solutions that make the experience seamless and safe
  • Incorporate necessary nudges that influence choices towards wellbeing and optimal experiences

Training and upgrading the behavioral culture of the destination system

We can work with the destination professionals and your local business community to enhance their understanding of behavioral principles as applied to their everyday realities. We will share the knowledge but also equip them with specific tactics and tools they can use to optimize commercial practices, marketing, and sustainability. Depending on the destination goals, training and advisory programs can focus on a variety of topics. For example, if one of the strategic goals of the destination is to support the marketing and commercial success of local companies, we can focus on topics such as:

  • Smart pricing (i.e. how small details such as the end number of the price, comparisons, descriptions, or where you position your price information can produce very different perceptions and readiness to buy)
  • Describing and positioning offerings (i.e. how the descriptors that are used to present an itinerary, accommodation facility, a culinary experience, or another offering can influence perceptions and produce the desired associations, including about safety and value)
  • Using the right imagery (i.e. what images and visual content is relevant for the impressions and associations that web, social media, or other promotional content should evoke)
  • Experience design (i.e. what are the psychological factors that influence the successful design of a traveler experience and how to apply that to itinerary design)

If your destination aims at optimizing the footprint of tourism, we can work with your industry community and equip them with tools and approaches for sustainability optimizations such as:

  • Using BehaviorSMART™ tactics for saving energy or water
  • Using BehaviorSMART™ design to minimize waste and the use of single-use plastics
  • Applying BehaviorSMART™ thinking to increasing local economic impact and increasing local buying

Case Study

Behavioral Optimisation for Businesses in Västmanland Region

Västmanland Region is one of the beautiful regions located in Central Sweden. While it is relatively small in territory compared to most other regional tourism destinatinations in the country, it is super ambitious and bold in experimenting with innovative approaches towards tourism promotion and sustainability. The work we did with the tourism authorities in Västmanland Region aimed to increase the behavioral culture of local tourism businesses and equip them with BehaviorSMART™ tools that can improve their commercial success as well as support their sustainability efforts.

Behavioral Optimisation

Here is more about our collaboration with Västmanland Region destination based on the applied BehaviorSMART™ methodology:

How they were executed in Västmanland:

Two of the most important goals for destination Västmanland Region were to support the commercial success of local tourism suppliers and to optimize the footprint of tourism in the region. The team of the regional destination authority wanted to equip local businesses with behavioral optimization tools so that each of them can contribute with their own efforts but they wanted to focus on a limited set of tactics that would be easiest for local businesses to adopt and apply.

How they were executed in Västmanland:

To select the tactics that would be relevant and feasible for local tourism businesses, we decided to work with a small number of pilot companies who would help us to identify and test the tools that will be presented to the entire business community. We knew that if we are to motivate more business owners to adopt new tactics they need to be easy to introduce and should not require major investments. 

How they were executed in Västmanland:

In collaboration with the pilot companies, which included an accommodations and events facility, a local attraction/ experience provider, and a food service provider we generated a list of potential tactics that would be relevant for the different groups of suppliers in the destination and that can be applied to support their commercial success and the optimization of tourism footprint in the region. 

How they were executed in Västmanland:

Over a three-month period, our team designed and conducted a series of experiments to test the different tactics and assess their effectiveness. Based on the field results we developed a list of 10 commercial and 5 sustainability tactics that would be relevant and impactful for businesses across to region. 

How they were executed in Västmanland:

We know that often our busy daily realities prevent us from making a change towards a new tool or tactic even if we know that it is beneficial. To facilitate the change process we worked with Västmanland Region’s team to develop two solutions to help business adopt the new practices. The first was a hands-on manual with a step-by-step description of each tactic and its application enabling businesses to execute solutions on their own time. The second was a facilitated workshop that supports local entrepreneurs with advisory support in taking the steps towards applying the solutions in their business.