What’s more important, a destination’s promotion or its product?

Posted on November 12, 2011


It’s not often I read an article which sums up that ‘my head’s about to explode’ feeling I get when I pick up a holiday brochure or click on a destination website, and I see a beautiful place staring back at me: A place I know will not live up to my expectations!

It’s so true, as this article points out – ‘destination managers’ should concentrate on what they can do rather than focusing on what the trade or other commercial bodies can, and should do.  What’s the point of having a beautiful website, an active twitter account or a full colour brochure, if the visitor experiences poor service, lack lustre public realm or incoherent signage?

Now is the time, in this economic climate, for the public and private sectors to do what they do best – for the public sector to take on, and lead, that custodian of the destination role; making the place and product as good as it possibly can be. And for the private sector to sell it, and reap the rewards.  It’s a virtuous circle. Get the product right, keep it fresh and competitive, put it in front of the customer and make it easy for them to access it, then find out what worked and what didn’t, make adjustments. Repeat.

Imagine the marketing department of a car company, putting adverts together and promoting the same car, every year, year in year out – impossible.  Research and develop, get it right, then sell it.

Public sector, get your research and development right, private sector make the adjustments, and sell it. Work to your strengths.