Future Trends & Strategies
 A New Algorithm for Tourism Corridors

  A report from Digital Deli by John R. Grala, updated April 2018

Travel Tourism Promotion, Economic Development and Revitalization

Today, tourism corridors are expected to produce many results. Communities look to exploit tourism to replace economic vacancies left by declining manufacturing and shifting population demographics.

At the Digital Deli, we took a different approach analyzing the specific goals of: Travel Tourism Promotion, Economic Development and Revitalization.

The areas analyzed include: central and northern New York, New England, the Appalachian Mountain region, Canadian Eastern Maritime and Japan. See geographic regions below for details.

Big Tourism Corridors | Small Communities

Unlike densely packed cities with enormous diversity to fill nearly any visitor demand, the tourism regions studied extend hundreds of miles. They are dotted with many small to mid sized communities.

Federal, state and regional agencies draw wide boundaries, provide guideposts for stewardship and anchor points to pin a tourism corridor to the map.

These agencies publish a wealth of reports, studies, plans and statistics - in addition to outreach marketing materials.

While legacy travel tourism has been the standard bearer for decades we wondered - could a new algorithm for tourism corridors could be formulated?

Data Science Meets Geospatial Archeology

The areas of study were selected based on two decades of data analysis and geospatial guided archeology by the founders of the Digital Deli.

Key value points of ecology, sustainability, biodiversity, economic support, cultural preservation, knowledge transfer and educational enrichment were factored into a digital transformation model.

To understand the unique characteristics within each market we sought expertise, including: local government leaders, businesses, academics, historians, scientists, economists and of course the people.

With boots on the ground, computer systems, precision GPS, topo maps, satellite imagery, pre-programmed waypoints, data loggers, sensors, ultraHD image, video, audio – we recorded our results and correlated that with other areas studied.

The technology world had hardly scratched the surface in many areas. With a keen eye on laying the fabric for smart cities of the future we looked at how travel tourism could evolve over the next 20 or 30 years for regional corridors.

The Super App for Tourism Corridors

Data is the power that unlocks potential. Decisions will be made tailored to individuals or families. Harnessing that power begins by building a repository of organized data across disciplines.

Ubiquitous high speed wireless will continue to drive demand for Platform, Software and Content as-a-Service to feed tourism corridor Super App's that custom curate experiences.

Before a Tourism Corridor Super App can direct or autonomously transport you visitor to splendor it is necessary to create the treasure chest or data repository.

 SmART Destinations™ and Geospatial Gateway Corridor programs were created by the Digital Deli to provide the tools, techniques and infrastructure that can be used today and for many years into the future.

Capturing Lost Tourism Opportunity

During a six year (2010-2016) period Digital Deli tested media, technology and communications solutions, face to face, with random visitors "passing through" the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor and Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

We wanted to know what would get a visitor "passing through" to: stay, explore more or plan a future visit. No two visitors were alike, but eventually 6 years of data started forming patterns uncovered from similar regions.

Digital Deli used this visitor information to help refine technologies and techniques that delivered the critical visitor "tipping point" experience.

 "Lost tourism opportunity" can be quantified and cross correlated to provide curated rewards to meet sustainable economic development goals.

The Golden Nuggets

The jewels sought by high to medium dollar value (HDV, MDV) visitor target are often buried or obscured. Identifying, classifying and exposing travel tourism assets allows niche markets to capitalize on their unique attributes and harness the economic benefit of the digital economy.

A (random or event persuaded) visitor will always seek the highest quality "gems of interest" that can be obtained at the least cost. A few hours of self guided edu-tainment or geo-exploration can result in: an overnight stay, dinner, shopping and return visitors.

Legacy Travel Tourism

Large tourism corridors rely on anchor points to provide essential travel services. The tour book, map and other outreach marketing materials have worked to guide visitors for many years.

Today, a new breed of traveler and new forms of tourism have emerged. The old tour book and map may not even be picked up or remain in the back seat.

Event and recreation promotion are primary drivers used to boost performance indicators used to calculate economic impact.

If there is no event or desired recreational activity, this mindset leaves local ambassadors to report and visitors to conclude - "nothing is going on". That will always result in a "lost tourism" opportunity.

The natural inclination is to increase event frequency and size. The draw is made up of high (HDV), medium (MDV) and low (LDV) dollar value visitors. The performance indicators typically change in a predictable manner. Cost and return on investment are key measurements.

A Clear Digital Strategy for Tourism

Since Reinvigoration, Revitalization, Economic Development are now key components of Travel Tourism initiatives, the Digital Deli focuses on many factors including:

  How tourism corridor anchor points can increase sustained non-event driven visitation by high and medium (HDV, MDV) dollar value targets.

  How smaller "drive through" communities can be connected in a manner where economic benefit is attainable on equal footing.

  How an order-of-magnitude efficiency gain be achieved by refactoring the process used to attract target visitors.

  What travel tourism solutions offer maximum recurring benefit at the least possible cost?

  Best methods to foster vibrant Community Enrichment [public / private partnerships, civic engagement, life long learning, eco-cultural heritage, geo-tourism, ambassadors, edu-tainment, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math)].

  Logical framework for classifying detailed travel tourism assets that can be programmatically exploited to harness current and emerging trends.

  Event Smoothing Algorithms to optimize low, medium and high dollar value (LDV, MDV, HDV) visitor attendance [digital, programmatic, transmedia, location based service, keyword injection] audience targeting.

The Inverted Bell Curve

The ultimate goal of business process optimization is to obtain order-of-magnitude enhancement. Travel Tourism markets can have hundreds of variables used for measurement.

When we expanded the data set to include the outlying data (pass through) normally discarded a large inverted bell curve appeared in the middle with ripples on either side.

The small ripples on either side represented legacy travel tourism activity data and the large inverted bell curve was "lost pass through opportunity".

By analyzing the larger "pass through" data set and overlaying predictive analysis based on actual surveys and frank discussions with visitors it is possible to influence that "lost opportunity" for a greater return on investment than traditional legacy tourism promotion.

 Geographically dispersed tourism markets will typically have many unique attributes that lay fallow or unexposed in the global digital information economy. Adjusting the (larger) inverted bell curve by the slightest amount can have a profound impact, especially for smaller or "pass-through" communities within a corridor.

The Digital Economy

Change is constant. Blink and a trend is over. Being nimble, is an understatement. Traditional marketing has been tipped on it's head. Everything a user needs "is on their device". Are you there?

Vision, Strategy, a Plan and Cloud based services are key ingredients for harnessing the Digital Economy to reach Targets and Increase Bottom Lines.

It is important not to place the (digital) cart before the horse. Programmatic solutions for web and social media only work as long as you pay. High quality organic content is always a precursor.

Geospatial Gateway Corridor projects are an effective way to demystify digital transformation and gain local participation building a "knowledge repository".

Niche travel tourism markets can start small. Highly refined curated content that is well maintained and easily accessible will attract visitors. The recurring benefit of your Geospatial Gateway Corridor Digital Ecosystem is like adding a few dollars to your (geo-spatial & eco-cultural heritage) piggybank every day.

The Digital Economy, like other legacy economic development and revitalization efforts, requires seeding for the fruits to blossom. Digital travel tourism ecosystem solutions can provide resilient 24/7-365 services for many decades.

U.S. resident and international travel spending (USA) averaged $2.8 billion per day in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

 Legacy destinations can expand by capturing micro-fractional global travel tourism market share to increase overall visitation and keep visitors coming back. Prosperity and economic vibrance are always the watchword.

Blueprint for the Future

At the Digital Deli, we think about our smart cities of the future and how Travel Tourism, Economic Development, Revitalization and Reinvigoration fit inside a much larger ecosystem. That blueprint is our future.

The Digital Deli has leveraged the convergence of advanced technology, media and communications to bring enterprise class efficiencies to many markets, including travel tourism.

 Our greatest minds urge us to carefully craft our digital world. We invite you to join us in collaboration to craft a bright future for your destination.

--John R. Grala--

  Author Bio

John R. Grala is the Digital Deli's Chief Technology Architect. He has designed mission critical systems that have transformed businesses and leveled playing fields. John traveled to 42 states (US) before he was twelve, attended college in Japan and has two decades of geospatial archeology expedition experience.

Mr. Grala has always believed in using technology to advance our world. Travel tourism digital transformation provides a sustainable way to custom curate the visitor experience while building a valuable knowledge repository for the future.

You may access more information about John  Opens in new windowhere. To make a comment or contact the author you may send email to  nextgenstrategy [@] DigitalDeli.Com with your message.

  Keyword Reference

Keywords: Travel Tourism Promotion, Economic Development and Revitalization, Building the Future Now, Strategy, High Quality Content, a Clear Execution Plan, Geospatial Gateway Corridor, Digital Ecosystem 4.0, Branding Strategy and Execution, On Demand Interactive Engagement, Live Labels Geo, Live Labels Heritage, Tourism and Business Attraction, Global Digital Information Economy, Digital Transformation, Edu-tainment Multimedia, geotourism, ecocultural heritage, multimedia marketing, advertising, promotion.

 Travel Tourism Regions

Countries: United States, Canada, Japan

State, Province, Prefecture: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee (US); Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut (Canada); Kanagawa, Ibaraki, Tokyo, Chiba, Aomori, Hokkaido (Japan).

Special Interest Areas: Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; Great Lakes Seaway Trail; Adirondack Park; Finger Lakes (NY); Blue Ridge Mountain region; Green and White Mountains (Vt, NH); Catskill Mountain region (NY); Berkshire (MA); Great Smokey Mountain region (TN); Bay of Fundy (NB, NS); Cabot Trail (Cape Breton, NS); Fundy Trail (NB); Minas Basin (NS); Kamakura, Tsukuba, Aomori, Hakodate, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Tsukiji (Japan).

  References & Acknowledgement

 Opens in new windowThe Observatory of Economic Complexity

 Opens in new windowU.S. Department of the Interior

 Opens in new windowU.S. National Park Service

 Opens in new windowU.S. Travel Association

 Opens in new windowThe Brookings Institution

 Opens in new windowU.S. Department of Commerce

 Opens in new windowBrand USA

 Opens in new windowNew York Department of Economic Development

 Opens in new windowGreat Lakes Seaway Trail

 Opens in new windowErie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

 Opens in new windowParks Canada

 Opens in new windowTourism Nova Scotia

 Opens in new windowTourism New Brunswick

 Opens in new windowCanadian CED Network

 Opens in new windowJapan National Tourism Organization

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