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Adaptation & innovation in crisis time for Tourist Information Centres

November 12, 2020 European News No Comments
140 Tourist Information Centres’ professionals representing 42 leading European cities joined the Digital ECM TIC Expert Meeting on September 30 – October 2, 2020 to exchange knowledge and best practices of adaptation and innovation on Tourist Information Centres!

The 7th ECM TIC Expert Meeting on adaptation & innovation in crisis time
The TIC Expert Meeting traditionally takes place physically over the course of two days but due to the pandemic, the event dedicated to TIC managers & staff (whether they are ECM members or not) was transformed into a digital event.
“This year’s event has been focusing on the crucial topic of “Adaptation & innovation in crisis time“, providing the attendees with a mix of best-practices from ECM members (Rotterdam & Helsinki) and exclusive presentations by inspiring speakers (Patrick Chen from Shanghai & Jordi López from Sant Carles de la Ràpita).The digital event attendees were also given the opportunity to discuss and exchange in smaller groups on a specific topic during digital breakout sessions. This has been a strong opportunity for participants to keep on the dialogue and get some inspiration from their European peers on how to cope with the crisis and its impacts, as customer service providers.” explained Pablo Ortega Novillo, Chairperson of the TIC Knowledge Group and Responsible for the promotion of the Network of Tourist Offices of Turisme de Catalunya.
Discussion topics for attendees were “TIC Strategy“, to exchange on the current and future role of TICs, but also where to play & how to adapt to the trends we are now facing, and “TIC Tactics” so they could share at a more practical level what kind of innovations, new activities and big ideas they have been implementing as they adjust to the challenges of Covid-19 and look to maximise the potential of their domestic markets:
  • Although keeping a face-to-face contact is crucial for all members, they are doing efforts to implement more and more digital communication tools to interact with their visitors (chatbot, WhatsApp, video chat, etc…), and also to replace most of the paper documents such as maps or brochures into digital ones (shared by email or QR codes) for sustainable and health prevention reasons.
  • One of the new roles some TICs have been having in the past months is to provide information about the Covid-19 situation in their destination to visitors.
  • The main adaptation they have been implementing is to adjust their products to the domestic market (specific marketing campaigns, new itineraries, …) and encourage tourists to visit the ‘safest’ places in the current situation (museums with online reservation, outdoors activities, …).

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