Domestic destination DNA - just a myth or a necessity?

When the discussion on destination management opens, the most common talk is about natural and artificially created attractions, historical and artistic heritage, increasingly attractive hotels and imaginative luxury family villas, glamping ...

When the discussion of destination management is opened, the most common talk is about natural and artificially created attractions, historical and artistic heritage, increasingly attractive hotels and imaginative luxury family villas, glamping camps, luxury yachts and new marina designs, seductive wines and dishes for the palate, and lately and the breakthroughs of artificial intelligence (AI).

In the media, like a worn-out cliché, numbers of entries and exits of cars and drivers across state borders were imposed, accompanied until the Covid-19 crisis by pompous numbers of increasing aircraft crashes at domestic airports, which was more like daily reports from D-Day or landing to Normandy rather than a more thoughtful follow-up of a seemingly simple yet essentially complex and subtle economic branch such as tourism. 

Because, the secret of tourism lies primarily in the eros of overall destination empathy and from it the inevitable emotions as a fundamental precondition for passion. Passion as a key driving category without which there is no successful tourism.

Homo destinaticus

That is exactly the passion the foundation of destination DNA - an invisible but powerful blend of authentic local empathy, emotion and energy, which is systematically created from within and then permanently and without exception delivers outside an unusual and striking atmosphere and perception of the destination. Or so it should be.

Thus, destination DNA is created, maintained or, unfortunately, destroyed by man.

And where did the man go, we wonder again these days like the verses in the famous song by singer Goran Bare.

Has destination DNA (figuratively speaking - the "fundamental molecule" of destination heritage) remained just yesterday's myth in our consciousness and subconscious? 

I tend to claim to be true and honest homo destinaticus  (for this occasion, a derivative was created as a sub - term of homo turisticusa), with an honorable apology to the exceptions, which confirm the rule, began to disappear even before the pandemic. 

He disappeared in a long-running rustling waterfall of German marks, Italian lira, Swiss and French francs, which were then replaced by the euro. Domestic loads were replaced by BMWs and Mercedes, wooden barrels - plastic cisterns, salad, "pome" and "tomato" from the garden - frozen vegetables from the refrigerators of wholesale centers.

At the same time, greed, eating away at the available destination space by overbuilding, began to eat away at the destination man. First of all, his true need to remain - an authentic man as we knew him before.

Covid-19 unexpectedly brought that story back to its origins. 

He began to drastically reduce the level of arrogance and arrogance, we began to look forward again to the arrival of every foreign car, sailboat or motor yacht, bus and the already mentioned aircraft, we began to socially "sober up". 

Like in the XNUMXs during the Homeland War, when such arrivals were followed in almost the same way by the then mainstream media as the breaking news of the day. We danced and sang then, offered homemade spirits and crostules to every occasional casual traveler, and then in less than two decades forgot where we started from.

Tourist Alzheimer’s was more devastating to us than its natural and more dangerous real brother. This is otherwise normal for homo sapiensa, and especially domestic homo destinaticusa

When it is good, it stops developing well. In the broadest and therefore most worrying sense of the word.

We have ceased to be empathetic hosts by turning into arrogant "sharers of grace" in the form of free capacity or a dinner table in our own self-loving perception on the principle: "If I work more than three months a year - I have failed."

I had the opportunity to meet people who thought so and, what is even more meritorious - they acted that way with the potentials that were available to them. The sun for us internally destination, to cut a long story short, started to set in the last week of August.

Can we go back?

Of course we can. Because we have to. We will be consumed, figuratively speaking, due to Covid-19 and the decline in total tourist traffic outstanding loans, taken especially from small and medium enterprises to build boutique hotels, luxury family villas and apartments and purchase other means of work such as buses and boats.

It is up to us to deliver a new dimension of more harmonized and prudent destination synergies of the public and private sector according to the principle of total destination solidarity. And in accordance with the requirements of the trends of modern times, and not the small-town gossip in the shadow of a mulberry tree when a closet hits.

Gerd Leonhard, one of the world's ten leading futurists with over 1600 appearances in more than 50 countries, whose audiovisual reflections I can follow often, has recently emphasized that our future will be determined by sustainable four-pronged capitalism - four P: People - Planet - Purpose - Prosperity. 

It reminds me involuntarily of those Kotlers 4 P : Product - Price - Place - Sale.

In that division Place includes sales channels, web sites, portals and other online platforms and formats, but also physical locations and in general - the place of delivery. Later, Kotler added a fifth P - look at the miracles People so the latest version of the former Kotler platform today reads: People - Product - Price - Place - Promotion.

And speaking of him, a small digression. Philip Kotler, along with collaborators Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan, made it to his latest work from 2021 to Marketing 5.0. respectively five subsegments of the marketing process combining modern technologies with the growing need for access to human values: data driven marketing (data management within the eco data system for better targeting of audiences) + predictive marketing (scenarios and predictions of the coming future) + contextual marketing          (personalization of answers in the form of experiences) + augmented marketing (augmented marketing realities) + agile marketing (execution according to space and measure).

6 DP

Everything stated supports Gerd's new thesis that he is in The Great Transformation, in which the present society finds itself, more appropriately than ”What the future holds? ask yourself "What kind of future do we want? ” 

I give myself "artistic" freedom and combine Gerd's current and former Kotler's formula into a new destination version - 6 DP (Destination P): People - Place - Purpose - Prosperity - Promotion - People.

Where else P ie. Place gains in its multidimensional meaning as a destination at the same time, but also a place of overall natural and social sustainability according to which we take sincere care without figs in our pockets in a way that everything we do has its wider social purpose (Purpose), other than stuffing their own pockets and getting rich overnight. And ultimately brings holistic sustainable progress for a specific destination environment (Prosperity) with content communication inwards and outwards (Promotion).

That's why destination DNA starts at People  and ends at People. To guests for whom we work or should do everything we deem relevant.

Frank Cuypers, a destination strategy expert, made it clear once that there is no branding of cities without citizens of those cities and branding of destinations without residents that is, the domicile population. 

It is necessary to start with a family in which children are instilled with love for the location where they live from the earliest days. Continue in a school where young generations in primary and especially secondary education attend and on the spot systematically and permanently converge with the historical and cultural features of the climate in which they live in order to later be able to become authentic and convincing interpreters of their region and values. The end offers. Preserve the old customs, skills and practical knowledge through local associations in which the tradition is uncorrupted systematically and permanently nurtured - from, say, folklore, fishing, riding, crafts and other skills, gastro and eno culture. Everything else is - an upgrade.

One of the world’s best motivational writers and authors Zig Ziglar used to say yes we don't create business but people, and then such people create a business, doing the best they can with what they have at their disposal.

Hand on heart, some of these things can be accomplished without the epochal changes of our educational curricula around which long years of fruitless skirmishes are taking place.

Now is the right time for destination guides to sit no longer in a conference but in a circle like in the best psychoanalytic shots of American films, look everyone in the eye and start talking about how to move forward in 2022 and beyond. And that conversation should never stop.

Significant transformation of thinking and working methods should be experienced by current and future councils of tourist boards, whose members should know and understand and constantly follow modern tourist trends. If they want the good of their end, of course.

Now I remember that, except in a few really beautiful individual examples, never in the desired dynamics and on the basis of joint programs, in synergy with local tourism authorities and institutions, guild clubs of stakeholders of certain destinations such as winemakers, olive oil producers, natural preparations provided in our first strategic or master and then action tourism plans.

Deficiency of more intense togetherness due to misunderstanding of the world around us is our chronic destination disease. "It simply came to our notice then prika"Who's going to bother with that?"

And now the game table - turned. If we fail to jointly defend, stabilize, and systematically refine destination DNA at all levels and in all the details of the destination mosaic, using all available knowledge, we will resemble after some time the vanished Mayan civilization. Once upon a time - now it was mentioned.

Author Edvin Jurin

/ / / Podcast Homo Turisticus by HrTurizam.hr 

As you know, we recently launched an audio podcast where every Sunday we bring tourist loud reflections from guests who have attitude, passion, experience, opinion and story. In the second podcast, I talked to Edvin Jurin, so I definitely recommend that you listen to your thoughts on managing a tourist destination in peace.

In audio format, learn what a brand really is, why it matters, what an experience economy is, how to approach structuring an experience, how to develop a destination as a brand, how to measure destination branding success, what the future of destination management is and many more topics. 

EP.02 - Edvin Jurin - Managing a tourist destination as a brand

Get involved in a constructive and argumentative discussion. Listen, comment, share because two heads are always smarter than one. Tourism is stories, let’s tell stories.

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