Interviews and insights to help tourism businesses become remarkable.

The importance of designing and communicating a destination’s narrative.

We’ve been on the road now for nearly a full year travelling around Australia in our caravan with our two girls.

Today, we pulled into Port Elliot for a two-night stay. Port Elliot is a cute little town on the coast of South Australia.

When we were checking in, the caretaker of the park gave us a pretty typical run down. What you can do nearby, where the amenities are, and how to contact them if we have any problems.

He asked, ‘Where did you say you were originally from?’

‘Geelong, Victoria’, we replied.

‘Port Elliot is like a Lorne, or Torquay in Victoria.’ He said before adding more context to what that meant.

If you are reading and unfamiliar with these towns in Victoria, they are gorgeous seaside towns with a rich history in surf culture and fishing. Jewels of the Victorian coastline with national recognition.

I have no idea if this is the language the local tourism authority uses or has educated members to use.

Let’s imagine, however, if everyone in the town that had contact with visitors used similar language.

If you are familiar with Torquay and Lorne, you instantly understand what it would mean to place a destination in a conversation among them. Even before you’ve driven the tourist drives, walked the main streets or sampled the local produce on offer.

Before it has earned its place among these world-class destinations, if you were describing it to someone back home, you would very likely use this language too.

That is the power of creating a standard narrative for your destination.

It gives locals and visitors the language they need to share their stories and inspire the next visitors.

If you are a tourism business working with your local or regional tourism organisation, you want this leadership from them. You want to know the narrative so you can decide what your business does with it and how it can fit for you.

It will clarify where the destination is heading with the regional brand and how you can leverage it.

Destination marketing organisations. If I was to visit your region, would your members share the same narrative?

Are you inspiring the stories I will share or leaving it up to chance?

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