With thousands of destinations pursuing the social and economic benefits of tourism, a powerful new axiom is emerging. “Sustainable and enduring tourism and conventions no longer happen solely by great marketing and geographic good fortune. They must be designed with a broad perspective focused on the entire visitor experience in the destination,” said Paul Vallee, Executive Consultant-Americas of GainingEdge.
“While a marketing plan is focused on ways to communicate with customers, a master plan is concerned about developing exceptional experiences when your customer is in your destination. Master plans focus on such things as infrastructure and product”.
Vallee went on to emphasize that to do this successfully, it will require the strategic alignment and ongoing engagement among industry, community, and marketplace stakeholders for the destination brand and experience to flourish. Vallee has extensive experience managing complex organisations, strategic planning with diverse stakeholders and destination master planning. GainingEdge has worked on several projects with InterVistas Consulting (IVC) which served as project lead on Destination Master Plans for Birmingham (USA), and Denver (USA). Vallee who is based in Vancouver, Canada will soon begin a similar project, again collaborating with IVC, in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Visionary destinations are quick to realise that they need a long-term direction for its tourism and business events sector, a shared path for stakeholders to follow on for the next 10 years and beyond,” agreed Gary Grimmer, CEO of GainingEdge. “One of our first related projects was Rethink Vancouver where Paul, at that time, was our Tourism Vancouver client. In that project, GainingEdge worked with Tourism Vancouver on a high level framework that culminated in a comprehensive Tourism Master Plan for Vancouver.” Since then, among others, GainingEdge has been part of Madison, Wisconsin’s (USA) planning efforts.