How visitor information centres can survive & thrive in the future

Ali UrenThe VaultLeave a Comment

Visitor information centres (VICs), especially in the tourism sector, are vital to a destination. Yet, their futures hang in the balance, unless change happens.

This change needs to happen at two levels:

  1. The individual VIC; and
  2. The overall network.

It’s not just about evolving the current VIC service delivery model, but creating a space and environment which is the missing link for improved economic development.

There’s a need for greater sustainability, which will require reviewing, challenging and evolving not only how you do business, but the type of physical VIC environments you create – and how you develop your staff and volunteers.

 

Revolutionising the outdated VIC model

A VIC isn’t about volunteers handing out brochures. VICs need to be the vital starting point of discovering and exploring within a region. Ultimately, if executed correctly, VICs will play a pivotal role in building economic development within Australia – through greater contribution to the visitor economy.

If developed in a more creative and entrepreneurial way, VICs have the power to become a crucial link, building greater relationships and connections between regional suppliers, artisans and producers. This will have a positive impact on the bottom line.

There are key must dos for VICs in order to stay relevant and meaningful to guests in the future – and create the best opportunity to meet expectations around tourism revenue in the coming four to five years.

But how can we do this? Follow our five-part framework to help your VIC survive and prosper – an evolution of the tourism sector.

 

The five-part framework for the VIC

Every fortnight, we’ll bring you an insight into re-creating your VIC for future success. The five stages will be broken down into these categories:

  1. What’s on the outside matters: Getting visitors to stop and come in, with signage strategies etc.
  2. Changing the language: Why it’s important to humanise it.
  3.  Discovering your own backyard: Becoming an advocate for your own region.
  4. The inside: The product mix, stimulating the senses, storytelling etc.
  5. Utilising IT: How we can better connect with our visitors, using technology. The role of the future VIC is multidimensional. This step-by-step framework is designed to ensure your VIC adapts alongside the needs and expectations of the visitor.

The Southern Highlands Welcome Centre is a prime example of a revolutionised VIC. You can see just how dynamic the centre is, from the photos in this post.

It’s also important to note that the elements that make the VIC of now and the future are also relevant to all areas of tourism. So, these strategies can be applied to more than just the VIC.

Before we go, a little bit about us…

Kiikstart creates and facilitates a wide range of learning experiences that generate smart employment, career and business opportunities – with people and organisations who are wanting to re-invent themselves.

We provide our learning and development experiences so people can have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn – now and in the future.

If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or enquiries@kiikstart.com.

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