European Cities Marketing has launched a Toolbox for Managing Tourism Growth in Europe at its annual Conference in Malmö, Sweden, on June 14. Produced in partnership with TOPOSOPHY, the Toolbox is intended as a guide for European city governments and Destination Marketing/Management Organisations (DMMOs) to navigate the complex challenges of tourism growth, and presents a range of approaches which could be adapted and implemented according to local conditions.
Traditionally, tourism's contribution to job creation, economic growth and inward investment has made it an industry to be celebrated and supported, with little thought to the consequences that might come with continual growth. However, at a time of growing demand and rising visitor numbers, serious questions are being asked about tourism's real contribution to city life, and whether the net impact on cities and their residents is indeed always positive.
The ten 'tools' in the Toolbox represent a range of approaches that DDMMOs (Destination Development, Management and Marketing Organisations) can use to manage tourism growth more effectively. The exact balance of approaches required will vary according to local conditions, however many of them require a significant shift in the internal culture and practises of the traditional DMO in order to be most effective. These tools include Forming Partnerships, Marketing Done Differently, On-the-Ground Visitor Management, Public Education and Managing the Collaborative Economy.
In line with last year's ECM Manifest on the Future of DMOs, also prepared by TOPOSOPHY, the Toolbox encourages Destination Marketing Organisations to accelerate changing their role towards Destination Management.
It also questions the traditional goals of the tourism sector which have been geared towards growth in arrivals and spending, rather than towards addressing specific challenges faced in cities today, such as pollution, migration, inequality and declining retail spaces. Cities are encouraged to get their visitors to think, spend and act differently in order to reduce the negative impacts of tourism, and to find ways to improve the quality of life of local residents.
"TOPOSOPHY is a specialist in destination development, strategy and research and as an ECM Knowledge Partner, we are pleased to help ECM Members to navigate the challenges of destination marketing and management today", said Manolis Psarros, CEO of TOPOSOPHY. Previous TOPOSOPHY reports for ECM include 'Taking the Leap on the Sharing Economy' and 'The Manifest on the Future of DMOs'.
Commenting on the use of the Toolbox for the Industry professionals, ECM President Dieter Hardt-Stremayr concluded: "The document sets out a range of approaches that Destination Development, Marketing and Management Organisations can take to deal with the pressures of tourism growth. The Toolbox is a useful resource for our members to take, share and discuss with colleagues, political decision makers and industry partners. We are really proud of this partnership and look forward to collaborating further with TOPOSOPHY".