In the destination industry we’ve learned the value of hard work by working hard. Working hard at changing our words and ways of communication is advocacy for change and better lives for our communities and our industry. We’re now changing what is into what should be and that’s embracing equality for all. One person can make a difference and we should all try, so let's adopt some new words and drop a few old ones. Words matter.
Words to Adopt and Drop—Advocacy for Change and Equality
|Adopt: Investing||Drop: Giving|
Destinations are now being recognized for their investment into their community with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into local plans, businesses, or property. We’re now building, not just marketing or managing. Let’s be honest, giving is easy, but knowing where to invest our time and resources is hard. The investment payoffs are a better visitor experience and resident quality of life. That’s gratifying and much better than a “thank you for your efforts.”
|Adopt: Engagement||Drop: Impact|
Impact, by definition, means for an object to forcibly come into contact with another object for a strong effect. Seems a bit harsh describing what we do right? It’s time to no longer measure our impact on a community or visitor experience because it oversimplifies our holistic effect on the experience. Destinations engage with people more now than ever before. When we engage we attract and involve our partners, fellow residents, visitors and stakeholders. How much better is it to be engaged with someone rather than forcibly contacting them?
|Adopt: People||Drop: Statistics|
Yes, we’re guilty of turning people into a pie chart and that’s just cold. Hotel occupancy, geolocation movement, spending insights and event data are about people and how they engage with our product and community. People are the storytellers and characters of the narrative so let’s bring the human element back. Our role is to embrace and love people and use data, not use people and love data. Time to humanize the statistics, people.
|Adopt: Fairness||Drop: Equity|
We learned to be fair when we were children. It was simple and pure, so when did we grow up and decide to be equitable instead? We’re not NASDAQ and we don’t measure our community relationships based solely on equity. After everything we’ve been through these past two years we recognize the value of fairness and how well it advocates with our partners, coworkers and clients. Let’s be fair, remember that fairness is protecting not only you but all who are involved.
|Adopt: Health||Drop: Status|
If I asked you what is your ‘health’ vs. what is your ‘status,’ I would get two completely different answers. Thinking about the health of your organization, product, and community makes us dig deeper and truly reflect on how we feel. Status reads like a dating app on which everyone posts positive news regardless of their true health or situation. Measuring the health of our destinations is an honest and realistic way to see where help would be needed to improve livelihoods. You can’t prescribe anything unless you know exactly what is wrong, and the truth can get lost in the status. Communities who have health, have hope; and those that hope, have everything.
Advocation and education are simply the soul of a society as it passes them from one generation to another. Let’s advocate this and do it as well.