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Words to Adopt and Drop

Ted Sullivan
Mar 16, 2021 7:16:53 AM

Words to Adopt and Drop

Let’s Embrace a New Tourism Language

All great adaptations and changes are preceded by chaos. Through the recent mayhem some new words and ways of communication have arisen which improve the way tourism tells its story to the visitor and resident of any community. Just like we had to change our language once our kids started repeating what we were saying around the house, it’s time to adopt some new words and drop a few others. Our tourism industry will speak a new language so that the world will be a new world.

Adopt: Contribution Drop: Attribution


Attribution to marketing does not tell the entire story of what tourism provides a community. The abundance of good data available is allowing DMOs to show the true contribution of their efforts to the visitors and residents of their region. Attribute is a feature or accessory, but to contribute is to provide.

Adopt: Decisions Drop: Dashboards


Dashboards are stagnant and leave too much up to interpretation. And let’s be honest,... there are too many of them. Dashboard Fatigue is real and It’s time to cut through the clutter and focus on decisions that create outcomes.

Adopt: Insights Drop: Reporting


By very definition of “Reporting” we should drop it.  Reporting = To give an account. Make you sleepy?  If all of the reporting you’re currently digesting doesn’t provide you insights to what’s going on and what to do next, you should just get rid of it. Goodbye Reporting!

Adopt: Intelligence Drop: Data


Adopting ‘Intelligence’ is a no brainer. Get it? Data is fact about something that can be used in calculating, reasoning, or planning. What is the result of that? Intelligence. Our vernacular needs to progress to focus on outcomes. The word ‘data’ is just too limiting and does not reflect the result of what we’re wanting to accomplish which is a more well informed DMO.

Adopt: Visitor Economy Drop: Tourism Revenue


For the past 30+ years Tourism Revenue meant bed tax,... that’s it. We’re our own worst enemy on this one. The industry has been trying to make the case for our total economic impact into our respective communities but we’re using vernacular that is as old as our measurements. The more we all start embracing and using “Visitor Economy” with our stakeholders, fellow residents and team members the sooner we change the meaning and understanding of our total effect.


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