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Forming Expert Networks to Build Destinations for All

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Forming Expert Networks to Build Destinations for All

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Forming Expert Networks to Build Destinations for All

  1. 1. Forming Expert Networks to Build Destinations for All Scott Rains, srains @ oco . net Destinations For All World Summit, 19-22 October 2014, Montreal, Canada http :// www . destinationsforal l 2014 . com / en / index Session parallèle 1 - Stratégie internationale / Global networking for accessible tourism: challenges and possibilities I was given five minutes to answer the question: How to put our expertise together to help destinations that want to engage in an inclusive tourism offer? To save time let me streamline the question by making some assumptions: I assume that we have been contacted by experts in a particular destination. They want to position their destination as a destination for all. They want our help both to conceptualize then to put into practice a value proposition that is economically sustainable. They probably don’t yet understand what that means in terms of changes to their established business culture. That’s ok. Neither do we. That’s why we need each other. My response to the destination would start with an offer to “re-problematize” the issue and to negotiate the scope of a project together. I’d start something like: “We are your guests in a destination where you are the experts. Give us a thorough verbal tour of your destination through the lens of your expert knowledge and a physical experience of it through a familiarization tour. We will reflect this back to you as an Opportunity Audit by examining what you have through our expert lenses that give different answers for Deaf, Blind, Cognitive and Mobility-Impaired travelers. To summarize in slogans, geek shorthand and bullet points where we would go next I’ll say: “Think globally; act locally: Apply Actor Network Theory, Service-Dominant Logic and Universal Design principles. Generate a seamless itinerary for each disability. Stress test those supply
  2. 2. chains. Unite your expert / supply chain network through a continuous improvement cycle that involves customer feedback, customer-to-customer value creation, and transparency to the destination’s disability community through DPOs and their experts. [2] OK, that’s an approach customized to a request for assistance from a destination. I wanted to start there because the historically unique value of this Summit is that we are claiming that now is the time to put into practice in destinations, as good practice in destination management, what so many of us have developed and taught for decades on a smaller scale. Let me end my five minutes with a second take on the question: How to put our expertise together to help destinations that want to engage in an inclusive tourism offer? This time I’ll put the focus on our problem as the experts. Now it is a question touching on knowledge management, expert network curation, the development and strategic placement of new experts, and packaging what our expertise can offer into what others need as a service. Let me lay out that path as weaving between Macro-Problems & Solutions and Micro-Problems and Solutions so that once again we are thinking globally and acting locally. Macro-Problems generally ask us to provide “Solve Once, Use Many Times” Solutions Micro-Problems may spur us to find Macro Solutions. More often they can be those tedious “Solve Many Times and Hope-You-Can-Use-Them-More-Than-Once” Solutions because they show up in the nitty-gritty of getting the job done in the real world. Macro / Global Solution Micro / Local Solution Build a library of existing key documents Translate the documents; Adapt and localize the contents Establish an association of qualified experts Engage them in a destination’s problem; Replicate experts in a specific destination Define world-class standards Analyze gaps with local standards & practice; Feed forward local standards conflicts Outline a core curriculum Write local courses; train local instructors Engage thought leaders in Inclusive Tourism within their specializations Encourage, supervise, and curate data from local studies; Award local innovators If we want to structure a sustainable solution to our question we need to structure a sustainable market for and a trusted supply chain of our expertise. As you can see by who is on the agenda
  3. 3. and attending, we have begun at the macro level by aligning global associations, standards bodies and other networks. That momentum needs to be carried forward as destination-based networks sharing the same vision, institutional support, and skills sets of those gathered here. I have offered one possible approach from two complementary starting points. So here’s a 60-second case study of the online global level network that was known as Tour Watch. Tour Watch used the Ning social network creation engine which means that basically it had everything that Facebook does: Profiles, original posts open to member comment, links to outside articles, photos, private chat, public comments, etc. It existed for about 5 years and in the end had about 750 members from around the world. With this network we did all the above but three reasons that Tour Watch succeeded so well: ● Credibility: I published every day on the topic of Inclusive Tourism from 2004 to 2014 in my blog or publications where I was contracted. ● Enculturation: I was embedded in the relevant expert networks working in many languages ● Efficiency: I had personal direct access to experts, their publications and the articles I had written so that mentoring and problem-solving with good information could be extremely rapid That’s the 5-minute answer. If you want to see it in action as the 5-year answer, hire me and we’ll build some world-class destinations-for-all. - 30 -

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