eJourney Tourism

Capturing a destination’s sense of place…

April 20th, 2015

If people don’t have an excuse to get together, why not give them one?

An interesting interview by travel research firm Skift recently with Chris Fair, President and CEO of Resonance Consultancy, talked about the idea of placemaking, which in essence is about creating a place for people to gather and to create opportunities for tourists to feel like a local because they’re mixing with locals.

While Chris says placemaking is a core part of tourism development plans for cities and destinations, the thought occurred that it too could play a very important role in the marketing of that destination by inspiring those tourists and locals to share their special ‘place’ experiences with their networks.

We know two things for certain…

Firstly, that people are more likely to trust their peers, friends, networks and influencers than they are likely to trust traditional advertising.

Secondly, that travellers are increasingly seeking out authentic experiences when they visit a destination; they’re seeking a sense of place.

The idea of creating places where tourists can mix with locals, and encouraging them to share their experiences with their networks is a no-brainer, right?

dallas bigSome great examples of this are happening right now. One of which is Visit Dallas (cause everything is bigger and better in Texas) which has positioned a giant ‘B’ and ‘G’ letters at strategic points across the city inviting people to step in and be the ‘I’. The hashtag #dallasbig is strategically placed nearby to encourage them to share their image with their social media networks.

VisitDenmark similarly has identified 50 points of interest, or as they term it “sharable locations” across the country providing signposts with specific hashtags that travellers can use to share their photographs and feel that they are contributing to sharing what the destination has to offer. A clever tactic since it is this sense of sharing and contributing that fuels social media engagement.

Table MountainAnd of course, not to be outdone by their overseas counterparts, Cape Town for its part has erected giant yellow frames around Cape Town that perfectly frame Table Mountain from well-known and unusual views, including the V&A Waterfront, Signal Hill, Eden on the Bay in Blouberg, Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha, Cape Town Station and Heritage Square in the City Bowl.

Do you have an iconic location that will inspire locals and tourists to tell your story? A location that already enjoys incredible ‘sense of place’?


1 Comment

  • Sisa Ngondo
    April 22, 2015 at 3:29PM Reply

    The journey to get Lookout Hill recognised as an attraction that aims to be the meeting place for locals and tourists is only starting. We are pleased to note that we are being applauded for our efforts and wish to thank all our partners who work with us to achieve this vision. Cape Town remains to be top of mind for many visitors to our country and Lookout Hill is beginning to feature as one of those places to visit when in Cape Town.

Leave a Reply