3. Building customer networks: Mutual respect and personal relationshipsSome essentialsCustomers networks are built through:•Developing contacts and fostering relationships; •Effective communications and good word of mouth; •Referrals and recommendations; and•Efficiently maintaining and using relevant databasesTrust, good values and 'giving back'Growth is also tied to:•Accessing new networks (including forging links with complementary networks);•Building rapport and trust (openness, empathy and transparency greatly help here); •Demonstrating admirable business and social values; •Personalizing the contact in a meaningful way;•Promoting excellent relations with your local and regional communities (e.g. by actively contributing to the community's improved quality of life by some effective means).Marketing and business competitivenessBuilding happy relationships through active networking is a key to successful marketing and business growth.Strong customer relationships and strong industry links help maintain a business and a destination's competitive edge.
Networking: Its Value to Tourism (2)By Bruce Dickson, Tourism Development Solutions2. Building tourism and industry networksSharing the benefits of greater cooperationBuilding business involves accessing new networks and/or gaining maximum value from existing ones. And the more active the networking, the more likely that the advantages of greater cooperative activity will be exposed and explored.Successful tourism networking opens the door to industry co-operation aimed at achieving common goals and mutual benefits. For example, through pooling business and market 'intelligence' and fostering greater customer and industry information exchange and learning. Exploring 'wildcard' possibilities 'across & between industries' (other than tourism) is a further potentially rewarding option.Making the 'impossible' possiblePooling business-based resources & funding allows regional tourism attractions, services and destinations to undertake practical and mutually beneficial market research - that would otherwise be too expensive to commission.Other more common examples of networking cooperation in tourism include 'business referrals' in the accommodation and food service sectors, and partnering in marketing activities in areas such as - brochure, advertisement and website creation; Trade Show and Visitor Center promotions; and the joint hosting of local familiarization visits arranged for media or travel writers. Cross promotion - more competitive experiencesIndustry networking can also help break down some counterproductive forms of local or regional 'competitiveness' ... and help boost destination and product diversity & appeal by enthusiastic, 'seamless' cross promotion of each others attractions and activities.Such strengthening and broadening of the local 'visitor experience mix' builds your appeal within a highly competitive market place.For these reasons and more, networking is a highly effective investment of time,resources and management priorities.
“Pooling resources allows partnering destinations to undertake mutually beneficial and purposeful market research - that would otherwise be too expensive to conduct on a solo basis.”