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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds So in order to maintain the city as a destination, particularly for the tourism sector, we need to think holistically about the visitor experience, from start to end and before they even come to the city rather than just individual events. I think the sector is very good at visitor experience in its own environment, but actually you can have the best night of your life, ruined by a rude taxi driver, or a terrible meal, or you know a rubbish pint, or you know an an aggressive bus driver, or any of those things, or a terribly uncomfortable bed. So actually the sector needs to collaborate more broadly and around that holistic visitor experience. So what, what’s the experience before you attend the city?

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds How are you, how is a tourist engaged with? How it might find its way through the city? How do you balance individual needs? You know the, the instinct is to sort of, hit a top 10 on TripAdvisor, but then for many visitors and and customers they don’t want to go to somewhere that says crowded. So how do you help people discover, some of the hidden gems of the city and make sure that they’re having a really positive experience, rather than sort of following each other around in that space? and I think that’s, that’s where Edinburgh has an advantage, because it’s an incredibly small city, that has an incredibly rich offer to tourists and a lot of it is physical.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds The, the geography of the city alone, is is a huge draw and actually I think if we think carefully about how we we spread people out of, the, you know the Old Town of the city and into the now thiving West End a New Town in the city, actually we can spend a lot of time, pushing people to different areas of the city where they can discover something new and actually have a, what feels to be quite an exclusive and secret experiences in Edinburgh.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds Rather than you know, and they can still include all of the usual places that a tourist might visit, but I think if we need, if we take a more holistic approach to how we help people explore the city, working with transport and food and drink and leisure and retail and all of those things. Then actually we can really, that, that idea of visiting Edinburgh, rather than visiting the Castle or visiting the Fringe or visiting the Zoo, that can be a real sales point of Edinburgh as a tourist destination.

Looking at your destination holistically

Listen to Lyndsey talk about visitor experience starting before the visitor arrives (pre-) and then when there (during) and looking beyond individual attractions and experiences to helping to improve the overall destination experience for the visitor.

Thinking beyond your own specific tourism organisation and its experience for the visitor, what are the key elements of the wider visitor experience for your own destination (whether city/town or region).

  • What aspects work well and what aspects do not/detract from the overall experience?
  • How might working together in a data informed manner improve the holistic visitor experience in your destination?
  • As well as working within the tourism sector, what other separate or related sectors could be involved?

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

Edinburgh Napier University