Home » Programs » Visitor Servicing + Destination Marketing Bootcamp
COVID19

Like our beloved tourism industry,
we need to be agile...

 

In response to the significant impact the COVID-19 is having and will continue to have on our tourism industry, we are adapting our annual Visitor Servicing + Destination Marketing Bootcamp for 2020 to support organisations through the crisis recovery stage.

If you'd like us to support you in your journey to recovery, then we'd love you to consider joining our Bootcamp in August 2020.

Rebecca-White-Paige-Rowett

We're Rebecca and Paige,
your mentors

 

Hey there... this is us, Rebecca on the Left, and Paige to the right!

For those who don't know us, or haven't worked with us before, we're two passionate tourism specialists, who have been floating around the Australian tourism industry for the last 20 years (or so!).

We've worked extensively in international & destination marketing, as strategists and marketing educators working with destinations, local governments and operators across Australia.

Since establishing Tourism eSchool back in 2012 (wow, that feels like a lifetime ago!), we've worked with many destinations, visitor centres and local governments, as well as hundreds of tourism businesses, training them on strategy, experience development and digital marketing.

We care deeply about the health of Australia's tourism industry, and are absolutely shattered to see the industry in it's current form, which is why we've already created some helpful information and advice for destinations  and Visitor Centres to try and help them navigate this challenging time.

Read our 'About' page to learn more about each of us, and our stories >

 

 

Why we created this Program

We developed this Program in response to a series of challenges that many of our colleagues in visitor servicing and destination marketing roles have expressed to us over the past 8 years. These have never more clear than the current Covid-19 crisis.

  • The landscape for Visitor Servicing is changing, quickly

    Visitor servicing teams aren't 100% sure of how to adapt what they are currently doing to service their visitors to remain a relevant part of the customer's purchase journey. This is more important than ever with the changed traveller post-Covid and the massive digital adaption seen through the Covid lockdown.

  • Knowledge and Confidence to implement the right digital marketing + visitor servicing tactics

    It's essential that visitor servicing and destination marketing teams are efficient and effective with their budgets. 

    And whilst there are numerous professional development opportunities for 101 tourism marketing available, there are no training opportunities that focus on visitor servicing and destination marketing specifically.

  • Tired of attending stand alone webinars, conferences and workshops that don't add value

    Stand alone webinars and conferences are great for networking (feels like a long time ago pre Covid-19), but more and more, they are a resource for inspiration, and not so much for actionable, practical advice teams can apply immediately and confidently.

I can highly recommend Tourism eSchool's Visitor Servicing and Destination Marketing Bootcamp.

The course was extremely beneficial for the staff of our Visitors Information Centre, with useful templates, loads of information, and valuable webinars. It was a great investment because we now don’t have to pay contractors to manage our own digital marketing and therefore it saves us precious dollars every year! Paige and Rebecca are amazing, helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and offer terrific advice in a prompt and professional manner!
Rose Evans, Team Leader Tourism and Economic Development, Norfolk Island Tourism

How does the
Program work?

Facilitated online. One Intake Per Year

The Program is facilitated (totally) online over the period of 3 months.

Next intake starts 6th August 2020. Registrations Now Open.

Whole of Organisation Registration

Have as many of your Destination Marketing and Visitor Servicing Team join the program as you like, to ensure everyone is on board with developing and implementing your new strategies.

Personalised mentoring from Two Tourism Marketing Professionals

Participants will have access to us via our pre and post program meetings and the Live Training Webinars during the course of the Program, and in the Mastermind Group for the lifetime of the Program.

Live Training Webinars Each Fortnight

9 x 1 hour live training webinars that will cover each of the Program Modules outlined below, with each one recorded and made available via a secure membership area on the Tourism eSchool website.

'Done for You' Workbooks, Toolkits and Templates

We've spent 100+ hours perfecting our bespoke training materials, which have been designed specifically to help your team work toward implementing your digital visitor servicing and destination marketing tactics.

  • Module Workbooks. Value = $2,400

    For each Module, we have crafted a Workbook, which identifies actionable tasks, that together with the webinar,
    helps guide your team to implement you new learnings. Each Workbook also features live website links through
    to resources shared in the Module, and additional online resources for further professional development.

  • Destination Marketing + Visitor Servicing Planning Toolkit. Value = $10,000+

    Our Destination Marketing + Visitor Servicing Strategy Toolkit is 15+ worksheet Microsoft Excel document, which features easy to use formula based input fields, in conjunction with planning tables which are fully customisable.

    This Toolkit is used to record results and information on the nuts and bolts of planning and implementing your destination marketing + visitor servicing tactics, and can be used as a strategy document itself, or to inform the development of a formal strategy document.

  • Task Orientated Templates. Value = $1,500

    To delve deeper in the planning of specific marketing tactics, we’ve developed a series of Task Orientated Templates to assist your team to complete tasks to maximum potential, which leads to more strategic outcomes for your organisation.

  • Private Mastermind Access. Value = priceless

    To facilitate life-long learning and opportunity, we've set up a private Facebook group for participants to join upon enrolment in the Bootcamp. This space is where you can ask us questions about the content within the Program, receive help with working through the program tasks and build relationships with and learn from other teams in the program.

Lifetime access to learning materials

If your organisation doesn't complete the Bootcamp within the allowed 3 months, you don’t need to worry, as your organisation will be able to access the content for the lifetime of the Program. Perfect for the current climate where things are changing by the day.

So, every time we update the content (when we run the Program in the following years), your organisation (and any new visitor servicing staff) will have the option to join in the live webinars, and will also be able to stay an active member of our private Facebook group!

It’s like a gift that keeps on giving!

A very comprehensive, value-for-money program that I strongly recommend to others.

The Mentoring Program webinars enable participation when and where it suits you. You'll be provided with the latest knowledge and valuable tools and templates to take you from zero to hero in no time. These can be adapted to create your own actions and a tailored Digital Marketing Strategy. A very comprehensive, value-for-money program that I strongly recommend to others.
Melanie Grinter, Frankston Visitor Information Centre

Bootcamp Modules

Following are the Modules for the 2020 Program. Please note these will be adapted and up to date at the time we deliver them based on the current Covid-19 stages of re-opening.

However all the topics we cover are timeless regardless of Covid!

Module 1 | Visitor Servicing and Destination Marketing Strategy + Exceptional Visitor Centres
  • Update on the tourism landscape, from a marketing and visitor perspective, and impacts Covid-19 are having on your region's visitors and how you service and market to them.
  • Learn how to identify your destination's most profitable customers and complete a customer journey map, which will help guide activites during and post Covid-19 recovery.
  • Learn about what makes an exceptional Visitor Information Centre experience from case studies of visitor centres growing their financial sustainability and adding real value to their local visitor economies.
Module 2 | Communication Plans, Collateral + Storytelling
  • Develop (or refine) a stakeholder communication plan for your locals, industry, elected members, community groups and other relevant stakeholders in your region to keep buy-in and support for your activities
  • Look at best practice case studies of Visitor Servicing teams crisis management communications.
  • Understand the concept of content marketing and storytelling, and how VICs can become great storytellers for their destination
  • Understand how you and your team support your local, regional and state tourism organisations by curating and creating stories for your region.
  • Undertake a review of all Visitor Collateral developed by your VIC to ensure it is meeting your Ideal Customers needs
  • Ensure the current Visitor Collateral can also be found on relevant digital touchpoints, such as a blog.
Module 3 | Social Media
  • Learn how to use Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to improve customer engagement and how to best keep in touch with community to drive future bookings, visits or event attendees post COVID-19
  • Learn how to collect and reshare your visitors photos + videos to save you time and grow your results on social media.
  • Learn practical tips to increase the engagement and reach of social media posts on your social channels (especially Facebook and Instagram) at the time of falling organic reach and reduced social media trust with consumers
  • Understand how to use Facebook and Instagram advertising strategically to attract new customers and drive more customer conversion
Module 4 | Website Marketing
  • How to optimise your website to convert more website visitors into bookings or enquiries
  • Gain knowledge and tools to confidently work with your web development agency to produce a high yielding website, that not only services your customers, but achieves your overall marketing goals
  • How to build a Customer-Centric Website – key functional, usability and website design elements to a successful Destination website
  • Understand how you can add value to your council and destination websites to ensure the right visitor information is accessible
  • Undertake a review of your current website, and set website objectives
  • Learn how to decipher Google Analytics like a pro, mastering all of the relevant KPIs as it relates to monitoring and measuring your website objectives
  • BONUS: Tips and tools to create a website brief and manage the tender process
Module 5 | Blogging
  • How to use blogging to share your stories, and attract new visitors searching for information at all stages of their purchase journey
  • Learn about the functional, usability & design features required to set up a blog on your Destination or Visitor Centre website
  • Understand what it takes to create engaging blog content, and the rules and hacks for stress free blog content creation.
Module 6 | Search Engine Optimisation
  • Understand the complexities of Search Engine Optimisation in layman’s terms (including how search engines work and major search engine ranking factors)
  • How to optimise your web pages and blog posts to rank well in organic search results (where the majority of travellers are seeking information in all stages of their purchase journey)
  • Undertake a review of your current website, and set SEO objectives
  • Learn how to decipher Google Analytics like a pro, mastering all of the relevant KPIs as it relates to monitoring and measuring your SEO objectives
Module 7 | Email Marketing
  • Learn how to develop a strategic email marketing communication plan for your different customer groups (visitors, locals, stakeholders).
  • Learn how to set up and optimise a customer facing eNews, including how to collect signups strategically and measure results in an email service provider.
  • Discover how to design email update that people actually want to open, read and engage with it
  • Confirm email marketing resourcing and objectives to measure return on investment.
Module 8 | Online Visitor Servicing + Advocacy
  • Understand the different options to provide visitor information online such as through smartphone apps and digital visitor guides
  • Learn how to deliver and optimise location based digital visitor information through Location Based Apps and Online searches, such via Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook and Instagram GeoLocations.
  • Learn what to do (and importantly not to do!) if your VIC or managed visitor assets receive negative feedback online
  • Learn how to encourage customer advocacy for your destination through your VIC, local residents and your owned/managed attractions and events
Module 9 | Products and Events + Measuring Success
  • How to deliver an exceptional experience at your local government managed Tourism Experiences, such as Gallery, Museum or Tours.
  • Tourism Product Digital Marketing 101 to support you to market your VIC or local govrnment owned/managed tourism assets such as walking tours, art galleries or museums.
  • Event Marketing 101 so you can effectively manage and support the marketing of events in your region.  
  • Learn how to measure the effectiveness of your overall marketing and visitor servicing activities, to ensure you are achieving key performance indicators for your VIC, and confidently share the results with your stakeholders.

Accountability and Support

We place a large emphasis on ensuring our participants and their organisations get the most value and best outcomes from the program. Therefore, to ensure maximum engagement and outcomes, each participant in this program will:

  • Pre-Program Survey + Team Meeting

    Prior to the start of the Program, we will ask your team to complete a pre-program survey, which helps us get to know your specific situation in detail, which helps us to be able to tailor the content for the course. From there, we will organise a time to meet with your team participating in the Program, to delve a little deeper into your situation and ensure we have a clear picture of your requirements.

  • Ongoing Feedback and mentoring support

    Be offered the opportunity to receive feedback from Paige and Rebecca on tasks on an ongoing basis throughout the Program

  • Post-Program Team Meeting

    We will facilitate a meeting at the end of the Program with your team to see how you are how you are going with implementing your learnings, and if you have any immediate queries relating to what you've learnt throughout the Program.

  • Follow up on implementation progress

    Six months after the end of the Program, we will follow up with your team to hear about your achievements and successes, as it relates to the implementation of your learnings from the Program.

I would highly recommend Tourism eSchool for those both new to the industry and those who are experienced - you will always learn new things and gain new insights!

I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Rebecca and Paige to further my understanding of the tourism industry and customer behaviour. Paige and Rebecca were fantastic tutors. The information provided in the program helped me to gain perspective, experience and real-world knowledge to implement within my businesses and to improve our outcomes. I would highly recommend Tourism eSchool for those both new to the industry and those who are experienced - you will always learn new things and gain new insights! Thanks very much for your expertise, I look forward to building stronger tourism businesses in the Rutherglen region.
Natalie Ajay, Destination Rutherglen & Winemakers of Rutherglen

Is this Program a good fit for your organisation?

This Program is designed specifically for tourism and local government organisations who are responsible for implementing destination marketing and visitor servicing tactics online.

Organisations could include:

  • Local Tourism Organisations
  • Regional Tourism Organisations
  • Local Government Organisations
  • Visitor Centres

The content within this Program is suitable for participants looking for intermediate-advanced level of learning.

The Program is also suitable for Organisations who have recently undertaken a Visitor Servicing Review or implemented a new Visitor Servicing Strategy. We're always happy to chat on the phone if there are specific training outcomes you need for your new strategy to see if we can include them in our current module content.

The Mentoring Program was far beyond anything I expected. Rebecca and Paige were great mentors with a wealth of knowledge!

The Mentoring Program was far beyond anything I expected. Rebecca and Paige were great mentors with a wealth of knowledge. From a Destinations perspective I have gained more experience and real world knowledge to use for years to come, and we have already implemented many of the learnings, especially around Social Media and Blogging. Thank you ladies for passing on your expertise, I look forward to using my knowledge from your course to better market our destination.
Kristie Wilson, Norfolk Island Tourism

Is your team ready to evolve
your visitor servicing + Destination marketing strategy?

If so, we'd absolutely love to have your team on board, starting August 2020!

Organisation Registration AUD $5,500 + GST.

This cost includes unlimited staff, including any new staff that join your team over the lifetime of the Program.

If you'd like us to support you in your journey to post-COVID-19 recovery, then please click on the link below to register your organisation!

Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Program, but if none of these help you then please don't hesitate to contact us via email, and we will be sure to respond to you as soon as possible!

With Covid-19 things are changing fast. Will the Program’s content be up to date?

We have the overall plan for each Module, but we only finalise the content the week prior to that module. So, you can be assured it will be as up to date as we can possibly make it, in light of our own professional development and insights we have around current stages of Covid-19. Having said that, we know how fast things are changing at the moment. So the other benefit of joining the program is you get all the Module updates when we run the program again next year.

 

Is Tourism eSchool a Registered Training Organisation and do I get a qualification at the end of the Program?

No – Tourism eSchool is not a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The reason for this is we have consciously chosen not to align the Bootcamp with any Vocational Training Qualifications.

While Vocational Training is fantastic for students starting out their careers after high school or people looking to get the foundations of marketing, the reality of Marketing and Digital Marketing Qualifications is they aren’t specific enough when it comes to Destination Marketing and Visitor Servicing.

Due to the fast pace of change with digital technology, digital channels and consumer behaviour (very clearly highlighted with the current Covid-19 situation), we overhaul every module on the Bootcamp each time it’s run, to ensure we are teaching what is currently working when it comes to marketing a Destination and delivering best practice Visitor Servicing.

While we are Tourism Consultants first and foremost, we have a very solid track record of teaching and getting results over the last 8 years with our students via our Mentoring Programs and Live Workshops, which you can see from the testimonials around our Website.

We’ve made the very conscious decision to invest our time in getting your results in your Organisation over an official qualification which may or may not deliver what you need to evolve your Digital Marketing and Visitor Servicing.

Your organisation will receive a participation certificate and more importantly, if the team are willing to put in the hard work to apply the learnings from the Bootcamp in your Organisation, you will absolutely be able to improve your Destination Marketing and Visitor Servicing’s impact on growing your region’s Visitor Economy

So, if you are looking for a professional qualification for you and your staff, then this program wont be the right fit for you or your team.

 

How many hours per week should I and my Colleagues set aside to do the Program?

We recommend you and your colleagues put aside 2 – 3 hours per week over the course of the program to ensure you don’t lose momentum with your learning.

However, after the end of the Live Training, more time will be needed to implement the Medium to Long Term Projects (see the next FAQ below)

This time includes attending the live webinars (or watching the replays), reading the workbooks, undertaking the Quick Win tasks (either individually or with your colleagues), planning out Medium and Longer Term Tasks, and interacting with other Bootcamp Participants in the private Facebook Group Forum.

Note: There is a break during the October School Holidays to allow you and the team to catch up on tasks.

Will there be homework in the Bootcamp and will it be marked?

Yes, there will be, and it is call “Module Tasks” and we can provide feedback on on all Module Tasks.

Homework Overview

Each Module has a Workbook which outlines a number of Tasks to complete. These Tasks allow your organisation to apply your learnings. Typically, Module Tasks include reviewing, optimising, implementing and measurement of your Organisations Visitor Servicing and Destination Marketing Activities.

We recommend completing the Tasks as a Team OR individually by the person who is responsible for that area of Visitor Servicing or Destination Marketing (eg Social Media etc).

Each Module will vary in number of Tasks, and how long they take to implement will depend on where your Organisation is at with their Destination Marketing and Visitor Servicing Activities.

As a guide, Tasks are as following

Quick Win Tasks – Usually 2 – 4 per Module. They usually take around 2 hour (total) to complete. We recommend they are completed before the next Module’s Live Webinar.

  • Example task “Review and Update Your Organisations Instagram/Facebook/TripAdvisor Profiles”

Medium Term Tasks –  Around 4 – 8 Tasks per Module. Medium Term tasks usually take longer to implement. They need to be planned for in the coming 3 – 6 months of Team Work.

  • Example task “Claim and Optimise all TripAdvisor Listings for key Visitor Experiences in your Destination”

Long Term Tasks – Around 3 – 4 per Module, depending on your organisation. Often they may also have budget implications, such as Redeveloping your Organisations Visitor Facing Website. Therefore we recommend they are planned over the coming 6 – 12 months.

  • Example task “Review or develop a Marketing Plan for each Product managed by your Organisation”  

 

Homework Marking

While we set recommended completion dates for tasks, the completion and submission of Homework by the recommended date is not compulsory, as we know how busy things can get in Visitor Centres or Organisations.

However, at a minimum, we encourage the completion of Quick Win Tasks before the next live Webinar.

We are also on hand to provide feedback and mentoring support around any of the Tasks that have been set in a Module.

 

When are the live webinars running and what happens if I or a team member can’t attend one live?

All the live webinar dates for the 2020 program are scheduled in advance so you and the team can hopefully free up your calendars to attend.

Ideally at least a couple of people from the organisation are able to attend all the live webinars.

Webinars will be run  at 10.30am (Perth – AWST),  12 noon (Adelaide – ACST), 12.30pm (East Coast Australia AEST), 2.30pm (New Zealand).

2020 Webinar Dates

All webinars are run on a Wednesday, and go for approximately 1 hour, but allow another 30 minutes for group discussions.

  • August 6th, 18th, 27th
  • September 8th, 17th, 24th
  • October 15th, 22nd, 29th – Note, for these Webinars, if your organisation doesn’t have daylight savings the Webinar time will be 1 hour earlier than outlined above.

We will record all the live webinars and save them in the Member Portal Website (www.members.tourismeschool.com) so you can watch them at a time that suits you if you or your team are unable to make one of them live.

Our budget is tight, we’re not sure we can afford the Bootcamp this year?

We understand how budget planning works at a regional marketing and local government which is why we are running the program in August 2020, to allow your organisation time to pay for the program from either their 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 budgets.

We are also happy to invoice your organisation over the two financial years.

With the pausing of many marketing activities due to t he Covid-19 crisis, the investment in professional development for staff is more important than even, to help ensure your destination is ready to capitalise on all the opportunities once travel patterns can return to normal. Combined with this program being completely online, all your staff can join the training, regardless of where they are working from.

Also we are only running this program once in 2020, so if you would like to join, we encourage you to lobby your manager to let you join this 2020 round.

The investment to join this program is also very small considering the rate payer dollars local governments invest to keep a physical visitor information centres open. So again, we encourage you to lobby your manager to let you join the program, and help ensure your region’s visitor servicing is helping deliver a real return to your local visitor economy.

If you need us to get on the phone to your manager to help convince them of the program’s merit, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can organise a time!

 

 

How does “Lifetime Access to the Program” work?

Your Organisation has lifetime access to the Bootcamp for as long as we run it.

The registration for Bootcamp stays with the Organisation, and is not transferrable to staff who leave your Organisation.

During enrolment a “Lead Person” is nominated from your organisation to manage the staff who will be joining the program.

Therefore, if they leave the organisation before the next round, a new “Lead Person” needs to be nominated from your Organisation.

This is so we can keep them updated on next round dates. They can also provide us with the details of staff who will be joining the new round of the Bootcamp.

Any questions about how this works for you and your organisation, don’t hesitate to contact us.

How does the “Organisation Registration” work when it comes to accessing the training?

One person needs to be nominated as the “Lead Person” from your Organisation. This is most likely the person who is registering for the Bootcamp.

They will be asked to complete the Pre Program Survey, and coordinate what staff need Facebook Group access and Webinar Registration contacts. They will also need to keep us updated with any changes of staff who are joining or leaving the program.

One on One pre and post program catch ups: This will be undertaking with the Lead Person and any additional staff who would like to participate

Webinar Access.  On the day of a Live Webinars, staff log into a computer via their provided GoToWebinar link to listen and watch the webinar. They ask questions via the chat box, via their computer’s microphone OR by phone (if their computer doesn’t have a microphone). Any people who can’t make it live can watch the replay which can be accessed via the Membership Website.

Facebook Mentoring Page Access: The Lead Person will need to supply the names of the people who would like to have access to the Facebook group, so they can be invited into the group and then receive mentoring from Paige + Rebecca.

Do I or Team Members need any prior knowledge to starting the Bootcamp?

No, you and the team don’t need any special knowledge to join the Bootcamp.

You and the Team just need to be working in a role that either influences or manages visitor servicing in your destination (Visitor Centre Manager, Visitor Centre Staff, Destination Marketing Staff or Local Government Tourism Officers) that has the responsibility of providing visitor servicing to visitors in your destination, as well as destination marketing.

Before starting the Bootcamp, it would be very helpful for you and the team had an understanding of the visitor servicing channels in your region (both on and offline), regional visitor collateral and who manages them. But don’t stress if you don’t have this information, as the program will take you through it anyway.

For those any online visitor servicing channels your Organisation manages, you will need access to all of your social networking profiles and a Google Account so you can access relevant Google Products (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google My Business, Google Maps) as we will be asking you to reference and make adjustments to these online accounts throughout the Bootcamp where relevant.

But again, we will show you how to do this in the Program if you don’t have them set up already.