The raison d’être of any tourist office is its region as a tourist destination.
As well as being a showcase, it is in charge of development, welcoming visitors and assisting professionals. It is thus essential for the Tourist Office to be able to guarantee the quality of its services and improve the way it operates in order to be able to implement a drive towards progress worthy of its destination.
We can identify three stages in this progression towards making the Tourist Office the driving force behind its destination. These stages, which overlap to some extent, are not formally defined; it is up to each structure to determine their scope by defining its own strategy and objectives.
- Quality of Reception and information service from the Tourist Office
- Management by progress of the Tourist Office
- Management by progress of the destination
These progress campaigns are intended to ensure the continuing survival of the Tourist Office and its destination. They are continuous improvement procedures and take account of how the structure is organised, its environment, its culture, its customers, its opportunities and its threats.
They cover numerous fields, such as management through quality, the sustainability and accessibility of territories, taking different types of clientèle into account and the structure’s commitments to those clientèles. All of these progress drives when implemented together constitute an overall approach that makes it possible to aim for excellence.
Quality of reception in the Tourist Office: becoming immersed in a quality procedure
This procedure focuses on welcoming and providing information for visitors and local people, face to face, remotely, in the Tourist Office or in the field. The procedure affects the Tourist Office’s core business and provides it with a gateway to continuous improvement, thanks to customer feedback and the improvements implemented.
Management by progress of the Tourist Office: structuring, integrating and certifying
Whether this procedure is voluntary or imposed, it begins with a desire at management level to implement management via quality, in order to enable the Tourist Office to capitalise on its organisation system and develop its services, improve its impact on society within its working environment and aim for creativity and innovation.
This managerial and transverse approach involves all Tourist Office employees and aims for optimal organisation and the continuous improvement of the structure and its services.
The now-global approach collates all the progress procedures previously initiated based on the strategy, where the customer (whether a tourist, a professional or a resident) remains the central element.
The essential elements of this success are:
- the draft structure, the strategy and the quality policy must be clearly defined in writing
- management being active, driving the staff and conveying their motivation, associated with a reference person to coordinate the approach(es) with the entire team
- the involvement of the whole team: combining ideas from employees and bouncing those ideas off each other in order to stimulate collective intelligence and be able to adapt agilely to new situations
- the implementation and updating of suitable tools that are proprietary to the structure
- defining relevant indicators that can be used to measure regularly whether objectives have been realised.
- communicating and promoting undertakings with customers, the supervisory authority and social professionals
Management by progress of the destination: exporting, organising and promoting
A certified Tourist Office must be deemed to be progressing on a permanent basis. The only way that all the work done by the Tourist Office will be relevant and properly promoted is is there is a common image shared by all players in the region, manifested partly by genuine quality in its welcome and services for the whole destination. Creating links and synergies between all players within the region is essential if we are to achieve this cohesion. It is the Tourist Office’s responsibility to provide this momentum.