The future of Tourist Information Centers

Last year we launched our first project focusing on the operation of tourist information centers in The Netherlands. The project titled ‘The tourist information center of the future: research, design, innovation‘ was commissioned by the Knowledge Network of Dutch DMOs and was conducted by NHL Stenden alumni Catarina Senra Barbosa, Cheng-Hsun Yang, Bima Surja Atmaja, Lucija Soric, Nai Wen Chang and Tu Duyen Ho under the supervision of our expert Bernadett Papp.

From information to inspiration

The project revealed that there is a lack of well-defined, standardised key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the performance of TICs and the value they generate. Ways to measure the TICs’ performance and value is essential not only for assessing the performance of the individual information centers, but also for the purpose of benchmarking. Furthermore, it became evident that there is a pressing need for effective ways to measure the valuable contribution TICs make at the destination level and consequently justifying their important role in the customer journey.

Value co-creation and the use of key performance indicators

Building on these outcomes, this year we launched a project titled ‘Defining key performance indicators to measure the value of tourist information centers’. The project was facilitated by the Knowledge Network of Dutch DMOs (Kennisnetwerk Destinatie Nederland) and European Cities Marketing (ECM) and was conducted by NHL Stenden bachelor students Caya Verbeek, Isa Mollema and Kim Korterink under the supervision of Bernadett. The project explored value co-creation in the context of tourist information centers with attention to the economic, social and emotional value. Through a series of focus groups with members of the Knowledge Network of Dutch DMOs and ECM, the students gained valuable insights regarding the ways the economic, social and emotional value is currently measured, the barriers that hinder effective data collection and the opportunities for optimizing the currently used KPIs. Based on the outcomes of the focus group sessions, the students validated their long-list of KPIs and produced a revised list that allows TICs to adapt a more systematic approach towards measuring value.

Figure: Conceptual model

Dive into the research outcomes: request full report

The full report contains in-depth research on value co-creation and detailed explanation about the economic, social, emotional, experience and epistemic value. Furthermore, the report provides detailed accounts of the various indicators included in the list. To increase the added value of the research for practitioners and experts from the work field, the report closes with recommendations on how to identify and select the right type of KPIs depending on the size, form and capacity of the individual TICs. While the report explores the economic, social and emotional values, measuring the epistemic and experience value is of high importance and is recommended to be further researched in the future.

Should you wish to read more about the project and the outcomes please request a copy by filling in your details below. We will send the report to you per email once the report is available for distribution.

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Hereby, we would like to express our gratitude to the Knowledge Network of Dutch DMOs and the TIC expert group of European Cities Marketing for giving us access to members of their networks and thereby allowing our students to learn from experts from the work field and engage with real-life challenges. Such collaborations provide our students with excellent learning opportunities.

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