25 Apr 2023

Digital Innovation for Tourism Businesses

Nick Hall, Founder & CEO of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, joined us at Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry for an event filled with inspirational ideas, talks and perspectives shared on digital innovation for Tourism Businesses.

During this Masterclass, delivered as part of the NI Tourism Enterprise Development (TED) Programme, we explored collectively how Northern Ireland can use digital innovation to capitalise on its unique potential.

Please find below a short overview of the day including a word from each of our speakers:

Nick Hall Keynote Address 

The masterclass kicked off with a keynote address from Nick Hall, Founder & CEO of the Digital Tourism Think Tank.

Nick provided an overview of the opportunities existing for businesses to gain competitiveness by staying on top of trends. He explored sustainability, how the financial squeeze is shifting priorities, mobile first experiences, social first strategies for the ‘TikTok Generation’, streaming & on-demand media and Generative AI.
Please find below recording of Nick’s Keynote address: 

NI Tourism Digital Trailblazers 

Our local trailblazers segment kicked off with Claire Bacon, Titanic Belfast’s Marketing & Communications Manager who shared their digital innovation journey.

Claire explained how they have reimagined the Titanic Experience and developed multimedia guides to allow visitors to be fully immersed in the experience.

We were then joined by Niall Kerr, Head of Heritage & Community Relations at Nerve Centre, who provided an overview of their role in the “Our Place in Space” project.

Niall explained how having a strong focus on social content and an ‘always-on’ attitude was key to the success of the project, as well as following trends and doing targeted advertising.

Ronan McConnell, Museums Project Officer at Derry City & Strabane District Council concluded our local innovation section with an update on the Tower Museum’s VR Experiences and Digital Engagement.

Ronan highlighted the museum’s aim for visitors to visualise historic environments which no longer exist in the city with the use of VR and AR.

Please find below recording of our Local Trailblazers segment and including all three presentations:

Essential Tips & TXGB Update 

Next we heard some key ‘Essential Tips’ from our keynote and facilitator Nick Hall. Nick took this opportunity to highlight the importance of shifting mindsets and practice, not being afraid to take risks, using AI tools as your ally and creating an always-on calendar to maximise marketing efforts.

This was followed by a TXGB overview from James Berzins, Managing Director of Tourism Exchange Great Britain (TXGB). Tourism NI has partnered with TXGB to unlock the full potential of the visitor economy and give businesses better access to online sales channels, so you can promote your offering cost-effectively and drive more direct bookings.

View Nick’s Essential Tips, TXGB update from James, and Tourism NI close from Industry Development Manager Carolyn Boyd below:

Supporting Materials:

The following materials are available to view and download in ‘supporting materials’ section on this page:

  • Digital Innovation for Tourism Businesses Whitepaper - Summarising all key discussions and top tips from the event in one easily digestible document.
  • Presentation slide decks for all NI Digital Trailblazers.
  • Presentation slide deck for TXGB.

Summary of Key Trends and Tips with Nick Hall

Please also find below a stand-alone short summary of key trends and tips from our keynote and facilitator Nick Hall:

About our Keynote:

Nick Hall – Founder & CEO, The Digital Tourism Think Tank

The Digital Tourism Think Tank was developed by Nick, who is widely considered as one of the world’s leading experts on digital trends and transformation in the field of tourism.

With two decades of experience, there is hardly any DMO that Nick has not advised. He has been personally behind change for so many DMOs and continues to drive the conversation around industry trends today. Nick continues to grow and develop the #DTTT, helping it to evolve beyond digital to tackle existential topics, such as sustainable leadership.

He also continues to speak at leading industry conferences on the biggest trends impacting the industry, as well as working on exciting projects and initiatives, together with public sector organisations who want to change the leisure economy for good.