January 29, 2015 - 7:35 PM
VERNON - A new City of Vernon tourism initiative is focussing more on recommendations shared by word of mouth than snagging a write up in a guide book.
The city understands many people rely on reviews from friends and family when picking a place to visit, and it’s found a way to track how often that happens in Vernon with something called the Net Promoter Score — a measurement that reflects the likelihood a customer will recommend a product, company, or place to friends, family and colleagues.
“You find a percentage of who’s willing to promote your community post vacation to friends and family,” the city’s tourism manager Ange Chew says. “For myself, I base my travel on where friends and family have gone. That’s more relevant for me than reading it in a tour book.”
The city will be rolling out a survey sometime this year or next that will ask participants, among other questions, to rate on a scale of zero to ten, how likely they are to recommend Vernon to someone else. Destination British Columbia has already used the tool to find out how this is working on a provincial scale. With a score of roughly 62.7 per cent, Chew says Destination B.C. is working to push that up to 70 per cent.
“One of the things it establishes is a community benchmark and we can see if we can improve our customer service and our experience,” Chew says. “This is about creating a unique and engaging visitor experience for tourists and travellers coming to Vernon, to understand how all the tourism touch points — hotels, restaurants, bike rentals — affects their impression of Vernon.”
Obtaining a Net Promoter Score is phase two of the city’s plan to gather more Vernon-centric visitor information. The first phase of the project is coming online in early February. In partnership with local hotels and Destination B.C., the city will be putting out a survey that will collect visitor information such as length of stay, visitor origin, purpose of visit and visitor type. The survey will be conducted on a monthly basis to understand trends throughout the year.
“As we try to develop and market our development campaign we need to know who our primary market is,” Chew says. “Maybe there’s an emerging market we can see with who’s staying at our hotels and when.”
The information will help the city identify Vernon’s key selling points and what areas it should concentrate its marketing dollars on.
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—This story was edited at 2:12 p.m. Jan. 30 to say the Net Promoter Score is measured on a scale of zero to ten, not one to ten as previously stated.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015