Making Melbourne the most ‘Visitable’ city

Destination Melbourne, as Melbourne’s independent tourism organisation and the key driver of the Visitability message, focuses on these five pillars to help guide businesses and providers – including taxi drivers and operators – in their delivery and development of positive and valuable visitor experiences.


Written by Destination Melbourne

It was 2011, and Melbourne had just been named the world’s ‘most liveable city’ for the first time. And while nobody could then know that our city would hold that title for another five years (and counting!), a group of leaders from Melbourne’s visitor industry began a conversation about how attractions, destinations and tourism providers could position Melbourne as the world’s most ‘visitable’ city.

During this conversation, the term ‘Visitability’ was born.

The concept of Visitability is quite simple; to improve the critical services at every point of the visitor journey in Melbourne and across Victoria. While obviously there are many improvements that can be made across the entire visitor industry, five key factors were identified as having a significant impact on an outstanding visitor experience and journey.

Destination Melbourne, as Melbourne’s independent tourism organisation and the key driver of the Visitability message, focuses on these five pillars to help guide businesses and providers – including taxi drivers and operators – in their delivery and development of positive and valuable visitor experiences.

Sense of Welcome

Sense of Welcome is the first impression a visitor gets of a destination, service or product, including your website. For taxi operators and drivers, creating a positive Sense of Welcome is about ensuring your passengers feel highly valued, and the connection from the moment they hail a cab (online, over the phone or in person) until they reach their destination is warm, friendly, and – where possible – personalised.

Public Transport

The role of Visitability is to advocate for a public transport system that keep visitors' needs top of mind when delivering products and services, ensure that networks are easy and safe to navigate and that route and fare information can be easily found.

Taxi operators and drivers are at the front line of this Visitability pillar, so it’s important to remember that not only are you representing yourself, your company and industry, but you’re also representing your city.

Accessibility

As well as providing socially responsible visitor services, an aging population and the importance of inclusiveness provides us with a compelling business case for making Victoria’s visitor industry more accessible and inclusive to all travellers.

Again, taxi operators and drivers are in a position where you can ensure that those requiring accessibility needs are catered for. One in five of the world’s population has some form of disability, with many of these disabilities difficult to instantly recognise. As a result, even if your taxi is not wheelchair-friendly, try to provide easy-to-use information inside your taxi and ensure your operator’s website is optimised for visually-impaired users, with accessibility information displayed prominently. These are just two small enhancements that can make a profound difference on the visitor experience for travellers with a disability.

Digital Connectivity

Visitors worldwide increasingly rely on modern technology to plan, book, travel to and share their holiday experiences. Ensuring businesses are visible online, and are using up to date technology, is critical to Melbourne’s relevance and ongoing success as a destination.

It’s a challenge that cannot be solved by taxi operators and drivers alone. While, for example, mobile phone apps are a useful tool they rely on visitors having access to the internet. With roaming costs often prohibitive for international visitors, there is a responsibility for the city’s leaders – as well as telecommunication providers, accommodation providers and attractions, places where tourists are likely to visit – to invest in ensuring free Wi-Fi is available in as many places as possible.

Integrated Messaging

Integrated messaging, or the integrated provision of visitor services, aims to ensure that visitors receive consistent messaging and information from all aspects of their visit to provide a seamless experience. This Visitability pillar is focused on three elements in particular; signage and way finding, printed and online products and key messaging.

For taxi operators and drivers, having a few copies of the Melbourne Official Visitor Guide – both the English-language and Mandarin Chinese versions – available to your passengers is a great place to start, but one of the biggest opportunities that taxi drivers have to ensure a positive visitor experience is a to use your knowledge of key visitor attractions and destinations, to ensure a seamless journey for your passengers.

For more on Visitability visit www.destination.melbourne.

To find out how you could feature in a Visitability case study, please email Sharna Crosbie at sharna@destination.melbourne.

To order copies of the Melbourne Official Visitor Guide in both English and Mandarin Chinese, email info@destination.melbourne or call 9869 2444.

 

WORLD TOURISM DAY, 27 SEPTEMBER

Tuesday 27 September is World Tourism Day. In keeping with the theme of Visitability, and in particular the pillar of accessibility, this year’s theme is Tourism For All: Promoting Universal Accessibility. The United Nations World Tourism Organization, and Destination Melbourne, calls on the taxi industry to help spread the word about both the importance and immense benefits universal accessibility has and can bring to society at large.

Use #tourism4all and #WTD2016 to promote this worthwhile cause that impacts us all.



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