Mindfulness, interaction and common goals for TIC leaders – innovative ways to develop destination experience
Eighty-three TIC managers and staff representing 49 leading European cities recently met in Dublin for the third edition of the TIC Expert Meeting to exchange knowledge and best practices on Tourist Information Centres (TIC).
The ECM TIC Expert Meeting is targeted to TIC managers and staff, whether they are ECM members or not. This initiative from European Cities Marketing (the only membership association strengthening city marketing in Europe with 100 cities onboard) is providing participants with an opportunity to improve their knowledge and also to share information on Tourist Information Centres with other destinations. For the third year in a row, the event was fully-booked showing once again the interest of TIC managers and staff in exchanging to improve their TICs.
Gabriela Schweinberger, International Business Coach and Consultant, hosted a workshop where attendees were divided into groups and given different problematic regarding TICs. This workshop was a platform for learning: attendees outlined common problems, goals and clients/visitors with nearly identical requirements. Together they searched for solutions and exchanged their experiences.
A panel discussion on mobile TICs (or itinerant TICs – Ed.) was also organised with Johanna Laxen, Tourist Information Advisor at Visit Helsinki and Federica Borini, TIC Coordinator at Turismo Torino e Provincia. Johanna described the mobile TIC system used during high season in Helsinki with staff walking around specific touristic areas providing maps and brochures to the tourists in need. While Federica explained that in Turin the mobile TIC system is used during events and volunteers help the tourists.
Last but not least, attendees were given the opportunity to work on personal development thanks to Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten who provided a masterclass on mindfulness. Did you know that you only need 10 minutes of meditation per day to feed your brain and it helps people overcome stress, develop greater mental focus and better interaction… which are important when you work in a TIC.
Richard Windischbacher, TIC Knowledge Group chairperson and TIC Manager at Graz Tourismus explained: “Tourist Information Centres are a source of inspiration for visitors in a city. The aim of our yearly event is to offer a mix of incentive and exchange opportunities for all the TIC experts’ attendees from large and small cities, from public and private organisations. The exchange of best practices, experience and know-how is the key to improve cities competitiveness. The TIC Expert Meeting allows attendees to benchmark themselves by learning about other TIC.”
The fourth edition of the TIC Expert Meeting will be held on October 26-27, 2017 in Budapest.