Looking back 10 years, the global marketplace and practice of urban travel has changed at break-neck speed through developments of digital and mobile innovation, global transaction technology, social media, sharing economy and many more disruptive factors. Most of them would have been outrageous projections in 2007. Imagining an augmented reality shopping experience using smart shopping glasses and iris authentication, facial recognition security check-ins at airports or Facebook AI technology to predict travel propensity can seem outrageous now in 2017, forecasting a future like this is probably much closer than you think.
The professional creed of DMOs is facing the biggest challenge and possibility for decades. Many have already recognized the need to disrupt the classic role and function of DMOs as the cities’ official marketing agency, emphasizing instead the need for the DMO to add the destination management function as a core task. Yet, more and more DMOs are looking beyond management to leadership, taking on a new mission of leading their destination towards urban innovation, facilitating change and expanding horizons towards new value creation for the city and the many stakeholders of the visitor economy.
With “Hack the City”, ECM is not endorsing cybercrime, but rather following in the footsteps of the best of Jedi knights, looking towards the dark side to leverage and learn from a mindset that ignites innovation and disruption. As described by Josh Linkner, putting motives aside, hacking is nothing more than an unorthodox problem-solving methodology. And DMOs today are facing big problems, demanding a change of mindset and tools to stimulate and facilitate urban development and innovation in the visitor economy.
In proud association with Visit Reykjavík and our Icelandic partners, we will showcase how DMOs all over Europe are morphing their business models, forming new partnerships out of the touristic marketing box and hacking innovative new solutions to the problems, we all face.
We invite you to Reykjavík – the best of places within our solar system to talk about the future. Smack in the middle of the old and new world with a lunar landscape unlike any other earthly place of incredible nature, dramatic Atlantic skies and great people! We invite you to explore a near future, where DMOs are the hackers too with the potential to drive the innovative change that will reshape the future of travel and urban space.
So, welcome to Reykjavík!