In researching digital audits created for other destinations, RTO4 was only able to find reports that focused on 1 or 2 key tourism assets such as the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and/or the official City web presence. The reality of how digital assets are used by visitors necessitates a broader approach to digitally evaluating all tourism-facing web assets within a destination. As an example, Stratford’s digital audit analyzed 326 entities, categorized into 95 accommodations, 64 culinary, 12 festivals, 17 attractions, 126 retail and 12 other. Retail/restaurant chains were not included in the audit.
The days of having only a small handful of tourism web assets representing the destination are long gone.
Tourism continues to be massively disrupted by digital innovation. Paying close attention to digital User Experience (UX) issues is critically important to improving the visitor experience, increasing tourism’s economic impact, and future-proofing the destination. The new reality is a fragmented network of digital assets across many channels, with varying degrees of quality and cohesion. The Digital Audit was conceived and implemented in order to provide destinations with an holistic view of their digital presence. Developing effective digital tactics requires data-driven insights that can be measured, benchmarked and analyzed.
The Destination Digital Audit determines the level of digital sophistication for the overall destination, specific channels and sectors, and identifies digital ‘fixes’ and opportunities. Each tourism operator/entity has a separate report for their individual scoring. The digital channels analyzed include operator websites, Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. RTO4 intends to repeat the Destination Digital Audit annually to provide a benchmark to track and report on the efficacy of digital sophistication tactics.
The digital audit collects and analyzes over 100 publicly available data points for each entity within the destination, using tools such as website.grader.com, keyhole.co, tweetchup.com, likealyzer.com, as well as individual social media user accounts and operator websites. Each entity is then graded across each channel with weighted algorithms using a total of 40 key data points.