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Case Study

Create a Customer Experience Plan for Vancouver's Tourism Board

Destination Vancouver is the destination marketing organisation (DMO) responsible for increasing tourism activities across Metro Vancouver. Vancouver’s tourism industry was facing pressures on multiple fronts: 1) Average number of nights per visitor were not growing for convention and cruise segments; 2) The city’s perception as a high-priced destination was impacting its NPS; 3) A lack of alignment across stakeholders on initiatives was limiting action.

PH1 was contracted to develop a visitor experience plan that would enable the DMO to address these three challenges.

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Discovered opportunities to increase length of avg stay and increase dispersion of tourism across wider region

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Given the complexity of the challenge and the implications of the work, creating the right approach required several rounds of consultation with the client. It ultimately required a hybrid model of design thinking facilitation, customer experience strategy, and service design methods.

The challenge required four projects:

  1. Customer experience audit of visitor services and overall experience

  2. Customer journey mapping of convention visitors experience

  3. Customer journey mapping of cruise ship passengers experience

  4. Aligning stakeholders around a visitors experience plan

Project #1: Customer experience audit of visitor services and experience This project aimed to scan the current state of the holistic visitor experience, across in-person and online. We had to see through the eyes of the many teams that are on the the ground, as well as assess the effectiveness of Vancouver’s digital marketing and tools.

  • Review of Tourism Vancouver Master Plan

  • Review of web analytics to identify trends and opportunities

  • Usability testing and audit of Tourism Vancouver digital experience

  • Workshop with tourism ambassadors and employees of key partners

  • Interviews of stakeholders across partner organizations in public and private sector

  • Site audits of Vancouver Convention Centre, Port of Vancouver, Canada Place, and several primary touristic districts

Project #2 : Customer journey mapping of convention visitors Project #3: Customer journey mapping of cruise ship passengers Tourism is a complex experience and the only way to get an honest evaluation is to investigate the perspective of visitors across each step of the journey, tracing their actions and steps.

  • Targeted recruitment of visitors at each stage of journey: pre-trip, in-destination, post-trip Interviews with visitors in a remote ethnographic format

  • In-person Intercept research on-site over three weeks, including dyads and triads

  • Online intercept research (on tourismvancouver.com) qualifying visitors for interviews through micro-surveys

  • Interviews with on-site teams

  • Create comprehensive personas

  • Create journey maps across each phase of the journey

  • Create journey maps of the geographical experience of visitors

Project #4: Aligning stakeholders around a visitor experience plan The Visitor Experience Plan was the culmination of the work. It was an ambitious exercise that needed to balance the needs of many sometimes competing organizations, and lay a vision for what they could reach for as a unified coalition.

  • Consultation with board members and key partners

  • Jurisdictional scan of similar organizations and innovation trends

  • Workshop with Tourism Vancouver team

  • Develop Visitor Experience Plan, including audit outcomes and recommendations

  • Delivered a Visitor Experience Plan that was the catalyst for better collaboration across the local tourism ecosystem

  • Delivered an audit of Tourism Vancouver’s digital channels that identified gaps and opportunities to better leverage the city’s strengths

  • Delivered customer journey map of the convention visitor & cruise passenger experiences that enabled stakeholders to prioritize improvements

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