12 Powerful Questions to Foster a Regenerative Approach to Tourism
Powerful Questions for Tourism
For a long time, tourism destinations and destination marketing organisations have been asking one simple question: how can we get more visitors to come to us?
However, calls for a better and different future through tourism demand that we start asking better and different questions.
We can look to Regenerative Tourism for those questions. Regenerative Tourism is emerging strongly as the alternative to the continuous growth, numbers-driven model. While it is a concept that is a little challenging to define, here are the main points that come to mind for me:
- tourism that actively and intentionally creates the conditions for communities and places to thrive and flourish;
- tourism that gives back more than it takes, that delivers net benefit to all stakeholders;
- tourism that takes steps to ensure that the natural and human resources that make up tourism can sustain and regenerate.
What is a ‘Powerful Question’?
I’m a professionally trained and certified Coach. A key tool in the Coach’s kit is the ‘Powerful Question’ and they are vitally important in the overall coaching relationship.
In Coaching, a Powerful Question is a thought-provoking inquiry that help clients explore their beliefs, values, motivations, and goals. The question stimulates deep thinking and encourages exploration, reflection and insight. The question is open-ended, non-judgemental, and designed to encourage clients to reflect deeply on their experiences and perspectives.
Coaches will generally work hard to learn how to ask their clients the right questions in the right way. This is because the right question can shift one’s perspective, challenge deep-rooted assumptions and unlock new possibilities. The right question almost forces somebody to find a new perspective and, in this way, can help them achieve the breakthrough they need. For these reasons, I have worked hard to incorporate Powerful Questioning into my role of Facilitator within Tourism.
Potential Powerful Questions to foster Regenerative Approaches to Tourism
Here are some questions that I have used to facilitate destination conversations with a regenerative tourism theme. I share them here to provoke thought and to invite you to take some time to answer them (questions are only powerful if time is invested on finding the answers to them!). Imagine you are answering them for your destination or imagine you are asking them of all the other stakeholders in your destination.
- What does ‘thriving’ look like for your place?
- How can tourism help create the conditions to bring that about?
- What would more visitors mean for your place?
- What other kind of more do you want for your place?
- What are the people of this place most passionate about?
- How can you connect with the visitors that share the same passion?
- How do we ensure both guests and hosts benefit from tourism?
- How would you like to host?
- What’s in the DNA of your place that makes it different to any place else?
- What do you want to revitalise and reinvigorate for the future?
- If Nature were in charge of tourism here, what would Nature do?
- If Culture and Heritage were in charge of tourism here, what would they do?
Powerful Questions are a requirement in any situation where creative new ideas are needed to deal with current challenges. For a new future, we need new questions. This is because the questions we ask and the way we ask them significantly impact on the options we generate, the decisions we make and ultimately the outcomes we receive.
Tina is a facilitator, mentor and coach with particular interest in sustainable tourism, regenerative tourism, food tourism, tourism networks and collaborations. Tina advises on regenerative approaches to tourism and has expertise in hosting and facilitating community and industry consultations and workshops that incorporate sustainable and regenerative approaches to tourism development. For more information you can contact us at [email protected] or sign up to our weekly article for more insights here.
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