Imagine teaching ten thousand industry employees how to exceed visitor expectations in one year. Online visitor experience education makes it possible. That’s one reason DMOs are leaning toward online visitor experience education (VXE). Some make their videos and put them on their website or YouTube channel. Others hire an expert to customize a VXE platform and produce video lessons. In this blog post, you will learn the benefits of online learning for employees and whether to do it yourself or hire a professional.


The availability of online video courses makes it possible to reach everyone in your visitor economy. Other benefits include cost effectiveness, how easy it is to measure, and most importantly, how well employees learn online.


Employees learn more quickly and remember what they learn better online than in person. According to Daniel S. Cooper and Ken Cooper, authors of Taming the Terrible Too’s of Training: How to Improve Workplace Performance in the Digital Age, the benefits of online learning compared to in-person classes include:

  •       Fifty percent higher retention of information,
  •       Fifty-six percent greater gains in learning,
  •       Forty percent higher consistency in the material presented,
  •       Sixty percent increase in consistency of learning, and
  •       A decrease in the time training takes by 70%.


Online VXE programs can reach far more people than in-person classes. With the right promotion, 10-15% of industry employees will participate in online visitor experience education every year. Mid-sized DMOs (in cities the size of St. Louis or Philadelphia) have about 75,000 tourism industry employees. Thus, at least 7,500 will complete visitor experience education courses in a year!


No need to wait until you have several employees to teach together – bring new employees up-to-speed on your visitor experience expectations on day one with online VXE. Considering the industry sees 70% employee turnover every year, flexible scheduling is one of the top benefits of online learning.


You don’t have to move all your VXE to video. You can combine the best of both learning environments. Some learners will prefer the classroom. You can use video lessons in the live environment and add group exercises with aid from a professional adult learning designer. Video lessons take less time than verbal presentations and learners retain more, so there is no need for a two-or-three-hour live session. 


The cost of online learning is a fraction of what it takes to deliver in-person educational opportunities for industry partners: planning, speaker expenses, venue rental, marketing, event production, printing, A/V, food, and beverages.


Managers can easily track the impact of online VXE programs by seeing how many people complete courses. They also can monitor how individuals are progressing through the program.

Given the lengthy list of benefits, online offerings are critical to the success of DMOs and their partners. If you have not built VXE into your strategic plans, now is the time to do it.


How do you get there once you’re convinced online VXE will help you meet your goals? You have a camera, phone, and computer. You know your audience and what sets you apart. And . . . you do not have the budget to pay someone to pay someone to create a VXE program for you. Does that mean you should do it yourself? We don’t think so and here’s why.


Experts in adult learning know how to develop engaging content employees will retain. When you trust Treat ‘em Right to customize a VXE program for you, we deliver lessons effectively and efficiently.

Consider the actual cost of your time—your salary divided by 2,000 (40 hours x 50 weeks) then add 30% for benefits. How much time will you spend developing a program yourself? Then compare that to an investment in an L&D professional spread across three years.


While creating custom content for our clients we pull from what works for others across the country to explain how to exceed visitors’ expectations and keep them coming back. This research is time-consuming for DMO staff to do themselves while creating their own VXE program.


While you might shoot and edit short videos on your phone, producing a series of videos for online learning requires a more advanced skillset and equipment. The learning curve is steep for software like Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. If you have the time and skills and decide to create your videos, be sure to familiarize yourself with copyright laws for business use before including images or videos you found online for your course.


Online courses are an essential part of a strategy to improve the visitor experience at your destination. Thus, when planning for next year, determine the ROI of adding an online VXE program. Look at partner metrics such as:

  •       Improvements in employee retention,
  •       Increases in guest referrals,
  •       Net promoter score increases, and
  •       Behavioral changes of employees.

We hear positive feedback from DMOs across the country about the impact of online VXE courses for community partners. One DMO’s partner, a Walmart manager in Manhattan, Kansas, appreciates the focus on friendliness in the VXE program. She calls the ROI on VXE “limitless.”

Do you want help projecting the ROI for a visitor experience education for your organization? We will help you do that and answer any questions you have about online learning. Send us a message or call 314-221-6037. We look forward to talking to you.