“Let’s get the stakeholders to update their own website content.”

Tourism bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations already know that managing website directories is a real pain. Business hours change, vendors go out of business and new destinations enter the market. There is constant churn, and staying on top of it all is time-consuming and expensive.

When the inevitable “website refresh” project comes ’round, invariably the idea comes up to give destination stakeholders a website login, so that they can update their own stuff when it changes.

It’s a tempting and intuitive idea. In theory, no one is more motivated than the vendor to ensure that they’re well-presented and have up-to-date information in your directory.

In practice, it never works. Vendors are far too busy running their tourism businesses to remember your website. When they do, they’ve forgotten their password to the content management system, or they don’t know how to upload a photo, or they take terrible photos and write awful copy, or any one of 100 things that results in you doing more work than if you’d just managed it in-house.

If you’re hosting a tourism-oriented website directory, be prepared up front for the effort and expense of maintaining it. And save yourself the expense of setting up complicated publishing permission schemes. Someone needs to take ownership of the content, and it’s going to end up being you.