Tourism Product Development

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The tourism industry plays a significant role in driving economic growth and supporting local businesses. However, developing a successful tourism industry requires careful planning, execution, and a clear vision. Here, we will explore the goals, initiatives, and performance indicators necessary to create a thriving tourism destination. We will also delve into the emerging trends of experiential tourism, market readiness recommendations, the importance of a sense of welcoming, gastronomic adventures, and the potential of adventure tracks. By following these strategies and embracing the evolving demands of travellers, you can create unforgettable experiences and prepare your tourism business for market success!

Crafting Unforgettable Experiences and Preparing for the Market

Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

How to Develop a Successful Tourism Industry

Tourism is a major economic driver for many countries and regions. Tourism has the power to make a huge impact on a region’s economy, creating jobs, attracting investments, and supporting local businesses. But building a flourishing tourism industry requires careful planning, execution, and a clear vision.

With that being said, here are four goals to keep in mind when planning for a successful tourism industry:

  • Increase visitor spending in the province: Let’s make sure visitors are opening up their wallets and contributing to the local economy.
  • Attract new visitors to the province: Bring in fresh faces and curious souls to experience the wonders your province has to offer.
  • Extend the length of stay for visitors: Encourage visitors to stick around a little longer and fully immerse themselves in the beauty and attractions of your region.
  • Increase the number of repeat visitors: Leave such a lasting impression that visitors can’t resist coming back for more, creating a loyal fanbase.

Now, let’s talk about some key initiatives that can help you achieve these goals:

  • Develop new tourism products and experiences: Get creative and think outside the box! Offer unique and exciting experiences that will captivate visitors and keep them coming back for more.
  • Invest in marketing and promotion: Spread the word far and wide about the incredible offerings of your province. Let the world know what makes it so special and why they should come and explore.
  • Collaborate with industry partners: Work hand-in-hand with local businesses and stakeholders to improve the quality of tourism products and services. Together, you can create an unforgettable experience for visitors.
  • Enhance accessibility for visitors: Make it easy-peasy for visitors to reach and get around your province. From transportation options to visitor-friendly infrastructure, ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Let’s talk about measuring success! Here are a few performance indicators to keep an eye on:

  • Visitor spending: Watch those dollars flow and see the positive impact on the local economy.
  • Number of visitors: Keep track of the influx of visitors to gauge the growth of your tourism industry.
  • Length of stay: Encourage visitors to extend their stay and explore all the amazing things your province has to offer.
  • Number of repeat visitors: Celebrate those who can’t resist returning for more adventures in your province.

Remember, developing a successful tourism industry takes time and dedication, but with careful planning and implementation of these goals and initiatives, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving tourism destination that captures the hearts of visitors.

Experiential Tourism: A Growing Trend

“The important thing to recognise and remember is that no matter where they come from, travellers today want more out of their vacation time”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Experiential tourism is becoming super popular and is the current trend in the tourism industry. Instead of just sightseeing, experiential tourism focuses on giving visitors one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experiences. Think hiking through breathtaking landscapes or diving into a region’s rich history and vibrant culture.

There are so many perks to experiential tourism. These experiences tend to be more engaging and memorable compared to traditional tourism. Plus, they can help boost the local economy by attracting visitors and supporting local businesses.

If you’re interested in creating your own experiential tourism experiences, here are some things to keep in mind. First, identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your experience? Once you know that, you can develop a concept that sets your experience apart from others in the area.

Next, it’s time to spread the word! Market and promote your experience through various channels like online platforms, print materials, and social media. Let people know why your experience is special and why they should choose it.

Lastly, managing your experience is key. From setting up and breaking down to providing excellent customer service, be prepared to handle any challenges that may arise. It’s all about creating a fantastic and unforgettable experience for your visitors.

Remember, experiential tourism is an incredible way to offer unique and memorable adventures. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating successful experiential tourism experiences that attract visitors and support the local economy.

Here are a few more tips to help you create unforgettable experiential tourism experiences:

  • Keep your experience authentic and reflective of the local culture.
  • Offer something truly unique that visitors can’t find anywhere else.
  • Make the experience personal and memorable for each visitor.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to ensure a fantastic experience for everyone.

By incorporating these suggestions, you’ll create experiential tourism experiences that leave a lasting impression on your visitors!

Key Readiness Recommendations for Market Success

“These guidelines are here to assist tourism operators to receive visitors from all over the world”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Welcome to our informative section on Key Readiness Recommendations for Market Success. These recommendations are designed to help those interested in creating memorable experiences for visitors from around the globe. We have categorised them into three types for your convenience.

First up is the Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP). By adhering to TAP’s minimum standards, you can enhance the overall quality of your tourism services and attractions throughout your province. These standards include being accessible to customers through phone, email, and online platforms, accepting various payment methods, maintaining necessary licences and permits, and having adequate liability insurance. It’s important to deliver the experiences or services you promote and ensure you handle any customer complaints efficiently.

Moving on to the General Market Readiness Guidelines, effective communication with travellers is key. To exceed their expectations, make sure to use a professional greeting when interacting over the phone or email. Aim to respond to messages within 24 hours or less, and provide a professional email address. Consider setting up an out-of-office message with clear details on when you’ll return and alternative contact methods. Having a dedicated business line and delivering customer service in a friendly and professional manner will contribute to a positive experience.

Other important factors to consider include having a published pricing policy, transparent billing and payment policies, and a well-defined cancellation policy. It’s also crucial to have a marketing strategy and materials like a website, social media presence, brochures, or rack cards to effectively promote your offerings. During the operating season, strive to maintain a prompt response time of 24 hours or less for inquiries, reservations, and booking requests. Be prepared to accept reservations via phone, online, and/or email, and provide same-day confirmation of bookings. Although it may seem redundant and inconsequential, it is important to ensure your frontline staff members are friendly and well-trained in customer service. They are the face of your business and play a vital role in creating positive experiences for your guests.

Last but not least, it is important to meet basic expectations of the travel trade. This is to ensure smooth sailing when you are ready to expand your tourism business by partnering with domestic and international travel companies. To certify readiness, your tourism services, attractions, and experiences must meet the Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP) minimum standards and the following Market Readiness standards.

As a tourism operator, it’s crucial to understand travel trade distribution channels, inventory availability for international tour wholesalers and distributors, established commissions and rates, and the roles played by tour operators, travel wholesalers, and retail travel agents. Familiarise yourself with rack or retail pricing, agent commissions, and wholesale net rates. Stay informed about the laws and regulations that can impact clients in each market.

When working with the travel trade, provide reliable booking systems and ensure billing accuracy. Have clear booking and cancellation policies, allocations, and yield management strategies in place. Maintain year-round availability and provide prompt 24-hour response times with detailed information. Deliver a high level of service and a consistent product experience. Establish billing arrangements with the tour operator, wholesale agency, or receptive tour operator, with standard payment terms for invoicing operators set within 30 days. Understand that it may not be feasible for international operators to provide separate deposits and payments for each booking.

In addition to these requirements, tourism operators must have a minimum of one year of operation with a history of providing professional services. Demonstrate a proven track record using export-ready pricing structures. Be willing to offer contracted wholesale rates, typically 10%-25% off the retail price, for tour packages, day activities, transportation, and accommodation products. Honor contracted wholesale rates and conditions, refraining from raising prices or changing conditions before the agreement’s expiry. Consider participating in co-op marketing and sales plan programs to maximise your reach and visibility in the travel trade market.

Sense of Welcoming

“The right sense of arrival can have a great impact on repeat business, length of stay, and even spending”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Once the above steps are completed, keep in mind that attracting visitors is only half the battle. The tourism industry also needs to focus on providing a positive experience for visitors.

A good tourist experience starts with a positive sense of welcoming. This means making it easy for visitors to get to their destination and feel welcome once they arrive. It also means providing clear and accurate information about the destination, its attractions, and its amenities.

It is important to remember that the visitor journey starts way before they even set foot in your destination. It’s all about planning and booking, and nowadays, it mostly happens online. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-designed and mobile-friendly digital presence that provides the most up-to-date information to potential visitors.

Here are a few elements to include on your website and online presence:

  • Clear and comprehensive information: Make sure visitors can easily find all the details they need to plan their trip.
  • Contact information: Provide multiple ways for visitors to reach out to you, like email, telephone, mailing address, and location details.
  • Business overview and highlights: Give visitors a glimpse of the amazing experiences, products, and services you offer.
  • Operating hours and seasonality: Let visitors know when you’re open and any seasonal variations in your availability.
  • Engaging visuals: Use high-resolution photos and videos that highlight the unique experiences you provide.

Once visitors step foot in our province, it is important to ensure that they feel an immediate connection. You need them to know they’ve arrived in your beautiful province,, where the brand pillars of people, place, and culture come to life. Hence, it is crucial to make their arrival a memorable experience as first impressions always matter!

Here are the five key points to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition for your visitors once they have landed: 

  • Showcasing local products: Shops and food establishments should feature unique products that give visitors a taste of your local flavours and culture. You need to make sure their first interactions reflect what they’ll encounter throughout their journey.
  • Seamless, safe, and enjoyable transition: Whether it’s from the plane or ferry terminal, the transition should be smooth and hassle-free. Visitors should feel at ease as they embark on their adventure in your beloved province.
  • Well-maintained facilities: Regular maintenance and beautification are crucial. Ensure a warm welcome with clear signage, clean washrooms, and friendly staff ready to assist.
  • Organised and convenient services: From organised baggage claim to dedicated areas for bicycles on ferries, ensure everything is well-arranged for a stress-free experience. Visitors should have easy access to services like taxis, rental cars, and other transportation options.
  • Comfort and cleanliness: Comfortable and clean furniture is essential for visitors to relax and recharge. You need to prioritise cleanliness throughout the facility, creating a pleasant environment for all. And hey, feel free to add some appropriate background music to enhance the atmosphere where applicable.

Remember, creating a welcoming and inviting entry point sets the stage for a remarkable journey through your province and it sets the tone on how they will feel throughout their visit.

Discover Gastronomic Adventures: Dive into Food Tourism

“Travellers want to learn about, appreciate, and consume food and drink that
reflects our culture, heritage, and traditions”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Food tourism is a rapidly growing industry that offers exciting experiences for both local residents and visitors from around the world. Recent findings have shown the immense potential for growth in this sector, presenting an array of opportunities for food enthusiasts and travellers alike. From immersive food tours and vibrant festivals to farm-to-table dining and captivating culinary events, various destinations provide a diverse range of gastronomic adventures to satisfy every palate.

Notably, the impact of food tourism extends beyond pleasurable experiences—it also significantly contributes to the local economy. To maximise the potential benefits, here are some key recommendations to consider. First, investing in targeted marketing and promotion initiatives can raise awareness and attract more visitors to explore the culinary treasures of the region. By showcasing the unique food tourism offerings, you can entice a larger audience to embark on these flavorful journeys.

In addition to marketing, fostering collaborations between food tourism businesses and other stakeholders in the tourism industry is essential. By forming partnerships, you can enhance the overall visitor experience through coordinated efforts and shared resources. This cooperative approach creates a seamless and memorable journey for travellers, showcasing the best of what the region has to offer.

Furthermore, establishing a food tourism certification program can instil confidence in visitors, ensuring they enjoy high-quality and authentic culinary experiences. This certification acts as a seal of approval, allowing tourists to navigate the diverse range of options with trust and certainty. By prioritising quality and setting standards, you elevate the food tourism industry as a whole.

By following these recommendations, you have the opportunity to unlock the full potential of the food tourism industry. The positive outcomes are numerous, including job creation, increased visitor numbers, and a boost to the local economy. 

Adventure Tracks

“Destination trails are set in locations that reflect the province’s most distinguishing and
memorable viewscapes, natural features, culture, and heritage”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Embarking on a venture in the tourism industry opens up exciting opportunities to create memorable experiences for travellers. One area that holds immense potential is destination trails. These trails offer a unique blend of breathtaking views, natural wonders, cultural richness, and a chance to connect with the world. As you delve into this business, it’s crucial to understand the preferences of modern-day travellers. Hiking and pleasure walking have emerged as the top outdoor activities sought by vacationers worldwide. By focusing on developing high-quality trails in strategic locations, you can attract a diverse range of adventurers seeking immersive experiences.

Forging Connections: Uniting Attractions and Services

When venturing into the tourism business, it’s important to consider the concept of clustering attractions and services around your destination trails. By offering complementary experiences and activities like local cuisine, accommodations, and visitor services, you can enhance the overall appeal of your destination. Collaborating with local businesses, non-profits, government-operated sites, municipalities, and communities demonstrates a regional approach that benefits everyone involved.

Effective Management is Key

To ensure the success of your destination trails, it’s crucial to follow certain guidelines. Obtain Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP) approval and adhere to General Market Readiness Guidelines. It’s essential to have a recognised entity responsible for owning, monitoring, and maintaining the trail. A long-term plan for management, development, and maintenance should be in place.

Marketing and Engagement

Developing a marketing plan is essential for attracting visitors to your destination trails. Identify your target markets, establish a pricing strategy, and employ effective communication tactics within your budget. Creating a strong online presence with a dedicated website and active social media accounts is vital. Additionally, marketing materials such as rack cards and brochures can help promote your trails to a wider audience.

Keys to Success

To ensure the success of your tourism venture, there are a few key elements to focus on:

  1. Engage with local communities, businesses, and regional/provincial tourism networks. Collaboration and partnership can strengthen your offerings and provide a holistic experience for visitors.
  1. Prioritise ongoing frontline training in customer service and site interpretation. Well-trained staff can enhance visitor satisfaction and create a positive impression.
  1. Collect and utilise visitor data effectively. By understanding your visitors’ preferences and behaviours, you can make informed decisions and continuously improve the visitor experience.

Crafting Seamless Visitor Experiences

It’s crucial to understand that every visitor’s journey is unique. From their entry and exit points to the mode of transportation they choose, the services they require, and the attractions they seek, catering to their needs is essential for a successful tourism experience. As you embark on this venture, consider the following advisory points to enhance visitor experiences on a global scale.

Designing Experiences with the Visitor in Mind

From the planning and booking stage to their arrival, experience, and departure, it’s important to design experiences with the visitor in mind. By meeting market-readiness guidelines, all partners along the visitor’s journey can contribute to a seamless and satisfying tourism experience.

Planning and Booking Made Easy

To facilitate visitor planning and booking, trail operators should provide clear and comprehensive information. A well-designed, responsive website with relevant online content tailored to the needs of visitors is essential. Demonstrating a commitment to promoting other attractions and services in the region can also enhance the overall visitor experience.

Essential Information for Visitors

Make sure to provide visitors with the necessary information to plan their trail experience effectively. This includes detailed trail descriptions, directions to trailheads, information about trail conditions and safety, accessibility levels (such as paved or rocky terrain), easy-to-understand route options, suggested itineraries, and links to food experiences, accommodations, attractions, and other services on or near the trail. Ensure the accuracy of contact information and keep business listings up-to-date in the tourism operator portal specific to your region.

Creating a Memorable Sense of Welcoming

When travellers arrive at your destination trail, it’s crucial to provide a seamless and welcoming experience. Here are some important considerations to ensure a positive sense of arrival, both for individuals and groups, in a global context:

Clear Directional Signage

To guide visitors to the trailhead, provide clear and concise directional signage. Include essential information such as the level of accessibility, length and duration of the trail, estimated travel time, level of difficulty, seasonal information, user rules and guidelines, as well as safety and emergency information. This helps visitors feel confident and informed before they embark on their trail experience.

Crafting Engaging Trail Experiences

As operators of destination trails, strive to offer high-quality experiences that celebrate the rich stories of the area. Ensure that your offerings are visitor-focused, providing informative and engaging experiences that connect with other events, services, and attractions in the vicinity. Along the trail, provide adequate informational and directional signage to facilitate a safe and enjoyable experience. This includes trail markers, signage for route changes and hazards, as well as distance markers.

Maintaining Trail Conditions

Keep the trails in good condition, with a hard and stable surface. Ideally, the trails should be dry and free of debris to ensure a pleasant walking experience. Regular maintenance is essential, including the upkeep of washrooms, handrails, bridges, steps, and other trail infrastructure. Prioritise ecologically sensitive trail construction and maintenance practices to minimise the impact on the natural environment.

Departure and Beyond

Encourage visitors to share their experiences and provide feedback through platforms like TripAdvisor. Facilitate repeat visits by creating memorable experiences that inspire travellers to return. Engage visitors to share their stories, photos, and videos through social media channels, using catchy hashtags to increase online visibility and reach.

Boosting Tourism Revenue with Festivals and Events Year-Round

“government will continue its core support to the protection, development, promotion, and celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador’s vibrant culture”
Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

The beauty of tourism lies not only in the seasonal variations but also in the enchanting allure of festivals and events that captivate visitors throughout the year. To tap into the full potential of year-round travel and boost tourism revenues, it is important to invest in strategic festivals and events across the region. By extending the traditional tourism season, these multi-season tourism products offer exciting opportunities to attract non-resident visitors and create unforgettable experiences.

With a focus on celebrating the region’s unique culture and attractions, many tourism vendors recognise the significant role that festivals and events play in driving travel. These carefully selected gatherings not only add vibrancy to the region but also have the potential to generate high demand from travellers seeking distinctive experiences. Whether it’s a showcase of local arts, a sports extravaganza, or a culinary journey that highlights the region’s gastronomic treasures, these events create a buzz that entices visitors from near and far. Let’s take Thailand as an example. Thailand is renowned for its vibrant festivals such as the Songkran Festival and the Full Moon Festival. These annual events attract a substantial influx of tourists during the months when they are held, significantly boosting tourism levels. As a result, not only does the country benefit from additional income each year, but the festivals themselves gain popularity and broader recognition, attracting an increasing number of repeat visitors.

By investing in and supporting these strategic festivals and events, you can aim to extend the tourism season and unlock the untapped potential throughout the year. From boosting local economies to providing opportunities for businesses to thrive, festivals and celebratory events serve as a catalyst for growth in the tourism industry. Travellers can look forward to discovering the diverse and captivating offerings of the region beyond the traditional peak season, immersing themselves in the unique charms and festivities that make every visit a memorable one.

In conclusion, developing a successful tourism industry requires careful planning, execution, and a clear vision. By focusing on goals such as increasing visitor spending, attracting new visitors, extending the length of stay, and fostering repeat visits, regions can create a flourishing tourism destination. Initiatives like developing new tourism products, investing in marketing and promotion, collaborating with industry partners, and enhancing accessibility for visitors play a crucial role in achieving these goals. Moreover, embracing experiential tourism, ensuring market readiness, creating a positive sense of welcoming, exploring food tourism, and developing adventure tracks contribute to a vibrant and thriving tourism industry. By implementing these strategies and recommendations, regions can captivate visitors, support the local economy, and provide unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Done by: Rejina Khar, Zarif Ong & Elly Ken
Source: Newfoundland & Labrador