Edition 9 | May 2017
In partnership with RDÉE Canada and the Chaire de tourism Transat de l’ESG UQAM, this initiative is designed to share essential information to support the development of the tourism industry within Canada’s Official Language Minority Communities.
TOURISM PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TOOLKITS
Developing tourism products is a complex process, so support for small businesses and communities can make all the difference. Resources are out there: read on to learn how to take advantage of them.
While some of the resources and toolkits mentioned here may have been created with other destinations in mind, they include information and advice that could be used in any company. They can also be used as the basis for creating other resources.
DEVELOPING TOURISM PRODUCTS
While Canadian tourism has frequently grappled with ways to create innovative tourism products and update existing products, other regions are also dealing with this issue.
Destination New South Wales, in Australia, has published the Tourism Business Toolkit, which is divided into two sections: the first provides an overview of the industry, while the second provides guidance for start-ups and established companies on how to develop a tourism product. The chapters cover the following topics, as well as a few chapters on advertising and packaging:
- Steps to success;
- Understanding your customer;
- Distributing your tourism product;
- Pricing your tourism product.
Tourism Northern Ireland reminds companies that travellers no longer simply want to see things; they want to be engaged, and immerse themselves in the places they visit. The destination has created five steps, each with its own set of toolkits and insights, enabling it to work together with its partners to plan and deliver exceptional visitor experiences.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) asserts the importance of developing a destination’s tourism products, and the fact that these must meet the needs and expectations of tourists. The WTO has published the Handbook on Tourism Product Development that outlines the essential elements in the process of tourism product development planning and implementation.
ALIGN WITH THE DESTINATION’S OVERALL MESSAGE
Tourism businesses that align themselves with the destination’s overall marketing and development choices reap many rewards. Not only can they benefit from large-scale ad campaigns, they can also be part of a product that presents visitors with a more coherent message. Here are three examples of destinations offering toolkits for developing experiences that are aligned with national or provincial strategies.
Tourism Nova Scotia has developed a practical resource for companies called Experience Nova Scotia: a toolkit. It lists the six main experiences the Nova Scotia brand has to offer, as well as a profile for travellers and their reasons for visiting the province. It also provides region-specific tools and worksheets to assess potential opportunities. One section focuses on the various aspects of developing experiences: planning, logistics, costs, packaging, pricing and partnerships. Each section concludes with an inspiring Best Practice.
Worksheet Excerpt; Source: Experience Nova Scotia: a toolkit.
Destination Canada has created an Experiences Toolkit for SMEs. The document explains experiential travel and the business opportunities it represents, with the goal of stimulating innovative and creative product development. It promotes the “Canada – Keep Exploring” brand, the concept of experiential travel and the organization’s Explorer Quotient (EQ) market segmentation tool. It goes on to explain how to create memorable travel experiences, provides marketing tips, and concludes with five case studies.
Similarly, in 2015, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism published Creating Experiences – A toolkit for the tourism industry. The Boosting your bottomline guide developed by Tourism Australia provides tips, tools and techniques to personalize business offerings, stage compelling experiences, and help boost businesses’ bottom line. This resource primarily focuses on positioning and promotion, but also discusses bundling complementary products into a comprehensive national offering. It concludes with a number of success stories: i.e., businesses that have made the shift from promoting products to selling experiences.
DEVELOPING SPECIFIC PRODUCTS
Some resources focus more on developing a certain type of experience and provide advice that is specifically geared to that sector.
While published less recently, the Stimulating local cultural and heritage products is a how-to guide that provides strategic advice designed to help the South African tourism industry develop cultural and heritage tourism products. Its goal is to inspire companies to question how they deal with such aspects as competition, market segmentation and community relations. While some information pertains specifically to South Africa, most of the information applies to any tourism business or region.
The intent of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada is to inspire excellence in Aboriginal cultural tourism by creating a user-friendly self-assessment and reference tool that would help the Aboriginal tourism industry create Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences. The guide contains valuable information, best practices and checklists that companies can use to assess the experiences they currently offer.
Food tourism is central to Ireland’s positioning. Fáilte Ireland provides the following knowledge and supports to the country’s tourism and hospitality industry:
Source: Failte Ireland
Similarly, the Welsh government’s Tourism Ministry has partnered with the Agriculture and Food Ministry to put together a toolkit to help businesses plan, develop and improve their food festivals.
In addition to the aforementioned advice on creating visitor experiences, the Toolkits & Resources section of the Tourism NI website also includes a number of other resources; more specifically, tips to help companies with their marketing and sustainable development initiatives. And, because 2016 was the Year of Food & Drink for Northern Ireland, there are three booklets on this topic.
Whether your company operates in the outdoors, events, resorts, attractions, or any other sector, you need to be constantly updating your tourism product. Browse these tools and learn some new strategies, ask yourself some hard questions, and get inspired!