Tourism Product Development
Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (PKT) invests heavily in experiential tourism training and sustainable product development. This includes training from the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism (GMIST) in partnership with RTO8.
Experiential and immersive travel is a valuable opportunity for tourism operators, not-for-profit organizations, and attractions such as parks and historic sites. It involves a customer centric approach to planning travel and communicating with visitors. It also involves delivering sustainable and innovative products that are aligned with what visitors are interested in experiencing.
Experiential tourism is the opposite of mass tourism that traditionally focused on package tours and holidays with low levels of personal involvement. Experiences must tap the hearts and minds of curious travellers, inviting them to connect with Peterborough & the Kawartha’s people, culture and geography through personal exploration.
Experiential Tourism Product: Authentic Adventures
The “Authentic Adventures” collection highlights the most unique and memorable adventures this region has to offer.
Global best practice has shown that in order to truly connect with our visitors, and ultimately grow market share, the focus needs to be on the emotions, feelings and sensations the visitors will have on their journey, the stories they will learn and the connections they will make.
Consider these components when creating an Authentic Adventure:
- A creative, attention-getting title and a clear description of up to 3,000 characters in length.
- What is included in the package (i.e. number of days/nights, number of meals, number of tickets/admissions, etc.) and what is not included (such as taxes and gratuities).
- Pictures that show the package theme, rather than business logos or general Peterborough &the Kawartha’s scenery.
- A package price – stated per person, per couple or per family (include size of family) and, for accommodation providers, identify whether it is based on single, double or family occupancy (include size of family).
- The cancellation and refund policy.
- One point of purchase for the guest to book all components of the package (the point of purchase business/organization must book the other components on behalf of the guest).
- If the package requires a minimum number of guests to be offered. In this situation, the date at which the package will be cancelled if the minimum quantity is not sold must be stated.
- The dates during which the package is available.
- Be available a minimum of 2 times throughout the year.
- Be well-themed – connecting to one or more of the tourism target markets (Family Memory Builders & Connected Explorers), with a title that reflects the theme
- Be well-planned and tested.
- Engage the visitor through hands-on activities which allow them to become an active participant in the activity, not just an observer, and provide them with exclusive or behind-the-scenes access to the experience.
- Involve qualified guides and/or local experts to enhance the delivery of the experience and provide an opportunity for the visitor to interact with locals.
- Use assets and resources that are unique to Peterborough & the Kawarthas, the community or business.
- Provide added value – Experiences deliver high-quality service and have an element of surprise.
- Integrate a local element (food, music, etc.) in experience delivery where possible, which can add to the WOW of the experience; where possible offer a takeaway for the visitor, such as a handmade souvenir.
- Meet all federal, provincial, or municipal regulations and business requirements (such as insurance), where applicable.
- Include the names and websites (if available) of the partner businesses who are providing products and/or services (i.e. the accommodation, restaurant, tour operator, etc.)