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Study Tour Conference Proceedings November 13th-16th, 2003
Compiled by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia January 2004
As the adventure tourism industry grows globally, good news abounds, innovations are implemented, and technology spreads. At the same time serious concerns arise. CATIC 2003 delivered good news, showcased innovations, embraced technology and addressed concerns facing the industry. CATIC 2003 consisted of three days of presentations in various formats by various groups and individuals. Ten Adventure Tourism Operators from Nova Scotia participated in an industry forum of national and global perspectives in order to continue to build a healthy and growing sector here at home. TIANS as secretariat for the Nova Scotia Adventure Tourism Association coordinated the Study Tour 2003 held in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland & Labrador, November 13th to 16th 2003. The sessions were held at several locations: Discovery Centre, Gros Morne Academy, Bonne Bay Marine Station, Visitor Centre Rocky Harbour, Ocean View Motel and Woody Point Heritage Theatre. The participants gathered information and reported on the Conference sessions & workshops. This final report for industry compiled by TIANS will be made available electronically on request. Each participant contributed towards the costs of participation, while Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage provided support at 50% of the cost of participant’s travel, registration, accommodation and meals. In the Atlantic Canada Adventure Travel Industry, the following trends are occuring: • The demand for a more experiential, learning experience. • A shift in the demographics of the USA and Canada travel market which includes increased multi-culturalism and an aging population. • A shift towards a higher domestic market for travel to the Atlantic Provinces. • A shift in demand from hard to soft adventure. • The price of tours as well as the type of product is changing. Operators are going for a higher end market and raising prices in order to capture the Baby Boomer market with dollars to spend. • Women are making the majority of travel planning decisions. • The internet and technology are becoming increasingly importa nt in all aspects of the tourism business. Travelers are using the internet more and more for travel planning. • Insurance premiums are getting more expensive which is changing the structure of the industry. Many small businesses cannot afford to insure themselves. 2
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Better trained staff is increasingly important for risk management and to increase quality of experience for travelers. There has been increased conflict between different types of trail users, especially hiking versus ATV’s. Whale Watching operato r entry-licensing and protected area visitor number limits are becoming a reality for some sectors of the adventure travel industry to minimize environmental impacts. The concepts of sustainable tourism are being built into government, community and product planning and regulations. Participation of communities in tourism planning and development is increasing, especially with First Nations communities. An increased need for integrated planning to take into account the impacts of policy decisions in one sector versus another.
Given these trends, many actions to pursue were identified. The following list is a summary taken from all of the sessions. Please see the individual session notes later in the proceedings for more details and background information. The Product: • Include more narration and interpretation in product offerings. • Include experiential and learning opportunities in a safe context. • Include older staff that are well educated. • Small Inn type accommodations should be fostered and marketed to Adventure Tourists because many visitors want hard days but soft nights. • Try to keep guides employed with the company over the winter to promote staff retention. E xperienced guides are essential to product quality. • Move up market – Improve quality, develop ‘add-ons’ and raise prices. There is a willingness to pay for quality experiences but be careful not to alienate price sensitive markets. • Modify product to serve the increasingly multi-cultural Canadian market. • Prepare for 2004 and 2005 to service the market that put off travel in 2003. Take advantage of pent up demand. Training: • Guide training is important to help guides develop sensitivity to women’s needs. • Training improves customer experience, increases value, and is a risk management tool. Insurance and Risk Management: • The concept that one is far less likely to be sued without insurance needs to be dealt with in the industry.
• • •
Organizational structure, trip planning, staff training, education, professional practice and trip information for clients are key components of risk management and have a strong influence on the frequency of incidents. All of these things need to be documented when shopping for insurance because they will affect your premium and the willingness of an insurer to cover you. Have your waivers reviewed by a lawyer who is familiar with this area. Companies need to protect themselves against lawsuits from employees as well as from clients. How an incident is handled is often what provokes lawsuits so have systems in place to effectively handle all potential incidents and client concerns.
Marketing: • Address an ageing population and geographical shift in the target market in your marketing and product development. • Attract the general purpose traveler and get them thinking about softer adventure activities. • Sell to the female as she is the decision maker in most vacation seeking couples and families. • Identify and market to niche markets in the USA. • When advertising in magazines you need to match readership with product then evaluate which magazines worked. • Work with magazines on content and keep them informed about new product offerings. • Make your website prominent. Use search engine ranking criteria to make sure your site comes up in the first 30 sites of a search. • Include a link to your website in the signature file you use for email. • More familiarization tours to market to European market. • Get your product into the brochures used by wholesalers and retail travel agents. Community Involvement: • Small is good and definitely better than large scale tourism for enabling community involvement. • Operators should try to use local product where ever possible. Local employment should also be encouraged. • Invite school or community members to see and understand what Ecotourism and Adventure To ur Operators do. • Encourage the community to come together to create a website that links visitors to local businesses and promotes types of tourism that the community wants. • It is important for community building that ATV and hiking trails are built in loops rather than in linear paths in order to encourage town visitation and use of services.
Aboriginal Tourism: • Non native businesses must invest the time to understand and follow Aboriginal protocols. • The Mi’kmaq story is more important than to be training First Nations people to be hospitality professionals. • It is essential to consider the health and capacity of a community before looking at Local Economic Development as the way to resolve social issues. Policy and Planning for sustainable tourism: • Government policy and planning needs to take sustainable tourism concepts into consideration. • Connect with other industries to ensure that all needs are taken into account when planning. • Stewardship and ethics codes for tour operations should be adopted and enforced. • Must consider limits to entry-licensing for whale watching tourism to minimize effects on marine mammals. • Must avoid commercialization of resources and exploitation of product.
A session list with page references and a compilation of participant’s notes from each session attended are following.
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Keynote Address - The Interpretative Voice in Adventure Tourism: Ray McGrath: Ecotourism Interpreter, Training and Certification, Waterford, Ireland. Keynote Address - Putting your heart into it: Hugh Culver: President of Marathon Communications Inc. and Founder of Soul@Work™ and Dare2Dream™ programs in BC. Tourism you can live with: Bob Sandford: Author, Historian, Tourism Consultant and Film-maker. Market Opportunities for Adventure Tourism: Judy Rogers: President, Research Resolutions and Consulting Ltd. Marketing and Magazines: Al Zikovitz: Founder and President of Quarto Communications (Includes Explore Magazine). Adopting an Adventure-Cultural-Ecotourism approach to training for Adventure Tourism: Dave Robinson: Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, Malaspina University College, Nanaimo, BC. True Confessions of Adventure Tour Operators: Bob Hicks: Gros Morne Adventures, NL and Craig Murray: Nimmo Bay Lodge, BC. Partners in Environment: Gordon Slade: One Ocean; John Henley: Transshipment Inc. and George Vandusen: Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. What Women Want: Barb Genge: Tuckamore Lodge; NL; Sue Rendell: Gros Morne Adventures, NL ; Deborah Murray: Nimmo Bay Lodge, BC. Education and Training for Adventure Training: Professionalizing the Industry: Eugene Flynn: Instructor, Adventure Tourism program, Corner Brook Campus, College of the North Atlantic and Dave Robinson: Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, Malaspina University College, Nanaimo, BC. Keynote Address - Building Business and Community: the Potential of the Web: Simon Milne : Professor of Tourism and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business, Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Programme Coordinator, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (TRI). What is a Risk Management Plan and Why You Need to Know: Ross Cloutier: Risk Management Consultant in the Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Industry. Aboriginal Aspects of Adventure Tourism: Chief Misel Joe: Miawpukek First Nation at Conne River, NL and Randy Bell: Cultural Tourism Coordinator Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations.
Web-based design: Judy Karwacki: Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist and Consultant for the Tourism Industry. Whalewatching Stewardship: Dr. Jon Lien: Honorary Research Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland , Chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Oceans and Member: I.U.C.N. Expert Advisory Panel on Protected Areas. Best Practices: Market Alliance Development: Steve Bruno : Community-based ATV Tourism trails project. European Travel Trade Market: Maria Matthews: Vision the Atlantic, NL and Herbert Schumacher: Atlantic Canada Adventures, NL and Jean Charles Fortin: Aventure Écotourisme Québec, QC. Making Adventure Tourism Work for Aboriginal Host Communities: Tools and Techniques from Canadian and International Case Studies: Bruce Whyte: Tourism and Resource Planning Consultant and Brian White: Founder and Senior Consultant of Community Visions Consulting Group and Coordinator, Bachelor of Tourism Management degree, Capilano College in North Vancouver. Trends in Adventure Tourism: Neil Hartling : Founder, Nahanni River Adventures and Co-owner of Rocky Mountain Voyageurs Ltd.
Appendix A: List of Participants Appendix B: Participant Session Notes Form Appendix C: Other Speakers
Keynote Address - The Interpretative Voice in Adventure Tourism:
Ray McGrath: Ecotourism Interpreter, Training and Certification, Waterford, Ireland. Interpretation Objectives: • finding an authentic voice • going to the soul of things • opening windows • bridging the physical and cultural Contact with Nature - What our Customers Want: • new insight • a possibility of change • time, time to be, time to see • to enjoy the wonder of all A Sense of Place and the Present Moment: • the soul of the place • encounter the place through poetry and story • seize the moment • link nature and culture • place names and landscapes Actions to pursue: • consider narrative skills in training programs • recognize folklore as a resource in interpretation • refer to and promote sustainability in marketing
Keynote Address - Putting your heart into it:
Hugh Culver: President of Marathon Communications Inc. and Founder of Soul@Work™ and Dare2Dream™ programs in B.C. We need to redefine what Adventure Tourism is all about. The problem is the human condition: people are moving too fast, living on the margin. The solution is “connection” e.g. natural world, culture etc. Operators should create opportunities for extraordinary experiences that provide opportunity for connection by adventure quest. Actions to pursue: • Redefine purpose and objectives. • Orchestrate the experience (challenge the comfort zone, encourage people to open up and reveal, go experiential, help people to connect).
Tourism you can live with:
Bob Sandford: Author, Historian, Tourism Consultant and Film-maker. This session gave suggestions on how to develop tourism in Newfoundland and any evolving tourism destination incorporating lessons learned in Canmore. Actions to pursue: • Empower locals to create business and build skills to make tourism sustainable in their communities.
Market Opportunities for Adventure Tourism:
Judy Rogers: President, Research Resolutions and Consulting Ltd. This session focused on marketing opportunities revealed by results of the CTC Travel Activities and Motivation Survey (TAMS), prepared by Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd. This was a study of visitors to and within Canada and was conducted in the USA and Canada. It looked at the size of the market / differentiation between high intensity and soft / lower intensity types of adventure tourism. It also focused on High Intensity Outdoor Adventure Client Activity. High Intensity meaning that they took part in at least two activities per trip. A CD containing study results of CTC Travel Activities and Motivation Survey Analysis (TAMS) was distributed during this session. Results of the survey: Demographic Trends: • Populations in Texas, Florida and Ontario growing disproportionately quickly. • Baby Boomers aging quickly (28% presently 55+) • Baby Boomers have $$$ to spend. American Market to Canada: General: • Most Americans are not prepared to cross international borders. • Only 13% of Americans have ever traveled to Canada which suggests that they are generally not willing to cross to their northern neighbor for leisure trips. • When Americans travel to Canada, they travel north of where they live. For example the Atlantic Canada market is mostly from Eastern USA. • 26.3 million US residents took a leisure trip in Canada in 2000. This is predicted to increase to 34.4 million in 2025 (31% increase). • Over next 2 decades the total American tourist market will increase by 31%.
54% of Americans live in southern third of US, (Tier III states) e.g. Texas and Florida, but only 35% of those have traveled to Canada in the last couple of years are from Tier III States. Our biggest US market (the Northern states) is aging and the trend is for wealthy northern sector people to migrate south to the Tier III (southern) states as they age. The closest and wealthiest population who are a potential market for Atlantic Canada is declining and the distant market growing making them harder to access.
American Market to Canada: Adventure Travel • Atlantic Canada has 12% of US leisure tourist market of which 9% involves soft adventure. • 4.4 million Adult Canadians and 7.1 Adult Americans took a leisure trip involving Soft Adventure in Canada in 2000. • Total potential adult population that expressed interest in Soft Adventure: 5.3 million Canadians and 35.5 million Americans. • There has been a big demographic shift to the older traveler / more discerning; however healthier and still interested in softer adventure. Adventure Travel: General observations. • 77% of total market for soft outdoor adventure is the Canadian market. • For soft adventure, the strongest interests are wildlife, wildflower/flora, fishing, hiking/backpacking, whale watching and highest growth sectors are bird watching, wildflowers/flora, whale watching, and wildlife viewing. • The horseback riding market is increasingly important to American visitors. • Youth segment of the North American market is declining so industry growth in hard adventures will be a harder sell. • Backpacking / Hiking large is growing with US residents. Travel to Atlantic Canada: Points to consider. • 4.4 million Domestic travelers represent the biggest market for Atlantic Canada. • Over next 2 decades the total domestic tourist market will increase by 24%. • Atlantic Canada is actually doing quite well - attracting a good number considering our limited population. Predictions: • It is predicted that there will be a lowering of adventure tourism visitation from the US to Ontario - freeing up some of the market possibly for Nova Scotia. • Greater than normal growth in the “Gentle Outdoors”.
One problem about “Winter Meeting an Ageing Population” is that Snowmobiling is expected to shrink in Canada with only modest growth in the US.
This sets the stage for 3 fundamental shifts: I. A smaller family travel market. II. Older people who do different things than younger people. III. Southern migration to the US from our current primary markets therefore border markets will begin to shrink and distant markets to grow. Actions to pursue: • Marketing and product development must address an ageing population. • Attract the general purpose traveler and get them thinking about adventure tourism especially the softer adventure activities. (Wildlife viewing/ birding / wildflower viewing). • Make products senior friendly including, appropriate amenities and services, and programs and softer options. • Considering more of the target market will be in Southern States, the winter product could be used more fully as an attraction. • Go after the Niche markets which are small but considering the size of the US population niche markets can still provide many travelers. • Today’s youth are urban people without rural skills, so products should reflect this characteristic of the current and future younger market. • Include older staff that are well educated. • Greater efforts will need to be made to attract families and younger markets.
Marketing and Magazines:
Al Zikovitz: Founder and President of Quarto Communications (Includes Explore Magazine). This session looked at branding , readership and editorial content of Travel Magazines. Magazines are effective at targeting specific markets because they already have an intimate relationship with their readers. • Explore Magazine - average reader 37 higher income / energetic reader who wants an experience. • Canadian Geographic - good magazine for promoting whale watching / comfy family travel. • Outpost - Has a younger audience with less money interested in exotic vacation experiences outside of Canada.
How magazines find information to publish: • Process editors collect information and choose editorial content. • Editors rely on operators keeping them up to date on new product – they have limited budget to research new product. • Note that 60-70% of the time they won’t accept an offer for a familiarization tour. Actions to pursue: • Advertising in magazines: 1. Find out about a magazines target market before you advertise there. 2. Match readership with product. 3. Work with the magazine to develop content. • Use magazine subscriber lists for direct mail. Magazines will also sell the subscriber lists but they want to see the direct mail piece and work with a broker. • Aim to get editorial pieces in magazines (i.e. articles, write ups) 1. Tell magazines about your products, especially anything new. 2. Tell the story of the product and the destination - partner with them regarding destinations so that they are more likely to write an article including your product (free advertising!). • Outfitters are often in the situation to capture great photos. If you want to get your photos in as a cover shot note that 90% of decision to use an image is based on news stand appeal so think about what would attract the market of that magazine. • Track all contacts to determine what advertising worked and what didn’t so you can spend your advertising dollars wisely. Note - Explore Magazine is producing an Adventure Tourism Guide distributed ONLY in the border US states: 200 000 copies. 300 people will win adventure Tourism vacations in this region.
Adopting an Adventure-Cultural-Ecotourism approach to training for Adventure Tourism:
Dave Robinson: Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, Malaspina University College, Nanaimo, BC. This session introduced the ACE (adventure / cultural and ecotourism) concept to training for the tourism industry. It focused on the concept and need for tourism planning and policy to be more community based rather than about profit maximization of outfitters. This requires a shift in the mindset of the adventure to urism industry. This presentation was a review of the approach/philosophy of the tourism education program at Malaspina University College in BC. The program seeks to 12
reduce the negative impact of large scale development on communities. The presenter gave an impassionate talk about the potential for negative impact on the environment and people when large tourism developments happen in small and undeveloped communities. Local citizens are often relegated to the role of “linen changers” because they usually have no background or experience in the business or tourism and large scale development. They can be easily awed and overwhelmed. Big developments transform communities, alienate residents, and exploit the resource and the environment while residents are compelled to participate by taking poor paying service jobs. His programs advocate tourism development that is strongly community based, community driven and controlled allowing communities to create their own vision for tourism. For communities to participate in this kind of planning, they need to be educated with these ideas to thoroughly understand the impacts of tourism on their community and environment. Tourism impacts at a community level are: • economic • environmental • equity All three need to be addressed. Two case studies were used: A. The “Haliburton” experience in Northern Ontario is a good example of integrated planning involving the tourism industry working with forestry and other sectors. B. Study of Ucluelet, Vancouver Island , BC: A Malaspina University study for small communities. Ucluelet - a gateway community to the Pacific Rim National Park and Clayoquot Sound - was until 1993 a logging and fishing dependent community. This community uses progressive planning approaches. The Nova Scotia Government has an Integrated Tourism Plan initiated and should encourage business to be involved in their communities and with industry planning - help operators (and Government) maintain perspective. Long-term impacts: • The price of real estate is going up and even with local involvement there is a diminishing opportunity for locals to own real estate in the future. • Operators would have to become active in the community politics and / or planning if they want to have a say in how tourism development takes place. Operators may have to make some difficult choices if they choose to get involved in these community development issues. • According to this concept, tourism can be an agent for massive social change. Others who should receive the information presented in this session:
Operators in the adventure tourism business in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada in general are very small and they are not property developers therefore it is important that the concepts presented in this session are also presented to politicians, community leaders and developers.
Actions to pursue: • Small is good and definitely better than large scale tourism for enabling community involvement. • Operators should try to use local product where ever possible. Local employment should also be encouraged. • Invite school or community members to see and understand what Ecotourism and Adventure Tour operators do. • Government policy and planning needs to take these concepts into consideration.
True Confessions of Adventure Tour Operators:
Bob Hicks: Gros Morne Adventures, NL and Craig Murray: Nimmo Bay Lodge, BC. This session focused on one particular resort: Nimmo Bay Lodge. A video was shown and the development of the resort was explained. “www.nimmobay.com” developed the Theory of Hospitality Expectations Exceeded = memories created concept. This business is difficult at the best of times and it isn’t bad to take a step back maybe get a day job - and give the business time to develop. Actions to pursue: • Small Inn type accommodations should be fostered and marketed to Adventure Tourists because many want hard days but soft nights. • Canada needs to be refocessed as an Adventure Tourist Destination.
Partners in Environment:
Gordon Slade: One Ocean; John Henley: Transshipment Inc. and George Vandusen: Corner Brook Pulp and Paper There were three speakers in this session: 1. Cornerbrook Pulp and paper: Discussed the land surrounding the park and the integrated management land that partners with the park and all departments. 2. Transshipment Inc.: Discussed the importance of minimizing risk and avoiding environmental hazards. 3. One Ocean: secretariat for information and coordination sharing - fishing and oil and gas industries. 14
Actions to pursue: • The tourism industry needs to be involved in the formation of ocean management policies that impact the tourism industry, for example Whale Watching and also the issue of herring harvesting in the Bay of Fundy. • Connect with other industries to ensure all needs are taken into account when planning .
What Women Want:
Barb Genge: Tuckamore Lodge, NL; Sue Rendell: Gros Morne Adventures, NL and Deborah Murray: Nimmo Bay Lodge, BC. This session explored what women want out of adventure tourism. It reviewed products and services offered by the companies represented on panel Often women make the decisions about where to go, what to do when couples are planning travel. There needs to be a changes in emphasis in marketing to women. The panel suggested that details are really important to women in their travel planning and experience. Women are looking for well organized, safe operators. If companies can offer this, women will be loyal return clients or tell their friends about them. Other general characteristics of women travelers: • Overall, women are more inclined to be involved in group type travel than men. • Female clients often older – 55 to 70 (soften the product). • They want to connect with the ones they love and appreciate opportunities to do so in their tour. • Women want active days and softer nights with healthy food options. • They are interested in learning a skill in a safe environment with good instruction and the option to opt-out or change their minds. • There are more women in the market with a free and independent spirit. • There are more women who want a healthy life style vacation experience. Actions to pursue: • Sell to the female as she is the decision maker in most vacation seeking couples and families. • Guide training is important to help guides develop sensitivity to women’s needs. • Tailor the product to include the needs of women.
Education and Training for Adventure Training: Professionalizing the Industry:
Eugene Flynn: Instructor, Adventure Tourism program, Corner Brook Campus, College of the North Atlantic and Dave Robinson: Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, Malaspina University College, Nanaimo, BC. This session looked at how to improve opportunities to create professional staff for the Adventure Tourism industry. It provided a brief synopsis of programs offered na tionally and issues about Adventure Tourism training. • • • • In 1993 the College of the North Atlantic in Cornerbrook began offering the adventure tourism course - offers guide training and ecotourism theory. Certification offered. The University College of the Caribou offers a full 4 year Adventure Tourism course with laddering arrangements for Cornerbrook students coming in for year 3 and 4. The curricula for a proposed one -year ‘Certificate in Adventure Tourism and Recreation’ at Malaspina University College, Nanaimo BC was presented. There are new Professional Development modules being offered across the country for existing operators with 2 certificate programs. Professional Development modules: 1. Outdoor Education (mainly for teachers because of recent avalanche tragedies). 2. Adventure Entrepreneurship and Business Development. 3. Amateur Adventure for front line staff. These are training modules for university credit certificates. There was a lot of industry input to develop these module courses through the University College of the Caribou. This could be of interest to NSATA members.
There is also a new training opportunity for Adventure tourism in Atlantic Canada. The announcement was supposed to happen at CATIC 2003, but was delayed. It involves ACOA, Tourism Atlantic, CTC and Parks Canada. Overall the work done by CTHRC has not been effective for the needs of the adventure tourism sector. “The jury is still out” regarding the long term viability and success of graduates in the Adventure tourism field. It is important not to just have summer skills. You must have winter skills as well to make a real go in this industry. Recruiting grads is difficult because there is often nothing out there presented for off season employment opportunities.
Actions to pursue: • Training industry needs to develop some off season type activities; possibly strategies for employment and or cost recovery activities. This could include guides helping out in extra marketing and or program development. This may not seem immediately feasible or “profitable” for the company but it can make guide retention easier so you don’t loose the training you’ve done and the experience that the guides have accumulated.
Keynote Address - Building Business and Community: the Potential of the Web:
Simon Milne : Professor of Tourism and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business, Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Programme Coordinator, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (TRI). This keynote address by Simon Milne focused on an internet project that has been founded to link visitors to the communities they will be traveling to. It allows communities a greater involvement in the tourism industry, allowing them to better control where and how tourism takes place i n their communities. The New Zealand Internet and Tourism Project can be viewed at: www.tri.org.nz The rational for the internet project: • NZ has experienced 35% growth in adventure tourism since 1995. • Challenge: How to make Adventure Tourism work for the community. • Problem: Tourist numbers have increased but yield has not increased proportionally for the communities. • Challenge: How to use technology to enable local communities to thrive and survive. • Problem: Conflicts between people who want to keep lifestyle and those who want tourism development. How the website works: • Typically web sites are “passive sites” that feature/sell only tourism operator’s products. • This project promotes “active web sites” that include links that connect visitors to local businesses in addition to the operator’s product. • The program involves “web raising” events modeled on barn raising that was common in rural areas. • Web sites document “hot spots’ where there could be conflict between tourist and local people so that tourists will can plan their activities to avoid these areas. Community and tourists benefit.
Actions to pursue: • Encourage the community to come together to create a website that links visitors to local businesses and promotes types of tourism that the community wants.
What is a Risk Management Plan and Why You Need to Know:
Ross Cloutier: Risk Management Consultant in the Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Industry Various issues in Risk Management and the actions following an incident were covered in this session. Updates on evolving strategies to deal with the present insurance crisis were presented. Specific topics included: • Industry trends and changes related to risk management • Incident management • Risk control/management (avoid loss, reduce frequency of loss, reduce severity of loss) • Risk financing (insurance, transfer to contractors, waivers - transfer to clients) • Retain risk-insurance deductible • Risk Management Programs (prevention, preparation, operations and response, recovery) • Response after incident • Exclusion of liability/waivers • Insurance (current problems and reasons) • Insurance (consequence of operating without insurance) • Insurance (what insurance companies want from operators who are applying for insurance). The industry is changing faster than most companies can adapt to changes. Education and professionalism as it relates to risk management are the biggest challenges that the industry is facing. There are increasing changes in the legal field to the point where operators do not know what is really going on out there. It will probably get worse before it gets better. Risk Management is about 50% Risk Control and 50% Risk financing. Risk control and Risk Financing are about: 1. Prevention 2. Preparedness 3. Operations and Response 4. Recovery (business, the client and the worker).
Note that 90% of waiver cases are paid out although Canadian courts will enforce waivers if they are properly worded therefore it is important to review the validity of waivers. Insurer will pay out on 80% of all claims because they are reluctant to defend due to legal costs (defense is usually a 5-6 year process). On-line transactions occur legally in the jurisdiction in which the mouse is clicked. Electronic on-line payments bring hidden dangers. Someone who buys on line therefore may be deemed to have purchased the product in their home state or country therefore not necessarily covered by Canadian Insurance companies. Since 911 there has been reluctance of some ins urance companies to deal with clients from the USA (i.e. purchasing from the USA). “Jury Still Out” on the effects of MLA on vessel Insurance. 50% of adventure tourism companies in Canada do not have insurance. It is harder to get insurance after operating without it. This discourages people from even trying. References and Resources: • “The Business of Adventure”: www.bhudak.com Bhudak Consultants. • Book on risk management, "Legal Liability and Risk Management in Adventure Tourism" by Ross Cloutier. • Also “The Business of Adventure: Developing an Adventure Tourism Business” by Ross Cloutier. • Gregor Wilson – Risk Management Consultant is a good resource for Nova Scotia (for contact details see Appendix A: Participants). Actions to pursue: • The concept that one is far less likely to be sued without insurance needs to be dealt with in the industry. • Organizational structure, trip planning, staff training, education, professional practice and trip information for clients are key components of risk management and have a strong influence on the frequency of incidents. All of these things need to be documented when shopping for insurance because they will affect your premium and the willingness of an insurer to cover you. • Have your waivers reviewed by a lawyer who is familiar with this area. • Companies need to protect themselves against lawsuits from employees as well as from clients. • How an incident is handled is often what provokes lawsuits so have systems in place to effective ly handle all potential incidents and client concerns.
Aboriginal Aspects of Adventure Tourism:
Chief Misel Joe: Miawpukek First Nation at Conne River, NL and Randy Bell: Cultural-Tourism Coordinator, Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations . This session looked at more case studies of international indigenous developments and two examples in British Columbia including the Wi’la’mola Project, BC (We are all traveling together). Aboriginal agreements with villages allowing tourist visitations were examined. Ecosystem Based Management was discussed. You need a local champion of the development. There is often a need to reevaluate what a community is in order to come up with a strategic plan that all people understand. It was emphasized that aboriginals want to be subjects of tourism, not objects of tourism. There is a new $2.2 million Aboriginal training program underway as part of the Olympics. Actions to pursue: • It is essential to consider the health and capacity of a community before looking at Local Economic Development as the way to resolve social issues.
Judy Karwacki: Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist and Consultant for the Tourism Industry. This session was a technical one, focusing on specific web based marketing strategies used to increase the client base: Strategies: • Signature files • News groups & discussion groups • Virtual marketing • Permission marketing ( sending e-mail marketing info ) • Link strategy • Search engine marketing • Paid search engine advertising • Idea of building page around a key work. The web as a planning tool: • 42% of travelers do all planning and research for trip on the web • Links are used by 88% of users to find web sites; important to some search engines; adds value to customer experience.
The search engine strategy: • Search engine strategy is best value for your marketing dollars. • Your company must be in the top 30 or the first 3 pages of an internet search or it will not get seen. • Google is the search engine of choice since other search engines use Google’s information. References and Resources: • Look at the “Google for Webmasters” and “Open Directory Project”. • Susan Sweeney’s book “101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site”, Maximum Press, 1999 is a good reference for someone new to web site creation. Actions to pursue: • Make your URL prominent by staying current with the search engine ranking criteria. • Make your web site as professional as other aspects of advertising. • Use pay per click advertising. • Include a link to your website in the signature file you use for email. • www.adventure-tourism.ca is a free listing web directory about to be launched. It is not up on the internet yet.
Whale watching Stewardship:
Dr. Jon Lien: Honorary Research Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland , Chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Oceans and Member: I.U.C.N. Expert Advisory Panel on Protected Areas. This session explored the origins and developments of the Whale Watching business on the West and East Coasts and outlined the need for Species Specific Guidelines including all marine life, not just mammals. e.g. birds Licensing of Whale Watching operators is imminent however enforcement is very difficult. Newfoundland has initiated guidelines and ways to e nforce them The first whale watching operators to set up have a strong sense of stewardship towards the whales. The problem tends to be with new entrants who seem to be profit oriented. It is important to note that stewardship can and does sell, especially for those clients who perceive the industry as caring and professional so it is important to foster stewardship of operators towards whales. Some operations are collecting a portion of their revenue to fund research (one dollar per person goes to research). There is a growth in recreational boating. This could cause conflicts in certain areas (for example Halifax and Lunenburg) because there needs to be a system 21
in place to ensure that recreational boaters are also following guidelines for whale observation. There must be enforcement. Actions to pursue: • Stewardship and ethics codes for tour operations should be adopted and enforced. • Must consider limits to entry-licensing for whale watching tourism to minimize effects on marine mammals. • Must avoid commercialization of resources and exploitation of product (Disney-Type Take-overs). • Recreational boaters must be made aware of guidelines.
Best Practices: Market Alliance Development:
Steve Bruno : Community-based ATV Tourism trails project. This session reviewed the ATV trail system project (funded by the CTC product club) in Elliot Lake and other Northern Ontario regions. The presenter spoke of how ATV trail building can be a community building experience and how trails can be interchangeable (even days hiking / odd days ATVs). There is a big gap out there regarding the delivery of trail “products”. There has been an incredible growth in ATV sales in the US and the lack of places for ATV users to ride. (60% of new American ATV sales are for recreation only). Important to note that ATV sales are going up but snowmobile sales going down. Resources: There is a study available from the CTC called a “Development Model for a Community Based ATV Tourism Product.” Actions to pursue: • It is important for community building that ATV trails are built in loops rather than in linear paths in order to encourage town visitation and use of services.
European Travel Trade Market:
Maria Matthews: Vision the Atlantic, NL and Herbert Schumacher: Atlantic Canada Adventures, NL Jean Charles Fortin: Aventure Écotourisme Québec, QC. This session focused on the European markets from Germany, Switzerland, France and the British Isles as well as Quebec. Three speakers presented their
perspectives and history on attracting clients from these markets. Things look better for 2004. Characteristics of the market: • Europeans are looking for market ready product i.e. packages. • Swiss German - higher end product desired. They are mostly wealthy well traveled, educated and fit. • French - Are very price sensitive and particular. The French language is a must for most travelers. In France “Eco Adventure” should not be used. Nature Tourism is the preferred term. • UK - Is our largest market aside from the USA. • The adventure tourism market is older; 45-65, well educated and prefer shoulder season activities. Europe is very difficult to penetrate on an individual basis (for small operators). There is already a struggle for regional promotion and wholesalers - how does the single Adventure Tourism operator get noticed? In Canada’s favor, after 9/11, Canada is now perceived as safer to travel to than the USA. However, Eastern Canada is not well known and Canada in general is perceived as expensive (compared to the USA). Our best chance of attracting these markets is a combined Canada / US promotion, for example, New England and the Maritimes teaming up on promotion to Europe. We can expect an increase in European visitation from Europeans who have been to the West Coast and Niagara Falls and are now seeking a new destination. Actions to pursue: • More Familiarization (FAM) Tours to introduce wholesalers to the Atlantic Provinces. • Get your product into the brochures used by wholesalers and retail travel agents. • Care should be taken in advertising. Get to know the characteristics of your market.
Making Adventure Tourism Work for Aboriginal Host Communities: Tools and Techniques from Canadian and International Case Studies:
Bruce Whyte – Tourism and Resource Planning Consultant and Brian White - Founder and Senior Consultant of Community Visions Consulting Group and Coordinator, Bachelor of Tourism Management degree, Capilano College in North Vancouver.
This session focused on Adventure Tourism in Aboriginal Communities. Adventure tourism businesses (non-native) who consider diversifying their product must understand the community before beginning a joint venture. Nonnative Adventure Tourism operators can not simply meet up with one Native operator and expect the partnership to work as it might off reserve. Often the only (most feasible) option for resource strapped aboriginal communities is to partner with other organizations/businesses. Americans still want the aboriginal experience to include fishing and hunting expeditions. Actions to pursue: • Non native businesses must invest the time to understand and follow Aboriginal protocols. • The Mi’kmaq story is more important than to be training First Nations people to be hospitality professionals.
Trends in Adventure Tourism:
Neil Hartling : Founder of Nahanni River Adventures and Co-owner of Rocky Mountain Voyageurs Ltd. This session looked at present and emerging trends and challenges in Adventure Tourism. Trends: • The aging of baby boomers who have money to spend. • Canada’s population is becoming increasingly multi-cultural. By 2025, 50% will have a birth place outside Canada. • There is a shrinking number of operators due to problems of Summer 2003 (Insurance, SARS, West Nile, Mad Cow, US/Canada exchange rate). These challenges led to more businesses failing and fewer new businesses starting. • Companies will most likely merge and become bigger. They may concentrate on volume more than quality. • Companies are becoming larger and more diverse, e.g. cruise ships adding adventure products. • Some shift in activities e.g. wilderness tripping to snow boarding and white water rodeo. • Businesses are tending to move from low end to upscale product. • There is a demand for more learning travel (value added through interpretation). • There is an emerging experience economy with value added by adding experiences.
• • •
Pricing - consumers will to pay more for quality products/services. However it is becoming more about “What will they pay?” instead of “What is the product worth?” The local market may be pushed out if prices are increased too much. Training is a bigger factor in businesses.
Environmental concerns: • There are issues related to land and resource for operators. • Putting visitor number limits on access to parks is imminent. • Infrastructure is deteriorating in Parks. • Landscapes are changing due to overuse and incremental damage. Impact of visitors can be exponential. • These things are threatening present product offerings – no assurance of future product. References and Resources: Neil Hartling (http://www.nahanni.com) Actions to pursue: • Move up market – Improve quality, add ‘add-ons’ and raise price because there is a willingness to pay for quality experiences. Be careful not to alienate price sensitive markets though. • Modify product to serve the increasingly multi-cultural Canadian market. • Prepare for 2004 and 2005 to service the market that put off travel in 2003. Take advantage of pent up demand . • Training improves customer experience, increase value, and is a risk management tool.
Appendix A : Participants
Gaboteux Tours / Les Tours du Gaboteux PO Box 1194 Cheticamp, NS B0E 1H0 Phone: (902) 224-2940 Email : email@example.com Delegates: Jean Timmons & Eileen Rickard Scott Walking Tours Box 308, 1 Station Road Hubbards, NS B0J 1T0 Phone: (902) 858-2060 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate: Angela Chisholm Atlantic Canada Nature Safaris PO Box 33051 Halifax, NS B3L 4T6 Phone: (902) 455-3595 Email: email@example.com Delegate: Peter Oickle Seaspray Outdoor Adventures 1141 White Point Road, Smelt Brook Dingwall PO, NS B0C 1G0 Phone: (902) 383-2732 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegates: Dennis & Linda Doyan Canadian Sailing Expeditions Inc. PO Box 2613 Halifax, NS B3J 3N5 Phone: (902) 429-1474 Email: email@example.com Delegate: Scott Sandford Goodwill House / Ski Cape Smokey RR #1, 41682 Cabot Trail Englishtown, NS B0C 1H0 Phone: (902) 929-2246 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate: Marie Cummings Atlantic Explorers Liscombe, NS B0J 2A0 Phone: (902) 890-5508 Email: email@example.com Delegate: Gregor Wilson Ocean Explorations (Zodiac) Whale Cruises PO Box 719 Tiverton, NS B0V 1G0 Phone: (902) 839-2417 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate: Tom Goodwin Department of Tourism and Culture P.O. Box 456 1800 Argyle Street, Suite 603 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2R5 Tel: (902)-424-4646 Email: email@example.com Delegate: Mary-Jo MacKay, Development Officer, Tourism Development
Appendix B: Participant Session Notes Form
Participant: Session Title:
Topics covered / Seminar Highlights:
Highlights/ News/ Important Information:
Resources & Reference Points:
New ideas / Actions: Are there applications of the ideas presented in this seminar to be brought forward for Nova Scotia’s Adventure Tourism Sector
Short Term Impacts/Options/Opportunities:
Long Term Impacts/Options/Opportunities:
One person per session please gather and forward any handouts
Appendix C: Other speakers
• • • Mission to the Mantle: Fred Sheppard: National Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park Keynote Address - Parks Canada: Peter Levick: Director, External Relations for Parks Canada. Session - Outback Adventures Down under: A comparison of Corporate and Higher Education Adventure Tour Leadership Programs: Andrew Cope. Session - Science and the Challenge of Managing Adventure Tourism in Canada’s National Parks: Stephen Flemming : Manager of Resource Conservation, Gros Morne National Park of Canada. Session - Innovations - Fuel Cell Technology and Applications in Tourism: Boyd Taylor: Vice President Business Development, Hydrogenics Final Wrap-up, Direction and Evaluation - Charting the Course: Dave Lough: Manager of Federal Tourism Partnerships a joint initiative of ACOA, Tourism Atlantic, Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage and Stan Cook Jr.: President of the Provincial Tourism Industry Association and Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL).