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What customers want are products, communications, and marketing campaigns that dazzle the senses, touch their

hearts, and stimulate their minds.

The Marketing Concept
 The

purpose of business is satisfied customers  The purpose of business is to deliver value

If we recognize a tourist destination as a platform from which many different experiential products can be delivered, the tactics associated with managing physical and nonphysical product lines may be appropriately applied. One of the key elements of the development of a marketing strategy for any type of product is the development of the product strategy. This may also be true for tourist destinations. It is widely acknowledged that the choice of product line offerings or product mix and their subsequent management has widespread influence on the marketing performance of organizations). A common practice is the creation of groups of related products in product lines). This practice is common to producers of both physical and non-physical products offered to consumers as well as business customers. Thus, one of the major determinants of a firm’s long term success is the care with which its management is able to build and maintain the firm’s product mix in accordance with the overall marketing strategy and the needs, wants and desires of its buyers. This may also be true for the development of tourist destinations, which capitalize on the local natural and cultural assets to create experiential products designed to appeal to important target market travelers. 􀂃

The London School of Business published reports that “a key innovation in today’s business is experience. In today’s environment of ever more sophisticated consumers – those who deliver memorable customer experiences consistently create superior value and competitive advantage." 􀂃 The World Tourism Organization (WTO) reports, “there is a shift from active holidays to holidays as an experience. The point is to achieve a complete participative experience that provides new knowledge and authentic experiences.” 􀂃 The Travel Industry Association (TIA) reports that the traveler’s desire to experience history and culture is stronger than ever and that “Most agree that trips where they can learn something new are more memorable to them.” 􀂃 The Youth Tourism Consortium of Canada (YTCC) reports, “almost all independent youth travelers are experiencedriven. They want to explore different cultures, increase their knowledge and experience excitement. They tend to plan flexible itineraries around informal, active and participatory activities.”

A visitor experience is something that is personally encountered, lived through, and affects you. It may involve observation or participation. It may be active or passive, planned or opportunistic, personal or shared.

We have seen a change in what the visitor is looking for. It is becoming a more interactive experience that people want – it’s not just seeing a monument or visiting a cave or a temple – its get down, get dirty and get involved. … We’ve had groups get off the bus and try to wash clothes with the washer men [in India] and that gives them a feeling of what it must be like to do this everyday. Rather than watch from a distance, that’s the level of involvement people are looking that creates an experience. It’s the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the entire package.

One specific type of experience that is very much in demand is hands on experiences. For example we specialize in garden tours, and we’re being asked, very much more than we were ever asked for things like … “Can you go out to the markets and buy flowers and have us learn to arrange them? Could we please go to someone’s garden and actually work in the garden?” Those are the types of things that we’re being asked. (Tour Operator)

Tourism product not only include salient attributes of the regional tourism offering, but also management of destination offering over their life cycles, managing the development of new tourism products and developing appropriate product strategy.

Tourism Product Development
Tourism--the practice of traveling for pleasure; the business of providing tours and services for tourists.

Tourism Product Development
Recreation--“refreshment of one’s mind or body after labor through diverting activity; play.”

To “recreate” is to “impart fresh life to; refresh mentally or physically; to take recreation.”

Tourism Product Development
Tourism products are a combination of two components:



Tourism Product Development
Built Environments Natural Environments

Tourism Product Development
• • • • Theme parks Resorts Casinos Cruise ships

Tourism Product Development
Lands and Natural resources, it is these resources that attract most of our visitors

Tourism Product Development
When you have a tourism product that is dependent on a unique, high quality natural environment or setting, the highest priority

and concern is to maintain the high quality of that natural environment, since without that you have no product.