How To Create A Great Tourism Experience

The tourism industry is currently going through a major shift as businesses strive to create experiences, rather than simply providing quality services. The reason behind this is simple: tourists are looking to gain lasting memories from their travels, and experiences are just more likely to satisfy this need. Interested in learning how to create great tourism experiences? Here are five characteristics that your business should be emulating:


  1. Globally Unique: Great tourism experiences are globally unique. When designing your tourism experience, consider what makes your geographic location special, and incorporate that into the experience. For example, tourism experiences on the coast should embrace their unique location by incorporating the ocean and coastal culture into the theme or activity.
  2. Personalizable: Creating an experience that meets each individual customer’s wants, needs, and/or desires is a great way to show that your company is willing to go the extra mile to ensure a great experience for each individual. For example, a guiding company can personalize their experience by offering outings that serve people of different experience levels and by allowing customers to choose between different trip lengths, group sizes, and activities.
  3. Interactive: Great tourism experiences get the customer involved and actively learning. When creating your experience, think about fun and engaging ways that the customer can get involved. This is particularly helpful advice for turning products into experiences – you can build an experience by getting your customer actively involved in the process of creating a new product.
  4. Involves All Five Senses: Get the customer immersed in the experience by involving all five senses. This makes the experience more engaging for the customer and can help make the experience feel even more authentic. For example, although a spa’s main service deals with touch, a spa can involve the other four services by designing a visually calming environment, playing relaxing music, employing aromatherapy, and offering water and nutritious health foods after treatments.
  5. Memorable: Most importantly, the experience should be memorable. Customers should leave the experience with memories that will last a lifetime. For the most part, businesses can make their experiences memorable by focusing on what makes them unique and exciting, and by striving to meet and exceed the customer’s expectation. Businesses can also help customers literally take home memories by allowing customers to purchase souvenirs and photographs from their experience.

KSL/SkiCo Acquires Deer Valley

In a recent article, SAM Magazine reports that KSL Capital Partners and Aspen SkiCo will be acquiring Deer Valley Resort, a purchase that continues a recent pattern of “ski resort ownership consolidation” (SAM Magazine). The article goes on to say that, “In just the last six months, the yet-to-be-named joint venture has combined Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and Aspen Ski Company” (SAM Magazine). And with the recent purchase of Deer Valley, the buying spree doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Previously, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass was an unrivaled pass option for skiers who wanted to visit and ski at a variety of amazing resorts. But with KSL/SkiCo’s recent acquisitions, the joint-venture is shaping up to be Vail’s biggest competitor in the super-pass market. Although KSL/SkiCo hasn’t released any mega-passes yet for this season, it is certainly a major possibility for next winter.

As with many of these recent purchases, there are some concerns that KSL/SkiCo’s acquisition will result in major changes for Deer Valley, which has been privately owned since the resort opened in 1981 (McCombs). Hopefully, most of these concerns are unwarranted. This is supported in a statement by David Perry, president and COO of the joint venture, saying, “We look forward to working with the staff and Park City community to carry on the traditions that make [Deer Valley] so special” (SAM Magazine).

See the full article below:


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Growing the Ski Industry: Attracting Adult Beginners

Like many businesses, ski resort operations are made possible due to business brought in by their guests. Therefore, a major goal of ski resorts is to create more guests by introducing more beginners to the sport of skiing. Children and teens tend to have a pretty easy time joining the sport; many other people their age are beginners too, and their parents pay for their lessons, rentals, and lift tickets. However, it is much more challenging to convince adults to join the sport.


Adults are less likely to join the sport for a variety of reasons. These include fear, high prices, pride, and not having many friends who they can learn with. Fear is caused by the prospect of injury. High prices include the cost of rentals, lift tickets, and lessons. Pride is due to the idea of not being able to keep up or otherwise looking bad in front of their friends. Additionally, it can be difficult to learn or stay motivated without friends who are in the same situation. Even after ski resorts have convinced adult beginners to get on the slopes, retaining them can be difficult. Only 17% of adults return for another day of skiing, and most won’t even tell people they’ve skied previously until they visit a third time. Generally, it takes about five visits for adult beginners to call themselves “skiers”.


Resorts can address these challenges in several ways. First, they can make skiing more affordable, and get adults skiing more often. Many resorts offer packages for new skiers that make this possible. For example, Sunlight Mountain Resort in Colorado offers a $395 package that includes, lift tickets, rentals, and a two-hour lesson for three days. After completing the three days, skiers receive a complimentary five-day lift pass. This helps adults get on the slopes enough times that they are more likely to continue skiing, and it makes skiing more affordable for them. Group lessons and good service has also been shown to increase the likelihood that an adult will continue with the sport.


Growing the Ski Industry: The Importance of Small Mountains


Running a mountain is an expensive business. The cost of replacing a lift can be in the millions, and even replacing a T-Bar can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For small mountains that often charge very little for lift tickets, this cost can make operations difficult. However, big resorts have helped make this cost easier to manage. For example, at Titcomb, Sunday River has stepped in and helped cover some costs when Titcomb could not afford them. Sunday River has also donated money so that students at the University of Maine at Farmington can ski at Titcomb for free.


Resorts like Sunday River do this because they recognize the importance of small mountains. Small mountains help grow the sport. The easier, shorter trails and often less-crowded terrain can be much less intimidating to beginners. Local hills also tend to offer prices that make skiing much more affordable, which is important since most beginners are tentative to invest a large amount of money into a sport they’ve never done before. Additionally, small mountains provide a local option for skiers when no large resorts exist nearby.


Larger resorts feel comfortable supporting local hills because their target markets are usually very different. Whereas smaller mountains tend to target beginners, the local community, and customers with a smaller skiing budget, big resorts target customers who are willing to spend more money (often on longer vacations, rather than day visits) in return for diverse and more challenging terrain options and great service. Basically, resorts and local hills aren’t competing with each other. However, local hills can generate more business for resorts. As beginner skiers at small mountains improve, they may look to ski at places where they can challenge themselves more.


And when skiers look for that bigger mountain, where better for them to go than the resort that supported their local hill?




Instagram Best Practices

Social media is a great marketing tool for many reasons. It’s usually free, it’s easy to use, and you have the opportunity to connect with millions of potential customers. Instagram, for example, has over 800 million users. The visually-focused social media app is a great way for a company to, quite literally, build its brand image. Here are some tips for upping your Insta-game.

  1. Be consistent.

Just like your company has a consistent brand image, your posts should have a consistent style and format. If your brand generally uses very clean-cut images of your product or experience but then starts posting goofy photos of your staff that has a weaker connection to your product, that may be confusing to the customer. (Not that posting goofy photos of your staff is wrong – if having a fun staff is part of your brand image, then post your goofy photos. But if you’re trying to create a brand image that is more formal and professional, then try to stick to that.)

  1. Keep the words to a minimum.

Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform. Therefore, posting photos that contain many words in the image is not recommended. If you really want to post an image featuring writing, then keep the word count down to just one or two keyword or words that get to the point (for example, “Sale”). Use the image to capture the customer’s attention. Then, any more information can be included in the caption.

  1. Take photos of people.

Photos of people are more relatable to the customer and tend to get more likes. Take this opportunity to feature photos of people who are enjoying your product or service – it will encourage viewers to picture themselves in the customer’s shoes and cause them to associate your business with a positive experience.

  1. Make it easy for your customers to find you.

There are many ways to do this one. First off, make sure your company name is on your Instagram handle. The company profile should also be public so that any potential customer can see your posts. Make sure to add your location when you focus and include hashtags that are relevant and specific to your company. Also, make sure to add a link to your website in your profile.

  1. Interact with your followers.

This is a great way to build your customer relationships. Respond to comments made on your photos, and like photos in which your company is tagged.

  1. Use Instagram business tools

Business profiles are a free Instagram feature that recognizes pages as businesses and adds a contact button to your page for followers to use to get in touch with your company. The Insights tool provides information about who your followers are and which of your posts get the best responses. Your company can also promote its best posts on the app as ads. When promoting a post, the promoting tool even allows you to pick a target audience.