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.

Understanding the Beauty behind Fall By: C.L. DeLisle

From a walk on Oct. 22nd, 2017

      I hurried out the door at 5:30 pm for a quick walk in the fading moments of twilight. Here in Maine, it’s that time of year where the insidious darkness of the encroaching winter becomes vivid. The sun had already set as I stepped onto the gravel drive. Utter silence dominated the air. There were no more boats cruising the lake, no more “summer people” walking their dogs, nor were there any cars. Not even a single squirrel could be heard prancing about the woods.


A still Great Pond. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson). 

The foliage is at its peak. Or, in many places, maybe even on that dirt camp road, it’s on the decline. It’s starting to become noticeably colder after an unseasonably warm and welcoming fall. My hands were shoved into the pouch of my Bauer sweatshirt, my breath visible as I walked. An increasing number of leaves were falling from the treetops, covering the gravel of the narrow road beneath a colorful carpet. The carpet was stitched with various shades of red, orange, and yellow leaves that had been knocked free by a powerful wind that blew the night before.


Hathaway Lane in Rome covered in a blanket of leaves. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson). 

Towards the end of the road, the woods open up on the left to a field of wilting grass in which horses once grazed. Across this field there’s an ancient white farmhouse in which a cranky old man lives. There’s a large red barn with a sign hung above its wide doorway that reads “Lakeview Farm”. At the very end of the road, the field opens on all sides to reveal a spectacular view of Great Pond. That night the lake was calm, mirroring the image of the burning sky at dusk perfectly.

While approaching the end of the road, I noticed the sky becoming increasingly visible through the thinning canopies of the white birch trees. The sky looked as it did in the springtime, though the remaining leaves that still clung to the branches were now crisp and brown – in spring, they were moist and green.


Adolescent leaves budding in spring. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Arriving at the end of the road, I stopped to look out over the still lake: there weren’t many lights left on along its shore. After a few minutes, I turned and headed back towards home. The crimson, maroon, fire orange, and bright yellow canopies of treetops across the field caught my attention; I thought of how beautiful fall is. But then I began to contemplate why it is that fall is considered so beautiful.


Colorful tree line across the field on Jamaica Point. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Of course, the reason is largely due to its aesthetically pleasing foliage, as people from around the world who travel to New England this time of year will vouch for.


Tree at peak foliage in the Belgrade Lakes. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

But more importantly, fall is beautiful because is is the END. It is the end to something long anticipated and lusted about year after year; it is the end to summer. We often make the fondest and most cherished memories during those long days and warm nights.


A campfire along the Dead River this past summer. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

But when we are living through them, people will often argue that summer is never as sweet as we imagine it; I couldn’t disagree more with this argument.

On my walk earlier that spring, around the same time of day and looking at the same trees I see tonight, only then full of youth, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the excitement that comes with spring. The days would get longer and warmer, everything would get better. I dreamt about all the times to come laughing and living with friends and family. For me, the reality of summer always seems to outshine the fantasy of the dream.

Sure, the present is often unsatisfactory. But it is also where lasting and cherished memories are made. By focusing on each aspect of the present, knowing that soon it will become a memory, each day becomes more valuable. With every leaf that shakes free and dances towards the ground, I can’t help but see a new memory of mine lying within.


A lone leaf that fell from the trees during early fall. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I see journeying through the Blue Ridge Mountains, looking out over the spectacular expanse laid before my eyes and feeling the warm breeze against my back (read previous blog: “A Walk Along the Ridge”, if you want to know more about that experience).


Horizon line from atop the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I feel the sweat streaming down my spine on a sweltering June day in Portland. The uneven cobblestone streets of the Old Port make me unbalanced as I hobble around in a walking boot. The annual Old Port Fest is underway and I’m with a group of laughing and smiling acquaintances.


Old Port Fest 2017. (Photo courtesy of Michael Leonard) 

I see four friends lugging an absurd amount of camping gear down a secluded dirt road running along the Dead River. A light mist is falling and they are slightly intoxicated due to a successful “play run” (a non-commercial rafting trip) on the Kennebec River earlier. One of the girls is complaining and asking, “How much further?”. To this, I see myself, still wearing a walking boot, replying: “Just around the next corner,” for the entire two-mile trip.

Adventures consist of both highs and lows


A group of three friends and myself wading in the Dead River. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I feel the weight of a hiking bag full of equipment pulling heavily against my shoulders as I ascend a mountain with a pond on top to campout. That night, a violent thunder storm rolled in and I can hear the endless pattering of rain against the tent’s roof throughout the starless night.  I feel the stickiness of waking up the next morning, two friends having slept in a pool of spilled boxed wine (just the bag, no box, too bulky for hiking mountains).


Alexandra McCown and Myself atop Tumbledown Mtn. (Photo courtesy of Alexandra McCown)

I see a group of bearded AT (Appalachian Trail) thru-hikers from around the world walking along Route 201 in The Forks with their dirty thumbs out trying to hitch a ride. I see slowing down to pick them up, hearing their fantastic stories around a campfire that night, and bringing them rafting for free the next day on a play run (“Trail Magic” is what they called it). Man did they stink after almost 2,000 miles of walking through the woods!


Group of raft guides and AT thru-hikers enjoying a sunny day on the Kennebec River. (Photo courtesy of Matt Morelli)

I see myself conquering the tallest mountain in Maine with another group of four friends. I can feel my shirt being whipped about like a flag in the cold wind as I drink a similar bag of wine while standing triumphantly atop the Mount Katahdin sign.


Drinking a bag of wine atop Mt. Katahdin with Alexandra McCown. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

Fall is most beautiful because it is the end; it’s the end to one chapter and the beginning of another. Overtime, the leaves become part of the ground they fall upon, reshaping the face of the Earth. Like the leaves, our memories become part of us. The people and places that helped make them may fade, but they (the memories) never leave us. They add to us. They teach us. They help us grow and become stronger. They reshape us.  And best of all, they never stop coming.

More Foliage

Orange and Red foliage on Jamaica Point Road. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Soon, all the leaves will be gone and there will be a seemingly endless darkness. But as we all know, nothing, not even the Earth and sky, lasts forever. A few months from now the atmosphere will once again start to bloom full with life. Each fertile leaf that’s buds from the treetops will hold the promise of new memories to come.


New leaflets blooming in the spring. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Pay attention to the little details of the present and choose your company wisely, for those are what make a memory eternal.

  • What do you all think about this latest blog post?
  • Do you agree with my idea of why fall is beautiful? If not, what is your reason?
  • What are some of your most cherished memories made during the summer of 2017?

Shoot me an email or a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

County Fairs: The Epitome of America

Carefully wading my way through the bustling isles of the Farmington Fair this past Friday, a welcoming summer-like breeze cooling my sweaty back from the unseasonably scorching fall day, I couldn’t help but think that this is the epitome of America. County fairs have been occurring year-after-year for a very long time, seemingly dating all the way back to the infancy of our nation. This fair, which represents Franklin County of Maine, is in its 177th year of operation.
Ferris Wheel at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of The Daily Bulldog)

During that time span, our nation has transformed into a state that would no longer be recognizable to the people who attended the inaugural fair so many years ago. But over this extended period, one thing has remained relatively constant: the fair itself.

The eternal county fair has the ability to overwhelm all of your senses as you make your way through the crowded and chaotic spectacle. After purchasing your ticket at the small booth next to the gravel parking lot, you and all the other rural patrons congregate together through the narrow gate and into the fairgrounds. In this extremely tight-knit congregation, you are sure to be greeted by the delightful stench of cigarettes; at the same time, you are fortunate enough to bear witness to some stereotypical local accents spilling out of the mouths of more than a few fair-goers; fair-goers whose families have probably been coming to this very same fair for generations upon generations.

Crowded isle at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

As you make your way through the gates, one of the first things you hear is the nearly indecipherable echoing from the speakers upon an ancient wooden grand stand as an announcer ferociously rambles on like an auctioneer, depicting the action of events such as harness racing and various horse pulling competitions that have been occurring on the dirt track since the first days of the fair.
Ancient wooden grand stand at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

The piercing ping from various games seems to attack you from all directions while pushy carnies harass you in an attempt to persuade you to waste money on their undoubtedly rigged game. But, despite knowing better, you decide to give the game a go, convincing yourself that you will finally be the one to claim the cheap stuffed-animal monkey prize! Even after you inevitably lose the rigged game, you don’t quite feel cheated; the memory and laughs were well worth the two dollars.
Carnival games at a county fair (Photo courtesy of Marin Independent Journal)

Of course you hear the collective roar of carnival rides. You hear the sound of the Merry-Go-Round as it spins with it’s childish carnival music. You hear the violent smash of bumper cars and the laughter of friends after a head-on collision. You hear the popular music blasting from the teenager favorite “Thunder Bolt”. Then you hear the grinding gears of the classic Ferris Wheel as it carries people high above the fair grounds, revealing the expanse of the small town setting that plays host to this county fair.
Farmington Farris Wheel glowing at night (Photo courtesy of

The rich agricultural history of the county is also preserved in an old barn that has been transformed into a make-shift petting zoo.
Barn at the Farmington Fair made used as a petting zoo (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

In this small, dusty space you can see, as well as smell, a wide-variety of common farm animals. Some of these animals include: colossally large draft horses, various breeds of sheep and goats with their stained and fluffy fur, along with an ample collection of ducks, chickens, and prize-winning turkeys.
Draft Horses in the barn at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

All of these animals lie trapped in this small space, contained in claustrophobic stalls, prisoners for our amusement. But the imprisonment of these helpless animals can not be understood by the joyous and innocent faces of young children. They giggle and smile brightly as they poke their little hands through the gaps in the wired fencing, feeling the tickly sensation of an animal’s tongue gently licking them.
Baby ducks in a small cage within the barn at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

After passing through the barn, you walk directly into one of the most distinctive areas of county fairs: the food court. Here, you can find just about whatever your “culinary” imagination can create. There is a small shack with a hand-panted sign advertising the sale of locally caught seafood.
Small shack at the Farmington Fair selling locally caught seafood (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

There are stalls selling exotic foods stemming from all corners of the globe. Even the local parishes have stalls set-up where they are selling a variety of home-cooked meals, the proceeds going to local families in need.
Local parish food stall at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

Of course, there are a plethora of stalls selling traditional American options, foods such as; burgers, hot dogs, onion rings, cotton candy, dough boys, cheesy fries, corn dogs, etc. Any of these scrumptious options you pass along the way are sure to be offered in a fried option, if that’s what you prefer. The smell alone is enough to clog your arteries and induce a heart attack.
Some typical fried food options found at county fairs (Photo courtesy of SuziJane/Creative Commons via Flicky)

Of all the aspects you experience that work together to form a lasting memory, there are a few that stand out from the rest. There are the colorful banners fluttering above stalls and rides, dancing wildly in the warm summer breeze that blows through the dusty aisles of the fair.
There is the array of flashing lights, lights that resemble the look and feel of the Vegas Strip, blinking at you from all directions. But above all else, it is the communal nature resonating throughout the fairgrounds that leaves the most profound impact.
Crowded isle at the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

There are rich people and poor people. There are black people and white people. There is the young and the old, and everyone else in between. There are lovers and there are the heartbroken. And, there are families. Mothers and Fathers pushing strollers, holding the hands of their young children, riding with them on their first Merry-Go-Round ride while the other takes pictures. You see the joy in the parent’s faces as they see the joy in their child’s.
Mother riding with her young children on a Merry-Go-Round ride (Photo courtesy of Jef Rietsma)

It is this aspect of the county fair that we will always remember. It is this aspect of the county fair that is the epitome and exact representation of America. Despite our differences and our faults, we come together as one, year after year to put something great together. This is what America stands for, and this is what the county fair stands for. As long as the stars and stripes continue to fly high and proud, then Americans, generations upon generations from now, will continue to be unable to remember the first fair they attended. We are raised with fairs; fairs are symbolic of our nature; and fairs will always be a part of us, as we are a part of them.
American flag flying high over the Farmington Fair (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)