5 Steps To Create Great Recreational Tourism Experiences

In this article, I will be discussing a few steps on how to ensure great experiences regarding recreational tourism in the state of Maine. These steps will be straightforward and easy to follow. However, many people miss these small details that truly make all the difference in the end to create lifetime customers.

1: Treat them like Family


When people travel all the way up to Maine they appreciate one great thing Maine has to offer, hospitality. People from Maine are friendly when a cashier asks “How are you today?” They mean it. They look into your eyes and smile with sincerity. This is not a common behavior everywhere.

If you are running a guide service, or whatever it may be, it is important to remember names, to ask them their concerns and to make sure they are comfortable. This is important to people. Remember they are on vacation, they want the most limited amount of stress possible while they are trying to have a great experience.

2: Be prepared

When people spend money on a fishing guide they are expecting to catch a fish. When people go hunting with a guide they expect to take home an animal, although, sometimes this isn’t so. Guides must be experienced. They should be prepared to work around the least ideal situations. It is important for them to schedule dates to go out accordingly to ideal conditions. It’s hard to predict these patterns and sometimes you will be forced to perform in the least ideal conditions. Going out on days by yourself and observing patterns is key. For example, a carter fisherman should go out on days they would normally not catch and attempt to do so. This will make them much more prepared for a day where the weather is not ideal because even on the least ideal days you want that customer to get the ideal experience they paid for. 

3: Look the Part


Whatever the activity is, it is important for professionals to look like pros. This means they must be using the best and most up to date gear. Backcountry ski guides should be using the most up to date skiing equipment and safety gear. Hunting guides should be wearing the proper equipment and if they have hunting dogs, they should look in shape and well-trained. If they are a fishing guide, having the proper tackle that gets the job done is important. This also goes for whitewater rafting guides with all their equipment. There are a couple of key reasons why this is very important. One is that it shows the professionals are prepared. The next reason is it shows the client that they have an idea of what they are doing. Regardless of what the business is, having the proper equipment makes a big difference and gives the client some piece of mind.

4: Capitalize on the great moments with Pictures and Video

Whether the customer has just hit their first great line on skis, shot their first big buck, or if they just caught a monster fish, it’s necessary to capitalize on these moments because it highlights what customers have been waiting for all along. Pictures and videos are a great way of doing this. For example, whitewater rafting professionals hire a photographer and a videographer on the river to capture moments of the customers experience going through the rapids. When the trip is over the customers can watch a video of themselves and hold those great experiences dear. They can even bring the video home to show friends and family. 

5: Have Fun

By showing the client that you enjoy the job you are doing makes the overall experience much more memorable. The definition of recreation is an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. That being said, the activity at hand shouldn’t appear like work for the professional. Having fun with the clients shows them that you are truly living out your passion. Furthermore, when people are having fun all around you, this, in turn, should give the client the ability to have fun as well. This will ensure that great memories will be created. 

Management Success: 5 Ways to Create the Best Customer Experience

As a service provider, your main focus is to provide the best overall experience to your guests. However, the backbone of what goes into a great customer experience is commonly overlooked by many. A quick Google search will return more information than you’ll know what to do with. Thankfully, this is NOT that type of article. The following tips and concepts below will guide you in creating and managing a successful experience plan.

#1 Conduct a SWOT analysis

The first key step in generating a guest experience is understanding yourself and organization. Identifying the strengths and opportunities can help generate ideas for unique offerings and align with your vision. This focuses the attention on the resources and things that you are good at. In addition, this model also identifies threats and weaknesses. External sources can also have a harmful impact. You should always be setting goals in areas that need improvement. In return, this can make you more aware of the surroundings and improve the guest experience.

#2 Segment Visitors

Understanding your guests will help you deliver the highest quality experience. Segmenting visitors based on several characteristics will make their encounter much more enjoyable and personalized. This involves differentiating by service offerings and tiering. You can group buyers by:

  1. Demographics: This typically involves age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income, and education.You can pull census data to determine who, where, and how you want to market your product.
  2. Psychographics: Involves personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. This occurs when you break your market down along these interests and attitudes so you can market the appropriate product to each segment of the market.
  3. Behavior: What are the observable behaviors of the customer (ie-spending, consumption, usage, desired benefits, etc)? Identify how loyal the customers are and tier products and services based upon this.
  4. Need-based: What does the customer truly want in a service? Are they more quality sensitive or price sensitive? How well does a product or service enable the guest to successfully execute any job? Customer needs-based segmentation is valuable because it reveals underserved and over-served market segments that exist in a market and the size of each of those segments.

Segmentation will allow you to better develop and market your products because there will be a more precise match between the product and each segment’s needs and wants.

#3 Plan for Success

Hiring qualified employees for the distribution and delivery of your product is very important. Being in the service industry, guests will encounter the service staff almost immediately, creating personalized relationships with them.

You should create better pay and benefits to attract quality staff. Be on the lookout for outstanding service performers as they bring in natural qualities that cannot be taught. Keep the job scope broadened to encourage the application of new skills. Also, ensure that relevant training and empowerment practices are implemented to allow for frontline staff to feel valued.

All of these cues will make employees happier in their work and provide higher quality service, thus creating a greater customer loyalty base and experience.

#4 Remember to Use and Craft the Service Environment

Crafting the service environment can help exemplify the experience for the guest. This includes the style, appearance of physical surroundings and other elements experienced by customers at “delivery” sites. The service environment can shape the customer’s experience, behavior, feelings, and reactions. The ambiance and spatial design can all increase the desire for certain goods, services, and experiences. It can also help to assess questions related to quality and brand as services are often intangible. Having a strong understanding of your guest’s emotions and characteristics will be key in aligning the proper environment.

#5 Identify Fail Points Through Blueprinting

Using a blueprint to plan out the experience for your guest will identify the on and off stage processes. In addition, this model can also exploit fail points in your service. A fail point is any point within the encounter that has the potential to affect customer satisfaction or quality. Risk is always involved in the service industry, as it is in any activity undertaken in life. However, proper management techniques can help reduce the effects that risk will have on a guest. Using total quality management methods will prevent errors in the delivering process. “Poka-yokes”, or fail-safe methods ensure that certain steps and standards are being followed.

This process allows the provider to understand the service/experience and improves areas that are weak and undefined.


So that’s it! We hope you take these tips into consideration and apply them in your organization to create a great customer 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:



Also cited:


Great Experience, Greater Outcomes: 5 Simple Steps

Small businesses don’t have to be boring. Creating a great experience is an easy way to attract more customers and get your name out there. A great experience will create loyal customers and build word-of-mouth advertising. There are five simple steps to get your experience going and here’s how:

  • 1) Know your audience

Knowing who your customers are going to be is key. Once you know who you are going to be working with, you can then shape and personalize the experience to what they will enjoy and remember for a very long time.

  • 2) Location, Location, Location

Where are you located? What is your area known for? This could be a great way to get involved with your community and build your experience to fit your area. These special and unique attributes will make your business different from others, creating a once in a lifetime memorable experience. Especially for Maine, knowing the time of year your company will be the most visited is important. It is also important to be flexible and adaptable to each season. Using the resources that are locally available to you adds a special touch that can be used as a talking point and keeps cost down along with helping out your local community.

  • 3) Pick a theme

Whether you are in the tourism, hospitality, or recreational side of the industry picking a theme is very important. Create a story or use an existing story and establish a flow. Have a start, middle, and end to ensure your customers enjoy everything you have to offer. Know what would be exciting and engaging to your customers. Themes and stories are a great way to obtain a memorable experience and create good word-of-mouth. Form a group of people who can help you create ideas for your theme or story. Be open to criticism and listen to what your customers want.

  • 4) Plan the experience

Once you have a theme in mind, start planning the experience you want your customers to enjoy. This step takes careful planning and attention to detail. You want your customers to enjoy their experience throughout each step in your process. Focus on what your customers want to experience. Look at what you have to work with. Can you team up with other local industries to make yours even better while helping out fellow businesses? Including hands-on activities can add value, but don’t forget to leave time for the customer to enjoy what is going on around them and time to do their own thing.

  • 5) Deliver the experience

Showtime! Now it’s time to put everything you have been working on together for the customer to enjoy. Give the information right from the start so your customers know what to expect. Make sure you are available if anyone has questions or needs assistance. Stay flexible, it is important to stay on track with your experience, but anything can happen and you should be able to adapt to the situation and change things up. Gain feedback, see what you did well and what you could have done better. Making the customers feel important by contributing new ideas and feedback will make them want to come back again and again.

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.


Steps to Get the True Maine Experience

 If you’re a business owner in the tourism sector and want to know the best way you can provide a more personal experience for your customer, you will find this article particularly helpful. Enjoy!

  Step 1: Know Your Customers.

It’s crucial for any business owner to fully understand the customers you’re targeting. There are so many different types of travelers that visit and all of them expect you to be able to provide for there wants and needs without you even meeting them. To start, study your location(s) and the resources that it has to offer. Knowing what resources your business has to offer will allow you to target the right customer segments. Consider things like: is your business family friendly, are people going to want to plan a family vacation here, or do your resources provide activities that are more oriented for a specific customer only? By deciphering between these things, you will have a much better understanding of how to target your customer.
Here is a link that will explain the different types of customers:

Step 2: Determine the Theme or Story That Best Suits Your Capabilities to Your Customers Wants/Needs.

To determine this, look back to your location and the resources that it provides. First, what attributes make this location authentic? A lot of local towns in Maine represent a long history of the area, how it was developed, and how some of the local businesses operate. For example, you can travel almost anywhere along Maine’s coastline and get a taste of the fishermen’s culture that has been a way of life for local families dating back many generations. This is a great example of showing how tourism businesses along the coast have utilized the deep history of fishing to provide a representation of the locations authenticity. Secondly, determine something unique about your location(s) that can differentiate yourself from competitors. By differentiating yourself you put your business in a better position to target customers looking for a unique experience.

Step 3: Plan the Experience.

It’s crucial that the customer has a positive travel experience from the time they leave their house to the time they arrive at your location. This includes any transportation or equipment needed, any accommodations for the customer, and any activities that are offered. The information about your business provided to the customer and how it is provided to them is key. Determine where the customer will go, what they will do, the activities they will encounter, and how is it unique and authentic compared to competitors? How will the customer be engaged and interacted with? Is there one specific activity or are there several? By targeting these attributes, you are ensuring that the customer’s experience is well-planned and that they are the main focus.

Step 4: Map Out the Flow of Itinerary for You, Your Staff, and Your Partners.

Yourself, your staff, and your partners are what makes or breaks your business. These individuals are the frontline personnel that your customers are going to be interacting with. It’s very important that every staff member or partner understands the vision of the company and the goals they are trying to achieve when dealing with customers. To do so effectively, break each component of the experience into detailed segments that are easy for the staff and partners to understand and reciprocate. Promote safety standards and precautions, as well as a plan to execute such protocols. Plan and prepare for guest limitations (dietary restrictions, handicaps, age issues, etc). Being prepared for guests with any issue shows to the customer that you are taking the extra time to ensure that the experience for these customers is very important to your business.
Here is a link that will help you develop an easy to read and understand flowchart:

Step 5: Know Your Market Positioning.

Knowing your market positioning is very important in order for you to properly target your customers. Knowing whether you are targeting a mass market, niche market, major market or customized market is crucial for deciding how to market your business. To understand what your market positioning is, compare your businesses attributes with these questions: who are your competitors, how are they rated, what makes your business different, what about your location represents a sense culture or heritage, is your location nature-based or does is promote seasonal events, is your business targeting nationally, internationally or both? By determining these questions, you will have a good sense of what your market positioning is and how you can utilize your characteristics to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Here is a link that will help you understand how to determine your businesses market positioning:

Step 6: Market Your Experience.

Marketing your business to your customer is a must and to do it effectively will decide whether you attract attention to your location or not. Break the market into 4 sectors: Business to Consumer, Consumer to Business, Customer to Customer, and Business to Business. These 4 sectors are the ways that your organization’s information is passed throughout the company. It’s crucial that you target all of these sectors in order to effectively market the experience. Also, setting an attractive selling price is very important as a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Here is a link that discusses 7 ways to market your tourism business:

Step 7: Make It Unique and Authentic.

By providing a unique and authentic experience, you are able to connect with customers on a more personal level. Making sure that your customers are learning about your business and are getting hands-on in activities shows to them that your business is going above and beyond to meet the wants and needs of your customers. Connecting with your customers on a personal level makes the experience memorable for them, and they are more likely to share their experience with family, friends, or even post about it on social media. Making your service unique and authentic truly sets you apart from the competitors and proves that you’re providing a true Maine experience.

Step 8: Evaluate Your Progress.

It’s important to evaluate how the company is operating. If things are going awesome, see how you can introduce something new to test out. If things are not operating smoothly, see what you can do differently to make things more valuable to the customer. Or, should you save your money and choose a different path to the desired target market?

8 Essential Steps to Creating a Unique Tourism Experience

As we shift from a service economy to one focusing on experiences the tourism industry has the opportunity to connect with customers on a new level. Instead of promoting the same old tourism services to a blanket audience and competing on price, tourism providers can now create unique experiences that compete on value.  A unique tourism experience isn’t something that can be built in a day and it requires hard work and an understanding of your resources and your customer’s needs. Here are the eight essential steps to take when creating a tourism experience.


  1. Get to Know Your Customers.


If you don’t know who your customers are or what they want for an experience it’s difficult to even get started crafting a successful package. Knowing your target customers profile of likes and dislikes can help focus in on what types of experiences they would be interested in.  Customer profiles can be developed by simply surveying your current customers or by looking at your local tourism market research to gain a better understanding of who is visiting your region.  Using either method allows you to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and craft a better experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.

Now that you know who you are serving and who you could be serving its time to find out what will make our experience special.


  1. What is Going to Make Your Experience Special?

If you create an experience that can be copied by anyone you will be competing for customers on price alone. Understanding what makes your experience special adds value that cannot be copied so easily. Take a look at your community or region and think about what makes it special or unique? Who or what makes people want to visit your location? Are there some lesser known hot spots like restaurants or hiking paths that are only known to locals? Does your area have a historic industry that might allow you to partner with a non-traditional tourism business?

A great example of this would be the Kennebec historic log drives or ice harvesting business. Is there a local carpenter that uses reclaimed wood from those historic drives or someone who can bring the history to life and really engage your audience? Try to balance physical and emotional elements that can give your customers a well-rounded journey.


  1. What Type of Experience Fit Best With Your Business?

Now that you know what makes you special it’s time to refine your options. What elements of your community fit best with your already existing business? Is there a certain experience package that you could develop that fits or adds value to something you already offer? Start by grouping like experiences together under broad titles like outdoor adventures, reliving local history, or eating your way through Southern Maine. Start to think about what customers will leave your experience feeling and how they can share their experience with others. Will they write a review on Tripadvisor or will the share a video or their journey on Facebook for everyone to see?


  1. Plan Your Experience Program or Package!

Now that you know everything you can offer it’s time to plan what you are actually going to offer customers. Try to build your experience around a story or theme that fits with local attitudes. This will give your customers a consistent message throughout their journey. Now that you have a theme or story determine what the core elements or the experience will be. These elements should be the major focus of the program that customers cannot miss!

After you’ve determined your core elements develop a detailed plan that includes where guests will go and what they will do as well as all key players who will be guides or storytellers involved. Make sure you plan activities that will engage customers and immerse them in the story more than a demonstration would.


Ensure that for each step of the journey you have a contingency plan in place so the whole experience does not unravel if one thing falls through.


  1. Find your partners, suppliers, and staff!

With every element of your experience planned it’s time to find the people who are going to make this dream a reality! Find businesses and suppliers who will be your key partners in delivering this experience. This could be partnering with a hotel to use a dining room or a paddleboard rental to get equipment for an on the water tour.


When hiring your staff make sure each employee is ready to help deliver every element of the experience so the customer gets a cohesive message. Make sure each staff member knows their part in delivering the experience and how they fit into the big picture. Develop a detailed strict for each part of the customer’s journey but allow for flexibility so customer don’t feel rushed or miss out. Make sure you train each employee thoroughly and work out any kinks before real customers book. This may take a few dry runs with friends or family members at little or no cost to make sure everything is working efficiently.


  1. Find Your Place in The Market and Determine Your Price!

To determine your price you have to find your place in the market. Determine if you are offering this to domestic tourist, international tourist, or both. You should also decide if this is a niche experience or something that everyone wants to do. Answering these questions will help you define your experience and find its place in the market.


Once you know your place in the market it’s time to decide on your selling price. Understanding what similar experiences in your market are priced at will ensure you do not underprice.


It might be hard in the beginning to determine the value so it’s okay to set an exact profit margin and develop the price that way. Test prices and find what one works best in your market or perhaps develop different price levels for customers who might only want and value parts of the experience.


  1. Market Your Experience.

Market your experience on the best channels to reach your target customers. This will require the development of a detailed marketing plan for each channel you plan to use. Be aware of what customer are saying about your business and change marketing plans accordingly.


Look to your local chamber of commerce or state tourism organization for opportunities to market. Maine has two great websites https://www.mainetourism.com & https://visitmaine.com  that cater to tourist and can help you market you experience


  1. Deliver and Evaluate Using Feedback.

Deliver your experience and be ready to reevaluate the experience from yours and the customer’s mindset. Continue to identify ways to better the experience from feedback from customers as well as key partners. Use both of these methods to fine-tune your experience and make it the best in the market!

Now it’s time to  go through these steps to create your own  unique experience that customer will book in a heartbeat!