Tourism is changing, especially now. But while we may not see international travellers for a while, local visitors are still focused on experiencing a particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food, and environment. And they are willing to pay for the right experience if the perceived value is there.
Growing Experiential Tourism is a high priority for RTO 9. Not only does it add a new revenue stream for businesses, it also enhances the slower seasons, creates a competitive advantage, opens the doors to new markets and repeat visitation, and encourages creative usage of existing infrastructure. Most importantly though, Experiential Tourism is attracting travellers who not only love learning new things, but care about the destinations and the locals that live there.
Product Development goes hand in hand with Experiential Tourism through the creation of products with new or different characteristics that appeal to tourists. This may involve modification of an existing product or formulation of an entirely new product that satisfies a newly defined market niche. Well designed seasonal tourism products include Parks Canada’s – Voyageur Canoe Experience, Big Sandy Bay, PEC Experience the County, Flashback February.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can enhance or develop new tourism products in South Eastern Ontario, please contact Lori McIsaac, Director Experiential Tourism Development, at lmcIsaac@region9tourism.ca.
A tourism product is what you buy, an experience is what you remember! The following links provide information, resources, and opportunities to guide tourism operators in the development of new or enhanced experiential products.