The importance of the EXPERIENCE is not new to business. Pine and Gilmore first penned the foundational concept for the Experience Economy in 1999 and businesses around the world have been embracing the economic potential for going on two decades.
For tourism businesses, this is certainly been essential to product and market development in ensuring the EXPERIENCE is paramount.
Today, one of my favorite authors Brian Solis is quoted as saying “There’s marketing as we know it (broadcasting, a lot of talking, shiny object chasing, vanity metrics, etc.) and marketing as a form of engagement and community building (listening, learning, context, culture, targeting, collaboration, co-creation, etc). Brands don’t mean what they used to mean. They’re now experiential.”
It all comes back to the EXPERIENCE, and we know from Colin Shaw and associates that a great customer experience is the combination of the physical and emotional engagement – the latter is the one we are all looking to master!
At the Tourism Cafe we created a conceptual model in 2012 that captures the importance of any tourism business examining the physical and emotional connections throughout all touchpoints of the visitors’ journey – before, during and after they travel. This is important because our business is only part of a travel experience. The ability to craft meaningful experiences, and weave together a journey that leads to fans and advocates must consider all touch points.
Businesses must excel at doing what they do best and partnering for the rest to have an impact.