What beliefs are holding your experience business back? Today we explore some of the most frequent myths we hear in the industry. These are myths that prevent tourism from evolving and keep operators playing small. Which of these beliefs do you sometimes hear in your head when you’re contemplating the future of your business?
BELIEF #1: TRAVELERS JUST WANT TO RELAX AND BE ENTERTAINED
Yes, they want to relax and be entertained. No, that’s not all the want! They also want to grow, connect, be inspired and uplifted, make sense of their place in this world, find new passions or deepen connections to old ones, and more. A survey done by the Adventure Travel Trade Association found that transformation was the biggest motivation for travel. This visual shows us that relaxation and entertainment are just a small piece of the tourism puzzle.
BELIEF #2: YOU MUST TELL STORIES THROUGHOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE
Yes, but not always how you might expect. Oral or written storytelling (often anecdotes of past events) are typically the most popular forms of story in tourism, but there are more opportunities that are often ignored. Can’t you tell a story through just one visual, or through an object, or through music, or through dance? And why are we limiting ourselves to historic recounts? You can create a new, immersive, multisensory narrative if you use your imagination. Stop thinking of story in the confines of words alone.
BELIEF #3:WELLBEING DOESN’T HAVE A PLACE IN ALL EXPERIENCES
If wellbeing is defined simply by ‘judging life positively and feeling good’, then why would you want to exclude it from your experience? Often wellbeing gets looped in with wellness, so if an experience isn’t somehow tied to yoga, spa, or traditional wellness activities, we ignore it. No matter what sort of experience you offer, you need to be considering how your experience impacts your visitors' wellbeing. For more on this, watch this free workshop.
BELIEF #4: TRAVELERS DON’T EXPECT THEIR HOTEL TO OFFER EXPERIENCES
The heads in beds era is ending. Independent properties have the opportunity to partner with experience leaders in their destination, but they rarely take advantage of this. Why can’t a property be a cultural experience in and of itself? The lines between accommodation and experience will begin to blur in the coming years, and it’s time for hosts of all kinds to come together. Depending on the nature of an experience, it can often be brought to the guest without them needing to travel (which can be incredibly valuable in and of itself).
BELIEF #5: AN EXPERIENCE NEEDS TO BE HIGH-TECH & MODERN TO ATTRACT TRAVELERS TODAY
Sure, there are people who are drawn to the more shiny, futuristic experiences that feel like something out of a movie set. But there are just as many people who would prefer something rustic, natural, even primitive. Don’t let the idea of innovating take you into a direction that feels mis-aligned with your values and beliefs, and simply ask yourself: what do people need right now?