What Makes a Holiday Memorable?
Is it the destination, the activities, the people you meet? It can be hard to explain just what makes a memorable tourism experience. However, understanding this part of the tourism industry is critical for crafting these holiday experiences.
I regularly advise my clients about this aspect of hospitality and tourism management. It’s one of the many ways we help our partners develop marketing strategies and build memorable experiences.
Understanding the Five Phases of Memorable Holidays
I will walk you through the five emotional phases your tourism company should focus on when creating unforgettable tourism experiences.
These phases will help you better understand what your customers are looking for, from anticipation and excitement to happiness and satisfaction. They might even help you redesign your marketing strategy or boost your tourist attraction!
1. Anticipation is Key to a Great Tourist Experience
The phase where your customers plan their trip and get excited for their upcoming holiday is crucial. The most memorable trips often start well before the typical tourist packs their bags!
If a visitor comes to you with a tourist destination in mind, providing stories, images, reviews, and even testimonials add to their anticipation. You should focus on creating attractive and appealing marketing materials to capture the attention of your potential visitors.
Your Research Builds Their Anticipation
Holiday planning is when your customers are likely to undertake extensive research on their destination and preferred activities.
Investing in experiential tourism means giving customers a range of choices.
You also need to make sure they’ve got all the information they need to make great choices. You can start their memorable journey from guides on local culture to alternatives to the best hotel room.
Finally, tourism businesses should create a sense of anticipation and excitement for their customers by providing them with regular updates on their holiday plans.
Emphasising the travel narratives of previous customers works well and adds confidence. Regularly highlight a particular experience or range of tourist attractions to keep your visitors interested.
In short, your engagement doesn’t stop when the booking is complete. Your client’s memorable experience is only just beginning, and you’re central to making it personal.
2. Excitement is Part of the Tourism Experience
Okay, so your visitor is now a paying customer, they have made the booking, and now this is the stage where travellers are full of anticipation and can’t wait to get started on their trip.
Data analysis shows that, just before departure, tourism companies should increase their level of contact with guests.
Now is the time to add to their excitement and positivity by sharing photos and videos of the destination. You could also provide detailed information about what to expect and arrange airport pickups and transfers.
Help Customers Finalise Their Plans
At this stage, your travellers are also trying to finalise their plans and looking for last-minute deals. It would help if you offered discounts and promotions to encourage travellers to book their trip or invest in profitable add-ons.
Finally, offering exclusive experiences or VIP access to attractions and events can generate excitement. You should work to create an experience that is unique and exciting. One that travellers will remember for years to come.
3. Encountering New Destinations and Local People
The third phase of tourism experiences occurs when travellers encounter new destinations and local people.
It can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience exploring a foreign place and communicating with locals.
Some tourists feel like they are on an adventure to discover new sights and sounds. However, others find it overwhelming to navigate their way around!
Provide new Tourism Experiences
The excitement of exploring a new place is a popular reason for travel.
Whether it’s discovering ancient ruins, tasting new foods, or encountering different cultures, the thrill of new experiences is a significant driver of tourism. You must create opportunities for your guests to have these kinds of experiences.
One way to do this is to partner with local organisations and businesses to provide unique and exciting experiences…
An approach like this can include arranging a traditional dance performance to take guests on a nature hike. Whatever you do, make sure that the experiences you provide are truly unique and offer a new perspective on the destination.
Keeping the Encounters Comfortable
You can help cautious travellers by providing clear information about the destination and organising tours with knowledgeable guides.
You can also help them connect with locals by arranging meetups or social events. You will allow travellers to learn more about visiting the place’s culture and customs.
Try to ensure the traveller feels safe and comfortable in this new environment (without removing the pleasure of a new adventure!)
If you can manage to create an environment where guests feel like they’re constantly encountering new and exciting things, you’ll be on your way to creating a memorable holiday.
4. Engagement Makes a Memorable Tourism Experience
Once a tourist is attracted to your destination, you must keep them engaged. Achieve this outcome through the activities, events, and attractions you have on offer.
It’s essential to provide a variety of activities that will interest different people. For example, someone who loves nature may want to hike, while someone who loves history may visit a museum.
It is also essential to keep the tourist engaged throughout the entire experience.
You can do this by providing a well-rounded package that includes activities, food and culture. If your tourism company can keep its tourists engaged throughout their entire experience, your customers are more likely to have a memorable holiday.
Great Ways to Keep Visitors Engaged
Keeping your clients engaged on their holidays is a critical element of successful hospitality and tourism management.
My top five tips are:
- Activities: Provide a variety of activities that will interest different people. Repeat them where possible to allow novelty seekers to try new things.
- Events: Host events that will keep tourists engaged and interested in the destination; Not everyone will want them, but a tourist’s experience will be more engaging if they have the choice!
- Attractions: Have attractions unique to the destination and keep tourists coming back for more. An excellent tourist experience relies on having amazing new things to do!
- Culture: Showcase the destination’s culture and give tourists a taste of the local way of life. Tourism research indicates that many visitors want to know the country and its customs.
- Food: Offer a variety of local food that will tantalise tourists’ taste buds. Experiencing foods that are brand new makes a perfect travel experience.
Supporting Your Clients’ Well Being
You can do a few things to help support tourists on holiday with you…
One of the most important is to ensure that all information is in one place. Include maps, directions, and contact information. It is also helpful to have staff fluent in multiple languages to communicate with tourists worldwide.
It’s also essential to provide 24/hour support for tourists. Achieve this by having a hotline to call if they need help. You could also have staff available to help with anything that may come up.
A Safe and Secure Environment Works Best
Finally, it’s essential to provide tourists with a safe and secure environment. You’ll guarantee a memorable tourism experience if you can achieve all this!
5. Extension and Reflection Builds a Partnership
Once a visitor has returned, tourism studies show that companies should continue to engage with them positively.
You should provide ways for travellers to extend their memorable experiences and reflect on them. Do this through social media, photo sharing, or even providing a forum for feedback.
Staying Engaged Works for Everyone
By remaining engaged, you have a valuable opportunity for data collection and forging lasting partnerships.
After all, positive tourist experiences are suitable for your business, and capturing positive feedback is a crucial marketing strategy.
Extending the experience allows travellers to keep their holiday memories alive, and reflection helps them learn and grow from their experiences. These are valuable aspects of tourism that can help make memories (and travel relationships) last a lifetime.
Conclusion: Engage and Support to Enhance the Tourism Experience
Different travellers want different experiences, but what links all holidaymakers together is this process of engagement and support.
The five phases of tourism experiences provide a valuable framework for creating memorable holidays. By focusing on each stage, companies can ensure that their travellers have a rich and rewarding experience.
A key element to remember is that, as a travel business, you also need to use this information to draw potential visitors in and convert them into customers. If your marketing and branding can illustrate in advance the life-affirming and exciting service they’ll receive, you’re far more likely to do just that.