Led by Nancy Aresneault and Celes Davar, the 6th annual NS Product Development day was an experience many will not forget. The day began with John Somers presenting “Living the NS Brand“ and video. Nancy and Celes provide the setting for day for Experiential Travel with information on tourism product, tourism experience, Canadian Tourism Commission – Experiences Toolkit and Explorer Quotient. Participants were asked to see what profile they matched in the Explorer Quotient. Nancy then did a survey in the room to show the various demographics, TAMS survey, CTC Explorer Quotients – profiles and take a look at what are travel market is today. Today’s visitor is interested in a long lasting memorable experiences.
Three experience vignettes were presented from Ross Farm Museum – Farmers Market and Courses, Sherbrooke Village Museum – Music Camps and Songwriters, a special performance by David Carroll, and Fundy Geological Museum.
Celes Davar commented on a number of adventure and experiental companies – Santa Fe Mountain Adventures , New Zealand Creative Tourism - Interactive Workshops and Creative Experiences, Mastercard experiental travel, Lighthouse picnics – Ferryland, NFLD .
Checklist for experiences - 1) Enrichment and authencity, 2) Partner with community, 3) Invent the themes that will intrigue visitors, 4) engage all the seasons, 5) Increase the value inside the tourism experience by including access to people, a unique activity, or combination of both. When you do this , you can increase the selling price, 6) Invent new forms of programs that incorporate new mixes of activities, people, traditions and places that showcase and celebrate the community. Invention is the key, 7) personalize and customize your services, 8) add interaction and hands on activities, 9)Involve local community and mentor them those not in the tourism industry to help them understand why visitors find what they have to say and offer is very special, 10) add specific local retail items into the experience or package.
The Highlight of the day was a performance by the 4 groups in the room, representating the four cultures in drum - black settlers, micmaw, acadien and celtics. Each group was taught to play a different instrument -and then came back to play with the group. It was a memorable experience that reinforce what the day was all about – offering our visitors experiences, memorable days with various activities. Below is a video of pictures of the day and music produced by groups and instructors.