Blog - The key components of a memorable tourism experience for visitors

February 4, 2021
International Trends & Research

There is an increasing emphasis on Experiential Tourism which is travel motivated by the desire to really connect with a place, its culture and people.

For today’s tourist, holidays are less about ‘doing’ something and more about feeling that they are truly immersing oneself in the locale, interacting with people, engaging the senses, and learning the history and stories of the place.

A tourism experience is multi-faceted and it’s what a visitor gains from the combination of the place, its attractions, activities, the people they meet along the way and the stories they share that truly matters. A memorable tourism experience is inherently personal, engages the senses, makes connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual or social level and creates a lasting memory.

Experiences are how a business immerses the visitor in an interesting, engaging story which is narrated or ‘revealed’ in a number of ways. 

“International tourism is undergoing a transformation in how it is developed, marketed and managed, driven by rapidly changing visitor expectations.” Source: Fáilte Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Saltmills, Co Wexford

The four key components that combine to create a truly memorable tourism experience;

  • Consider all elements of the visitor journey: Customer requirements must be considered at all stages of the customer journey. The visitor journey doesn't just comprise of their experience but starts from the research and booking phase, right through to the actual and post visit experience. Visitors immerse themselves when their senses are engaged – it triggers emotions and creates lasting memories. Therefore attractions must experience the senses from the start of the visitor journey for example the pre-visit.
  • Make sure your team help to make the experience memorable: service plays a vital role in the visitor experience and especially in an Irish context where it has proven to be one of our differentiating strengths. Make sure your team help to make it memorable rather than mediocre. To truly create memorable experiences, you need passionate employees and others who are genuinely interested in interacting with visitors.
  • Tell compelling stories that inspire and add to the experience: stories can be the reason an experience will stand out and create a meaningful and memorable journey for visitors. The story very often provides the stimulus that transforms a product into a lasting and memorable experience. Stories are not limited to the spoken work, and may entail visual stimuli that tell the story or history of a place.
  • Communicate your story effectively through narration: how you communicate with customers, both pre-visit and on-site is crucial. Your story is the unique experience you have to share; your narration is how and where you share it. Customers expect quality information and marketing that informs and motivates them prior to visiting and then when on site they want stories to be brought to life through imaginative narration and story-telling.

The type of emotions that arise in visitors when all 4 components are right and the experience is positive;

1. Product: feeling energised and instilled with a real connection to the place 

2. Service: feeling valued by the quality on offer and the personal service explained

3. Stories: feeling enlightened by stories that resonate and last a lifetime

4. Narration: feeling enriched by being immersed in the local culture and becoming part of the story.

To find out more about the Great Visitor Experiences Solutions could help you create a more memorable tourism experience, contact us here