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What is Tourism Experience

With the changes in the consumption model that have occurred since globalization, when consumers could have access to any product of any place, the need of the consumer turned to the satisfaction of novelties that stimulate your senses and feelings. Today, products and services awaken unique emotions and make sense.

Because of this new configuration, experience-based service, which provides pleasure that will remain in the memory, causing the client to develop an emotional connection with the service and so the company differentiates itself from competition in the eyes of the consumer.

Tourism itself is an inherently experiential activity because the individual leaves his usual place to live in the space of others, different from his routine. However, the way this destination is presented to the traveler traditionally leaves a margin of detachment from the local reality.

In traditional tours, in general, three or four which are developed or are prepared for this purpose – some sometimes come to seem and some are even an artificial environment. The tourist enters the bus from the hotel and only descends at the place to be visited, without any deeper interaction with the site. Too few walks in the streets, hear the sounds, smell the smells. The traditional tour, as a rule, aims to contemplate and register images to post on social networks and pass by stores of standardized souvenirs. If we look at the restaurants usually used by tourists, they are disregarded by residents, because they think they are more expensive or more “chics” than restaurants commonly used by locals.

Tourism experience is a niche market that presents a new form of tourism, where there is real interaction with space visited, even if it is not ideal, is the real one and is what the tourist is search. This tourist practice is related to the aspirations of man modern, more and more connected and in search of experiences that make sense. It is a way to reach the consumer more emotionally, by means of experiences that are usually organized for that purpose.

The idea is to stimulate experiences and engagement in local communities that generate significant and memorable learning. This form of tourism is already happening in other parts of the world and Portugal with strength, boosting several businesses of the sector.

To take advantage of this niche market, you need to be creative and simple things. Perhaps the secret of success is in your yard: a vegetable garden cultivated by the family, from where the tourist can harvest typical products in the to be used in the meal that will be prepared in the kitchen of the house and shared with the family. This should be an unforgettable experience and rich in knowledge.

Define the concept of the experiences

Today the consumer relationship with the products is fast and temporary. Choices change quickly and it is difficult to build loyalty. A way of to differentiate is to activate the client’s emotions, generating positive and consequently a lasting relationship with the company.

In order to implant the concept of experience, one must understand the difference between the traditional tourist and the tourist who seeks experience.

Without tourism experience, the focus is aimed at delivering the services that provide a consumer experience with activities that stimulate the senses, feelings and mind. In that it is also important that an experience be holistic and integrated, so that the products and the service are delivered in the same experiment by activating as many senses and feelings as possible.

To achieve this goal, two aspects must be observed: the fundamentals of tourism experience and tools to deliver the tourism experience.

The fundamentals are the elements that need to be present and which are the center of transforming a simple service into a service oriented towards the experience: sense, feeling, thought, action and identification:

  • Sense – experience tourism needs activities that stimulate the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell), here included a sixth sense that it is the synergetic, when all the senses are stimulated and the experience accesses an emotion that generates shivers or tears;
  • Feeling – developing affective activities that appeal to the feelings and emotions of the tourist. This activity can generate a relationship of caring of the consumer towards the destination;
  • Thinking – to offer activities that stimulate creativity and are a novelty for the tourist. Such activities should free thinking, flexible and original, generating a great learning. They are different from the activities that generate analytical reflections, when we know something and we tend to act as usual, giving the same answers and missing the opportunity to learn;
  • Action – providing physical and interaction experiences between tourists and local residents. This element is very important to deliver to the tourist an experience that makes sense;
  • Identification – focus on activities that stimulate” personal “feelings, reaching the individual feelings of the tourist, usually are actions that put the tourist in direct contact with the context social and cultural destination.

For experiential tourism to happen, we do not limit ourselves to using only one of the elements. It is interesting to use a set of elements that enhance the experience and intensify the involvement with the destination.

As for tools, they are the means by which we can generate experience for the tourist, being thus classified:

  • Communication – generate an internal communication line – at the destination – and external – for the tourist, which encourages people to look at the with experience-oriented sensitivity, reflecting for the tourist all the intensity of the emotions that he will live with his service. Sites, manuals, folders and events are platforms for exercising communication;
  • Visual identity – use local iconography to generate elements on such as trademarks, logos and utilities, capable of passing feeling, feeling and generating identification;
  • Association – to establish partnerships that can provide various elements of experience, providing the tourist with a holistic and holistic experience;
  • Electronic media – besides being a tool capable of generating interactivity through gamefication and relevant contents, the tourist can visit the site, even at a distance, and have contact with the elements such as music and landscape;
  • People – are the highlight in the experience, because they have the stories that provide the interaction, giving the feeling of hospitality and welcome. They need to be well-trained and aligned with the concept of experience to offer this to the customer;
  • Locations – may or may not be sights of the city, landscapes, spaces that refer to the culture and tell a local history. Are care and work to generate experience;
  • Artifacts – are all the utensils and their uses that help build a genuine experience of the place.

Organizing events is a way of integrating all these elements, have good results in terms of tourist flow. An example is organizing a extreme sports festival that includes a race track and in the middle of the landscapes of the “Sertão”, with stops for traditional farms or camps like those of the “cangaceiros”, and that night storytelling around the campfire.

In this example, it is possible to integrate several actors of the tourist market – farmers to be local drivers, cowboys to accompany groups at the entrance of the “caatinga”, cooks to prepare meals in the middle of the tracks – with local equipment such as restaurants, hostels, inns, handicraft market and many others.

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