Why impact matters to your guests
When a potential guest interacts with your brand, they want to be impacted in a meaningful way. They want to experience something, feel something, discover something. Experiential travel is currently a huge, emerging trend and you can find reference to it everywhere.
Take Instagram as an example. The hashtag #experienceoverthings is at 79k and #experientialtravel is at 65k. Furthermore, searching ‘experiential travel’ in Google generates over 39 million search results alone.
So, knowing this, how are you ensuring that the experience you are providing is going to create impact for your guests? When a guest leaves your experience are they going to say to themselves and to those around them, ‘WOW! That was one of the best experiences of my life!’?
It is a big ask, of course. Use the following 3 ways to help you create impact within your travel experience.
1. Let’s start with your website
When potential guests happen upon your site, they are most likely in a dream state. They are fantasising about a trip, planning a trip or looking for one last element that will bring the vision of their perfect trip to life. Does your landing page include an incredible opening paragraph that:
- clearly explains what you do
- explains it in a way that will send your potential guests on an imaginary journey through your experience and back
A lot do not, so once you are done reading this article go straight over to your website and do a little exploration of your own.
2. Now we are at the arrival
Your potential guests were so impressed with your website and the way you engaged with them that they booked an experience with you. You fostered this precious virtual relationship and now they are on their way. Get ready!
Consider where they are coming from. Have they just stepped off a long-haul flight completely exhausted and jetlagged? Are they coming from the airport or maybe from their hotel or airbnb? Have they already been in the city for a few days and are feeling quite relaxed? First impressions matter no matter what anyone says. So, try to anticipate how your guests are going to show up and think about what you are going to do to blow them away in the first 5 minutes of meeting them.
The possibilities really are endless here, just get creative. For example:
- Offer them a small treat straight from a local supplier to get the tour (and their tastebuds) going.
- Provide a COVID-19 friendly goodie bag filled with wipes, a face mask, maybe even a card with a funny joke on it to break the ice.
- If your group is coming straight from the airport, could you present them with some warm towelettes so they can freshen up?
It goes without saying that your operations, location and budget will vary, so it is up to you to think of ways of creating impact that align with your brand and the resources you have at your disposal.
3. The experience
Your guests are so impressed with your every move so far. Well done! Time to keep up that momentum. Often your experience will speak for itself thanks to your tour sites and stops. But you are not relying on that, are you? You are still thinking impact and the greatest impact is so often achieved through human connection.
Connection that is authentic, touching and relatable. Most guests will be interested in you, so indulge them. They want to know you and learn about you. Think of what you currently discuss on your tours. Do you show up in a way that allows your guests to get a glimpse of who you are and why you love what you do? If not, here are a few suggestions.
- What do you love about meeting guests on your tour?
- How does the natural beauty around you affect your wellbeing in a positive way?
- How are you connected to the local culture and what is it about this culture that you are most passionate about?
- Have you had an experience with a guest lately that really touched you?
- Are you telling stories that will make your guests think about their own lives?
- Share your stories and speak from your heart.
Impact is in the details
Above all, impact is in the details. The details created by you! Travel experiences are so much more than seeing a new country, taking a few pictures and buying a souvenir. They are about transformation. Guests want to experience something great and they want to experience it in a way that will impact their lives unexpectedly, deeply and meaningfully.
The sites and tour stops will speak for themselves; the rest is up to you. Just remember – get creative and think impact. Your guests are waiting.