Sunday, November 21, 2010

Developing Packages That Deliver Added Consumer Value

Encouraging tourism partners to work collaboratively together to create experiential packages is a topic that has been around for a long time. The concept behind packaging is to take a consumer oriented approach to marketing an experience by making it easy for the consumer to purchase and receive value.

Packaging can include the bundling of similar or complimentary experiences (an attractions passport for example) or the creation of an itinerary, built around the nucleus of an experience and generally includes accommodation and/or culinary options. Remember, people travel for an experience first, destination second, so building it around an experience is integral.

Its about the consumer paying once for their experience but its also about creating a value proposition. Value can be determined by an overall lower package price by purchasing everything as a bundle or it can mean receiving a special incentive-value added experience those buying the experience al a carte - won't receive. Its important not to necessarily confuse value with "cheap" when laying out a package. Its about making the consumer end their experience feeling satisfied they received their money's worth and want to return and experience it again.

Its also about cross promotion. Packages involving multiple partners logically receive exposure in the various media channels of the individual partners, bringing incredible leverage and ensuring a much greater chance of the package enticing the right targeted audience. In this day of on line media, its that much easier to promote the value. and if you're not using digital media as a tool, call a realtor and hang up the for sale sign by the way)

Countless workshops have been held on the subject. during my fourteen years in the industry but it really does not take a full day education session to get it right. In fact, its as easy for tourism partners as emailing another tourism partner and initiating a discussion to work together. There is great opportunity for hotels to work with ski hills or trails, for cultural attractions to work together to develop a passport

And of course, we're always there willing and ready to promote it. We've done it in a huge way with our annual contest based campaigns including Seven Days With the Giant, our new winter Win program, Bluesfest contests and more.

We currently have a whole section of our website dedicated to packages and prominently features golf packages involving Golf Thunder Bay, Whitewater and the Valhalla Inn, Casino packages and vacations offered by Lake Superior Visits. We could, however, use a lot more and we encourage the industry to work with each other to develop them.

If you're a Thunder Bay or area tourism partner with a packaging idea, simply email our product development officer, John Cameron at

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