Service Summit M.-A. Delisle Part 1


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  • - do not rush into it if you are not totally aware of the customers’ expectations The public and private operations should work in the same direction.
  • Price and quality still have more influence than env. friendliness : Being aware is one thing, and willingness to act is another
  • Common interest: ecosystems, birds, wetlands (pantano), archeology, community tourism, adventure, food, etc. Often, we find lots of attractions listed, but not packaged, so where to start ?
  • The client is given easy access to the experience involving various aspects of
  • Age: think psychology, not chronology. Spa, cuisine, color, senses …activity (cycling …, hiking, language, learning ,…. Photo, ornithology, … Learning travel: with experts, backstage, lecturers, etc. References from Internet users (Trip Advisor …) References from social media (Web 2.0 - Facebook) Destination websites Preference for user friendly, up-to-date websites with valuable information
  • Sustainable activities: birding, hiking on trails, low-impact, educational, ecologically and culturally sensitive travel that benefits local communities and host countries Partners: (same quality, same service …)
  • Mature: they have $ and time, better educated, well traveled. Healthy lifestyle, active Women: Young: backpakers, techno/multimedia, Generation X Y and C
  • The guide must be professional, knowledgeable,
  • The consumer rate should be the same with or without sales intermediates.
  • (quality-price ratio, value, authenticity = reason; service = emotion)
  • Service Summit M.-A. Delisle Part 1

    1. 2. Product differentiation by creating and packaging sustainable experiences Guatemala Ciudad 10 septiembre, 2009 Presentación de Marie-Andrée Delisle, M.Sc. Consultora en desarrollo turistico
    2. 3. Clarifying definitions <ul><li>Ecotourism (or Green Travel/Green Tourism) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental, ecological, social issues; interpretation and education activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eco-friendly: not harmful to the environment (nature and culture) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What about nature and adventure tourism? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsible tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Having a responsible behavior and business practice, being socially-conscious </li></ul><ul><li>(tourism businesses, service providers and visitors, local communities, partners and employees) </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Collective responsibility and ability to make decisions from a community standpoint </li></ul>
    3. 4. Clarifying definitions <ul><li>Sustainable tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Being aware and active in neutralizing and reducing actual and potential economic, environmental and cultural impacts of tourism </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, it means we should look forward to a sustainable environment, to sustainable management and operations and to sustainable products and services </li></ul>
    4. 5. Sustainable tourism <ul><li>Based on three dimensions for long-term development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental : flora, fauna, ecosystems, etc. = observation, protection, conservation, carrying capacity + waste and energy management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social/cultural : traditions, ways of life, heritage sites, etc. = protection, conservation, education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economical : benefits the local population = improving life conditions; benefits the local businesses = revenues from the tourism activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With the next generations in mind </li></ul>
    5. 6. Sustainable tourism aspects <ul><li>A product differentiation that represents : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A competitive advantage if it includes truly sustainable aspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An excellent quality-price ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to create memorable experiences and to educate the local population and the visitor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An awareness and tangible actions taken about: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The climate change (carbon emissions, offsets, carbon neutral) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The protection of land and culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best management practices and social responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 7. However… <ul><li>Price and quality vs environmental friendliness </li></ul><ul><li>Many ecolabels = confusing </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical marketing vs ‘ greenwashing ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable practices must be integrated to the operations of a business : </li></ul><ul><li>Energy efficiency, recycling, water conservation, waste management, carbon offsets, social practices, building/construction practices and purchasing policy </li></ul>
    7. 8. Some tools <ul><li>Sustainable Tourism Criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate effective sustainable management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize benefits to cultural heritage and minimize negative impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refer to : </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Tourism Self-Assessment Tool </li></ul><ul><li> Refer to : </li></ul>
    8. 9. Why bother to create an experience? <ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Product differentiation : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>being different from the competition instead of a ‘me too’ product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>integrating distinct characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Value-added </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusivity </li></ul><ul><li>Trend </li></ul><ul><li>Travelers with common interests / affinity </li></ul>
    9. 10. Any advantages in creating a sustainable experience? <ul><li>Booking easiness : one-stop shop </li></ul><ul><li>Access to more information </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility to culture and nature </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Attracting </li></ul><ul><li>Retaining </li></ul><ul><li>Partnering </li></ul><ul><li>Word-of-mouth </li></ul>
    10. 11. Trends … <ul><li>Travelers are aware and preoccupied by their impacts while traveling but … </li></ul><ul><li>Travelers want authenticity and comfort </li></ul><ul><li>They look for security , safety and quality </li></ul><ul><li>They like to mix culture and nature </li></ul><ul><li>They want to interact with people, learn and play, taste local cuisine, try new activities </li></ul><ul><li>There are more and more short, multiple, closer to home, last minute reservations </li></ul>
    11. 12. … Trends <ul><li>The long-haul trips have more to do with personal interests regardless of age </li></ul><ul><li>The market segments are becoming more and more sophisticated </li></ul><ul><li>Family and friends travel to share memorable moments </li></ul><ul><li>The travelers use technology for researching, planning and booking </li></ul>
    12. 13. Who should create a sustainable tourism experience ? <ul><li>It is a joint effort: </li></ul><ul><li>Creating : hotelier, attraction or activity, local tour operator, community (ex. Lago Atitlan, Peten, Chichi…) </li></ul><ul><li>Commercializing : local travel agency, local/national/foreign tour operator </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting : local tourist board, national tourist board </li></ul>
    13. 14. Creating an experience <ul><li>From where to where? When ? </li></ul><ul><li>Based on what ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture, arts, food, heritage, people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential itinerary / touring routes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological and sustainable activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature / Adventure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With or without partners? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should it be packaged? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elements to consider: transfers, transportation, lodging, food, attractions, activities + WOW </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. What is considered a package? <ul><li>More than one item but at one price (A hotel with a meal plan is usually not considered a package but a good deal) </li></ul><ul><li>A package versus a tour </li></ul><ul><li>Could be for hours or days </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic packaging and modular trips </li></ul><ul><li>Deal or no deal ? </li></ul><ul><li>5 key elements: </li></ul><ul><li>WHY - WHAT - FOR WHOM - HOW - WITH WHOM </li></ul>
    15. 16. WHY <ul><li>What do you want to accomplish ? What is your objective ? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it based on research, on market analysis in order to identify your target market ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients surveys; tourist board surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trends; the competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tour operators’ requests or inquiries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports, statistics, destination marketing plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Destination strategy, branding, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. WHAT - Example of packages from… <ul><li>A museum : Museum and Cruise Package – One day Combines visit of Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters’ Exhibition with AML’s Cruise excursion (a tour of the city on the River aboard the Cavalier Maxim). </li></ul><ul><li>An attraction : Tulum Archeological Ruins with Xel-Ha Natural Wonder Park – one-day package. Comfortable transportation from hotel zones included. </li></ul><ul><li>A national park : Canoe Downriver Rapids Initiation Package One day – Includes a professional guide service, canoe, life jacket and paddles, map of the river, shuttle (return trip), dry bag for personal belongings </li></ul>
    17. 18. Other examples <ul><li>A lodging property : Discover Copan Package 3 days/2 nights - Includes transfers, some meals, entrance to park with guide + choice of 2 activities (coffee tour, Bird Park, canopy tour, horseback riding, yoga, spa) </li></ul><ul><li>A travel agency/tour operator : Birding Package </li></ul><ul><li>7 days/6 nights - Includes some meals, transfers, accommodation, private bus, local flight, guided tour. </li></ul><ul><li>A community : Community life Package 7 days/6 nights - Includes accomodatoinvisits plus one night homestay, meals and participating in community activities </li></ul>
    18. 19. FOR WHOM <ul><li>What is your target market ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are they coming from ? Is it far? Close? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you identified their interests and expectations? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What segments are you after ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By profile: young travelers, mature travelers, women travelers, multi-generation, boomers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By theme: adventure, culture, nature and eco-tourists, romance, education, business, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. HOW <ul><li>Develop the experience with the package components: </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the activity, the visit, the content of the theme: Ex. hiking to the Laguna Chicabal + a visit to the Abaj Takalik archeological site </li></ul><ul><li>Select the partners that will supply parts of the content: Ex. guide to be hired, park or site entrance fee, transportation, transfers from the hotel to the sites, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide on the lodging number of nights: Ex. each activity will take one day, the package should be based on a 2 night/3 day accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate meals: Ex. breakfast and dinner at hotel; lunches provided by another partner </li></ul><ul><li>Sketch a schedule from the arrival to the departure time </li></ul>
    20. 21. WITH WHOM… <ul><li>Build an inventory of potential partners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural, archeological, heritage expert/site/guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arts expert, artist(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological, environmental expert/site/guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flora and fauna expert; birding expert/site/guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports / adventure expert/site/guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community expert/site/guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food, cuisine expert (chef, producer, …), etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others: restaurants, transportation companies, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The guide is a key element </li></ul>
    21. 22. … WITH WHOM <ul><li>Look for partners with similar quality and service standards, to enrich content and share promotional costs </li></ul><ul><li>Inform and train your staff accordingly </li></ul><ul><li>Establish written agreements with your partners (reservations, vouchers, package inventory, price guarantee, communications, payments, cancellations, refunds, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the promotional budget with your partners </li></ul>
    22. 23. Pricing <ul><li>The pricing should always include an element that the consumer cannot evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>The pricing should include all the components costs </li></ul><ul><li>The retail price should always be on a per person basis, and on a double occupancy basis </li></ul><ul><li>The profit margin should be reduced whenever there is volume offered by the tour operator </li></ul><ul><li>The best net rate should be given to local/national tour operators; it should always be better than the one for foreign tour operators </li></ul>
    23. 24. Pricing structure… <ul><li>TOTAL COSTS : $ </li></ul><ul><li>+ Profit margin (flexible*): + $ </li></ul><ul><li>NET RATE ** to sales intermediates*** : $ </li></ul><ul><li>+ Commission or rebate to sales </li></ul><ul><li>intermediates (between 10 and 30 %) + $ </li></ul><ul><li>CONSUMER / RETAIL PRICE or rack rate : $ </li></ul><ul><li>* Depending on the volume of sales given by the intermediate </li></ul><ul><li>** Net rate = confidential, without tax or commission) </li></ul><ul><li>*** Travel agents, tour operators </li></ul>
    24. 25. … Pricing structure Local level 0% Regional level 10% North Americ. level 10-20 % European level 20-30% Service provider* (cost + profit margin) Service provider (cost + profit margin) Service provider (cost + profit margin) Service provider (cost + profit margin) Direct marketing Sales intermediate 1: Regional tour operator Internet sales Intermediate 1: Regional tour operator/travel agency Intermediate 2: N. American tour operator Sales intermediate 2: European tour operator Walk-in Sales intermediate 3: European travel agency Consumer $ Consumer $ Consumer $ Consumer $ * The supplier: Hotelier, park, attraction, museum, activity, community experience, etc. N.B. The Consumer price must be the same regardless of the intermediates.
    25. 26. Testing <ul><li>Evaluating the creative experience packaged before it is promoted: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With tour operators </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluating the customer satisfaction once it is experienced </li></ul><ul><li>Customer satisfaction = difference between the expectation beforehand and the perception of the value once the product is experienced </li></ul>
    26. 27. Evaluating results <ul><li>On a three-year span </li></ul><ul><li>Costs versus revenues </li></ul><ul><li>Customer survey </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeted promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Results following the promotion, etc. </li></ul>
    27. 28. Preguntas ? <ul><li>The next presentation will cover the marketing of sustainable packages. </li></ul><ul><li>Muchas gracias por su generosa atenci ón! </li></ul>
    28. 29. References <ul><li>Useful websites: </li></ul><ul><li>Networks and associations: </li></ul><ul><li>The International Ecotourism Society (TIES ) - Uniting Conservation, Communities and Sustainable Travel </li></ul><ul><li>For info and membership: </li></ul><ul><li>Your Travel Choice Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Ad of Service Summit event on TIES website </li></ul><ul><li>Rainforest Alliance: </li></ul><ul><li>+ Monthly updates newsletters: </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable Trips for a Better Future : </li></ul><ul><li>UN World Tourism Organisation on Sustainable Tourism: </li></ul><ul><li>Comiturs: </li></ul><ul><li>Guatemala Green: </li></ul>
    29. 30. References <ul><li>USTOA (United States Tour Operators Ass.): </li></ul><ul><li>Tour Operators Initiative (TOI) or Responsible Tourism: </li></ul><ul><li>REDTURS : Red de Turismo Communitario de America Latina:   </li></ul><ul><li>Asociacion panamena de turismo sostenible: </li></ul><ul><li>National Geographic Centre for Sustainable Destinations: </li></ul><ul><li>Boletin Turistico: </li></ul><ul><li>The International Centre for Responsible Tourism: </li></ul><ul><li>Green Maps: </li></ul><ul><li>The Nature Conservancy: </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary Initiatives for Sustainable Tourism (VISIT): </li></ul>
    30. 31. References <ul><li>Listings : </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodation listings on Trip Advisor: </li></ul><ul><li>Listings on the Eco-Index Sustainable Tourism website: </li></ul><ul><li>Tools: </li></ul><ul><li>Eco certification Self-assessment tool – Sustainable Travel International:   </li></ul><ul><li>Global Tourism Criteria - Sustainable Travel International :   </li></ul><ul><li>Rainforest Alliance: Guide for sustainable tourism best practices:   </li></ul><ul><li>Tour Operators Good Practices: </li></ul><ul><li>Certification for Sustainable Tourism: </li></ul><ul><li>The Virtual Marketing Service for Sustainable Tourism: + Criteria for tour operators: ttp:// </li></ul>
    31. 32. References <ul><li>Green lists: </li></ul><ul><li>Green Travel: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> – Global Journal of Practical Ecotourism </li></ul><ul><li>VISION on Sustainable Tourism [] </li></ul><ul><li>Various examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Example of Basic package + extensions :   </li></ul><ul><li>Example from a hotel: Discover Copan Ruins </li></ul><ul><li>GORP Travel – Itineraries and choice of theme </li></ul><ul><li>Example of Adventure Package: </li></ul><ul><li>Example of Port Moresby River Adventure:   </li></ul>
    32. 33. References <ul><li>Example from a tour operator: Eco-Circuitos Panama </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian tour operator GAP Adventures Packages in Central America: </li></ul><ul><li>Example of an eco-sustainable lodge in Ecuador: </li></ul><ul><li>Example of a lodge involving the community: </li></ul><ul><li>The InterContinental hotels and National Geographic Geotourism initiatives: ….   </li></ul><ul><li>US TRAVEL & AMERICAN EXPRESS website: </li></ul><ul><li>Co-branding examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible travel holidays website : – see menu on left side </li></ul><ul><li>Philanthropy tourism: </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon offsets website: </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer tourism, EcoResorts, Extreme Adventure, Active Boomers – see top menu:   </li></ul>
    33. 34. References <ul><li>GO Green Traveler / Travel Tips for the Eco-Conscious Traveler: </li></ul><ul><li>Rosalie Community Ecolodge: </li></ul><ul><li>Community Tours: </li></ul><ul><li>Packages: </li></ul><ul><li>8 day/7 night Package with itinerary:   </li></ul><ul><li>Hotel Package, minimum 3 nights: </li></ul><ul><li>One-day Mayan Encounter Package: </li></ul><ul><li>La Victorine Inn – choice of packages: </li></ul><ul><li>Packaged tours to Guatemala: </li></ul><ul><li>Packages for women: </li></ul>