Sharing the Manitoba Story: E-doc to accompany the keynote presentation


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A multi-media handout prepared by Nancy Arsenault and Todd Lucier of the Tourism Cafe to accompany the keynote address at the Travel Manitoba conference titled: Sharing the Manitoba Story ... Building the Visitor Experience.

Thanks to the innovative spirit of Wayne Copet, Laurenda Madill and Karla Pratt of the Industry Development team, after weaving their conference together, they wanted a 'take away' that was more than a piece of paper. Look inside and hear the story of 4 presenters by clicking on the links - or be cool and use the QR codes!

Here from travel media writer Shel Zolkewich, Tyler Schroeder from the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, Louise Stitt from the Meandher Pumpkin Patch and Marie-France Doucet from Le Pays de la Sagouine how they use storytelling to build tourism!

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Sharing the Manitoba Story: E-doc to accompany the keynote presentation

  1. 1. Sharing Manitoba’s Story ...Building the Visitor Experience Manitoba Tourism Conference 11 April 2011
  2. 2. by Dr. Nancy Arsenault & Todd LucierEveryone has a story to tell!When people are excited, engaged, challenged, or surprised, stories emerge and the desire to share them isa natural human impulse. Whether you create the story, or it is a tale passed on through time, stories arecaptivating and your story is unique!Why are stories so powerful? of all, everyone can relate to a good story.Storytelling is one of the first ways wecommunicate with others as a child. All stories: • Make a point, • Have characters, • Bring broader understanding and relevance to situations, • Can be told in ways that bring you into the story, • Connect people and places, past and present, and they evolve with time, • Reveal the emotional side of the person telling the story, and Shel Zolkewich Travel Writer • When meaningful, they are memorable!You donʼt have to be a genius to create and tell agreat story; all you need is passion, confidence, Listen to her media story.and an audience. media thrives on stories!The more authentic the voice, the more credible the message. Sharing stories helps us: • Connect with the emotional side of people vs. the rational side. Itʼs more engaging than traditional marketing! • Develop relationships with people and communities of common interest. • Share with friends, families and fans on Facebook, Trip Advisor, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs … and the list goes on! 1
  3. 3. What’s your tourism story?A great story sparks the imagination, taps your When stories connect ...curiosity, and takes you to exciting and thoughtprovoking places. You establish a shared history. Your business becomes part of their stories, theyDo you want to create a compelling reason to visityour destination? Create lasting memories for your become part of yours. The family fromvisitors? Share an aspect of your community, MacGregor who discovered “Angus” isculture, or heritage that is unique, authentic, and living proof, as you will hear from Tyler.yours? If so, stories are part of the solution. people and places.Stories can be used as a foundation for themingtourism product development, then evolving the storyso that it has relevance to different niche markets.Whether you are in a rural community or the heart ofan urban centre, every business, destination, andregion has a story to tell.Folk tales, historical stories, personal narratives,tragedies, comedies, and journeys are just a fewtypes of stories that all destinations have which can Tyler Schroederbe brought to life and crafted into a meaningful,memorable visitor experience. General Manager Canadian Fossil Discovery CentreStories can differentiate or connect you to similarbusinesses. For example cool fossils in the groundʼ Listen to his marketcould draw a visitor to the Canadian Fossil Discovery development story.Centre in Morden Manitoba where guests can marine monsters. They can also link you tosimilar places such as the Tyrrell Museum inDrumheller Alberta, where there are dinosaurs! Elements of a great story:If fossils, paleontology, and a chance to get yourfingers in the dirt and dig for treasures is your thing, • Emotionyou can do both! • Intrigue • SurpriseFrom the Gold Rush in the Yukon to the Celtic Tales • Engagementof Cape Breton Island, destinations that identify and • A theme and a great plotbuild on their unique stories have endless potentialfor staging and delivering meaning to travelers with • A settingdifferent interests. • Characters - from angels to villains • Conflict • A great storyteller! 2
  4. 4. Stories can transform a community.Storytelling is a way to pass down customs, cultures, and history.The stories of the people in your community are unique an interesting to travellers. When creatingvisitor experiences with the intent of connecting travellers to people in your community, you create avalue proposition that is much stronger than merely selling tickets to a museum, theatre or festival. Stories connect with the community and they evolve. In the small village of Bouctouche, New Marie-France Brunswick, where the population is just over 2300, one story has made a big difference! Doucet The character is Antonine Maillet, a renown General novelist and playwright, who is at the heart of Manager attracting 68,000 visitors annually to Le Pays de la Sagouine to enjoy the next chapter of her story. Le Pays de la As General Manager, Marie-France Doucet will Sagouine tell you, gaining the trust of the community to share their stories was a challenge at first. However, through building trust, respect, and involving the local community, their theatre and Listen to her product its productions have become a source of development story. community pride. So much so that the actors are referred to by their character name, when encountered on the streets by jubilant fans approaching them on the street!Storytelling is a way to pass down customs, cultures, and history.Building stories into travel themes requires Embedded in a good story is a plot that can lend itselfthinking from the visitorʼs lens. to certain props, local characters, and taking travellers to places that may be off the beaten track.• Which stories will fit with the audience? Add to this an element of surprise, exploration,• How can I connect more people with a story? cultural or nature-based immersion and you have all the elements of a memorable travel experience.• Do visitors want to hear the same story twice? If you think in chapters you are already thinking ahead about the next part of the story, another reason to visit! 3
  5. 5. Harvesting stories to grow your business.Listen carefully to your guests, the stories they tell onsite, the pictures they post to the internet and things theywrite about. They all provide clues to discovering what isimportant to your guests for product, market, and development.Louise Stitt and her partners began gathering stories in2006, before they opened their business in 2007. Louise StittFirst they toured similar sites to listen and learn from Partnerother farmers and agri-tourism operators. This providedexcellent intelligence and resulted in a quality network of Meandherlike-minded businesses who remain colleagues today. Pumpkin PatchNow enjoying more than 10,000 visitorsannually, Meandher Pumpkin Patch knowsthat storytelling has been a valuable research Listen to her research story.tool to enrich the visitor experience, improvesite operations, and develop niche markets. to her story!Sharing the Manitoba story … Building the visitor experience.The 2011 Manitoba Tourism Conference has themed At the business-to-business level, taking time tostories throughout the event to demonstrate the share your story with other businesses is arelevance to a wide range of tourism businesses. valuable way to learn, grow and avoid making mistakes!Using stories to design new tourism experiences,establish new markets, and connect with travellers is Manitoba has a rich array of stories, based ona new way of thinking about products and market diverse cultures, and breath-taking landscapes.development. It also represents a unique businessopportunity. Why leave it to chance or make the visitor struggle to get the story.People trust local area storytellers. They areauthentic, honest, engaging, entertaining, and Take action and begin identifying those unique toawe-inspiring. your community and the people who have a way with words! Develop them, deliver them and donʼt forget the media!Storytelling is a powerful communication tool. What’s your story? How will you bring it to life? 4