Once you’ve been in business for a while and created a successful tourism venture, you may be wondering what’s next? It’s very easy to sit back and keep doing the same old thing, however new and exciting tourism products can help to not only boost your business profile but also ensure long term success. You will also likely find it much easier to develop something new building off your current successes and knowledge than when you started off the first time.
A great way to invent something new is to think about possible partners you could develop a joint venture product with. Your expertise may be in one area but through your business you have likely networked with other tourism businesses that have different and complimentary skills. Building an alliance with another tourism operator/s can be an effective approach to develop something new and innovative for continual business development where you can share the benefits and the risks. Plus with joint marketing funds and knowledge it’s likely you can achieve a lot more and bring it to market faster.
I think this sort of approach can work particularly well in the activities and attractions area of tourism. For example, some activities may benefit from having a historical or Maori cultural component added to it, a food and beverage component, a marine or water sport, or expertise on nature and eco tourism. The type of “mix and match” options available is really up to your imagination, your local contacts, and knowledge of what your market likes.
A good example of a new tourism joint venture launched recently in the Bay of Islands is “Dining under the Stars” (see the media release here). This product has been led by Adventure Puketi (a forest walks tourism operator), who have joined with a local restaurant “Food at Wharepuke” to offer a unique guided kauri forest walk and dining activity in the Puketi Forest. The experience includes a night walk in the forest (something they already offered) culminating in an exotic dinner service in a forest clearing under the stars with Maori cultural performers and a guide talking about the stars in the New Zealand night sky. The target market is aimed at conference groups, tour groups, and the cruise market.
This type of creativity and willingness to work with partners is what small to medium New Zealand tourism businesses can use to revive or expand their tourism products plus create memorable and unique experiences for our visitors.