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Department of Tourism and Parks. Department of Tourism and Parks Product Development Plan 2010-2012. 2009-2012 Product Development Direction. Creating and Navigating Change. 2009-2012 Product and Marketing Direction Draft Document: Revised April 30, 2009.

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Department of

Tourism and Parks

Department of Tourism and Parks

Product Development Plan

2010-2012

2009-2012 Product Development Direction

Creating and Navigating Change

2009-2012 Product and Marketing Direction

Draft Document: Revised April 30, 2009


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Table of Contents


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Introduction

As with many Canadian travel destinations, tourism in New Brunswick is at a crossroads. Faced with static or declining visitation and tourism revenues, a fresh and innovative strategic direction is required to restore the industry to a growth mode. Central to this rejuvenation is a new approach to product development in New Brunswick.

In the fall of 2008, the Department of Tourism and Parks initiated a comprehensive product renewal process. The starting point for this process was the development of a new product development direction. This direction was developed using a foundation of primary and secondary research and was conceived in consultation with the New Brunswick tourism industry and experts in the field of product/experiential tourism development.

This document outlines the new product direction.


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Linking the Pieces

  • The Product Development Direction is a critical element of a major initiative underway in New Brunswick to innovate and invigorate the tourism industry in the province.

  • The Product Development Direction plays a key role in the larger strategic planning process. The provincial Tourism Strategy, and the Product Development and Marketing Directions are all connected and each will contribute to a new model for tourism development in New Brunswick. Together they will achieve one cohesive vision.

Provincial Tourism Strategy

Research-Product-Marketing Continuum

Research and Analysis

Marketing Direction

Product Direction

Product Development Plan

Marketing Plan

Tourism Brand

Product Execution

Marketing Execution


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Situational Analysis

Overview of industry conditions and visitor demands


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Industry Conditions

  • Following a regional and national pattern, tourism visitation to New Brunswick has been static or declining. Tourism revenues have remained flat.

  • Several factors are contributing to this national situation including sluggish Canadian domestic travel and increased stay-at-home vacationing, declining US arrivals and flat overseas arrivals.

  • These travel pattern issues are largely attributable to a combination of ongoing challenges: increasing energy costs, tighter US border security and more demanding identification requirements for US travelers re-entering the United States. Adding to these factors are recent economic challenges including high unemployment, rising consumer debt loads, and the housing crisis.

  • A shrinking travel market to Canada means tight competition by provinces to maintain tourism revenues.

  • Global competition is increasing with more destinations in the tourism business, more low cost travel options available and more exotic destinations now accessible and affordable.


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Meeting Visitor Demands

  • Research indicates that the modern visitor is about authentic travel experiences and that they search and select destinations on that basis. If a visitor can tell a compelling story about their experience with the destination (“bragging rights”), this makes the destination “real” and ‘integrated” – meaning that the visitor becomes part of the experience, not an onlooker or outsider.

  • While tourism visitors demand a quality experience they also expect to be able to have that experience at a reasonable price. As a result, perceived value for travel dollars spent is critical to visitor satisfaction and repeat visitation.


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Product Direction

New strategic direction to guide product development to 2012.


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Strategic Direction

Developing tourism experiences that are based on personal enrichment and well-being and

the new experience-driven concept, INNER JOURNEYS.

EXPERIENTIAL ENHANCEMENT


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Experiential Enhancement

  • The new product direction is aimed at providing New Brunswick with a powerful differentiator in the marketplace. It goes beyond the experiential product theme to provide a new brand direction and a fresh new voice in Canadian tourism product development.

  • The approach is simple and attainable and one that has the potential to provide visitors with an immersive travel experience. It is a direction that involves the visitor and allows them to connect to the destination in a meaningful, memorable way.

  • Personal enrichment and well-being experiences provide the opportunity for New Brunswick to deliver a fresh new approach in product development centered around the Inner Journeys “Experience Collection.”

  • Inner Journeys introduces the concept of accessible experiential travel products based on the widest possible range of New Brunswick strengths and attributes.

  • The 2009-2012 product direction is based on the:

    • creation of must-have development ingredients for Inner Journeys – the experiential building blocks

    • development of themed experiences under the Inner Journeys umbrella concept – the experience collection

    • establishment of well-defined guidelines for development – involvement and inclusion criteria.


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Product Execution

Key execution strategies to deliver on the experiential enhancement concept – Inner Journeys.


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The Direction

Experiential enhancement that is based on personal enrichment and well-being

Experiential Building Blocks

Formula for experiences that are authentic, original, accessible,

immediate &

tangible

Experience Collection

Themed experiences: Challenge, Cultures & Customs, Comfort & Contemplation,

Cuisine, Celebration,

Child’s Play, Call of

the Wild

Inner Journeys

Inner Journeys

The Inner Journeys product direction aspires to transform New Brunswick into a destination providing meaningful travel experiences. At the end of a New Brunswick vacation visitors should take away a sense of personal enrichment and well-being.

Essential to ensuring that the Inner Journeys strategic concept is delivered are three execution models built to:

establish clear building blocks for developing personal enrichment experiences;

enhance the product offering through an experiential collection that provides unique and compelling product selection for the visitor;

ensure involvement and inclusion of private sector partners to assist in creating Inner Journeys.

Involvement and Inclusion

Guidelines and criteria for effective development


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Authenticity

Representations of real life and culture in NB

Quality

Delivered by engaging experts

Meaningful

Establish connections with the visitor

Experiential

Interactive and hands-on

Experiential Building Blocks

Several things make the personal enrichment concept believable: it is authentic, original, accessible, immediate and tangible. However, to be successful it must be based on the established building blocks.

Uniqueness

Experiences that are unique to NB

Sensory

Taste, feel, touch factors that engage the visitor


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Challenge

Focuses primarily on safe adventures and the physical and/or creative involvement of visitors.

Cultures & Customs

Focuses on interactive involvement and exposure to history, heritage, music, story-telling and traditions.

Comfort and Contemplation

Focuses on personal enrichment through specialized accommodations and educational exposure to nature’s wonders.

The Experience Collection

Cuisine

Focuses on food service operations offering interactive experiences and/or menus with an emphasis on New Brunswick products.

Using qualitative focus group findings and expert advice in product development as a guide, an Experience Collection of themed categories has been created. These sub-categories of the Inner Journeys concept will assist in revitalizing existing and identifying new travel opportunities in New Brunswick.

Celebration

Focuses on celebration through events, festivals or activities that exemplify the joyfulness of being in New Brunswick.

Focuses primarily on fun experiences for children, for adults or for both.

Child’s Play

Focuses primarily on providing guided opportunities for consumers to safely view and photograph New Brunswick wildlife.

Call of the Wild


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Involvement and Inclusion Criteria

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Market Readiness Criteria for all Tourism products (including Inner Journeys):

In operation for a minimum of one year

A website with up to date visitor information

Appropriate public access to the site

Directional signage to and around the site

All applicable licenses, insurance, codes of practice and required regulations

Participating accommodations must be New Brunswick Approved

Where reservations are required, due to group size limitations, the organization must have a reservation system with staff trained on the Inner Journeys product. On- line reservation system desirable, or 24 hours response (telephone, email, fax or web).

Amenities and services must be on site or in proximity

Public washroom facilities must be available

Liability insurance (minimum of $1 m)

Liability waiver forms, where appropriate, are in place

On site first aid certified personnel where applicable to the experience

Currency exchange rates, consistent with the market, are offered

Participation (as requested) in provincial familiarization tours

Must meet marketing deadlines for inclusion in targeted provincial print or on-line promotions


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Involvement and Inclusion Criteria

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Additional Criteria - Inner Journeys:

  • The experience fits within one of the six Inner Journey categories

  • The experience reflects the target audience

  • The experience has a retail price point (excluding Economuseum®)

  • The experience is participatory and led by a resource specialist (staff, volunteer, or contractor)

  • The experience provider can define the ‘signature moment’

  • The experience demonstrates and celebrates New Brunswick attributes

  • Experiences:

    • Annual experiences: Must be available on a regularly scheduled basis

    • Seasonal Summer/Fall experiences: Must be available on a regularly scheduled basis from June to September

    • Winter experiences: Must be available from December to March (weather dependent)

    • Niche Market or Customized Experiences: Programs can be offered at any time of the year


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