When designing life-changing experiences, these are to be thought of from the view that their life-changing purpose is what makes them unique and more attractive, not just a matter of social responsibility, because the tourists really want to experience the transformation.

There are many stages to follow when designing the life-changing experiences:

  • Define constituents, the receivers who benefit from the activity (women, children/youth, elderly, minorities, BoP, tourists, etc.)
  • The life-changing effect that the experience intends to create for the tourists (raising awareness about certain issue, opening mind, etc.)
  • Try to include storytelling exercises as a part of the experience, as a strategic part to foster the generation of new stories
  • The activity through which the experience is delivered
  • The necessary resources and preparation to make it successful
  • Carry out the feasibility plan of the product
  • Get feedback from creative activists after living the experience, on how to improve it.
  • Pay attention to insights and inputs delivered through the open innovation system, in the product co-creation contests and on an ongoing basis –reviews, free contributions, etc.-.

There has to be a Product Manager responsible for controlling the adequacy of the ideas being developed, to help improve & refine them, and to invigorate the open innovation system. The Product Manager would also be in charge of selecting and managing channel partners, benchmarking and customer feedback.

Beyond the tourism programs, the Product Manager should also be responsible for developing volunteer programs in cooperation with NGOs, to reinforce the mission driven positioning of the destination and to add human power to accelerate the mission accomplishment.

The co-creation process is to be carried out in a very different way depending on whether we talk about DMC or DMO, as well as depending on their size and budget. For instance, an open innovation system is likely to be suitable only for regional or nationwide DMOs in cooperation with the destination’s DMCs. For minor DMOs or DMCs, co-creation should be developed through workshops.

What kind of life-changing experiences do you envision?

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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