(Guess whose photo this is! Answer at the bottom of this post)
Recently ran into an interesting check-list of items to be addressed to create great tourism experiences.
- Enrichment and authenticity
- Partner with community
- Invent the themes that will intrigue visitors
- Engage all the seasons
- Increase the value inside the tourism experience by including access to people, a unique activity, or combination of both. When you do this , you can increase the selling price
- Invent new forms of programs that incorporate new mixes of activities, people, traditions and places that showcase and celebrate the community. Invention is the key
- Personalize and customize your services
- Add interaction and hands-on activities
- Involve local community and mentor them
- Add specific local retail items into the experience or package.
Ok. So let us try to apply this check-list to something we know. How about India’s best known attraction, the Taj Mahal? (Given the very sterile and – sometime very hassling – experience that is visiting the Taj Mahal, I think some creative thought can help). Here is my take on how one could apply some of these principles to the tourism experience of the Taj Mahal.
Enrichment & Authenticity : An ‘immersion’ into the world of Shah Jahan – how about setting up a place where travellers can experience in at least a small way, the nature of life at the time of Shah Jahan. Maybe, this can be in the form of a bazaar recreated in authentic historical detail.
Partner with Community: An obvious area would be to bring in the community into this bazaar. There are other options to bring in local musicians, artisans & cooks into an authentic street scene.
Invent themes that will intrigue visitors: How about “Luxury in the time of the Mughal”, a theme of what it meant to indulge in luxury fit for a king in Shah Jahan’s time. This can cover so many aspects, it is almost endless. Continue reading