In the last few years, experiential tourism has seen a rapid rise in popularity. It’s essentially a countermovement against mass or traditional tourism, a niche market that focuses on hands-on experiences, meeting locals, and “slow travel”.
As the experiential tourism industry continues to expand, more and more tour operators take notice. And if they aren’t yet, they really should pay attention to this modern trend, which will most likely only continue to balloon in the future.
Experiential Tourism Supply and Distribution: Automated Systems Vs. Local, Human Partners
There are several different ways for experiential tour operators and travel agents to connect with potential customers. They range from B2B and direct website sales to automated online platforms, such as GetYourGuide, Expedia, Viator, and TripAdvisor.
While automation may have its benefits–it can be easier to compare tours and prices, for example–, it is also not always the best option when it comes to supply and distribution experiences. We’ll look at a couple of specific problems and solutions related to respectively automated booking systems and working with human partners.
Benefit of Automated Systems for Experiential Tourism Tours
A common problem tourism companies have is the difficulty in finding high-quality suppliers and distributors for unique experiences. Most tour operators, travel agents, and other providers have their own website, which can be very professional and user-friendly, but those are not always easy to find online.
A welcome solution for this frustrating problem is automation. By collecting various tour operators and other experiential tourism industry providers on one platform, the process of searching for and choosing one becomes much more streamlined and convenient.
Great examples of such platforms are Channel Manager and well-known booking engines like Expedia, Viator, and GetYourGuide.
Benefit of Working With Local and Specialized Partners
The range of experiential tourism tours and activities is already incredibly wide, and will continue to grow in variety in upcoming years. Not all tours are created equal. A core characteristic of experiential travel is that activities are unique and authentic, and catered to each individual person or group.
Therefore, real experiential tourism products and packages should always be custom-made taking into consideration the needs and desires of clients. Automation completely eliminates this by offering only standardized, cookie-cutter options.
There’s really only one way to ensure that you get a customized, tailor-made tour. And that’s relying on local and specialized partners. Providers like Artès make it easy to pick and choose activities, tours and itineraries for your clients, which can always be adapted according to their needs.
Although there are undeniable benefits to using automated systems, if you’re truly looking for authentic experiential tourism, such as food and wine tours in Italy, nothing compares to working with “real human” partners. Working with Artès can be a fantastic opportunity for tourism companies interested in developing and providing unique and fully customized travel experiences in Italy. Especially in this day and age, the human touch in business is more important than ever.