Is Expectation v Reality Letting Your Guest Experience Down?

This morning I caught up with one of my nearest and dearest who had ticked off a bucket list world tourism experience. As I’d not personally seen it and been there, I was living vicariously, as we can nowadays with the immediacy of social media, whatsapp and facetime etc.

So in conversation as we were debriefing on the photos, the road trip, the tour, the food, the scenery, the experience, the staff – his summary statement of “actually I was a bit underwhelmed” totally blew me away.

Honestly I was gobsmacked for a few reasons, because;

1. Here is a world renowned tourism experience being labelled as underwhelming by a first time visitor. What were their expectations? Where did it miss the mark?

2. He’s a younger generation of traveller, so what is it going to take? What do we need to do more of, or be better at, or do differently to engage the mix of generations of travellers that are visiting our tourism businesses and experiences?

3. What specifically was this tourism experience doing or not doing well enough that enabled the perception of ‘underwhelming’ to walk away yesterday and not be rectified or changed during the almost full day experience? Were onsite opportunities missed out in terms of guide interaction and commentary, facilities and services, touch points and interpretation and so much more?

4. Is there a mismatch between reputation and what’s actually being delivered by tourism businesses delivering their experiences? Does what the customer believe they’re going to be experiencing and then the reality have a huge gap. Is the marketing fancy and the reality a let-down?

This traveller is still on the road and so I look forward to diving deeper into conversation on their return to get some answers, however in the interim – for your tourism business, experience and service or offering.

Food for thought.

Are you ensuring no customer, tourist, passenger, guest or visitor walks away ‘feeling’ underwhelmed?

P.S Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you develop and work on your business leadership capabilities:

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