Updated: Aug 26
I've read a quote that collaboration divides the task, and multiplies the success - this is so true in the tourism industry.
There are some fabulous examples of collaboration in our industry, you only need to spend a few minutes standing in front of a brochure rack to see how many tourism operators work together with combo offers and products. Why do they do this?
Aren't those combo partners their competition? Well technically yes, when the discretionary spend and time available is limited, your competitors aren't just the businesses who offer a similar product to you, it's everyone who is offering an experience.
So why collaborate?
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing to partner with another business. There is the obvious one that they may be a larger business, or have access to a market you don't so therefore can offer you something really tangible in return. But if you're the larger business, what's in it for you? This is a question that I have pondered many times in my career as I've been fortunate to work for large attractions and activities. It doesn't mean that there isn't a good reason to partner with someone smaller though. Look at the businesses and the experiences they offer. Do they complement one another and is the visitor going to have a similarly great experience in each? Will it work logistically - do the times of the experiences work out so you can seamlessly transition between the businesses in time? Does the combined experience work for the market you are targeting? By working with another business, and by offering something that looks 'special' whether it be an experience that you only have if you buy the combo, or simply a discounted price, you will add value to your existing business and see an increase in sales as a visitor who may not have considered your product, may be enticed by a combo offer.
Collaboration in the tourism industry goes beyond combo products. It's a great way to share knowledge, to learn about new markets and keep up to date with current trends as well. It opens up another view to what is happening in the industry.
When we take our businesses to trade shows, it's a common observation that 'kiwis work well together'. It comes up with famil trips too - the industry just understands the importance of keeping to time and getting famils to their next destination on time. This creates such a positive experience for the famil guests too, which makes them confident about sending clients back to that region.
Take another look at your business, are you collaborating for success? There is bound to be a new opportunity awaiting you just around the corner if you go looking for it...