Visitors to an area – whether they come from overseas, interstate or intrastate – will often want to involve themselves in the local area in some way. This might be by taking part in an organised tour, or by exploring their surroundings by themselves.
Whatever their preference, there are many different travel organisations that will provide them with the means to undertake whatever activities they wish.
In the main, these organisations are;
Tour Operators or Principals – who generally own the services they are selling and actually operate the activity.
Wholesalers who, mostly, do not own the actual product or service; instead they take a variety of individual holiday components offered by principals and put them together into a holiday ‘package’. Discounted rates are negotiated, as the wholesaler would purchase bulk products from these various companies, and the savings are passed on to the end consumer.
Tour operators and wholesales can be inbound or outbound;
Inbound operators are, largely, concerned with tourists coming into their area and provide a range of services from sightseeing tours of their area, to accommodation and other visitor services
Outbound operators are concerned with moving people to destinations other than their own; these destinations can be interstate or international and can, again, include sightseeing tours through a variety of countries, accommodation and so on.
For the most part these companies will provide “off the shelf” packages. This means that the itinerary, accommodation and methods of transport are set and cannot be altered (although some companies do offer ‘do it yourself’ options where you can put together a range of components to suit your needs).
There is great satisfaction, however, in developing in-house activities that are unique to your organisation and to your region; after all no one knows your area as well as you do. Offering in house recreational activities also gives you an advantage over competitors as you will be providing something that, perhaps, they cannot.
Plan in-house recreational activities
Planning in-house recreational activities is not a simple matter of thinking of ideas and taking tourists out for a day of fun and adventure. There are many issues to consider such as;
Resources you will need to undertake the activity
Legal and industry code of practice issues you need to consider
Pricing of the activity
How and when you are going to promote the activity (and who to)
… and a great deal else, and we will look at these issues in detail as we move through the unit.
Identify potential recreational activities
To begin with, you will need to consider what type of activity you wish to provide to your clients and this will, largely, be determined by your organisation’s nature. For example, is your organisation a theme park? If so, what type of activity would fit with the park’s image and capabilities? Does you organisation offer outback tours or fishing safaris, in which case; will you need to consider transport, accommodation or other tour specific issues? And so on. So the type of activity should fall in line with what the organisation can, realistically, offer.
Different types of recreational activities can include (but are not limited to):
creative activities such as art, dance, music, drama or storytelling
educational activities such as; learning about local culture and taking part in a variety of lessons or seminars.
fishing tours – these might relate to fishing trips in deep ocean, river, lake or beach environments.
games or team (or individual) sports – this might relate to such things as ‘tennis camps’, golf tours … or might even relate to games such as treasure hunts and so on.
health and fitness activities – which may include orienteering, bushwalking, exercising, yoga or health spa weekends and so on.