NICHE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES: “For rural & coastal destinations, special interest-based niche markets - e.g. visitors with a quite intense personal interest in cycling/biking experiences, wine & food, fishing, skiing, RV & ATV excursions, camping, history, health retreats & spas, or cruising - can be highly productive too. But only if their specific interests & needs are intimately understood & suitably targeted in a systematic way. Ideally with desirable and imaginatively developed products, facilities, services, trails, itineraries, and more. And for maximum impact - able to be integrated with other complementary destination pleasures or appealing visitor options.”  - Bruce Dickson (TDS)  
Destination development implications:  How do visitor special interests fit in the wider tourism picture?    Visitors are rarely one-dimensional in terms of their travel interests and needs ... even when commonly 'visiting a friend or relative'. By way of example, food will always be on the agenda, as will some kind of social interaction or other form of personal fun, relaxation, entertainment, sightseeing, discovery and learning.    Regardless of why they were initially drawn to a destination - when given the opportunity and choice - visitors will more often than not combine several of these tourism experiences (whether passive or active or both) in the one trip.  By doing so they are able to gain the richest and most enjoyable experience possible and the greatest overall benefit ... including value for money.   KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Consequently, successful destinations intelligently build the 'qualities' and range of what they can offer to visitors and local residents alike ... if they wish to remain competitive. This process also complements efforts to appeal to special niches. For emerging destinations, the need can be to simply enhance & better market what they have (and build later).   Even destinations whose appeal wisely lies in their reputation for a low key lifestyle, unspoiled environment and low levels of development can still add greater depth and richness to the 'local experience' for both visitors and locals. But in a way that is very deliberately and carefully consistent with these values. ('Integrated community tourism planning'.)        READ MORE: CULTURAL TOURISM and DESTINATION AUTHENTICITY
Visitors not one dimensional ... pursue multiple benefits
© Tourism Development Solutions 2012