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Impact of local market visit as a part of itinerary

Last few days ago, some interesting question popped up in one of the Linked-In group related to travel. This question came from someone who organize itinerary for his customers. The author of that question wants to include local market visit as a part of the itinerary.

The author writes the outcome of this idea in the description of the question. He states this idea will help the travelers to get a chance to learn about the culture of the place, habits of the people. The traveler would enjoy learning new things and this will turn out to be valuable time spend as a part of their itinerary. That’s interesting idea…isn’t it?

The above expected outcome really seems conveying. However, practically there are many risk tied up with that idea. The primary risk is the customer experience – which is the major factor for long terms reputation of the company or service. Yes, at first glance of idea – one may feel that it would be a best customer experience…But, not. Read on to know why?

Customer experience would be good in terms of new culture, habits and more. However, you are not guaranteed with how local people of the place behave with your customer. If some misunderstanding happens between the local people & your customer, then bad impacts are carried out easily than the good ones. The misunderstanding may happen because of lack of open-mindedness on both the side. This is one among many points which came out of discussion. Further, these experience turns out to be bad memories, which no one likes to have it as a take away of the trip.

After your customer returns home, they speak about their good as well as bad experience of trip with their friends & families, who one among them may be your prospective customer. Now the bad experience collected during the travel would be attached with the operator name. Your customer yells the operator name loud enough for your prospective customer to cultivate a bad impression about your services.

By now, you may have got the concern behind the customer experience risk factor. So local market visit as a part of the itinerary is a bad idea? Definitely not…. You can minimize the risk by carefully selecting the venue for local market visit. One of the reply in the linked-in discussion stated that to select the local people too, which may not be practically enough. If you do so, then you may kill the basic reason of this program as a part of itinerary.

Further, this discussion stated one more important point where operator would select the customer based on their nature of their itinerary. Operator would include this for only for travelers like backpackers and exclude the one who have come for a fun time. This seems to be nice optimized way to execute this idea – Be selective in venue as well as customer. What’s your view about this? Share it in the comments of this post.