Selfie on the ice bubbles of Abraham Lake
Not all heroes are created equal, neither are their mentors. Meaningful connections require a match between the two and that’s why we are not the right company for a number of visitors to our region.
Like us, our ideal guests tend to be what Destination Canada refers to as Cultural Explorers or Authentic Experiencers. Travel Alberta refers to them as Curious Adventurers, summing them up as visitors who like to “immerse themselves in the places they travel – leaving time for unplanned encounters and activities that allow them to truly know a destination”.
Those guests are attracted to our adventures because of the values and cause we share. Being clear in our messaging early on in the journey, staying true to our goal and guiding principles, allows us to attract guests who will most enjoy what we offer.
The David Thompson Highway
Allstones Cove on Abraham Lake
Our shared purpose is what allows us to create meaningful connections with our guests at the company level. At the product level, we need to consider what our guests are hoping to achieve on their adventure.
There are four main reasons why our guests choose our adventures. They want to:
- explore the region;
- try a new activity;
- meet others interested in similar activities; and/or
- enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.
All of our adventures include a combination of these. The importance of each of these motivations varies depending on the market and the product but the goal is to focus on the areas where at least two of them overlap.
Guests’ motivations to join an adventure.
The Booking Guest
During the early stages of the journey, we typically work with one person from each group. This guest tends to be the one best aligned with our adventures but they also need to consider the interests of their partners.
The best approach we have found is to stay true to who we are rather than trying to show that our adventures have something for everyone. At the same time, we have also found that the guest handling the booking typically is someone who enjoys planning and considers it part of the adventure.
They want to learn as much as possible before they commit and they enjoy longer-form content and detailed guides of the region. Instead of having us make the case as to why their group will enjoy our experiences, we provide them with the information they need to make the case themselves.
-Ing vs -ers
It’s easy to assume that if you enjoy hiking, you’re a hiker. After all, simply changing the suffix from -ing to -er seems harmless enough and snowshoer is much quicker to say than “someone who enjoys snowshoeing”. The only thing is that our guests don’t see it that way.
Being a hiker means buying into the lifestyle. Simply because a guest enjoys hiking doesn’t mean it is how they define themselves. When a guest shares our passions it’s easy to recommend gear, tours and places to go. We need to be mindful that it can be harder to relate to someone with a different background, to share our excitement without overwhelming or oversimplifying the explanation.
By focusing on the -ing rather than the -er, we actually take the time to see things from the guest’s perspective. We step away from our own labels to take the time to see how the guests see themselves. This doesn’t only expand the market for our tours and activities, it changes how we create and market our experiences.
Focus on the people enjoying the activity. In the end, there’s not a lot of -ers in the world, but a lot of people wanting new experiences.
All of our brands share a similar ideal guest and markets, with some distinctions. These differences are at the product level, working together toward supporting our purpose as a company.
Our guests love to explore and immerse themselves in the places they visit. They are curious and love doing things that are new and different, a little challenging and a whole lot of fun. They’re always up for an adventure.
Adventures off the beaten path where they get to take their time getting a sense of place is why they join our tours. Like us, they believe that the journey is the destination and best enjoyed with like-minded people.
Our guests agree that breathtaking landscapes and amazing people are worth the effort to get there. The raw beauty of nature allows them to escape from the day-to-day and enjoy the moment.
- 70/30 ratio of women to men
- 40+ years old with a smaller segment of 20 to 30 year-olds
- This year we are seeing 30+ guests booking with their parents
- College or university educated
- Comfortable income, working as business managers, artists, scientists, public servants and professionals.
They are from:
- Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta
- Canada: British Columbia and Ontario
- United States: Eastern Seaboard and West Coast
- Winter tours: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, UK and Australia
Explore Nordegg & Abraham Lake
Our guests like to get to know the destination before their adventure. Explore Nordegg & Abraham Lake provides them with more detailed information, giving them an opportunity to get to know us and the region in greater detail before their trip.
The other key market prefers self-guided adventures. The main difference between them and our Pursuit Adventures’ guests is that they are more confident in their ability to explore on their own, either because of their experience with the activity or their familiarity with the region.
- Broader age range and a more evenly split between women and men.
- A larger proportion of Albertans and guests who are already in the destination than on our tours.
The Nordegg Provisions Co. and Nordegg Canteen
Our focus has been on our existing guests taking part in our tours. We are adjusting our target market as we shift our operations to Nordegg.
One thing that we know is that they are interested in regional food and the story behind it, but great-tasting food is what matters most. They appreciate healthy food, but adventures are a time for indulgence.
Crafting Outstanding Experiences
Our focus at the moment is on our internal audience and partners. We believe that the information will appeal to other operators but this is not our focus, yet.
The full document has more details on our guests.