Situated in Canadian Rocky Mountains, near the summit of Tod Mountain, Sun Peaks Resort one of the significant tourist attractions in the region. The resort itself is a destination located in about 30 minutes drive from Kamloops. It is commonly described as “a family-friendly and affordable year-round resort surrounded by three mountains” (Sun Peaks Resort: Destination BC, 2016). Naturally, apart from the beautiful sights and opportunities for winter and summer sports, the facilities of the resorts have a number of various attractions for the tourists of different groups throughout a year.
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It is also important to point out that Sun Peaks Resort is, in many ways, oriented to Canadian tourists (Sperling, 2016). That is the reason why any new product that is developed for it should consider the specific needs of the Canadian tourism industry in general and profiles of travelers, in particular.
Sun Peaks Resort with its mountain views, various opportunities for skiing, sledding and engaging in other winter sports, alongside the availability of sports school, private lessons, festivals, and events create a unique appeal to diverse groups of tourists, but especially it is intended to attract those who relate to the Free Spirit profile (Sports School in Sun Peaks Resort, 2016). Also, Sun Peaks Resort “caters to foodies with a great selection of restaurants, and annual food and wine festivals” (Sun Peaks Resort: Destination BC, 2016).
However, in terms of developing new product experience for Sun Peaks Resort, it is paramount to note that some seasonal experiences should be taken into consideration. In winter, the variety of activities for tourists is much wider and more specifically oriented to Free Spirit tourists. On the other hand, during the summer period, it would be better to extend a number of activities that would be popular among those tourists who correspond to the profile of Free Spirits because Sun Peaks Resort has a great potential to look into that direction. In particular, one of the most popular areas of tourists’ activities that attract this segment of travelers is active participation.
Unlike Non-Hassle travelers, Free Spirits would be more willing to take risks and try sporting activities. They also like to socialize and share their traveling experiences both in real life and on social media. For that reason, the new product experience that would attract more tourists from this market segment is to organize small competition events in various winter and summer sports.
In particular, the organized sporting competition for those who stay at Sun Peaks Resort will include both adults and children. Given the fact that it should be more dynamic, the particular sporting activities of the competition will include skiing in winter and tennis and bike riding in summer. Overall, “striking a delicate balance between the natural setting and convenient amenities, Sun Peaks Resort offers incredible access to cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding in winter, and hiking, golfing and mountain biking in summer” (Sun Peaks Resort: Destination BC, 2016).
Sun Peaks Resort is a home for professional sporting competitions, which would only make it more appealing to target customers who look for high social status. In such a way, the organized sporting competitions between the amateurs hosted at Sun Peaks Resort will include skiing for children 6-12 years old, junior competition in skiing for 12-18-year-olds, and competing among adults in winter. Meanwhile, in summer, the same age groups will compete in tennis and cycling. Hence, such structured, but dynamic and not too challenging competition would help to engage more people to participate, including families.
Thus, the objective of this proposal is to represent a consumer’s perspective of the experience of visiting Sun Peaks Resort, including the organized sporting competitions, the time to dine in the local restaurants and other opportunities listed in the walkthrough. It is also to provide itinerary about the detailed scheduling of activities included in the product, to focus on the engagement of tourists by providing themes and stories regarding the product experience, as well as to include a visual representation.
From the customer’s perspective, expectations concerning travel experience are defined not only by the travel values alone but also by the specifics of demographics and lifestyle. For that reason, when introducing a new product experience, a couple of options should be considered.
In such a way, one of the categories of Canadian Free Spirits includes students, especially those who tend to work in part-time or full-time jobs more than on average. Moreover, they tend to travel in groups because it gives them an opportunity to socialize and share their experiences. Thus, a typical profile of the tourists from such categories would be a group of students who work part-time but are educated higher than average, which is why they can afford a rather luxurious stay at Sun Peaks Resort.
Let us imagine how hypothetically this type of Free Spirits would look like and behave. Imagine that the students arrived at the resort in a group of three people. As typical as it is for this category of tourists, they chose a destination because they have found it online, and it seemed prestigious enough. The presentation of the destination at the website of Sun Peaks Resort is rather impressive, and it is likely that the students belonging to the category of Free Spirits were attracted because it responded to their social values. In many ways, the resort is a visual and material representation of quality and style. Also, since this group of tourists expects to maintain some status during their holiday, they are looking for high-quality service on every level.
Let us imagine that these students are doing quite well in their professional life, which makes young people proud of themselves. They want to receive quality holidays, and they would like to be able to share their experience and to show people they know their social status. They also want to create such memories about the holidays that would make them feel like they made some achievements.
Thus, in terms of service and style of holiday stay, the resort would most likely meet their expectations. However, there is another important aspect. As young and active people, Free Spirits of this type would not mind taking small risks and trying new sporting activities. There are a number of opportunities for that both in winter and summer season. In some ways, Free Spirits would have numerous chances to excel in new sports, but without the sense of competition, it would feel less like a personal achievement. Also, given the fact that they would want to have specific memories about how they achieved something that they would be proud to share with other people, organized sporting competitions is exactly the product that will give them this experience.
Naturally, the competitions would not be in any way exhausting or professional. The idea behind such product experience is to engage as many tourists as possible, which is why these sporting competitions would be both for adults and for children.
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Of course, in the case of the group of students, who came to Sun Peaks Resort looking for a bright and luxurious experience, as well as a sense of achievement, competing with others and excelling would be a precious moment that they can share with others, they can be in the center of attention, and satisfy their need for recognition. Generally, the competition would need at least 5-7 people, but considering the number of visitors to Sun Peaks Resorts, finding enough participants would not be a problem even during the low season.
It is also important to note that for Free Spirits of this type, every stage of organized competition should be enjoyable. Firstly, they will be introduced to the viewers from the audience that will immediately put them in the center of attention. The competition would have a sociable and engaging host, who will entertain, keeping the competition dynamic and attract more people on the one hand, and keep the competition less formal on the other, so that nobody would feel upset in case they lose. Another task of the host is, of course, to encourage socializing among the audience, which is also one of the social values for Free Spirits.
The other target group among Free Spirits is families traveling with children. It is a special category, and such tourists are looking for not only the recognition of their social status but also careful attention to their children. Sun Peaks Resort is very suitable for Free Spirits of this type because it has a variety of opportunities for people of different ages, including Kids Center (for children from 18 months to 5 years old), different sporting schools for children of 3 – 7 and 6 – 12 years. Naturally, sporting lessons for adults are also available, including private lessons, which adds luxury to a holiday.
Let us imagine a family with 2 kids ages 3 and 8 years old that would be a typical group of customers for Sun Peaks Resort. Like any other representatives of Free Spirits, they want to create the memories that they can be proud of and share with their numerous acquaintances both while they are still at the resort and when they arrive home. In such a way, the memory of someone from their family winning the competition or a funny story related to what an incredible thing their kid had done when he or she was in a skiing competition would be worth mentioning.
It is also important to point out that the organized sporting competitions will be scheduled in such a manner that is convenient both for the families and for travelers without any children. In particular, the competition for the younger children will take place earlier in the afternoon, then the competition for juniors, and later just before dinner, competition among adults would take place. The more detailed schedule would be presented in the itinerary section.
However, another significant aspect is that sporting competitions among the tourists will bring them together and give them an opportunity to socialize, which is a very important nuance for target customers. As a result, it would be one more group experience, where travelers of different ages can be involved. Thus, the main theme of such competition is to give the customers an opportunity to show their excellence and progress in sports while they are staying at Sun Peaks, as well as to engage them to share their product experience with each other.
There are a number of activities needing to be included in the amateur sporting competition day at Sun Peaks Resort. As the competitors register to participate at 9:00, the host of the competition will announce the schedule for the events of the day. Thus, the detailed schedule will be the following:
- 9:00 – 9:15 – the opening of the tour and briefing about the planned events;
- 9:15 – 10:00 – breakfast at numerous cafes and cafeteria styled places with a wide choice of culinary experiences.
- 10:00 – 12:00 – shopping at the center of Sun Peaks village for souvenirs, visiting the farmers’ market, or guided tour to see the mountain views. If tourists have little children, they can stay at the Kids Center.
- 12:00 – 12:45 – sporting competition among the children of 6 – 12 years old that depending on the season and weather will include either skiing or tennis and cycling. The host is to introduce the participants and to entertain the audience throughout the competition.
- 12:45 – 13:00 – the competition will be followed by a small award ceremony to congratulate the winners and to give small souvenirs as prices for each of 10-12 participants.
- 13:00 – 14:00 – lunch at the center of Sun Peaks in places offering a wide choice of cuisine.
- 14:00 – 14:45 – sporting competition among the juniors of 13 – 18 years old that depending on the season and weather will include either skiing or tennis and cycling. In the same manner, the task of the host is to introduce the participants and to entertain the audience throughout the competition.
- 14:45 – 15:00 – the competition will be followed by a small award ceremony to congratulate the winners and to give small souvenirs as prices for each of the participants.
- 15:00 – 16:30 – tour to the Rocky Mountains Chocolate Factory located at Sun Peaks, shopping for souvenirs or sightseeing with a guide.
- 16:30 – 17:45 – sporting competition among adults, that depending on the season and weather will include either skiing or tennis and cycling.
- 17:45 – 18:00 – a small award ceremony to congratulate the winners and to give small souvenirs as prices for each of the participants and closing of the official part of the event.
- 18:00 – 19:00 – dining at one of many Sun Peaks Resort’s restaurants and cafes with authentic cuisine for various tastes.
- 19:00 – after the tour and events, customers can either go home or stay at the accommodations of Sun Peaks Resort, which will allow them to see more views, go for a walk in the village center surrounded by mountains, or see some of the events in the evening.
The main theme of such trip is for travelers to become engaged in sporting activities, as well as enjoy mountain views, exquisite cuisine, and shopping. The following figure depicts the map of Sun Peaks village and resort, showing the full variety of opportunities for a holiday.
It is paramount to point out that not only it is a suitable trip for those who stay at Sun Peaks Resort for a ‘full-time’ holiday, practices in winter or summer sports, and wants to show their excellence, but also this tour is a nice way to combine many experiences during one weekend.
The important part of any holiday is to have stories to tell. Participating in sporting events and being able to choose between the scheduled activities allows having a more customized experience. The following canvas represents how the users would find out about the product (key partnering resources of the tour) and which activities would attract them the most.
In such a way, the most appealing activities relate to the major travel values of Free Spirits, and the resources used to attract new customers correspond to the resources this category of travelers use to book their holiday.
Five senses to which a travel experience should appeal include:
- Sight: mountain views, picturesque village of Sun Peaks, exciting competition;
- Smell: mountain air and aromas of the chocolate factory;
- Sound: enjoy the excited audience watching sports, snow creaking in winter;
- Touch: different mountain plants on a tour;
- Taste: the refined cuisine of local restaurants and cafes, souvenirs from the chocolate factory (Sun Peaks Dining & Night Life, 2016).
Targeted Explorer Quotient (EQ) Explorer type
The targeted explorer quotient is Canadian Free Spirits. This type of tourists slightly varies in its demographic, but they have a lot of features in common. First of all, they are looking for a high-status recognition, regardless of the fact whether they are students or families with children. Sun Peaks Resort represents many activities that are associated with a high social class, including skiing and golfing. Overall, Free Spirits “are discriminating consumers and will shop around to get what they want, which is not necessarily the cheapest product” (EQ Profiles, 2015).
Moreover, Free Spirits enjoy a high class in every avenue of their life, which is why they would appreciate exquisite cuisine and accommodation in Sun Peaks. Also, Free Spirits are not “mistrustful of societal institutions like government or big business”, but prefer to get information about traveling online, which is why the majority of advertising will be situated on social media and travel websites (EQ Profiles, 2015).
Rationale for the chosen EQ type
It is also significant to point out that sporting activities in general and competing in different sports, in particular, require a certain readiness to take risks. Given the fact that Free Spirits, even though they do not tend to take big risks and prefer to trust specialists, are keen on small risks, they would be perfect target customers.
Another important aspect is that Free Spirits are highly sociable and like to be in the center of attention. Participating in sporting events is one of the ways to do it, as well as to prove one’s status and excellence. Also, the tour will allow them to make their experience customized, which is why it would be more interesting to share with other people. An opportunity to talk about how unique their travel was is one of the important aspects for Free Spirits.
It is also important that menu and accommodations in Sun Peaks village, alongside the activities of the tour come in a variety of options, so that Free Spirits have an opportunity to be independent and authentic in their choices. Finally, Sun Peaks Resort offers great shopping and a chance to visit a chocolate factory – both activities are on the list of the most appealing pastimes of Free Spirits.
EQ Profiles. (2015). Web.
Sperling, J. (2016). Record-Breaking Season at Sun Peaks Resort. CFJC Today. Web.
Sports School in Sun Peaks Resort. (2016). Web.
Sun Peaks Dining & Night Life. (2016). Web.
Sun Peaks Resort: Destination BC. (2016). Web.
Sun Peaks Village Map. (2016). Web.