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It's Personal

Welcome to the Savagely Creative Blog, which looks at all aspects of creating Memorable Experiences.

I was reminded again this week that when it comes to tourism it’s personal.  Anyone who has read my earlier blogs will remember I said it wasn’t all about you.  I stick by that, you have to think about your customers: who they are, their needs and wants.  However, having said that one of the things that really creates memorable experiences is memorable people. 

So what makes that personal experience memorable?  Well it can be memorable for all the wrong reasons – Basil Fawlty springs to mind.  However, your goal as a tourism business is to create a memorable experience for all the right reasons.

Clearly it will differ depending on the person or the situation but let me tell you about a couple of my experiences.

Belly Buttons

My favourite tour operator, so far, is Gary Muir from Wild Over Walpole in Walpole Western Australia: the belly button of the world, according to Gazza.  So what makes his tour so memorable? Obviously his knowledge is amazing, his boat is clean and well presented, the area of the tour is absolutely stunning and his mum’s lemon Madeira cake is worth walking over hot coals. For me what takes it up another notch is how completely personal the tour is.  He engages his audience, finds out where they are from, what they are interested in and links them all back to Walpole.  He also tells stories, and he tells them really well, about his family, his ancestors, first interactions with the Aboriginal people and stories about other settlers of the time.  By the time you leave the tour you feel like you have a whole new family.


I’m a bookaholic – there I’ve said it!  My husband reckons I should join Bookaholics Anonymous.  So naturally I like to hang out in book shops – but not any old shop – it needs to be somewhere that the people working there love books as much as I do!  I search out little tags that give me recommendations from the staff.  One of the best ways of getting an insight into someone is to ask what book they are reading.  I used to love a little shop in Leederville but then all the book folk left and were replaced by surly youths.  One of my favourite bookshops is in Margaret River, the people in there really seem to like books and they have provided good lighting, comfy chairs and even coffee to encourage me to stay long and spend more.  Not that I need that much encouragement.

I could go on but I think the point is that if the experience is personal, displays some of your personality and passion and engages the customer as if they were an old friend not a potential source of profit and possible mess, you could definitely be onto a winner.  Love your customer and gather them to you and they will reward you with loyalty, repeat custom and their spare time and money.

Are you making it personal?  Your should be!

By the way - does anyone know a good book shop?

Reader Comments (5)

Hey Claire, I used to love the book store in Leederville but I never loved the high prices. I too am a verocious reader and so is my hubbie. Have you shopped online at Booktopia, it has every book you can think of, they are cheap and even better - free delivery. They are prompt too. My life has totally changed since discovering it. Happy reading! A :-)

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda S

HI Claire - I'm with you on bookshops. You can find a wonderful bookshop in Darwin, Cullen Bay. The shop is called 'Absolutely' and the guys who owns and runs it knows every little book you can find in his shop. To top it all off he has Sunday bubbles to entice his customers to browse, stay, chat and buy the right book for them. A

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

Excellent feedback guys! Clearly there is a bit of passion around the book thing - glad to see I am not alone being a bookaholic. I like the way your Darwin man thinks Aggie and I will definitely check out Booktopia.

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Love bookshops too and know the Margaret River one, it is one of the best. I do like Planet in Mt Lawley, especially because I can go late at night when I urgently need a new book to take to bed! I don't need booky people behind the counter because I like to browse on my own - a lesson for making it personal in itself!

I completely agree with the making it personal thing. So many websites, museums and other places I come across in my work never think about this - it is all about THEM - it is such a pity because it totally turns people off.

Thanks for the email too!

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Oooh I'd forgotten about Planet!

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

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