Reunion revitalised


(Posted 12th October 2016)

Understanding what today’s traveler is looking for when considering an overseas trip is key to the Reunion Island Tourism Board (IRT) and a few weeks ago did IRT invite nearly two hundred tourism professionals in Reunion to a conference to showcase and discuss the new Reunion Island Tourism branding “The Ultimate Experience”.

Unveiled at the presentation was the new roadmap of the IRT, with experiential tourism at the heart of the territorial brand strategy defined by the IRT. Each year, thousands of travelers visit Reunion Island to experience everything it has to offer. Of course, to truly value a trip to this magical island, it is necessary to capitalize on experiential tourism.

The IRT therefore wants to place the traveler in the heart of an experience, with an interest in motivational factors which in turn generates emotion. In tourism, as elsewhere, delivering quality services is no longer enough to attract customers, retain and promote positive word of mouth. “We must go further and design experiments that engage emotionally throughout their stay”, says Willy Etheve, Director of the Reunion Island Tourism Board.

Today the traveler not only researches a destination, they look for an experience in the destination. When they visit Reunion Island, they want to live the experience. It is therefore necessary to be able to adapt to the expectations of visitors.

Four main themes have been identified that are key to the Reunion Island Ultimate Experience:
• Wellness & Health

• Nature & Leisure Sports

• Culture

• Gastronomy

Each theme will deliver on sensory dimensions – emotional, cognitive, social and serviceable of the tourism experience as a whole. The experiential approach promotes the products and services that evoke emotions. Experiential tourism invites visitors to engage in personal activities that are in line with their search for meaning. It involves all the senses, it engages the physical, emotional, social or intellectual, and it promotes the link with local communities while respecting the environment and its resources.

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