Experience and product development (Attractions)

Research shows that successful destinations provide visitor experiences that meet the visitors’ needs and expectations and are true to the promises of their brand. They continuously maintain and enhance their existing products and where there are gaps or opportunities, they invest in new products, infrastructure, services and amenities that strengthen the destination’s appeal and competitiveness.

Today’s visitors are looking for engaging and enriching experiences with strong storytelling which is often multi- sensorial in nature. Designing great experiences requires good planning and understanding your ideal customer to create memorable experiences, provide value and high levels of satisfaction.

Encourage opportunities to support experience development and foster collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking, clustering and specialisation with other sectors where competitive advantages and mutual benefits exist.

Tourists take a jetboat ride with mountains in the background.

Vaughan Brookfield, Matukituki River, Wanaka

“Tourists are increasingly wanting highly personalised experiences in destination and the more they can be involved in the design and delivery of these experiences, the greater the value of the experience in terms of the visitor’s satisfaction and willingness to pay a premium price.”

Professor Terry Stevens, Stevens & Associates, Wales UK


  • Are the offered experiences meeting the needs and expectations of the domestic and international target markets?
  • Are we providing value and a quality visitor experience?
  • What are the current assets and strengths in our destination for developing products or experiences that are genuine and authentic?
  • Are there any gaps in the tourism offering and is there demand for it?
  • How can we develop new tourism experiences or enhance the existing ones, with a focus on collaboration, innovation and authentic and indigenous/cultural experiences?
  • Is there an opportunity to create a hero attraction(s) as a catalyst attractor?
  • Who are the right partners/actors to develop the experience(s)?
  • Is the sector actively engaged in quality assurance (e.g. Qualmark) and sustainability programmes (e.g. the TIA Tourism Sustainability Commitment)?
  • What supporting infrastructure, services and amenities are required, in both the short and long term, to improve and manage the visitor experience better? Who are the potential partners in delivering these?
  • What are the pathways for turning ideas into investable propositions?
  • How do we attract investment?
  • What support is required and how can we access this (e.g. RTO, EDA, Te Puni Kōkiri, NZTE, TNZ, New Zealand Māori Tourism)?

“It’s always been a part of our vision at Hobbiton Movie Set to introduce a new experience or develop an existing one each year. This keeps the experience fresh and ever evolving. It’s crucial to keep the visitor experience at the core of what you do, and to ensure this is a priority for any tourism product development.”

Shayne Forrest, GM Sales & Marketing Hobbiton™ Movie Set