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Development of an experiential tourism system in the Basque Country

Success story

Development of an experiential tourism system in the Basque Country

Service Area: Destination Marketing
Capabilitiess: Experiential system , Tourism development, Implementation plan , Product development, Sales & commercialisation
Client: Deputy Regional Ministry of Tourism in the Basque Country and the Basque Tourism Agency (Basquetour)
Location: The Basque Country, Spain

Vast plains and mountain massifs - which make for pleasant treks, green forests, breathtaking cliffs, rich marshlands and relaxing beaches. There is a lot for lovers of natural areas to discover in Euskadi. The beauty and diversity of its rugged terrains is clearly seen, not only in areas declared as natural parks but also in a large part of its territory.

EuskadiThe Basque Tourism Agency (Basquetour) had a new marketing and operations plan to implement. In this context, the Agency needed advice and technical support to correctly implement and develop some of the product tactics defined in the plan (experiences, playgrounds and circuits, experience programme for 3 capitals, 'Euskadi breaking, free days and holidays' concepts, and the development of 3 eno-gastonomic DMCs...).

These product tactics, whose implementation was commissioned to THR, implied firstly to identify the 25 concept experiences which explained the most remarkable features of the Basque Country, which distinguish it from other destinations.
Subsequently, businessmen, attraction managers, local agents, etc. were invited to share their proposals for experiences in the line of the 25 concept experiences. Over 300 proposals were presented and assessed according to a consistent methodology which determined which could be a part of the top experiences.

A technical sheet was elaborated for each experience, as well as a plan of operation improvement and sales contents. These contents were uploaded to the website of the Basque Tourism Agency (Basquetour) just as they were handed in. Moreover, the system of reservations and system management and maintenance procedures were designed for the system of Top Experiences, and the Basquetour staff were trained on them.

Examples of tourism experiences in the Basque Country


Experiencias País Vasco
Looking for the Great Wave                       Cider tastes better when you pick it

Experiencias País Vasco
Cheese with label of origin                        The Basque coast from the air

Source: turismo.euskadi.net

Some years later, this initiative exceeded Basquetour's expectations, as well as those of the sector. In 2013, the experiences website generated 10% of the total reservations, as the rest of them were made through national wholesale agencies, specialised international agencies (in surf, gastronomy, etc.), providers' websites and the main national reservation engines.

The objectives set and obtained were:

  • Firstly, the Basque Country responded to demand trends with an experience product. Thus, it was able to distribute tourism better throughout the territory and increase the average stay.
  • Secondly, the plan increased business activity oriented to the development of experiential tourism products, with over 100 suppliers and growing associated to the experience system.
  • Thirdly, management structures were created for the experience system at a county level which allowed an increase in public-private and inter-territory cooperation.

Current map of tourism experiences in the Basque Country


Tourism experience map
Source: turismo.euskadi.net

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