Catalonia has a plethora of magical places to visit. A local tourism provider was wondering how can they help tourists discover these, while also promoting local culture? The challenge for this project was three-fold: looking at the company and its needs to evenly spread tourism and avoid seasonality and aglomerations, discovering the tourists' motivations and current behaviors, and investigating the tourism providers who want to promote their offers through the client. Thus, the team investigated these three points of view and started crafting a solution that could meet their needs.
The research goal was to describe a process through which tourists will explore and enjoy a diversity of experiences, modes of transport and accomodations, while getting discounts or rewards along the way. In order to understand the challenge ahead, the team started with research. Because this research was made during the lockdown for COVID-19, the research was done remote and it included online interviews with tourism experts, tourists and tourism providers. This data gave the team the necessary input to start buiding ways to visualize the data and present it to the client (like the service blueprint below), design prototypes to test the concept (mobile and web prototypes) and show the business value of the idea through a business value canvas.
After some initial research, both qualittative and quantitative, the team started to map the potential service. In order to map the entire process of service delivery, the activities from each stage and the actors involved in the future service, including back-stage actors and processes, the team constructed a service blueprint. This was an opportunity to illustrate critical steps of the user journey, important tools and actions needed in order for the service to function.
A mobile app prototype was used to test a gamified experience for tourists coming to Catalonia, Spain. In the app they could book various attractions, and discover magical places and beautiful scenery while gaining points, leveling up, and getting rewards. In the app it was introduced a concept from product psychology, called variable reward. This variable reward refers to creating wanting in a product. The team looked at three categories around which the concept in the app was build: reward of the tribe, reward of the hunt and reward of the self (read my article about this concept here).
A web app concept -My Grand Offerings- was also desidned in order to test the idea of providing tourism providers with a dashboard where they could manage their offers, get marketing tips and check their billings. This tool could help tourism providers attract more tourists and avoid seasonality.
Looking from a service design perspective, this project was rich in complexity and it implied taking into account not only the client's needs but also the 2 types of customer: the tourist and the tourism provider. The project achieved to offer 2 solutions, and both brought value as follows:
1. For the tourist, the Grand Adventure app concept could provide tourists with a sense of membership and belonging, mastery through the different levels and also a game experience that can attract them into discovering more places in Catalonia. By getting rewards and free items, the tourists would discover new secret spots. The app would also customize their level of tourist “skills” into different traveler characters related to their preferences, which could give them a special loyalty feeling.
2. For the providers, the Grand Offerings tool could help the provider attract more tourists and avoid seasonality, manage their resources wisely, and have an overview over their spendings, offers and possible actions that need to be implemented in order to provide an amazing customer experience. Furthermore, as a concept, the forecast feature could help providers make better decisions for their businesses, take more accurate marketing actions and be prepared for the flow of customers.
Overall, the concepts presented were received positively by the client, who saw value in the design of the ideas and the link between the mobile app and the web app. The team presented also further directions to advance these concepts, including :