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On September 1 & 3, 2015, the cities of Santiago and Temuco, Chile, each hosted one-day AdventureEDU training events. Courses offered were Adventure Tourism Market Trends, Adventure Tourism Marketing and Selling Skills, providing practical marketing knowledge and sales experience to help companies grow and expand their businesses. The educators for this event were Jack Delf and Irene Lane.The training events were sponsored and supported by SERNATUR (the National Tourism Service of Chile), and the 90+ participants included companies that had obtained SERNATUR’s “Q” seal for Quality and/or the “S” seal for Sustainability.
Both host cities’ participant groups consisted of a mix of experienced hotelier and tour operator professionals who thoroughly enjoyed the training and came away with practical knowledge and tools they could use immediately in their business. Participant engagement was high and many businesses shared that they had made new connections with each other and with their government counterparts at SERNATUR. Cristian Levy of Amity Tours was enthusiastic: “these courses have been by far the best that Temuco has seen in the last 10 years.”
The Adventure Tourism Market Trends discussion reviewed global trends in adventure travel and shared a psychographic analysis of adventure travelers from the U.S. In the Adventure Tourism Marketing course, participants learned about marketing trends and best practices for content, websites, SEO, social media, marketing channels and online marketing, and dived into a case study about what not to do in your marketing. The practical lessons learned during the Selling Skills portion included understanding the stages of selling and how to pitch to the adventure travel trade. The course finished with an exercise in how to make the most of trade shows and get past rejections.
“We wanted to bring this learning opportunity to our tourism businesses to provide them with new tools which allow them to update their knowledge and skills on marketing and sales. In addition these seminars triggered something very valuable – the sharing of new ideas, networking and connections among the participants. The mutual collaboration initiated in these events may result in commercial partnerships and the creation of new tourism products that will contribute to the diversification of tourism experiences in Chile,” said Solange Fuster, Promotion Chief, SERNATUR.
In addition to the course content, the participants were able to discuss specific challenges for their businesses. These challenges included developing direct booking capabilities, handling seasonal variations in reservations, handling insurance with international customers, and integrating and using a wide range of global CRM platforms between partner businesses.
All participants received a certificate of completion, an e-badge for their website, as well as printed materials to acknowledge the courses they passed.