The Mansfield/Richland County CVB has a long tradition working with the Group Tour market. Watching motorcoaches pull into area attractions and hotels makes CVB Group Tour Director Jodie Snavely very happy. “While some cities stopped pursuing this market, Mansfield continued to cultivate the long-standing relationships we had built over the years. We create new reasons to reach out to our contacts to bring them back to the area. We’re currently engaging Tour Operators to bring their groups to experience The Shawshank Trail, among other area favorites, said Snavely. She also emphasized, “It’s those extra goodies you offer to tour groups that can make you stand out from your competitors and make a trip memorable.” Here are some fun ideas to consider:
- VIP treatment! All guests want to feel welcome. A little extra attention will make your business truly group-friendly. Welcome them as soon as they arrive. Offer to help with luggage. Literally roll out the red carpet when they arrive at your hotel.
- Refreshments or a “take home” gift for everyone on the tour. A coupon will entice the group to visit your gift shop and hand out freshly-baked wrapped cookies as each guest steps back on the coach will create a positive impression.
- An exclusive peek “behind the scenes” at your business. They want to see what the general public doesn’t get to see.
- A costumed greeter or special photo opportunity. All ages are into cool selfies.
- A docent with good storytelling skills. Is there someone passionate about their product or business and are eager to share their story?
- Craft demonstrations and hands-on projects offer guests something to brag about when they get home!
- Bring on the Food. All age groups have one thing in common- food! Incorporate food tastings into a tour (appetizers, local foods, desserts). Take food one step farther with explanations, samples and recipes of local food specialties. Add even more excitement by having the Chef come out after the tasting to answer questions or greet the group.
Have an idea? We can add ideas to an itinerary for group tours! Contact Jodie Snavely, Group Tour Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-525-1300 ext. 32.