How does the customer journey in a national park look like?

National parks play an important role in tourism marketing and product development of a region. An attractive attraction excites tourists to visit a particular region. However, in order to motivate tourists to visit the area and to create a positive customer experience, communication towards the visitors should take place at the right time and in the right way. National Park Weerribben Wieden wanted to improve the experience of their visitors. Therefore, ETFI made an analysis of the "customer journey" in the park.

Customer journey in tourism

Students from the Tourism Management programme of Stenden University described the customer journey process from the first contact moment with National Park Weerribben Wieden to the actual visit and beyond. They analysed the customer contact, the so-called "touch points" from a communications perspective.

6 main results of our customer journey analysis:

  • Day-trippers and overnight visitors are inspired by friends and family to visit the area
  • Motivation for a visit is also caused by communication via social media channels
  • There is significantly less English information online available for foreign visitors
  • Visitors do not seem to recognize the label "national park" directly
  • Before, during and after the visit is a clear visual representation of the region is necessary
  • The information focuses on nature education for children, information on species and information about activities

Challenge for national parks

Creating an optimal customer experience is a hot topic for the Dutch national parks. Due to higher consumer demand and changing lifestyles the traditional way of nature education is no longer sufficient.

The future of experience in national parks

Which icons, places, emotions and circumstances play a role in the experience of different target groups? To answer this question, a qualitative analysis of the visitors' experiences is necessary. The photos and videos that visitors have on their mobile phones are very suitable for this analysis. This information is the starting point for the redesign of the customer journey in Dutch national parks.

This blog was written by Maaike Bergsma.