Activity centres like paintballing, laser-tag, arcades, and go-kart tracks have felt the effects of coronavirus just as much as the tourism industry. These activities are built around group interaction and close contact, which means that even in the reopening stages it’s difficult for them to function at full capacity or even at all. We’ve explored the theme of pivots and how you can expand your business offerings to stabilise your finances amidst such widespread uncertainty. Now we are focusing on what options there are for activity centres, businesses who may not have the same flexibility in creating new products as tour operators or are simply struggling to convince customers to engage with them again.
At Home Packages
If your activity centre relies heavily on large group sizes, government regulations around the world will more than likely prevent you from reopening anytime soon. This is not a reason to collapse in despair, it’s time to get creative and consider how you can cater to those at home. Let’s start by looking at escape rooms, groups in small enclosed spaces are not the most appealing proposition at the moment, but there are alternatives. Can You Escape in the UK have moved their puzzles online, allowing groups of friends or colleagues to gather together virtually to solve a mystery. If technology is not your strong point, why not try selling murder mystery game kits, promoting them as a great way for friends to get together in their own homes. You create the plot, scripts, and characters and your customers get to enjoy a night of entertainment in the comfort of their own home. You could even create family-friendly editions to give parents an activity to keep their children entertained.
As a paintball centre, consider selling an at-home paintballing kit & guide. Be sure to set a reasonable age limit and cover any health and safety regulations in your guide. By providing the home-friendly equipment (and any safety gear) and getting your staff to create an explanatory video, not only are you giving your team something to do, but you will have also have created a new product that you can continue to sell in the future.
For many, operating at full capacity is not an option at the moment, but finding ways to scale down can be equally as challenging. Teamworks Karting has added the option of competing on virtual car racing simulators in an attempt to reduce person-to-person contact without sacrificing the competitive aspect of the activity.
Themed evenings are an innovative way to promote your activities and encourage people to engage with your business. Think of a theme befitting of your business, for example, entice those nostalgic 20-somethings to come for a go-karting night with a Mario Kart theme. If you own a paintballing centre or laser tag arena, choose a movie theme like the Hunger Games to entice all ages, asking them to come dressed in costume and even giving them characters beforehand. Invite fewer people than you normally would and require that they all wear masks. Adding an extra layer to your normal offerings could be the nudge your customers need to return.
Activities for Kids
Schools remained closed around most of the world, but parents are still continuing to work with the added stress of childcare issues. As an activity centre, you can organise a day of activities for children, limiting the group size in accordance with your government’s regulations, to give parents a free day to catch up on work and errands. It will require a little extra organization and in many cases security checks to work with children, but if it helps to bring in more customers, it’ll be worth going the extra mile. Organising a kids day is a flexible and viable option for most activity centres, and opens up your company to a new audience.
Now is the time to look at your business and see where you can squeeze in an extra product which is relevant to your business. If you commonly host parties, consider offering a food option. For example, a picnic for paintballing parties, a lunch for team-building activities, or if you or any of your team can bake, why not offer a birthday cake service. Do a practice run on quantities, cost, and time by preparing lunch or cake for your team, if it goes well run with it!
If you don’t already, start offering photo packages for your guests. Selling photos to parents at children’s parties and to companies at team-building events only requires the initial investment of a camera. Tourism Tiger is a proud partner of PicThrive, a photo and video platform specifically geared towards tour and activity operators. This offers you a secure and sales-driven method of sharing photos with guests and is a convenient stepping stone into creating this new product. Contact us if you’re interested and what to know more.
At times like these, it’s important to highlight the conditions which are positively impacting businesses, and for activity centres, the domestic travel trend plays in your favour. People are desperately looking for activities with family and friends, but getting the balance between safety, consideration, and interesting products can get you ahead of your competitors. These additions and any other extras can help to recuperate some of that precious revenue you lost during the pandemic. Be sure to consider social distancing and safety measures with any new products you develop. As we’ve said time and time again, cleanliness and safety is the top priority for potential visitors right now. Lastly, get creative! No one knows your business and your customers like you do, put yourself in their shoes and create additions to your offerings that you can be proud of.
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