As a tour operator, we are keen at Rowing The WorldTM to create trips that rowers want to buy. It is a tremendous amount of work, and sometimes a big investment of money, to develop a trip to the standard of quality that we want. This is why we often run test trips. Typically by invitation only for past guests, test trips allow us to try out different rowing venues, develop relationships with our partner clubs, find good accommodation and restaurants and generally iron out unexpected wrinkles.
Even better is when we are approached by a group and asked to create a trip in a new destination. It is a clear sign that this trip could also be of interest to other rowers. With twenty years of experience of running adventure trips around the world, we have a maxim: ”What we want to offer is merely interesting. What matters is where people want to go and what they want to experience”.
A private trip to a new destination is often de facto a test trip. We have done this before and are doing it again in 2017 with our St. Petersburg, Russia trip. The invited participants benefit from a discounted trip price. It is a lot of fun to be involved in the creation of something. We have found that experienced testers understand that not everything will be known in advance, and things may not be as anticipated. So watch for an open trip to St. Petersburg in 2018 that will be offered, knowing that details have been tested and checked.
By the way, we had wonderful assistance from many individuals and clubs, including people in Canada, USA and the UK as we worked on this trip – but how we draw upon our worldwide rowing network is a theme for a different blog post. Thank you to all of those who helped us!
If you are a club or a small business you may only be interested or able to run trips in your immediate area. But these concepts still have application – in how your structure your trip, organize each day and perhaps especially in the non-rowing aspects. Be open to suggestions from guests, and perhaps ask the first ones for ideas and always feedback. Run a test trip with your club members or friends, so that you are fully prepared to offer an exceptional experience for your paying guests. Everyone benefits.
As part of The Rowing Travel HubTM, Rowing The WorldTM is offering services to build rowing tourism worldwide. These will be a series of examples or case studies of how an idea and dream gets translated into a successful rowing trip. We hope that you find both information and inspiration here for your dreams.