Tour operators that have learned to provide quality outdoor education opportunities are creating a win-win-win situation.
They are providing a positive learning environment for their guests and are attracting families.
They are creating family bonding experiences where both adults and children are having fun learning together and spending time being active outdoors.
They are creating more satisfied customers who will help to spread the news about the operation and the influence that it has had on them.
They are increasing their occupancy and creating a competitive advantage over other similar operations.
They are creating more responsible citizens that will have a ripple effect on the long-term outcomes of the area.
They can attract school, church and other student groups who enjoy the who are looking for the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while they learn about the environment.
Creating the right programs that will attract these families takes some research and talented staff.
Successful strategies for developing environmental education program can be learned by others who have spent years developing and refining their programs and are now reaping the benefits.
There are several keys to developing an environmental education program for your guests:
Do Your Research
Get a good understanding of the most successful programs that others in your field have offered to get an idea of what people are looking for and responding to.
Take inventory of your environment and assets
Think about what you can realisticly offer your guests. Sometimes it is just about adding an education component to what you already have.
Analyze from your client’s perspective
Consider the logistics of how your guests will participate taking into account transportation, space and sitting room.
Think about what you will need to purchase in order to run the program.
It may be a good idea to consider building a dedicated interpretive center and central place for promoting and booking.
Hire the right people
Your staff will be critical to the success of your program. Make sure you do a thorough vetting process to make sure your staff has both the knowledge and personal skills to educate and entertain while being patient and professional. Personal skills and professionalism are most important.
Knowledge can be gained through training. The right staff will increase their knowledge for themselves overtime.
Leave a comment with your questions if you are interested in providing environmental education opportunities for your guests.
If you already run or are involved in successful environmental education, please add your expertise so as to help others who are creating their own.
If you are interested in providing environmental education programs for your guests. Please leave a comment or contact me.