How do you find your "niche" in tourism?

There are key moments in the development of your travel agency when you feel like you are starting it almost from scratch. You have years of experience, repeat clients, and new clients periodically, but somehow you feel like you've lost your "direction." In a way, you start to feel the desire to be "different", to have a clearer identity, to act in a clearer space, in a "niche". You can find yourself in this situation either at the beginning of the journey, or after many years when you feel that you are "taking a step back". If you feel or have ever felt this way, we hope this article will help you.

But what exactly is this "niche"?

Beyond the (probably much more advanced) theoretical definitions, a niche is basically a specific and specialized segment of a larger market that caters to a particular group of customers and offers services that meet the specific needs and requirements of that group. Here we are not talking about general types of tourism such as outgoing and incoming, but something much more specialized. Some examples would be: culinary tourism, getaway tourism (also called retreat), adventure tourism, sports tourism, wedding tourism or even singles tourism. Niches can be however "weird" they may seem as long as they have a target audience.

What is a customer avatar?

You will find many times talking about the customer avatar and how it helps you in promotion. Often the focus falls on the "wrong" point of the promotion and the discussion about the customer avatar starts when it is already too late. 

The customer avatar is the profile you imagine (and test) of your ideal customer. What he looks like, what he does, what he likes, what he doesn't like.

The clearer you have an idea of your customer avatar, the easier you will be able to carve your way into a niche in an already quite bushy service category: tourism.

What do you do with the "niche"?

The moment you manage to draw that customer avatar and identify the particular group of customers who do not yet have fully satisfied services in the Romanian travel market, you can start building an "attack plan".

You clearly define your target audience starting from the customer avatar, create the tourist services around them, create the messages and choose the communication channels where your customer is and start the communication process with them.

Very often you don't necessarily need to look for that completely different "something" or a completely new niche. You can identify opportunities in the market in niches already "served" by other competitors but who do not always follow through. Amazon didn't invent the eBook Reader, but it did make it pretty much the best (or almost certainly the most popular).

One of the solutions to truly differentiate is to stay true to that niche, not to fall prey to the temptations of related segments / categories that can bring higher income in the short term but with the "sacrifice of the road" that you have already taken.

What should you consider when choosing your niche?

  1. Choose the segment you are passionate about

Passion is both the perfect impetus when you need to "get on" with something, and the perfect motivator while doing your work. Work seems easier to you, organization does not require substantial effort and you simply feel that everything comes naturally. In addition, if you are really passionate about it, it means that you have experienced, studied, understood all aspects and are ready at any time to use all your knowledge effectively (and profitably). You can think of a series of workshops or unique experiences that you can include in the program you want to sell. A world of unlimited possibilities will very naturally open up to you.

2. Choose the segment for which you feel most prepared

In choosing a niche, the most essential aspect is to know everything (as much as possible) about what you want to sell. You must be prepared and anticipate the questions or situations that may arise. You need to be able to clearly explain the pros and cons of a niche holiday choice and make valid arguments to convince potential customers. You need to structure your message so that it reaches exactly where you want it to and segment your audience.

3. Try to expand the possibilities

Think what it would be like if there was no impediment and you could promote the craziest and most thrilling vacation or maybe the most relaxing vacation. Research the market, talk to your customers (you've seen how eager they are to comment on posts) and learn more about your customers and what they want. 

Then use your specialist experience and try to figure out what your customers really want and haven't been able to express. Because the difference in service is made in understanding the unexpressed desires. Good luck!