Tourism Buildings – Tricks of the Trade: Unique Offerings

Not feeling creative?
Here’s some tips for how to think outside the square.

If your business is looking to expand its tourism experience offering or engage better with customers, you’re probably grappling with a lot of questions. What makes you unique, what can you offer that’s different? What experience will you provide? How will you think of something unique?

Our office is full of Architects and Interior Designers, but even as professional designers who go about our day exercising our creative muscles, not every solution is obvious or easily uncovered. Brainstorming is an important part of our creative processes, and we have tools and techniques that we use both in the office and during our workshops.

If you’re stuck for where to start to come up with ideas and how they might apply to real projects, then here are a few of our techniques for brainstorming to get you on your way.

What is the industry doing, and what makes a successful tourism experience in today’s market?

Best practice examples are fantastic because they are already in operation. You can speak to the people involved, visit their facilities and understand the impact of tourism experiences on the buildings and grounds and influence of the shape of those spaces on the way the business operates, review the data and quantify the success. It is an effective way to understand what ideas appeal to your market, right now.

Find your best practice examples by looking at award winners, TripAdvisor ratings and recommendations from colleagues and industry.

While best practice and market research can offer a really interesting journey of discovery, and can lead you to discover all sorts of possibilities that you hadn’t thought of, don’t stop there!

What are businesses in other industries doing to achieve what you want to achieve?

Examples from other industries can throw a different light on what you could achieve, and how you could make it happen. Its important to understand your own brand and philosophy, and seek out successful businesses in other industries that achieve similar goals. What do they offer their customers, how do they engage and how do they sell? What character does their building have, what spaces are most utilised and how does it work operationally.

Most examples shouldn’t be taken literally, but they can inform a really interesting change to how your business engages with visitors.

Out of the box idea generation.

A business that wants to compete on experience rather than price must have a unique and authentic offering. We use games and exercises around word play, word combination and association to look for totally new ideas for our architectural and interiors projects. Pose yourself a question and then gather together the people who know your business, both internally and externally. Don’t worry about how outrageous the solutions might be, have some fun coming up with surprising, unusual and outside the box solutions. Once you have several interesting ideas, you can use them as a base to flesh out what might actually work for your brand and business.


For most tourism businesses, working on your buildings and grounds is a big deal. There is a lot of money and time at stake and can be difficult to know where to start. So let’s just start with a coffee.