Behind all the products we design, there is a group of specialists in charge of "putting themselves in the shoes" of the traveller and creating the perfect experience for each one, responding to their needs and focusing on their safety. At LimaTours, it's all about the Product area.
We spoke with Dafne Vargas, Product Supervisor, to learn a little more about the team's work and how the "new normal" has led us to adapt to a different way of travelling in Peru.
1. How would you describe a product developer’s job?
The day-to-day work is exciting. We hunt for new available experiences, or for the opportunity to innovate and create them. It can be a demanding and challenging job because you need to find ways to ‘scale the walls’ imposed by the competition, as well as those you impose upon yourself, and, more importantly, you need to make sure you meet the expectations set by the passenger.
2. What details do you take into account when assembling a new product?
The most important thing for me is to focus on who the person we are creating the product for is. I let the prospective audience guide me and look to build experiences that will guarantee that their trip is memorable and different. We also consider the potential this product offers: its quality and authenticity, and if it can really be fully experienced and not just be a passive approach. Whether it be a product that is tailor-made for a specific client or one created for a mass audience; it must contain the essence of the experience you wish to impart.
3. What inspires you when you have to create these experiences?
Travel! Sometimes you need to get out of your environment, walk around, and get your shoes dirty. You need to eat something new or retry something you ate before because every time it’s a little bit different. You need to know the local people who live in the places you visit. Then, it is about figuring out how to transmit what you are feeling in these destinations to those who come to visit.
Also, social networks and the internet are helpful because they act as little windows into the world. These days, you can find a plethora of products that can be transformed or that can inspire completely new ideas.
4. This year has been very hard for tourism, and the entire business has had to adapt to a “new normal”. How did we do it from a Product-area point of view?
Fortunately, LimaTours has always taken great care of the quality of its services, which is why the current portfolio of products and all our shared services operated with a limited volume of passengers. It allowed us to have personalized handling of our passengers and provide a complete experience. Now it allows us to control the protocols better to safeguard the safety of all.
On the other hand, our proposal has always been to get out of the traditional route and work on different experiences, decentralizing our visits out of the most congested areas. Today that means avoiding crowds during the tours.
5. How did protocols were worked?
The operations team has worked on the biosafety protocols for our entire operation. Some processes were already part of the guidelines that we used before, during and after the service. Now we have reinforced them.
These protocols articulate all the actors involved in the development of activities such as training for the office and field team, standards for disinfection of vehicles and equipment, use of personal protective equipment, regulation of interaction with passengers, among others.
6. What is your vision of the future outlook from the Product area?
Besides the established protocols- that have come to stay - we now focus our attention on the design of new experiences. Our approach is oriented to the trends of sustainable, experiential and adventure tourism, which we saw taking a more significant presence before the Covid-19 context, and that now is strongly positioned.
We want to offer the new tourist, beyond visits, moments that are kept alive in their memories and that they can share with the world, that have had meaning and value of return to society, creating a positive impact on the community and the environment.
7. Finally, what do you think "the perfect product" is?
We should aim to elicit excitement in our passengers so that when they think back and remember their trip here, they smile with nostalgia and have the desire to return. For a tour operator, the product has to be sustainable and profitable at the same time. Achieving both is not easy, but it is always what we aim for in LimaTours.