Monday, February 25, 2013

Designing three wheel experiences

Few weeks back when I was taking a stroll around Kandy town, I noticed a colorfully decorated three wheeler ( aka tuk tuk) with 3 foreign passengers coming to an abrupt halt in the middle of the road. I was thinking "Poor souls, welcome to Sri Lanka". I expected them to panic but what unfolded in front of me was quiet a spectacle.

They got off the three wheeler and while one or two of the passengers were trying to push and start the three wheeler, others took turns to take pictures.From my view of the world, I expected them to be in dismay and frustrated. On the contrary they were fascinated, they took time to give different poses and each one was trying their best to get a perfect picture, so that it could end up as their profile picture on facebook!

Then I realized that they were taking the three wheeler not as a mode of transport or for the sake of ease of travelling, their whole idea was to experience a three wheel ride! For the experience seeker it turned out to be the epitome of their experience! I was thinking that people in tourism should probably learn out of this and 'design experiences'.

I thought I was smart to discover an idea, where something people look upon as a negative experience can be sold when packaged nicely as 'the experience'. This concept was working in my mind during the days after this and was making me feel good for a change, that I had been smart and spotted a different kind of opportunity. The notion of this 'feeling smart' evaporated a few days back, when I saw the same three wheeler, but with a different cast play out the same script! Co-incidence? Established model? Will let you decide...

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