Tag Archives: Leisure

Leisure communities of practice

Using leisure as knowledgebuilding

A practice is defined (Shove) as  ‘a process of integration resulting in a structured arrangement’. It results in a practice that exists for a while as a recognisable entity (Richards; Shove)

Within leisure and community of practice, all the basic elements are present to facilitate learning-environments. However inherent to the structure of international citytour companies and the way they function, also gives little affordance to co-learn, collaborative teaching and flow of knowledge through actual practice. The quality of staff is not always high enough to do it, although all the ingredients for successful knowledgebuilding are present.

Quote Greg Richards:

Most leisure practices also involve the development of particular skills, competences or knowledge. When we play sport we increase our level of skill, and this increases our desire to participate (what Scitovsky (1976) has termed ‘skilled consumption’).

Ofcourse, most activities in travel and leisure have a more or less fixed timescale and are modular. In travel, people share a space and place and move on, either into their ordinary lives or the next travel location.

Let guides learn from eachother, from experience, co-production and co-creation, and let them pass the knowledge on to eachother.

Knowledge creation takes place through practical interaction and informal learning, making it accessable to new and even temporary tourguides and several stronger local leadership-roles. They create “communities of practice.”

Why optimism guides your guiding

Optimists are attractive!

Your guides in the various European cities are valuable hubs of knowledge! They are usually popular- certainly withing pubcrawls and partytype groups and the have an optimistic quality about them.

In networks- both virtual and in real-life, optimism is seen as attractiveness. Further more, other people react to an attractive quality in a positive way. Optimists are usually more liked. Even the ones that don’t like him or her, will react in a positive way, as it is strategically unwise not to, as other perceive them with a positive outlook.

They have a high-degree centrality within their networks, which means they are the local connectors, the hubs; although perhaps not the best connector to the wider network.

Organisations like yours can be made to be perceived as entities, with structures, a face of faces, local presence and be laden with attractive traits. They can alternate in being extraverted and intraverted. That requires depth! Depth you cannot give if you are too transient in your local presence.

Hostels and the city: 5 ways to engage local networks

Hostels and local networks: Scaling up your localness!

You can be a big ass hostelchain or a small and cozy local hostel, running on volunteers, depending on your uniqueness locally. In both cases there are effective and affordable ways of making the most of your localness!

Below are 5 scalable ways to engage local networks with. Scalable in the sense that all 5 of them are reachable for small and big hostels alike!

1) Be a local stakeholder, not (just) an international one

A hostel or cityguiding company, aswell as touroperator, should try and be a local institution. Tapping into the local urban grain actually connects you to the local culture, cultural institutions, startups and local networks;

Source: Bevolo 2016
Source: Bevolo 2016

2) Local culture is a carrier of localness, not of your brand

You’re being all wonderfully local and all that, ofcourse. Remember to see local culture as carriers of localness- your main trait -and not neccesarily lf your brand. Don’t make them wear your t-shirt but BE  the t-shirt; adopt it and it’s underground qualities!

(...) we’ve set up programmes like Stay ‘n’ Play and ClinkCREATIVE which give musicians and artists free accommodation at the hostels in exchange for playing a gig or displaying their work (...) Liam Doyle (Clink Hostels)

3) Use your international network!

Most tourism stakeholders forget to utilise to local stakeholders, that what would give them actual influence: their own international networks!

4) Utilise the non-tangible networks the city has to offer

Where there is culture, there are buildings. Where there are buidings there is place, mobility, perception of practice and hundreds of years of mobility along the same structures. They are more often than not tangible in their form, nor are they easy to discover and address. People around cultural hubs in cities, are highly mobile within different kinds of networks.

Generator Hostels has become known for its successful use of urban, local networks. ClinkNoord in Amsterdam, part of Clink Hostels, try to integrate local culture and art as much as possible within design and events.

www.urbanexploringtours.nl/
www.urbanexploringtours.nl/
Urban grain and tourism-coproductions
Urban Exploring tours seeks to integrate local urban grain into the localness as understood by the travel industry.

The commercial interaction-chain of buying, using and selling, has different rules there, as it utilises ways of reciprocation that run through several layers of exchange and mobilty, often hidden from sight by for instance local habits, festivals, exchanging gifts, producing services and by perceptions of the urban grain.

Artists are wellconnected and move around different networks they don’t neccesarily use directly, but will know when to access through embeddedness and communities of practice.

Liam Doyle of Clink hostels continues:
It gives creativity and collaboration – between tourists and locals, artists and audiences – the chance to flow through our hostels and out into the cities. We really love that and think it makes Clink really unique,
Liam Doyle at WYSE Tavel conference 2016

5) When you’re starting up, why not be a startup?

Since you’re starting out- beit a hostel, a cityguiding company or even just a new local project, why not actually be a local startup?

  • It positions you on the new-and-happening side of entrepeneurship;
  • You can actively penetrate the local businessmarket;
  • Tap into local business-networks and expats;
  • Leverage your ideas and investments
  • Expect to be smiled upon by large community of highly skilled and well networked people.
  1. https://angel.co/amsterdam/online-travel/jobs
  2. https://www.startupfesteurope.com/site/traveling-to-amsterdam/
  3. http://startupamsterdam.org/partner/travel-bird/
  4. http://www.eu-startups.com/2016/03/amsterdam-based-travel-tracking-app-polarsteps-secures-e500k-in-funding/
  5. amsterdam startups-list.com/startups/travel

Staging the tour-location for groups: Event-space and perception

Staging the tour-location for groups: Event-space and perception

Free course excerpt

When staging a tour-location, we use several techniques, deriving from different research- and practice-areas. When staging a tour-location- regardless of the research and theoretical backgrounds used, always remember that you are part of the group, room and space aswell. If it doesn’t feel right to you, you might very well be right. The trick then, is to find out what exactly is “wrong” and what to do about it.

This lesson excerpt is free to download below!

The group versus the interior

You can pre-stage the location, to work in your advantage. Before you arrive with the group, make sure you have set everything up and discussed this with the pub owner.

Instead of asking the owners permission on several small actions, ask them if it’s alright to “set the location”. It prevents having to explain every detail. The theoretical part of this is abstract and not everyones cup of tea, so take your time.

Using some basics of Grouping in Gestalt, Ï will show some examples of use in practice.

Join the locals

How do the participants know who are locals and who aren’t? Most of them will want to meet locals and be part of them, for the duration of the tour and foreseeable period of time afterwards.

There are many semiotic features that define who is part of which group, how they comunicate with eachother and other groups. Meaning, inclusion, exclusion- basically all communication that we perceive and can process, is transfered by “language” both parties can understand and can communicate about on meta level, using the modalities they know but also the modalities they know, the other “party” will understand and and communicate about.
There is much, much, much more going on than that! There are forms of communication going, that not yet have means of both sending and receiving from one set to an other. There simply is no language to describe the unknown. This produces an alternative form of sending and receiving that is formed by proximity and the amount of events wherein different groups meet eachother within a certain space. This is called emergent effects, as opposed to stereotypical effects.

Using “similarity” and “closure” as metaphors, when arriving at the pub the “opening-scene” of the tour-location, can be made to invite the participants to join a setting that has an opening, just for them. An oval table with a few locals sitting on just one side of it, looks inviting to join (using “closure” as visual metaphor) and the tour-participants can easily feel welcomed by either the locals themselves or the familiarity of the tourguide with the locality itself. Use your position to link the physical local to the tour participants.

bar stoelen tafel op tour graphics
Open shape, but closed-off and uninviting, because of use of different materialities (wood, vs cushions), shape and grouping

In the bar-picture below, the “localness” is emphasised by the broken circle of locals on bar-stools. The broken space can be very inviting to join them but can also be potentially threatening. In this case, the empty space is used as service-space (vitrine), which would be less inviting for this particular purpose.

bar met citytour green

A table is a much more inviting environment for the tour participants to join the locals. Hospitality is conveyed and experienced through the righ modalities: texture, materiality of space, light, heat, brightness, scent, atmoshpere, a turntaking of reciprical behaviours, food and drink!

Sitting on one side of the table (staged by you as tour director), the other side seems welcoming and intices to join. Whatever you do, do not place a “reserved” sign on the table.

In the picture below, you see 2 examples. One of them is configured as “closed”, the other one is “open.”

tourlocation open en gesloten opstelling

Mediating objects

In other content (posts, blogs, lectures and articles) I have written about mediation, mediating qualities of objects and spaces. Make sure the participants recognise typically local objects or habits and behaviour typical for local or national life, without trying to be too spefic. It is better to let the participants weave threads together and arrive to conclusions themselves. It enriches the experience and gives them a sense of insight.

In the stillframe below, we see a drinking vessel, typical for Valencian culture. The tour participants are asked to engage in drinking from the vessel (there’s a trick to it; I’ve tried it), but later on in the evening. In this case the tour is very clearly about tapas and the guided consumption of it. People are less engaged with local culture in a participatory manner, but very much consume the experience.

The cityguide in this example is Suzy Anon y Garcia– a tourguide from Valencia I know personally and can recommend her to everyone! She’s a foodie if ever I met one and knows everything there is to know about food and Valencian food in particular!

Want more? See our courses section!

Nieuw: Experience design for hostels and B&B

Experience Design for Hostels and Bed & Breakfast

Experience design for hostels is an as yet not fully explored way of engaging and maintaining their clientèle aswell as the hostel, in a way that suits the scale of their venue and ambitions, is maintainable on all sides and is highly social.

Hostel experience design is fully customisable, consisting of :

  • pre-defined programs in several relevant subjects, in loose modules;
  • Custom made experiential Concepts- in theory aswell as in practice, following the hostels core-values and strengths
  • Custom made events for hostels;
  • Implementation of Event-Concepts

Including locative- and urban gaming for hostels!

General information

Click here for abbreviated outline.

Experience Design for low-budget or small hostels!

Have a hostel.. big one, small one, familiy hostel? Discover a new way to get your guests to have a superior experience for little money, at your hostel- before and beyond their stay.

Experience concepts are not only meant for big companies, large hotels and events.
Also smaller and family run hostels, can benefit from an allround, well thought through concept, to get your guests to have a wonderful time, remember their stay and to tell fellow travellers about their experiences. Although within the leisure- and tourist industry, hostels participate in a world where common tourist geographies apply in a very different way.
Even with a small budget, it is wholely possible to make it work!

Read some reviews for examples.

Abbreviated outline of the service

  • Quickscan of the hostel facilities
  • Interviews with the hostel owner, manager and staff
  • Guest-safari: Going on a trip as your guests’ guest

Topics

  • Domestic bliss as tourist-geography
  • Changing characteristics of the backpacker
  • Off-season trafic
  • Experiencemapping the custumers stay
  • Defining and using rhythmic behaviour and patterns
  • Servicedesign;
  • The hostel as a being-space or point of sale? Different functions
  • Your guests as a group

Modeling hostel entertainment

The machinations and meaning of pubcrawls and stag nights

  • Why do they do it?
  • How to handle drunk people
  • How to maintain authority over your group
  • Why it is a good idea to dress them as ducks
  • Offering an external photographer to accompany your group, reduces bad behaviour

Eventing en event-design for hostels & small hotels

  • How to handle changing tourist-geographies?

  • How to co-create your services with your guests;

  • How important are your guests? The hugely important backpacker.

Tourguide training

Basics

  • Pacing the tour, pacing the experience

An itinerary is about scenography and tension planning, not just about logistics;

  • Tour-operation training for guides!

Advanced and themed tourguiding

  • Immersive guiding: Keep your distance?
  • Being part of the group is only one of the guides many roles
  • Several types of analysing tours. Annotating video and hypervideo, from different points of view.

All observational notes, texts of the guides, their scripts and interviews, will be transcribed in software called ADVENE . ADVENE is designed to analyse audiovisual documents.

http://liris.cnrs.fr/advene/examples/nosferatu/exercises.html

Analysis of audiovisual content’ (http:// www./liris.cnrs.fr/advene/)

For instance:

  • POV1: Films te tourguide, talking about an item on the tour;
  • POV2: Films a spec. groupmember, listening to the guide
  • POV3: Films the behaviour of the group as a whole
  • Using and understanding space, speed, time and the senses
  • Using different modalities, affordances and mediators

Advanced training for museum guides

The use of the five senses allows the interpretation to rely less on the actual words and more on the overall experience,

An individual’s behaviour can be affected by rhe timing of the tour, environmental factors and emotional states.

Locative- and urban gaming

Be the one and only truely original source for unique gaming- and traveling experiences for your guests… wherever they are!

Through local activities and your own already running (succesful??) events and activities, I design urban and locative games, in which your guests get the unique local en special experiences they seek.

Although specifically made for each participating hostel, the backpacer-user of the app and programme, can actually use the app for their further journeys and experiences! The app and its content are only activated after booking at your hostel. After that- besides benefitting from the fluid and adaptive content within, they get to use all the social functions, the app and concept has to offer them and fellow travelers. Discounts, insider tips, curation, motivation, an alarm-system and direct contact.

Concepts are designed with in mind a wide corpus of knowledge about urbanism, tourism, backpacking-behaviours, tourist geographies, gaming-essentials, event-design and lots of hands-on experience.

Locationmanagement and placemaking

  • What makes a spot a tourist location?
  • What is the genus loci and does it matter for you?
  • The trinity of creation

image

CONTACT

Renk van Oyen

ww.la-clappeye.nl
www.blog.la-clappeye.nl

Twitter: @hostelconcepts

La Clappeye Acts

p/a Sint-Lucasstraat 16

5211 ZG, ‘s-Hertogenbosch

acts@la-clappeye.nl

Linkedin profiel

Referenties Renk van Oyen

Follow hostelconcepting on Twitter

www.twitter.com/hostelconcepts

@hostelconcepts

Stay updated through our website: www.la-clappeye.nl

and this article on our regular site.

Locative- and urban gaming for hostels

Site-specific gaming for your guests. Have them explore the city through your eyes, through your connections, through the deals you want them to have!

Ask for more info!

acts@la-clappeye.nl