Designing New Spaces and Renovating Old Ones: A Mini-Checklist.

Tourism businesses must balance the needs of the visitor and the characteristic items that add to their brand and story with capital expenses and value for money. Here’s a quick checklist for what to design for when considering your next project.

  1. ENTRANCE: Many tourists are arriving for the first time. Arrival should be designed to be clear and stress-free. Focus on site entrance, car parking, front door, indications of open for business and life within, way finding and welcome within entrance spaces.
  2. READABILITY: Getting people interested, engaged, curious, in the mood to buy means making sure your displays are readable, or understandable, for all abilities at a glance. This means interpretive display, not just text. Express clearly through display: where to go, what else is available and what is specifically for guests, conference attendees, what product but also experiences you can buy..
  3. UNIQUELY YOU: Express your uniqueness through how your space looks and feels, telling your story through displays and the character of your place. Get people curious and wanting to ask questions by giving hints about who you are and what else is happening behind the scenes. Unsure what your brand character and story should be and how to express it? Start by taking our quiz.
  4. EFFICIENCY: Staff operation, especially as visitation comes back on line and cashflows are low, is going to be critical. Look at how you could improve
    • customer engagement by removing barriers and making your staff more approachable
    • sales processes including getting your building and display to entice and do most of the sales work before people even encounter a staff member,
    • customer confidence – make the path and process obvious and stress free right from the first moment a tourist discovers you exist so that they are happy and calm when they approach your staff
    • process efficiency – reduce the bottle necks, open up and improve signage in thoroughfares, clear view paths so staff can see people in the space.
  5. STAY: Decide how long you want people to stay on site and create spaces that encourage that activity response. Put soft chairs where you want people to linger, hard stools or no chairs at all where they need to move on. This helps people understand how long they are welcome, what they are allowed to do, helps turnover of people and product and prevents a backlog of visitors that are difficult to move on.
  6. CONSISTENCY: Look at your whole brand, from logo to visitor experience. Do they match? Authenticity and consistency is what breeds trust in your visitors, so look at what you are saying across your brand and make a decision about the personality behind it. Then use that personality to choose only what matches – and be consistent through your marketing, customer service and place.

Looking for more information? Here’s a few other resources you could try:

Read our series on The 5 E’s of Visitor Experience

Download an e-book.

Read our blog on Avoiding Design Mistakes.

Opened up a whole lot of new questions? Let’s chat over a coffee. Contact us here.


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.