The 5 tourism marketing strategies you must not miss
Would you ever plan a grand and glorious wedding and then not send wedding invitations?
Or perhaps organise the perfect birthday for your five year old son and then not invite any of his friends?
It sounds silly, but many new tourism businesses do just that.
Planning, time and loads of money is spent building a stunning accommodation, going through all the resource consents and even sign-writing the car but then when it comes time to open, no one shows up and the owners wonder why people don't want to enjoy their amazing properly. Simple answer; No budget was allocated for marketing; you forgot you have to invite people to your place.
A successful marketing strategy for a tourism business can be built on five easy steps. It will provide the foundations for marketing your business, and let you reach out and invite your potential customers.
1. Get advice from experts. Hire a tourism consultant for a day to get their advice on your product presentation, rates, define your target market and clearly define your point of difference.
Visit your Regional Tourism Office to introduce your business and ensure you learn and take advantage of all promotional options with them. Talk to nearby operators who offer a service that can complement yours, could you work together by creating a unique package and leverage off each other's contacts?
Getting professional tourism marketing advice and expanding your network is vital to your success.
2. Promote with professional photography and an emotive website. An emotive website that quickly conveys the experience of your tourism business is critical. An effective websites also includes professional photos, forget the heated towel racks and get professional photos - they are key - along with optimised content and easy navigation.
3. Provide an easy way to book online. Travel shoppers are computer savvy and they're comparing you against your competitors all the time. This means you need to have an online booking calendar that is attractive, easy to use, clearly shows your rates and specials and allows guests to easily book. It is also important that your booking engine holds all of your customer details so you can use that information for newsletter and to identify returning guests.
> Take a look at some online booking solutions on our website
4. Get Google Adwords running and jump the queue on Google. For a new business or one that is having a lull in bookings, Google Adwords can be your golden ticket.
It is highly targeted advertising because your ad will only display for the keywords you choose and you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. These ads look like search results in Google and depending on how much you pay, they can get you right to the top of Google's search results.
5. Channel Distribution - Sign up to channels like Booking.com, Expedia and Wotif and review sites like Trip Advisor. A painful process at first, but worth all the effort because your business will be seen where travellers go habitually for bookings and reviews. Many of these channels also allow for activities and holiday homes so this option is not just for hotels and motels anymore. If you sign up for more than one channel, we strongly suggest you get a channel manger to ensure you don't get double bookings and it saves you precious time.
> Learn more about channel management for tourism businesses
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