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All things web and tourism!

Virtual Reality: Help or Hinder Tourism?

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Gina's November presentation to the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand delves into the Big Question - will virtual reality help or hinder tourism business?

Virtual reality is the biggest game-changer in our lives since the launch of the iPhone.

The seemingly simple ability to see an image or video in 360 degrees is about to revolutionise the way we live.

Imagine being able to virtually travel anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. Fly over the Grand Canyon looking up, down and all around you as if you were really there, or “dive” underwater at the Great Barrier Reef and watch as a turtle swims past you.

Jaunt, a VR technology and content company, claims “You will feel transported directly into the middle of the action. Look anywhere. See...

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TripAdvisor - Trick or Treat?

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TripAdvisor Trick or Treat

Part III in our Halloween 2015 blog series.

As the world’s number-one tourism website, TripAdvisor is an audacious and powerful beast. For travellers sharing a review or researching a trip, it works a treat. For tourism operators it can prove a powerful marketing and distribution tool. But for all of these treats, this powerful beast can serve up a trick or two.

Handling Reviews

Since anyone can post a review on TripAdvisor, it can create some scary situations for a tourism operator. Travellers threatening a negative review as an attempt to get a discount, competitors purchasing fake reviews to boost their rankings, or a sinister traveller who is simply miserable about life and uses the platform to constantly complain.

Some operators believe fake or venomous reviews are...

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Beating the Hacking Reaper - Ways to Protect Your Website

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Hacking Reaper

Part II in our Halloween 2015 blog series.

Website hacking has become an increasingly common occurrence, with tens of thousands of sites and applications affected every day. It seems that no one is safe, including Ashley Madison, Apple’s iCloud, J.P. Morgan and Home Depot to name just a few. Last week Google announced they are cracking down on spam and hacked websites, not only removing more of them from search results but removing them faster.

Unfortunately, you will never be able to 100% safeguard yourself from being hacked by a determined and skilled individual or group. However, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you are less likely to be affected - and if you are affected, how you can minimise the effects on your business.

1. Choose your passwords...

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Dealing with Social Gremlins and Social Media Customer Care

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Part I in our Halloween 2015 blog series.

Handling social media customer care may seem frightening - public posts with angry comments about your business are hard to control and can feel like a personal attack. Consider this - those customers will be online complaining about you, no matter what you do or whether you have a social media page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. What matters is how you respond to change their experience and perception of your business.

 

5 Steps of Customer Care

1. Check In

Do this once daily during office hours. Set a time when you drink your morning coffee to check for any new messages or notifications. Make your goal to respond within 24 hours of a business day. If you make a habit of morning responses, this will be easy!  Facebook...

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Five Ways to Increase Direct Accommodation Bookings

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5 steps to more direct bookings

Online marketing is forever evolving. Four years ago we would frequently give advice to accommodation providers on how to increase their bookings by optimising listings on online travel agents (OTAs) like Booking.com. These days our conversations revolve around how to increase direct bookings to their own websites, partly to avoid paying the OTAs commission.

Ultimately, the best way to do this is not by changing anything on your OTA listings, but by taking a look at everything else you are doing online. Here are five ways to help achieve this.

Take a good look at your website

Open up your website and imagine you are a first-time visitor who has never seen your business before. Ask yourself, can you immediately understand from your homepage what you are selling and why you...

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Virtual Reality Tourism and the Rise of Google Cardboard

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We’re just a few short months away from professional virtual reality (VR) headsets to hit the consumer market in a storm of holiday promotions, and the future is here.

 

 

Google Cardboard  - Free Consumer VR

 

Google Cardboard, an approximately $20 box frame with plastic lenses, went on sale this year as a proving ground for this new technology and it’s been a wild success. Google brings the concept to anyone who wants to explore the new tech, with free designs for the cardboard headset also available on their website. Reminiscent of the red plastic View-Masters of the late 1980’s, these cardboard boxes have a simple slot for a cell phone. All you have to do is download a VR app to a smartphone and the world of virtual reality is in your hands. 

 

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