Tourism is all about experiences and it gets impacted quickly by all kinds of factors, be it social, economical, environmental, political, technological or legal. So, you always have to make an effort to keep it going well. Moreover, there are plenty of options for tourists and you have to deal with stiff competition. Still, there is huge scope for acquiring and retaining customers through the right marketing activities. Moreover, the government also supports this industry because it brings in revenue for the country.
Let’s begin with your website. Does it tempt the visitors to take a tour? Is it easy to navigate? If your answer is no, it’s high time you fulfil these two basic conditions. Wondering how can that be done? Take some inspiration from Thomas Cook and The German National Tourist Board. The latter even customizes the website according to the visitor’s native country! The more user-friendly your website, the better. It should obviously provide a smooth experience of online booking and easy filtering options.
If you really want to get noticed, an awesome campaign is all you need. Remember, the Seize The Holiday campaign from Virgin Holidays? They came up with the first live ad! The aim was to attract more people towards long-haul holidays. Yes, we know that you want to know the results…..it brought 16.9 million impressions from its promoted trend #SeizeTheHoliday and 838 web searches per minute at 8.20pm on the day it went live. There were 3.3 million impressions on Virgin Holiday’s tweets, compared to its 2.4 million peak for 2015/16.
Another remarkable campaign was “Let Go” by Club Med. The company launched a series of videos to remind the audience that sometimes they need to forget their workplace..let go and just enjoy…
You too should think of some amazing campaign. You can also provide gifts on arrival or discount coupons (you may tie up with the sellers) to your customers. Many companies provide caps, waist pouches, umbrellas etc. to the tourist, with their branding on them. So, basically the tourists walk around promoting your brand, just like brand advocates.
Do we need to mention that you have to inform the world about your campaign through videos and social media? You can even share a trailer video to create a buzz about an upcoming campaign. Being an expert in tourism you should share a lot of travel-related information with your audience. For instance, tell them about safety measures, procedures at airport, how to pack efficiently etc.
Destination marketing can help you pull more tourist towards a particular city, town or country. Create videos that summarizes all the awesome things the place can offer. Do not forget to add the right tags, annotations, description and call to actions in your videos.
Videos offer visual learning and thus, can be extremely powerful in luring your prospects, plus they increase your ranking on google search results. So, pick up each destination, one by one and share mesmerizing videos of the place to let the audience see what they might miss if they don’t go there. Since you know every nook and corner of the destination where you are inviting your customers, you can provide an in-depth information about each aspect of the place, just like this training video. You can also inform people on how your organization cares about the society and believes in sustainable tourism through CSR videos like this one. Just when the holiday season is near, give your audience a list of destinations they can visit in the coming season. All those people with wanderlust will run towards you for more suggestions and guidance.
Embed videos in your marketing emails to make them more attractive and interesting. Videos are a great tool to increase click rates and conversions. Stay in touch with your prospects and keep reminding them about your brand through social media. The cover picture of your facebook page should be really attractive. Post pictures and videos of exciting, relaxing or happy vacations. Travel buffs should go crazy looking at them!
Instagram is another wonderful platform to share mind-blowing pictures of tourism to attract more people, Club Med and Las Vegas Sands are really good at it. Generation Y & Z love travelling the world, plus they love to be active in the digital world too. Solo travel and adventure sports are quite trending these days. You can ask your customers to use your brand name’s hashtag or tag your brand while posting pictures/selfies of their vacations. Share and retweet some winning pictures every week to delight your customers. Research what destinations are right for the coming month and what activities will be popular.
You may want to highlight each side of a destination because some travellers may like museums, others may like adventure sports or beaches and so on. Each destination has its own style, some are romantic, others are full of adventure. Design your marketing efforts according to the place. Also consider the different kind of travellers you are targeting newly-wed couples, families with small children and retired travellers; all have different tastes and requirements.
You can also involve your followers by asking questions or organizing small contests. The young generation uses social media as a major medium for providing feedbacks and queries. So, be prepared for positive as well as negative comments. Be clear about what kind of comments to ignore and where to reply.
You can also use gamification to involve your prospects. For instance, conduct fun quizzes related to tourism and give points for each right answer. You can offer some badges, discounts or virtual gifts to the top performers. Also encourage user-generated content on your website, ask the visitors to become members and post reviews about their experiences. Something like TripAdvisor. Those reviews would be helpful for other travelers and you would get more traffic on your website. Similarly, you can also partner with influencers and ask them to create videos or blogs about trips sponsored by your brand.
According to an article by Google, “As of the first quarter of 2016, 40% of U.S. travel site visits come from mobile.” Travelers are spending more and more time searching about trips on mobile phones. Not only should your websites be mobile-friendly, you should also have your own app, so as to increase loyal customers. Apart from your official app, you can also provide other apps that help your customers during vacations, for instance, apps telling the weather conditions, local events etc.
If you wish to grab attention by doing something novel, augmented reality and virtual reality can do that for you. Augmented reality(AR) can overlay information over whatever the user’s camera captures. Your customers can just scan a monument to know how it looked earlier, which hall was used for what purpose etc. The travellers can scan a locality to locate places of interest. They can also learn everything about a museum through an AR app. Basically, augmented reality can provide a complete tour guide on a smartphone or tablet. You may want to use apps like Wikitude to launch your AR campaigns.
You can also project holograms at the travel destination to attract and help the travellers, this will also increase your brand visibility. If you wish to know more about these virtual assistants, watch this video.
Virtual reality can give an immersive preview of a destination to your prospects. Just let them enjoy the experience and see how they talk about it with their friends and family. What better way to convince people that it’s a great place to visit and they would have a great time?
Tourism is good for everyone, businesses, travellers, government and the country. So, grab your spotlight and provide such an awesome experience to all your customers that they can’t help coming back to you every holiday season.