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Archive for the ‘New Ideas for Tourism Promotion’ Category

Help Prospective Visitors Find Out About Your Tourism Attractions

Things are not looking good for municipal budgets in the current economy. Cost- cutting pressures make it difficult for municipal destination marketing organizations to achieve their strategic goals. So it is becoming ever more important for DMOs to assess the effectiveness of their websites and maximize the return on their investments.

Search engine work, social media and advertising will attract prospective visitors to your tourism site, but then how do you convert them to tourists?

Many web visitors are spontaneous leisure travelers looking for ideas. They make navigational decisions in the blink of an eye. Your site needs to incorporate techniques to hold their interest and influence them through their decision-making stages before they plan and book their trip.

This reflects the basic shift that has taken place in the retail role of a DMO website, as we noted earlier in this series (“Attracting Tourists to Smaller Communities,” published June 8 ) – instead of merely delivering information and enabling simple transactions, the site must be a tourism enabler, providing visitors with tools for immediate action.

In other words, a DMO website in today’s unstable economic climate must drive results. It must be designed to inspire your consumers, (more…)

Can You Help Tourism Operators Self-Promote?

The evolving role of Destination Marketers

Do you sometimes wonder about the role of municipal destination marketers in the Web 2.0 era? You might, if you think of your destination marketing organization in the traditional way as an intermediary between tourism operators and their markets.

Intermediaries in many industries have become less needed, and even outmoded, as customers have found their own preferred products and services and become accustomed to conducting their own transactions on the web. Travel agents can tell you something about what web self-service means.

The traditional DMO role of tourism industry intermediary, promoting a region’s collective tourism brand to the world at large, is becoming less effective because in today’s “customer-to-customer” marketplace tourists are using the web to define for themselves what the value of a given brand is.

There is still a role for professionals but it has changed. The DMO’s role today in relation to the regional tourist industry is not to intermediate, but to enable – to make your region’s tourism products best fit to compete and to assist them to build the largest volume of activity they can handle. By using web technologies effectively, municipal destination marketers can fulfill an indispensable role of making their tourism region (more…)

Promoting Tourism to the Local “Stay-cation” Audience

Travel has become more demanding than ever, especially air travel with its security lineups and hassles, and people are time-starved. Add the effects of the recent recession and the bottom-line result is discouraging for destination marketing organizations – at least for long-distance travel.

The Hotel Association of Canada projects that hotel occupancy levels will be only 59% this year, up slightly from 58% in 2009. In the United States, after averaging 55.1% last year, occupancy will tick up to 55.4% this year, according to a forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers. That’s still well below the 20-year average of 62.8%.

Within this dark-tinged picture there’s a contrasting light patch in the market segment called “stay-cations.” This is a vacation that does not involve long-distance travel; instead, an individual or family stays at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence in the tourism industry that the popularity of stay-cations has surged since the recession began. Many destination marketers in small to mid-sized towns and regions are promoting stay-cations for their residents to help replace the tourism (more…)

Attracting Tourists to Smaller Communities

Tourism can transform the economic health of small communities

There are increasing opportunities today for communities of all sizes to build a local tourism industry. This trend has come about for a couple of reasons. One is that tourists are becoming more demographically diverse and more interested in new kinds of tourism experiences, especially those that don’t require a big cash outlay.

Many tourists are looking for an authentic “rural” experience. This could take the form of exploring the countryside, organized tours, experiencing local culture and heritage, hiking, biking, walking. Small municipalities can develop a surprisingly broad range of attractions through culinary tourism, agri-tourism, festivals, events and other niche opportunities (see “New Ideas for Tourism Niches” published May 12).

Tourist attraction has evolved into a web-based activity

Another reason why small communities have growing opportunities to become tourist destinations is that tourism has evolved into a web-based industry in the past decade. The majority of travel-related business transactions take place on the web. And the web is a relatively low-cost marketing medium, so smaller communities are not hindered from marketing their tourism products by a lack of funds for expensive (more…)

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