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Archive for the ‘The New Face of Tourism Promotion’ Category

Using Twitter for Tourism?

What’s new in tourism communications? The idea that, instead of just publishing or broadcasting information to people who might be interested to visit your community, you build personal relationships with them through an online information network.

This type of network concentrates on what’s happening NOW. The personal messages that go back and forth between your community’s representatives and the network of people they interact with aren’t about static information. They aren’t about last week. They are about this moment, and the number of people who are eager to capture this moment online is growing explosively around the world.

The most popular network they are using is called Twitter. This social-networking site, launched in 2006, was originally intended for individuals to send micro-blogs to their friends, on the topic of “What are you doing now?” But as so often happens, business quickly saw an opportunity and now a growing number of tourism marketing boards, in Nova Scotia, Chicago, Baltimore and Queensland, Australia, are using it to reach potentially millions of people with their messages.

The messages are delivered from one or more persons, in conversational professional tone, and they can be read by anyone searching www.twitter.com by topic or name. More importantly, they can be received and read instantly as text messages by people (more…)

How Strong is Your Tourism Brand?

In today’s extremely competitive market, tourists are looking for unique, tailored and high-quality experiences. Information technology is changing the business environment in which operators must work, as travelers can easily research and share information on the web. The global economic downturn has put great pressure on the tourism industry, affecting business and leisure trips alike.

With such constantly evolving traveler habits and market conditions, it is more important than ever to have a distinctive and memorable brand with high awareness in the tourism market. Your brand is your community’s identity – its value in the mind of the tourist.

The strength of your brand rests on two primary factors: process and creativity.

Process is critical because tourism branding has to be a team effort. It requires the readiness and commitment of local residents and businesses, council, staff and other stakeholders in order to be approved, accepted and implemented effectively.

By following a careful methodology that includes resident surveys, stakeholder interviews, committee involvement and extensive research into the history and economic strengths of a community, the challenge of achieving consensus can be met and the community’s tourism industry (more…)

New Ideas for Tourism Niches

In tough times, where do tourists go? Maybe they can’t afford a trip to Disneyland but they can afford to come to your community if they know from your tourism messages that they will have an enjoyable time.

Messages from the municipal tourism department should not focus merely on the tourism industry’s traditional offerings – sights, food, drink, accommodation and services. Today’s tourists are looking for experiences.

Your messages should promote your community as a destination of choice for experiences that the local tourism industry can deliver in ways that are competitively distinct. Targeted to specific segments of tourism customers, your messages should tell them that your community offers personal, memorable experiences that will add value to their lives.

Many such experiences can arise from your community — some noisy, some quiet, some for singles or couples, some for families. The point is to address tourism customers, not just with a message like “Come see our Downtown,” but “Come see our Downtown and enjoy this kind of experience wrapped around it.”

The tourism industry worldwide is continually coming up with new ideas for such tourism experiences. Some have become well (more…)

How Competitive is Your Tourism Website?

“If we don’t get the Web right, no matter what we do with everything else that is on the list of tourism issues, we will lose our competitive position. The Web is at the heart of our industry on a go-forward basis.”

— Dick Brown, Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association, quoted in the Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Study report, “Discovering Ontario: A Report on the Future of Tourism,” released February 2009.

When people travel today, they research destinations and book on the Web. Maintaining your community’s competitiveness as a tourist attraction means first and foremost having a website that attracts people and anticipates their traveling needs.

A tourism website must have certain characteristics to be competitive. Those aren’t necessarily the same characteristics as a municipality’s site or an investment-attraction site. To follow best practices, the tourism site should be managed as a distinct entity. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. Tourism has a unique target audience. The majority of tourists will not be interested in municipal information.
  2. Multiple sites for a municipality, including a tourism site, increase search engine rank and the ability (more…)

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