As many regional tourism bodies scramble to develop new visitor strategies to help a struggling tourism sector and to capitalise on the anticipated changes to travel habits, it is time to consider a new approach to attracting visitors.
Civic and industry bodies tend to create visitor attraction strategies that identify target demographics and communication strategies to reach the target markets! Here the problem.
- Not Competitive – Many regions across Australia and New Zealand are targeting the same identified demographic. How will you get cut through?
- Not Cost Effective -The development of a sophisticated traditional visitor attraction strategy soaks up precious resources and cost, reducing available funds that could be used for actual marketing and promotional activities and tactics. How do I get best bang for my buck?
- Not best practice -These traditional strategies do not utilise the data driven stargies that are now available in the travel industry. How do I embrace technology?
Agencies in Asia and the United Kingdom have already caught on to these issues are adopting new approaches and more data driven strategies that use existing available data which was not accesible in years gone by. This data is the cornerstone of new strategies that produce tangible measurable results and represent best use of funds.
So what do you need to do?
The purpose of a traditional visitor strategy is to identify the people who are most likely to provide tourism business to your region and then hopefully develop communication strategies that appeal and attract them. Once attracted the task of converting interest to booking is at best hit and miss and at worst none existent.
What if you could talk directly to people that have already used your product or similar products before. Well, you can!
But first you need to embrace the new way.
Establish a CRM
Traditional Civic Tourism Bodies and Tourism Organisations need to understand that they must evolve their role and services to embrace data collection and management. I The prosperous tourism regions of the future will own significant databases that provide them with direct access to their user markets and let then better understand consumer trends. Sadly many organisations see the ownership of the information as someone elses service or task, which ultimately increases the costs and reduces the access of the data.
Understand that in getting your product in front of people via various digital platforms is critical. A strategy to get the product on as many platforms as possible is logical in your drive to increase visibility.
Explore Aggregator Platforms
Products such as the Tourism Exchange provides a sophisticated destination marketing platform for the entire tourism industry. Its technology connects tourism operators of all sizes, to big distributor sites like Expedia, Booking.com and TripAdvisor; and just as imporntantly diversifies the industries distribution strategy with hundreds of other unique channels.
Systems like this have been implemented in Australia and United Kingdonm and hold the data you require which will allow you to create a data driven visitor strategy.
So what does the new the basics of a Contemporary Visitor Strategy look like?
- Define the Message based on the Unique Selling points of your destination.
- Ensure visibility.
- Establish your CRM and Digital Management System.
- Speak directly to qualified consumers with data sourced from existing Tourism Aggregator Providers.
- Maintain and grow your CRM database with a detail communication strategy and trends analysis program.
If you need any further advice or assistance on navigating this challenging period, please get in touch.