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Best practices and research insights into digital marketing & innovation in tourism discussed on IFITT Talk

IFITT Talk on “Digital Marketing and Innovation in Tourism” delivered with great success by the Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM) of the University of South Australia.

The Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM) of the University of south Australia continues its great contributions to the tourism economy and its partnership with IFITT by delivering another successful IFITT Talk on the 26th June 2018. The IFITT Talk featured nine speakers (all great experts on their field) presenting best practices and research insights into the topic of “Digital Marketing & Innovation in Tourism”. More than 100 industry and academic participants attended the workshop, interacting with the speakers, challenging them with important questions and sharing their own experience from the tourism industry floor.

The IFITT Talk started with a welcome by Prof Marianna Sigala, the workshop chair and the Director of the CTLM. Prof Sigala highlighted the role of technologies in driving change but also enabling innovative and effective practices in the tourism industry. The IFITT Talk was structured into three sessions.

The first session focused on the latest advances related to digital marketing in tourism. Mr Edward Brooks [Senior Manager – Digital Marketing, South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC)] started the first session by sharing examples on how the SATC uses the social media for promoting tourism in South Australia. He analysed the creative and design of several social media advertising campaigns as well as the metrics used to evaluate their impact. Professor Peter O’Connor (Professor of Information Systems, ESSEC Business School, France) gave a great overview and analysis on hotel online distribution and marketing by identifying the critical factors that hoteliers need to think and improve if they wish to increase online conversion from lookers to bookers. The first session finished with a talk by Professor Marianna Sigala [Professor of Tourism, Director of Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management (CTLM), University of South Australia ] who discussed the power of gamification and Story -Telling for developing social media campaigns. Prof Sigala gave several examples of social media campaigns developed by destinations and tourism firms to better explain the design factors of such campaigns.

The second session of the workshop was delivered by two great professional experts in digital marketing and focused on analysing case studies and innovative examples of digital marketing from the tourism industry. Ms Liz Ward (CEO, Tourism Tribe) presented social media marketing practices from Queensland and South Australia, while Dr Darren Oemcke & Sean Jolley (Marketing Director & Marketing Consultant of Hydra Consulting respectively) gave numerous examples on how social media and big data analytics can help tourism firms better understand online consumer behavior and improve the online customer journey.

The third session of the IFITT Talk focused on findings from research studies providing insights that can improve industry practices. Dr Jia Tina Du and Ms Jannatul Fardous (School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia) presented findings from research studies examining the tourists’ use of social media when planning a group trip. Mr Mark Kasperski (Lecturer, International College of Hotel Management) gave an insightful overview of consumer psychology theory explaining the behaviour of social media users.

The IFITT Talk finished with the announcement of the next workshop scheduled in November 2018.

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