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Three tourism marketing insights to increase visitation

Bronwyn White, co-founder of says that when destination marketers go online, they should go back to the future.

Today we go retro to go forward. The tourism marketing landscape has changed. But did you know that old school marketing is still going to give your money and time the best ROI? Here are three reasons why.
1. Email Marketing
Yes, as retro as it sounds, email is still, by far, the most effective marketing channel we have available to us today? Ninety-one per cent of people check their emails at least once a day. That is no stat to scoff at. It is pure opportunity. And what’s more groovy, is if you’ve been operating an opt-in database, all those people on your list actually chose to hear from you. They WANT to hear from you. They WANT to know about your destination, tour, accommodation or tour. As sales opportunity and relationship building goes, it just does not get better than that.
2. Branding
Your branding now affects how you are ‘ranked’ in the search engines or your SEO. Poor and inconsistent branding means poor web presence. It means that you are less likely to be presented in a search – no matter how big or small you are.
David Amerland tells us that authenticity and consistency in branding is more important than ever:
You can’t talk about what you do and why you do it (which is where marketing and branding come in) without also taking into account the impact all this has on search,” says David Amerland, author of the book Semantic Search.
So what’s branding got to do with it? One of the golden rules of branding is to provide a consistency in messaging at all touch points. This is vintage marketing. Google‘s algorithms are now specifically looking for sites that are trustworthy, of good reputation and can stand for some authority on a given topic – beach holidays, family vacations, holidays with pets or short spa retreats for stressed executives.
When you are consistent about who you are, your messaging and your target markets, the search engines gain a further understanding on what you are all about. A strong brand, that is consistent in what it stands for, who it markets to, and has clear competitive positioning will stand out not only in the eyes of the customer, but also Google and the search engines.
3. Social Media
Your end goal is to create social media engagement as a stepping stone on the path to purchase. Engagement is not likes, follows or +1’s. Those engaged in your brand on social media are your true audience. Engagement is a result of conversations that extend beyond your social media page. So those operators with 5000 followers that ‘post and run’ will lose out compared to the engaged brand with 100 followers conducting ongoing conversations where your content is interacted with, commented on, and you are being a proactive part of the conversation. It’s even better if your followers come back into the conversation on a regular basis.
Engagement is difficult to achieve, but you can do it. The key is to engage through relevant and compelling content that appeals to your target market.
Back in February Twitter and Google joined forces. What this means is that Twitter feeds will show up in real time Google search. They seem to be still working this out. But when it happens, you’ll need to be ready. So we are all being advised to ‘step on the gas’ when it comes to Twitter.
Content marketing, branding, social media go inextricably hand in hand with semantic search. So go back to key marketing basics to step confidently into the future.


Bronwyn White is co-founder of is a market research and marketing firm specializing in the travel, tourism and aviation industries. Its specialty is providing insights that are actionable.


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