Marketing my tourism business on the internet has become a major focus for me in the past couple of years. Since heading off in my new online marketing direction I have been discovering and enjoying many new advantages of online marketing so want to share some with other tourism business owners.
Reason 1 to love online tourism marketing: You get paid in advance
Up to 3 years ago my tourism business relied on traditional booking channels of local booking centres and travel resellers such as wholesalers or inbound operators. It was great to get business from them but I never got paid till the end of the following month, and in some cases it could be much longer than that. For small businesses that is tough.
With online bookings now approaching 50% of total sales I am getting paid in advance for a good chunk of work and we all know how good that is.
Reason 2 to love online tourism marketing: Less commissions = more on our bottom line
A simple example using my own hiking tour as an example will spell it out pretty clearly:
Our day tour costs NZ$322 per person, let’s say I have a group of 8 people on this tour.
Commissions associated with online booking (online booking system commission, credit card fees) total 7.5%. Commissions associated with a travel wholesaler would be at least 20%. The difference to our bottom line for this day tour is over $300! For a small tourism operator like me, an extra $300 for the same amount of people on a day tour is something I am very interested in!
Reason 3 to love tourism marketing on the internet: Less lag time
We have all done this before: made a sales call or attended a trade show and met the key person in a major travel company. We do our pitch and they love our product, they are smiling and nodding. Great, we think, this should lead to some new business soon. Sentosa singapore
Then they tell us the brochure will be printed in 6 months for the following season, anything can happen between now and then. Of course we accept this and realize that things take time but wouldn’t it be great to get results a little sooner?
Things happen much quicker on the internet. That’s not to say it’s any easier but at least we can move through the whole process much faster. An example from my business: I decided to get proactive about encouraging customers to write TripAdvisor reviews last January, it took about a month to get my first 6 or 7 reviews up, then customers started telling me they found me on TA and I noticed more traffic to my site coming from TA as well. Results can come a lot faster on the internet than traditional travel channels.
Reason 4 to love tourism marketing on the internet: We can measure our results accurately and quickly
An example: A couple of season ago I printed some brochures and paid a monthly fee to have them distributed around accommodation & tourist spots in our city. Cost me several thousand dollars for the brochures and several hundred dollars each month for the distribution. I wasn’t sure how this would work but I could track the amount of business we got from these brochures over the course of the season. I stuck at this for 2 seasons for little results, the cost was significant and I was locked into a contract for the season so couldn’t opt out.