Companies that implement responsible tourism often ask how they can best present their experiences and services to the market.
It’s easy to spend a lot of time and money – both in short supply in small businesses – on marketing that doesn’t yield returns. It’s easy for your marketing to be at a loss.
For this, here are some of the best advice we give to small companies in the tourism industry that want to implement responsible tourism.
Rarely does it make any sense to travel to where your market is, that is, the people you want to sell to or participate in large trade shows to try to sell your product to.
Consider selling through an established online marketplace agent you’re interested in. Look for companies that are already on the site, how well it works for them, and ask why. Companies that use the agent or site will have considerable experience in how to use this channel on the market and may be willing to share it with you.
In general, if you sell accommodation to people traveling on pre-planned routes or sell trips, you will need to have customers make a reservation in advance.
Pay attention to the local market and collaborate with sub-companies that are not your direct competitors to offer complementary services together
For most small businesses in tourism and travel for which the market is close to the destination, local marketing is what results., Especially when you sell to tourists who decide day to day where they will go and stay and what they will do.
Look for companies with which you can collaborate and cross-sell – ones where your products complement each other and add value to each other’s products. Look for opportunities with other businesses you’re not competitors with, where there are marketing interactions where together you’d be stronger than you are individually. Consider marketing through the destination’s website or platform. Consider creating a local marketing portal or network.
Consider entering rewards to raise awareness of your business and win media coverage. If you know of others who organize awards or contests and where you can get involved, opt in where appropriate. Think about which rewards are important to your target customers – where is your target market, what would people like?
Work with local, national and international media – PR and stories are valuable to provide confirmation of your marketing efforts and to ensure potential customers know you’re there and what you’re doing.
Use the various forums available online to draw attention to yourself – look for “responsible tourism” on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Get your customers to write about you on Tripadvisor and similar sites. Place a module on your website for customer feedback and encourage people to tell their friends.
Guide authors are always looking for good new products and experience to include. Write to the editors of the books, rubrics in sites and magazines that are important to your destination and which are read by the customers you want to attract. Some of them have online communities that can be used to spot you.
Where you want to attract tourists traveling, consider visiting, on a reciprocal basis, similar businesses along the route – their recommendations can be invaluable – but of course, this kind of marketing should be reciprocal.
Think of businesses similar to yours in place of the target markets you aspire to. Also consider links and visits with similar businesses along the route. Their recommendations can be invaluable – but of course, this kind of marketing should be reciprocal.
There is often a reluctance to cooperate with others in the market, but cooperation is invaluable. Work together to grow the industry by developing additional products and cross-marketing. That way there’il be more for you.
What about you on this topic?
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