The evolution of tourism marketing from traditional to digital

The evolution of tourism marketing from traditional to digital

Traditional marketing materials long reigned supreme in the tourism industry. Every facet of the industry — from hotels to tour operators to restaurants — used flyers, brochures and print advertisements to promote their products. This was the way of the world for decades, until the digital age arrived.

The transition from traditional to digital marketing in the tourism industry was not a slow and gradual change. Technology arrived, and within a matter of moments, everything about tourism marketing had changed. Tourism and digital marketing are now intertwined, and there’s no going back.

Here’s what you need to know about digital marketing and today’s tourism landscape:

Your tourism marketing strategy should be the foundation of your business

Previously, marketing was just one small part of an overall business plan. The business plan was the root of the organisation, and marketing was a stem. Today, your tourism marketing strategy should be the foundation of your business. Your marketing plan should drive your future growth, your brand identity and your business development. By collecting and using data as part of your tourism marketing strategy, you can learn more about your target market segment, create new products and identify additional revenue sources.

Tourism and digital marketing

You should adopt a content-driven approach

Content drives the digital age forward. Every marketing campaign that comes out of your digital marketing strategy should take a content-centric approach. Social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook require you to have engaging content. For example, you will need a mix of video, graphics and images to create interesting and enticing Stories on Instagram. You’ll need fresh blog posts with images and links to keep your website relevant on the search engine results page. Your tourism marketing strategy should be built upon relevant, high-quality content.

You must allow the experience to shine through on your digital promotions

Today’s travellers are highly motivated by the promise of an experience. They aren’t looking for a souvenir mug or a quick photo opportunity at a famous landmark. Rather, they want to have their lives shaped and transformed by the people they meet and the places they see while travelling. Capitalise on this craving for experience by emphasising what you offer in all of your digital promotions.

Tourism and digital marketing

You should use a vast range of digital channels to promote your tour products

The opportunities to promote your tour and activity products online are virtually endless. In addition to creating an engaging social media strategy and investing in pay-per-click advertisements that keeps you at the forefront of your prospective traveller’s minds, you also need to focus on your website, develop a distribution network and launch an engaging e-mail marketing campaign.

In the digital age, there’s always a new technology that’s shaking up the status quo and forcing tour operators to evaluate their current tourism marketing strategy. It’s critical that you stay abreast of the latest trends and that you incorporate the most recent technology into your digital marketing strategy.

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Wondering what people don’t tell you about digital marketing? Read more about it here.

Read our blog on ‘5 ways to attract tourists to your tour or experience business’ here.

Image credit: Suzanne D Williams

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