According to many recent studies, Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are facing intriguing challenges to provide quality information online in an era of information overload.
Insufficient knowledge of tourist’s online information preferences and search behaviour has hindered them from effective information management.
A local or regional DMO website should help to promote not only the destination as a whole, but also hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, theatre, sports, activities in the destination itself. Ideally it would be possible to buy or reserve this through the DMO website.
However, with websites such as Tripadvisor, WAYN, Google Maps, Facebook, etc., many people question the role of DMO/NTO/CVB’s websites in 10 years from now. Following the latest developments on the field, it’s hard to ignore the fact that DMOs need to go where the consumer is, instead convincing the consumer to come to them.
To compete with the aforementioned commercial websites, DMO websites should be comprehensive and give visitors all the tools they need such us mash up maps, live web cams & YouTube video channels and a Flickr image gallery to capture the special elements of the destination. DMO websites also need to act as one-stop-shops for the visitors by providing a wide range of information for the destination’s product mix as well as centralized hotel & event tickets reservation systems. Moreover, DMO websites needs real time and social content to establish collaboration with people who have a personal or commercial interest in assisting potential travelers to visit a destination.
1. Look Good (=Nice & Simple)
Creative web design is all about making a website visually appealing. A visually appealing website is a site that is easy to read, easy to navigate. To create a site that visitors will not click away from immediately, follow some basic design standards, and think about the usability and accessibility of the design.
2. Content (was) is (and will be) the King!
The content on your site is your vehicle to present your message and portray your brand. And if you offer the ability to book online or at least direct customers to contact info, the content might be the last stand between you and a booking. Qualitative & diverse information, trip planning tools, attractive visual material including video & photo sharing applications, multilingual content, B2B & Press sections and efficient SEO saturation/meta-tags are all “must” elements of a successful DMO website.
3. Engage Your Audience!
Identify your visitors’ social activities
- 57% of DMO website users read travel written reviews
- 32% of DMO site users post ratings and reviews
- 43% of users visit travel-related forums
What we want to accomplish
- Promote your brand
- Increase site visitation
- Increase bookings and online transactions
- Encourage repeat visitation
How this will change your relationship with customers
- Forge and strengthen connections with users
- Customers will know your destination much better
- Improved perception of authenticity of brand
- Empower users to become brand evangelists
4. Don’t Forget SEO
In search engine marketing, travel business is a well known category which is vast with a big competition in online marketing. From bookings of flights to hotel reservations, it is estimated that 70% of all flights are booked online through websites. So, we can easily assume this big on line competition. There are many DMOs and travel companies having websites on web offering online travel deals and holiday offers. Every website has its own unique range of products, services & travel solutions and likes to be in top search engine placements with their offers.
There is a big challenge here for an SEO as searches on travel related keywords and phrases are very high, even a small travel key phrase has a big amount of search counts on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Msn (Live). So, a travel website requires more hard work, good strategy and regular implementations for getting high search engines rankings.
Conversion strategies are the plans needed to convert a looker into a buyer! Your Website Design & Content, the Use of Social Media and your SEO strategy should all be part of your overall on-line marketing strategy. Without one, the typical conversion rate for a website is about 2% of visitors. This is not only about selling hotels, tickets to cultural events, tourist attractions, museums, sport activities etc but to sell your own products as well (city pass, walking tours, souvenirs etc).