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Online Tourism Marketing: Smart Marketing with Smartphones

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The internet is now involved in 85% of holiday purchases according to the latest statistics from AbouTourism, with more and more people wanting more information available to them on their smartphones.

Within the tourism industry, Destination Marketing Organisations (DMO’s) are already starting to turn their attention more to online media, with a passion to use social media to get in touch with their potential clientele. The role of a DMO is to promote a destination as well as its tourism businesses and suppliers however the problem they are currently facing is how best they should proceed whilst providing quality information online.

In order to appeal to its consumer-base, the DMO website should be visually appealing, easy to use and provide value adding features in order to keep its visitors. Websites with poor, little or incorrect information, and a bad design are going to lose visitors straight away.

Once a good website is in place, the social media strategy may take place using market knowledge and information to engage with their audience. The social activities of the target group should be assessed, objectives set and a plan of action created, monitoring effectiveness along the way.  

AbouTourism statistics show that four out of five business travellers would like to have mobile phone applications offering recommendations for restaurants/bars near their resort whilst away and currently 40% of smart phone users are using their devices to get destination information. Considering that 43% of mobile phone users are now carrying a smartphone, and more than one third of mobile users plan to book their travel on their phones in the next year, DMOs surely must be looking at smartphone marketing as a means of increasing their visitor-base.

Photos and videos are an increasingly popular and useful way to get visitors involved, with 59% of respondents from a recent AbouTourism survey saying that photos of the destination and accommodation would help them to choose a holiday, and 25% would like to see videos.

DMOs need to listen to what their target groups are saying online and locate where their conversations are taking place. They need to identify their visitor’s activity level and determine how best to move forward. DMOs need to ultimately go to where the consumer is rather than convincing the consumer to go to them.

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