Many travel and tourism destinations face challenges because of the ongoing economic downturn. Others additionally face negative press regarding environmental issues, violence, and civil unrest; as well as misinformation. Therefore destinations must constantly evaluate their situations and take the necessary measures required to survive and thrive at any given time. The following are a few points that should be considered:
New Markets – When a traditional market does not respond, destinations must adapt and reach-out to new markets. While traditional markets should not be ignored or forgotten, destinations need to expand their reach.
Focus Budgets– It is important to target limited funds on very specific areas. Destinations and private organizations must resist diluting their investments by trying to cover as much market as possible. It is amazing what can be achieved with limited budgets if they are applied effectively and consistently.
A Balanced Approach – Marketing efforts should be directed to the consumer. Tourism and recreational real estate marketing strategies often rely heavily on third parties such as tour operators, travel agents, and brokers to connect with consumers. Though third parties continue to be essential players, consumers increasingly make purchasing decisions based on their own research and peer reviews. Therefore communicating directly with existing and potential clients is a key element in any successful campaign, as are great customer service and ongoing client care.
Education – Destinations should reach out to consumers and educate them about the competitive advantages of their brand. Inform consumers what the destination offers and clarify misinformation. In addition, communicate what the destination is doing to correct issues that displease consumers.
Speak the Consumers’ Language – Take into account language and cultural nuances to make sure the message being heard by the market is the one you are trying to transmit.