Destination Marketing on the Web

Manolis Psarros - Destination Marketing Consultant -

Facts, Stats & Trends

The Internet might not be everything yet
Less than one fourth do all their travel shopping on websites

but it will become soon..
Internet is involved in almost 85% of holiday purchases which highlights the importance of the web for travel firms.

Consumers are ready for mobile, are you?
65 million active users (about 20% of FBers currently accessing FB through their mobile devices and those users are almost 50% more active than non-mobile users

Consumers are ready for mobile, are you? Four in five business travellers would
like to have mobile applications offering recommendations for restaurants and bars close to a hotel location.
Two-thirds of respondents expect similar functionality for recreational activities in a destination.

Mobile takes off
In Japan, 20% of domestic flights are booked through mobile phones.

Travel gets smarter
43% of mobile phone users are carrying smart phones, and more than a third of mobile users plan to book travel on their phones in the next year.
Nielsen predicts smartphone penetration in the U.S. will cross the 50 % line in 2011.

Travel gets smarter
More than 40% of smart phone owners already use their devices to get destination information, and 34% of business travellers / 26% of leisure travellers use them to make booking changes during their trip. World Travel Monitor

The young and the wireless
Close to half of smartphone users are under 35 years old.

You may have an app for that, but«

Less than a third of touch screen smartphone users are carryingiPhones carrying

A lot of consumers are fans of travel, but not travel companies
While over half of social network users are "fans" of companies, less than two in 10 are "fans" of travel companies

Word of mouth gets a megaphone

Nearly a third were at least somewhat influenced by comments from people in their online social network when making travel purchase decisions.

Word of mouth gets a megaphone
More than two thirds are at least slightly influenced by traveller-generated ratings when making purchase decisions

Even mom is on Facebook
Seven in 10 are members of an online social network, and membership is stronger among females than males.

Nearly nine in 10 social network users log on weekly or more often.

Geo-Location for City Exploration

Emphasis on Relationships
Cultivating relationships online will dominate value in content, links and promotion.

The Rise of the Supplier
2011 will be the year that airlines, hotels and incoming tour operators will begin to reclaim the web as theirs. Leading the charge will be companies like Google who will take consumers straight from product research through to the supplier website for booking. Regulatory bodies will have to catch up as the rise of the supplier will mean more cross-border transactions and affiliate marketing will begin to dominate vs balance collecting agent bookings. Alex Gisbert - Expedia

Photos are back in fashion

but videos will soon rule the web

Cisco predicts that by 2013, 90% of all web traffic will be videos.

The Need for Speed
Consumers need to get what they want even faster
Usability will be the key success factor saving those deep, cumbersome websites from instant dismissal by users.

A breakaway in 3D digital campaigns
Expect by the end of 2011 to see 3D advertising across TV, mobiles and the mainstream internet.

Highly Targeted Ads
Digital advertising will become increasingly more improved personal with targeting becoming a feature of every aspect of search, promotion and performance.

More Metrics
As advertising measurement improves, advertisers will engage in more guerrilla marketing and viral techniques as Twitter introduces more advertising options.

Greater Sophistication
Greater complexity in digital campaigns, with increased focus on tracking, targeting, remarketing, cross digital reporting and real time influences.

Group discount buying and Private sales sites

Since its launch, Groupon has grown to an estimated $350 million in estimated revenue for this year.

China is the place
China is on the way to become a significant player in the global online travel market. With 420 million internet users, a strong Chinese social media landscape, a big outbound market (54 million) and great GDP growth, China is definitely the tourism country to watch.

Other Social Media Trends

52% said they found information about the destination useful when choosing a holiday, while 38% said they found maps showing the location of the airport and resort useful.

Which website features help people to choose a holiday?
Almost 59% of respondents said that photos of the destination and accommodation help them to choose a holiday, while 25% would like to see videos. Reviews were another useful resource for 58% of respondents

Why would people abandon a travel purchase online?
Unclear pricing and hidden charges are the biggest bugbear for 64% of respondents, followed by lack of information (19%), the need for more help with the booking process(9%), and difficulties searching for holidays (8%).

Which resources do customers use for holiday research?
53% of respondents used travel agent¶s websites while researching their holiday purchase. 49% head for Google or some other search engine. 42% use flight or hotel search engines. 40% are influenced by recommendations from friends and family. 39% of respondents use Tripadvisor reviews as part of their research. Just under 10% use Facebook and other social sites for holiday research.

The Fact
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are facing intriguing challenges to provide quality information online in an era of information overload.

The Challenge
However, with websites such as Facebook, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Google Maps, WAYN, etc., many people question the role of DMO/NTO/CVB·s websites in 10 years from now.

While some others even question the role of OTAs in the years to come..

The Objective
A local or regional DMO should help to promote not only the destination as a whole, but also hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, theatre, sports, activities in the destination itself.

The Solution
DMOs need to go where the consumer is, instead of convincing the consumer to come to them.

DMOs Sector Snapshot

Right Here Right Now

Click & Watch

By Destination Marketing Association International

DMO Sector Snapshot
DMOs are significantly shifting ad dollars online and away from offline media, with some DMOs saying that online now accounts for more than 50 percent of the organization's total advertising budget.

DMO Sector Snapshot

DMO Sector Snapshot
According to the Expedia study, the shift of DMO marketing dollars to online media has occurred largely because of budget cuts and increasing pressure from governing bodies to measure results.

DMO Sector Snapshot
Many DMOs said they want to incorporate social media into the marketing mix, but have not yet determined the best way to leverage the channel in their marketing plans.

a few tips for DMOs DMOs

Getting the Basics Right..

Look Good (=nice & simple)!

A visually appealing website is a site that is easy to read, easy to navigate & find relevant information.

Content Is the King
Qualitative & diverse information, trip planning tools, attractive visual material including video & photo sharing applications, multilingual content, B2B & Press sections are all ´mustµ elements of a successful DMO website.

Engage Your Audience!

Create a social media strategy and know your KPIs.
Identify your visitors¶ social activities & build an on-line community to create user generated content and spread the word about your destination¶s competitive advantage & USPs.


There will be less and less the need for specific PPC, SEO or social media strategies as clients look more and more into integrated approaches.

Conversion strategies are the plans needed to convert a looker into a buyer!

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).

Defining specific metrics for measuring the success of your web presence is a must task. Once you do that, try to define your business metrics related to your web activity as well.

New DMO Social Media Metrics What Should I Be Measuring?

Measuring DMO Digital Marketing Efforts

Measuring DMO Digital Marketing Efforts

The four-step approach to your social media strategy

People Objectives Strategy Tactics
Assess your target groups social activities Decide what you want to accomplish

Plan for how relationships with your target market will change

Decide which social tools & communities to use & how to use these

Listen to what your target groups are saying online and locate where their conversations are taking place.

Identify visitors activity level and determine how best to move forward.

What is the goal? Awareness? Engagement? Collaboration? Visitors?

Select metrics that fit the objective and measure success regularly.

ls iti s est fit y r a ie ce, jective a strate y

Which t

Best Practices

DMO Website

Click & Watch

Social Media Campaign
Tourism Queensland: The Best Job in The World Marketing measures:
8.4 million site visitors, from every country 8 minute average time on site 34,680 job applications $390 Million AUD of publicity
Click & Watch

Business measures: First quarter of current fiscal year Australia tourism down, but Queensland tourism up 20%. 50% of Australia trips now include a Queensland component.

Facebook Games
Tourism Japan Facebook Game
Japan Tourism Agency has launched its online interactive facebook marketing campaign for Japan Tourism in Australia, Powder Dash.

Click & Watch

The online social media tourism marketing campaign ´Powder Dashµ is an Facebook app that allow you to carve deep powder tracks down a fresh mountain, hit jumps, score points and unlock a line of advanced boards to get you thinking about Japan.

Facebook Games
Tourism Ireland Facebook Game
Tourism Ireland has launched a new Facebook game called Ireland Town. Tourism Ireland projects that up to 100,000 Facebook fans will sign up to play Ireland Town in the next few weeks.

Given that Tourism Ireland currently has a fanbase of a quarter of a million people around the globe, and each of the fans has in turn an average of 130 friends, Tourism Ireland can potentially engage with 32.5m people worldwide.

Augmented Reality
Visit Holland - Holland Layar app
T e ut T urist ard, recently la nched s ch a smart ne a nder the na e ´H lland-layerµ sin the free Layar

Augmented Reality te n l gy.
Cli k & Wat Infor ation is enerated fro the to rist oard¶s data ase vering ints f interest in the co ntry. 17,

Mobile Application
µThailand on Your Hand¶¶ - Amazing Thailand Mobile Application
The official ´Amazing Thailandµ application is powered by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). It provides travel information such as: Destination Guides, Events & Festivals, Shopping, Thai Food, About Thailand, etc. When you travel to Thailand the app will be your perfect guide. You can find out where to go, how to get to places, where to stay, where to eat, and shopping information integrated with contacts, maps, phone, and GPS ± all searchable, portable and easily personalized.

Click & Watch

Collecting User Generated Content
Tourism Australia ± µnothing like Australia¶ campaign
Australians were invited to share their personal stories of where they live and holiday in Australia. uploaded nearly 30,000 stories and images to www.nothinglikeaustralia.c om
Click & Watch

For the next phase of the campaign, Tourism Australia used all the entries to create an interactive digital map of Australia, which attracts more than a million unique visitors each month, and also at

Collecting User Generated Content
Tourism Iceland ± µ¶Inspired by Iceland¶¶ Campaign

The stats: There were 150k visitors the first week. 1.1 million total visitors in 2010. That·s all traffic to
Click & Watch

Reputation Management
Visit Florida ² ¶·Great Visit Florida Beach Walk·· Visit Florida·s response
to misconceptions about the impact that the Deep Water Horizons disaster had on local beaches Visit Florida rolled out the ³Great Visit Florida Beach Walk´ campaign and mobilized the locals to take pictures of local beach conditions and then overlay the geo-coded photos on a map so that visitors can see what·s real for themselves.

Click & Watch

Using Social Media in a Crisis
Breathtaking Athens ² Real Time Tourist Safety Information Tourist authorities in the Greek capital Athens demonstrated how to utilise social networks to inform visitors about disruption and disorder. The official DMO representing the city ² used Twitter to inform visitors in and outside the country about how the protests events were unfolding. The more immediate interaction experienced on Twitter was also carried over to the DMO¶s Facebook page, where ± once again ² the organisation posted links to news stories about the protests and also offered advice to visitors.

Facebook Competition
VisitBritain ² Love UK Facebook Places Campaign
Using its Love UK Facebook page (68,000 fans and counting), VisitBritain is asking fans to check-in using Facebook Places at two of any one of the 300 tourism spots around the country tagged in the system.

Once a user has completed the task they are automatically entered into a draw to win a holiday worth £2,000 and £1,000 worth of shopping vouchers.

Foursquare Presence
Chicago ² Pensylvania ² Queensland ² York ² Tuscany on Foursquare

Most cities are liste on Fours uare and have lenty of hel ful ti s, ut very fe are arkete as a brand.

DMO·s need to keep an eye on the uality of infor ation and even create fun city-specific badges and games. Ultimately, they can add value to the tourism experience and reclaim their brand.

Thank You
Manolis Psarros ²

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