When I speak with businesses about training their staff, many struggle with the transient nature of staff in the tourism industry, especially in towns like Queenstown, Te Anau and other places where there's a large number of tourism businesses.
Recruiting quality staff is a challenge, and investing in training them can cost a lot. But what is the cost if you don't train them?
It doesn't have to be difficult, though. By having good systems in place where you can train them yourself, your business will provide the quality customer experience that you expect.
But what about your own training and development? How much time do you spend planning the next few years of your business growth, your product development, marketing trends, distribution etc?
I see time and time again that business owners or managers who invest in their own development achieve far greater results than others.
Currently, tourism growth is softening. There are many factors that can be attributed to this, from worldwide political situations to economic slowdown. So the more reason to work ON your business and plan for the next few years.
If you're interested in growing your business, then check out the new courses below. Over the last 22 years, I have worked with hundreds of tourism businesses and am most happy to have a chat to you if you have any questions about the new Tourism Success Programmes.
Registrations are now open (for April/May start) - click on the link below, or go to www.smartraining.co.nz.
Happy new year to you!
Here are 5 Tourism Marketing Trends for 2019!
Trend 1: The rise of Instagram for tourism.
Instagram has grown at a much faster pace than Facebook has in the past. It’s a great visual platform for tourism businesses and by learning how to use Instagram ‘properly’, including the use of hashtags, you can reach and keep in touch with customers in an effective way.
Trend 2: The growth of Google Reviews (and Google bookings).
You will have noticed the increase in Google Reviews and Google Local Guides. The advantage of this is that everyone uses Google and it’s a good to have an alternative way to review to Tripadvisor. Google has offers online booking - you can book directly from the operator's Google Listing through one of the existing Online Travel Agencies (OTA's). Google clips the ticket.
Oh, and did you know that Tripadvisor is going ‘social’ too? Late last year, they launched their own social media platform. I won’t go into too much detail here, but to be honest, I’m not sure what to think of it and whether it will take off.
Trend 3: The increased importance of content marketing.
Content marketing has been growing in the last few years, but now businesses are becoming more strategic about it. Content marketing involves developing quality and unique content that will benefit your customers. Think about imagery, blogs, videos (virtual reality/360 degree videos) etc.
By developing a content strategy (rather than posting random ad-hoc content) for your website, social media, blog etc, you will have quality material that will encourage your customers to book you, share your content and follow you. User-generated content (USG) is when your customers’ photos for example are shared on social media. UGC is hugely powerful and should be a part of your content strategy.
Trend 4: Mobile marketing & the growth of voice search. With between 75% and 80% of visitors using their smartphone while on holiday, the growth of voice search has grown too. Paying more attention to the mobile user experience and speed is important – how does your mobile site perform and is it optimised for voice search.
We’ll also see the growth of payment methods such as Alipay, Wechat pay and Whatsapp pay.
Trend 5: Direct marketing. More and more hotel chains world-wide are using direct marketing to reach customers as their share of bookings (and thus paying more commission) to Online Travel Agencies (such as booking.com and expedia) has grown so much. Many hotels are focusing on direct marketing to their customers and I believe it’s hugely important that smaller accommodation and activity operators do this too. Don’t forget that you don’t control what’s happening on social media. What you do control are your own customer databases.
Do you need help with your business and marketing strategy? Do you want to learn and keep up to date? Then check out the new Tourism Business Success Programme and the new Agritourism Success Programme. Go to www.smartraining.co.nz for more info!
Thanks if you've taken the time to fill in my brief survey (if you haven't click here to do so - it'll help me provide you with the tips you want!).
One of the topics you were interested in most, was how to grow your business. I've developed a simple diagram:
Grow your business by identifying ways to:
Write down all options and then prioritise the actions that will bring you the best results.
When you do your business and marketing planning, you can use this diagram to help you grow your business!
Have a great weekend! Till next week, Marijke
NOTE: Registrations are open for the "Starting a Tourism Business - Hit the ground running" course in Dunedin on 30 March 2017 - see below!
If you want to be successful in business, you need to stand out! Be remarkable! Here are 8 ways to help you stand out from your competition:
Till next week, Marijke
How to come up with a name for a new product or business (and some funny examples of bad business names!)
To put a smile on your face, here are a few examples of bad business names! Well, some may be ok in their language, but sound funny in English!
Have you ever had to come up with a name for a new business or product? If you have, you know it’s not an easy thing.
There aren’t really any rules when it comes to business or product names, but there are some things to think about that will make it easier. Whether you are setting up a new business or are developing a new product, you’ll have it for a while (hopefully)…
Here are some tips to help you come up with a good name:
• Make sure the name is simple, easy to pronounce, memorable and easy to spell.
• Research the web, the companies websites etc. to ensure the name isn’t already taken
• Ensure the domain name you want is available (and relates to your name – preferably the same word as your name so it’s easy to find online)
• Ensure it’s different from your competition
• If you’re considering trademarking the name, ensure someone else hasn’t already done so
• Stay away from negative connotations
• Make sure the name doesn’t mean something negative or inappropriate in other languages
• Don’t restrict your name too much (with the eye on future growth) or limit yourself to a place name (in case you move!)
Ideas on how to generate names:
• Brainstorm words that relate to the product / service
• Words that relate to the benefits for the customer
• Words that relate to the values/quality of the company and products
• Words related to colours, animals, plants, your industry, your types of customers etc.
• Use a thesaurus to look up related names/words
• Consider combining words
• Ensure your name is meaningful rather than too generic
• Use adjectives
• Use humour
• Does it evoke emotion?
A little plug for the 2016 Marketing for Success Programme, starting in April. Don't miss it if you want to bring your business to the next level! Click here for more info!
Till next week, Marijke
Marijke Dunselman. Click here to read more about us!