Archive for February, 2007
Technorati Tags: web 2.0
There’s certainly some truth in this and there is no doubt companies are trying to game the system themselves or by using PR agencies as proxies. This doesn’t diminish the validity of concept. It is the cumulative effect of user generated content that has value. It’s based on the principle of the “Wisdom of Crowds” which is higher than that of professional experts. The generation of web users who grew up familiar with the idea of finding solutions and opinions online will bring the necessary critical mind to it and negate the hype published by the manipulators
Remaking the City’s Image, With 50 Million Tourists in Mind
I like it when old Madison Avenue agency types are talking about how they’re going to revolutionize how to successfully market a destination sounding as if they’ve just invented the discipline.
What’s spelled out in this article has all been done by industry professionals before. When I read that the innovative "new idea" is to allow visitors to their website to book their accommodation and local services I can only say "where have spent the last five years?". That’s been done by dozens if not hundreds of destinations around the world for at least as long, in some cases since before.
Also, marketing NYC is one of the easier jobs in the tourism industry. The city has about as high a global brand recognition as you can ask for. Doesn’t take a genius to do this job well and increase the visitor numbers.
A new logo for Italy is all they come up with?
I’m not impressed by either logo or slogan and the website seems to me like one of those expensive productions by a design focused agency that might know the latest tools and gadgets but doesn’t seem to understand what it takes to make it easy for potential visitors to plan a visit and then book the trip right on a destination website. It’s all about design and cool features rather than about ease of navigation based on a logical architecture and result oriented interaction. Too bad, really for a great country and top travel destination.
testimonial I found via Seth Godin’s blog on Alchemic Spot: Guerilla Tourism Board
It shows how priceless a spontaneous action by a local person can greatly influence the image of a destination. Of course, knowing how hospitable so many Canadians are this didn’t really surprise me that much, but still this guy deserves an A+ and a at least a pat on the back by Winnipeg Tourism.
I must be hones, I’m reading this article with quite a bit of glee. Why? Because I remember only a few years ago when I ventured that in the not too distant future a majority of people would research, plan and book their trips online, I was called all sorts of names and given a list of arguments why this would not happen any time soon. Well, at the risk of sounding smug, I can’t resist the comment "I told you so!"
This brings me to yesterday’s post about DMOs and booking engines. Knowing how the process is unfolding and that it starts online, why would anyone having customers foremost in mind not offer them the opportunity to DREAM – LEARN – PLAN and GO right on one destination site? Many of them already do, like The Bahamas and Switzerland
The rest will soon follow, mark my words (sorry, I couldn’t help that!)
This question was discussed intensively back in the late ’90s in Switzerland and it was finally resolved in 1999 when MySwitzerland.com the site for the Swiss NTO was built with a fully functioning hotel booking engine with the widest coverage of accommodation across the country, something no other organization was offering. Of course, there was opposition by entrenched interests including travel agents.
The basic question here is not one of competing with private industry but to fulfill the mandate which in most cases is focused on increasing visitor numbers and expenditures and not on protecting existing distribution channels, both domestic and international. While a DMO booking engine by itself is today not a huge profit center, it is an essential customer service tool of increasing importance.
With the travel planning process increasingly starting on destination websites it is only consistent with a customer centric philosophy to offer those interested and motivated potential visitors an immediate possibility to purchase their vacation right then and there. Handing them off to all sorts of third parties is a pre-internet business model.
At the very least a DMO website should be a booking platform for supplier and third party travel offers. Experience has shown that a majority of these partners appreciates additional distribution opportunities for their products. Channel conflict management is an issue addressed by many other industries and has to be tackled by the travel industry too. Again, what should get top priority in the discussion is customer focus and not destination internal politics.
as this article in eMarketer.com – Online to Account for Majority of US Travel Market
clearly shows. Websites are now used for more than just planning and research but for booking. One result that surprised me is the fact that web 2.0 tools don’t seem to be important factors yet in creating loyalty for online travel sites. This begs the question of how fast travel sites will offer such features on their sites if they don’t see an immediate customer demand for them.
Read this interesting post and reflect on how your destination site performs. Biznology: Do You Know How Searchers Behave? With so many DMO sites suffering from information overload it’s even more necessary to take this customer or searcher centric approach. After all, why drive all that traffic to a site that looks more like a maze than a funnel that allows the Dream – Learn – Plan – Go sequence to play itself out logically.
that plays on the heritage of the state and presents it in a very effective, innovative way. It has all the elements that make the web such an effective communications tool, viral, social, participatory and most of all fun. Go here and enjoy!
which to me sounds like a very reasonable idea and great use of a tax that is collected from visitors in the first place, right? It’s a model used by many others, including Florida.
Now, what beats me is that the state Commerce Director, who I would think has an interest in boosting the state economy, would prefer that more of that tax collected goes into funding incarceration. Sounds to me more like misappropriation of funds than anything else, unless, of course, he might attempt to have more visitors arrested and then they would pay for their own stay, right!
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