By Dr. Peter Tarlow, President and Founder of Tourism & More Inc.
Although many tourism practitioners believe that they are marketing a destination, it might be more accurate to call travel and tourism: “marketing with a destination”. All too often, travel and tourism professionals are so businesslike that they forget that the basis of a great marketing program is \”a passion-for-excellence.\” Tourism marketing is dependent on four intangibles: good luck, hard work, a sense of integrity, and a passion for people.
TripAdvisor, which began as a place to read reviews and research a trip, and lately has morphed into hotel bookings through metasearch, has a new frontier: TripAdvisor wants to become an in-destination personal concierge.
This extension of TripAdvisor’s interest into another facet of the travel cycle comes because of the proliferation of mobile devices, and is great news for tours and activities startups, many of which have been struggling with business models or have died off.
Don’t be surprised if TripAdvisor, which often buys a handful of travel startups each year, comes knocking on the door of GetYourGuide, 18-year-old Viator (although it would be relatively expensive), or another tours and activities startup to further TripAdvisor’s in-destination ambitions.
Skift sat down with TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer earlier this week, and he described TripAdvisor’s vision of the future, which broke down into four areas: global growth, becoming an in-destination personal concierge, vacation rentals, and improving TripAdvisor search.
Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing, John Concannon, this morning welcomed 600 travel bloggers to Ireland at the launch of TBEX 2013, the Travel Bloggers Exchange – the world’s largest conference and networking event for online travel journalists which takes place today and tomorrow.
Said Mr Concannon in a statement: “The future of travel and tourism is increasingly digital and the voice of bloggers is becoming more and more influential in helping travellers to decide which destinations to choose. I hope that while you are amongst us here in Ireland this week that you link, tweet, Facebook and ‘like’ all the great things to see and do here”.
TBEX 2013 arrives in Ireland following a competition which saw Fáilte Ireland’s bid win out over other international venues to bring the event here. Many of the delegates have taken the opportunity, while here, to tour Ireland on a number of Fáilte Ireland-organised tours and share their experiences with their followers.
TripAdvisor Now Removing Old Negative Reviews After Hotels Renovate
The redesigned Standard room with two double beds at the Millennium Hotel Minneapolis. Millennium Hotel Minneapolis / Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
Samantha Shankman, Skift
Sep 04, 20135:55 am
In response to hotel owners’ request for a fresh start following major renovations, TripAdvisor added a review removal policy last October, and updated the policy for clarity in July 2013.
The odds are big for hotels: In exchange for proof of major renovations, a hotel’s old reviews are wiped clean — a fresh start.
Hotels must produce proof of structural changes including the installation of new guest rooms or bathrooms, alterations to hotel layout, or complete property overhauls. Cosmetic changes like new paint or curtains do not count.
According to TripAdvisor’s Help Center (screenshot embedded below), hotels need to provide building permits, materials invoices, or press releases to prove that the renovations were indeed structural and completed.
Among the big travel marketing challenges every country faces is moving tourists beyond the gateway cities that they arrive in — to other parts of the country — and spread the economic benefit of tourism more equally instead of just the popular hubs. This is also the crux of the tension between national and state/regional tourism boards, as we wrote about here previously, citing the example of Tourism Australia and STOs in the country.
Another interesting and related new project comes from VisitBritain, on delivering more “regional spread” of tourists across the country beyond the gateway city of London. It recently commissioned research agency Olive Insight to conduct a study into why many visitors do not go beyond London, what the barriers are, and also what attracts those that do go beyond London to do so.
There’s only one place where ignoring the organization and logistics involved with travel really pays off. That’s in travel ads where people don’t want to think about renting a car or booking a tour, but want to imagine themselves steeped in culture in front of vistas they’ve only seen in their dreams.
Consequently, this week’s ad roundup looks at the romantic side of travel. It looks past business meetings to see face-to-face human connection, turns arguably irresponsible last-minute trips into a celebration of spontaneity, and highlights how ancient trails can become a modern-day action movie.