Before we run off to all corners of the internet to start marketing our tourism business we need to take a few steps back and ask ourselves a very important question:

What tourism product do we want to market on the internet?

From my experience selling tours online and talking to many other tourism business owners there are certain products which are suited to being marketed and sold online. I should mention that this entire site is for the online marketing of “experience tourism” as opposed to “core tourism product”.

The best tourism product to market online will fit the following criteria:

– Fixed departure time and place.

People are looking online to find an experience that they can book on the date and time that they want.

Good example: A city walking tour that departs daily with the choice of 2 different departure times.

Not so good example: A tour operator promoting customized day tours from a city and the customer must email to confirm availability and finalize the itinerary.

– Fixed price that customers can see from the start.

Our goal is to make the sale online without having to reply to emails for each and every inquiry.

Good example: A scuba diving tour website with a full price list (adult, children, family etc) which is clearly visible and bookable online. best attraction Sentosa singapore 

Not so good example: A travel agency which builds an itinerary for the customer and comes back with a package price. (I work with very successful companies that do this but the methods and strategies I am developing here are probably not the most suitable for this business model)

– Align your tourism business with a local tourist ICON.

I believe success in tourism is all about icons. People visit certain areas to see these tourism icons and in some way you need to be a part of this equation.

My own business (HikingGuys.co.nz) in Christchurch, New Zealand is an example: I operate a guided tour which combines a guided walk in a national park with a hugely popular scenic train ride called the TranzAlpine. Of course walking is popular in New Zealand but by combining it with this local “icon” (The TranzAlpine train) I have increased my exposure and I have no doubt this has contributed hugely to the growth in this tour.

Think about the last time you went on holiday: What were the must do activities? How did this influence how and what you booked online?

How does this relate to our online marketing?

When you align yourself with a local icon you are part of a “must do” experience. These are the things people spend time online researching and booking in advance because they don’t want to miss out. If pages on your website are optimized for the keywords related to these icons this will improve your site’s rankings on search engines.

In a series of 5 articles I am covering the basic elements of success in internet marketing for tourism businesses. This is No. 2 in the series on which tourism product works best with online marketing