Thursday, 31 March 2011

Regional Tourism Concerns Highlighted

We work with many businesses reliant on tourism throughout Argyll and have been involved in developing and delivering public tourism events for a number of years so we know just how important tourism is and what's needed for attration, delivery, businesses and consumers.

What we do know is that like employment and other national and international problems, tourism is not going to escape significant changes. It's at times like these that we all endeavour to try something different to capture new business or cut costs. With websites though.. you pretty much get what you pay for, so scrimping and saving is not the best way forward for web businesses, particularly tourism related, certainly as competition increases this is potentially detrimental.

It should be clear by now if you have a business that relies on tourism for its majority business you must know your customer, understand your customer and reach your customer because as visitors to Scotland decline there are significantly less to go around, you only have to look at Visit Scotland's imposed budget cut of 6% earlier this year for evidence of that. It could be argued as tourism declines further investment should be made to support the increasing number of accommodation providers and tourist businesses, with uk destinations such as the Lake District and of course the ever popular Cornwall, not to mention other reviving destinations its never been more important to brand and sell a destination along with businesses within it.

Making Tourism Work For You & What You Need

There are several key things you need to do to make tourism work for you;
  • Ensure your business website is current and changes regularly

    We recommend you (or your web developer is asked) to make changes to your website at least every 3 months. The minimum you should do is add new photos or little snippets of interesting and related information.

  • Investigate your local tourism websites

    Get on Google, Yahoo and Bing and fnd out where your website is for related key word terms, if it doesnt appear in the first two pages you need to look at your website to make some changes and also consider online marketing.

  • Online marketing

    There are thousands of websites to choose from so you need to be careful in where you advertise, not only for inbound links, but also for reaching your customers. Websites with short and concise names are usually best, for instance if you are looking for Self Catering in Argyll in a search you should see appear, this is an example of effective keyword target marketing - miss out at your peril!

  • Look at regional marketing groups

    Grant funding seems to have all but dried up and there is an implied necessity to work as a team to sustain business in rural areas but contributing to tourism initiatives, so look around to see if there is anyone or any businesses in the area actively marketing your tourist region on various levels - county, region, town or village, business type - if there isn't anyone doing this you should consider starting something - dozens of places all over Scotland currently do this.

  • The days of walk in custom have gone

    Now people can virtually see all destinations and businesses online - if a place isnt online, it doesn't mean there is an area shrowded in mystery and intrigue, it is highly likely that its not worth visiting - so unless your locale has a magnificent web presence there is a chance potential custom can be lost, invest in your local websites... its the future!
That's the tip of the iceberg but highlights a few initial important steps in investigating and taking action to ensure your business and the businesses around you are able to be sustainable and continue to attract visitors, particularly in the staycation market which is a key layer in regional economic activity.

We specialise in accommodation websites and tourism portals (such as which can help your area tremendously but remember... a handful of subscribers will only get a handful of marketing and development.. that moves us onto business ethics which will be in our next post.

If you need assistance with websites, online marketing and other related services why not contact us for a no commitment discussion or quote.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Your Website Is Your Shop Window

How often have you walked down the high street and looked in a shop window only to see the same products and layout as last month, and in some cases last year?

Does it attract you to go in?
Does it give you the opinion that business is successful and turning over stock?
Do you get the opinion that that business is passionate and involved in what they do?

The answer to all these questions is probably no, and if it isn't then it should be!

Well the same applies to your website, when was the last time you had some changes made? How old are the photos on your website? Do you have a new product or updated your accommodation and not informed your web developer?

We live, work, and participate in an incredibly technologically driven dynamic society. Everything is on demand, consumers require much more for their money, and some people check websites daily for new content, price updates and more.

Remember, your website is your shop window, if you dont keep it current, up-to-date, and relaying the latest news and information about your products and services you just may end up losing customers to someone else who does!

A Couple Of Handy Tips

Watch your competitors.
When they make changes, you should consider updating yours.

New Season, New Content
If its a new season, such as the start of Spring, its a great time to make changes to reflect the new season, or to refresh content. Spring is an ideal time for tourism based businesses to make a large update.

Big Business, Big Changes
If you have a larger business, or larger number of products you should make changes much more frequently than smaller businesses. Always invest a proportion of income to keep your website current, developing, and growing!

Be Creative

It's not always easy to be creative and find new reasons to communicate with your customers but its good practice, rewarding to try and enjoyable. Take elements of what you enjoy about your business and sell it to your customers.