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 www.argyllselfcatering.net 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!
We specialise in accommodation websites and tourism portals (such as www.kintyre.org) 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.