After the pandemic derailed numerous travel plans, many people plan to resume their trips in the new normal. In the United States alone, 37% of adult respondents intend to book domestic and international trips in 2022. According to research, many of these plans are being booked online. In fact, online travel bookings for products and services are expected to grow by 6.2% in 2023 Online Presence.
With that in mind, having an online presence is now non-negotiable for any business hoping to profit from tourism’s resurgence. However, building an online presence that attracts converts isn’t the same as pre-pandemic. To effectively draw in today’s tourists, here are some considerations to make:
Highlight your local authenticity
According to research, a destination’s niche position in the global market is competitive. When looking for a new place to visit, tourists look for unique culture, architecture, gastronomy, landscape, and shopping, among others. The more distinctly a location can set itself apart in these areas, the likelier they attract tourists. As such, your online presence should similarly highlight the same one-of-a-kind regional qualities. The more authentically local your branding is, the more it will be deemed valuable and worth trying among discerning tourists. Even if the services you offer aren’t distinctly localized, finding a way to represent your heritage in your branding will make you more memorable in an online search.
Prioritize being helpful to visitors
Most tourists will not be familiar with the nuances and subtleties that may be common knowledge in your region. Thus, it’s essential to be helpful and welcoming to visitors from all walks of life. For instance, when selling to tourists, explain convincingly the history, instructions, maintenance, and unique delivery options that accompany each product. This way, there are fewer chances of any essential and value-adding information getting lost in translation. The more your online information is complete, the higher the chances of getting more business from tourists.
If you offer chat options online, be efficient in answering inquiries. Make sure to provide concise and complete answers, furnish solutions to any pain points, and be especially warm and accomodating. When your online persona is credible, helpful, and friendly, clients are more likely to trust you and be loyal to your brand.
Educate yourself on communication trends
Due to ever-changing factors like the social climate, technological advancements, and pop culture, online communication is constantly shifting. Keeping updated with these communication trends ensures that your approach to content is always timely and appropriate. Thankfully, there are several ways that a business can effectively follow such trends and rapid changes. One way is by subscribing to online trendsetters from a similar field. Following these brands may give insight into the newest trends that you can quickly adapt yourself. Another more in-depth way is to undergo communications training, such as taking short courses on online content creation. These non-degree classes can teach skills like copywriting or social media marketing.
Higher education provides training for tourism leaders in the post-pandemic world for those who want more in-depth upskilling. Colleges and universities worldwide are redesigning their curriculum to get managers up-to-speed for operational success in the revitalized tourism industry. Part of this new curriculum is equipping socially and emotionally savvy managers. This enables employees to create and develop client-guest relationships through online communication programs, which train students in the latest trends on content creation, market research, and digital marketing. Tourism leaders can use these skills to keep their online presence agile, engaging, and scalable. Keeping on top of the current communications trends implies that you’re a new and relevant business worth transacting with.
Enhance your cybersecurity measures
The tourism and travel industry ranks third among sectors with the highest cybercrime incidents. Common attacks—including phishing, malware, and ransomware—can cripple you and your customers. To prevent these incidents, it’s better to have a proactive cybersecurity plan in place. Aside from your usual anti-virus and cybersecurity provider, this includes tailored cybersecurity training for your team.
Your team must be well-versed in cybersecurity practices even with a handful of people. On top of this, do share your cybersecurity efforts with visitors. Data breaches are among the most common worries of travellers. Especially as more important documents and financial information are sent digitally to tourist destinations. In addition, most travellers rely on digital transactions from banking to transportation and lodging during their trips. This makes many extra wary of online sites and entities. By assuring them that they won’t be compromised on your site, you’re immediately increasing your transparency and reliability.
With a well-rounded and mindful online presence, you can be a prime standout among tourists as domestic and international tourism gets reinvigorated.