Talking Tourism: Managing the tourism experience with online marketing

In an online article by earlier this month entitled “Manage the Tourism Experience”, the issue of the relationship between tourism and online marketing once again came to the fore.

In the article, talk about three ways in which companies can use mobile marketing tools to retain existing customers as opposed to obtaining new ones:

Using social media, companies and destinations are able to share information snippets and viral clips with existing travellers at a much faster rate. Cape Town Tourism was singled out in this article as a Destination Marketing Organisation that has made effective use of these platforms, engaging with its community via the web, Facebook, twitter and mobi in order to provide interesting and relevant information about Cape Town and what’s on in the City. Cape Town Tourism’s “I love Cape Town” Facebook fan page launched just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup has grown beyond 200 000 fans for Cape Town, making it one of the largest fan pages in South Africa.

Location-based marketing is the online or mobile marketing of products and services to people within a specific location. Companies can make use of the normal cell phone network to enable positioning whilst users gain info by plugging in the company’s GIS Latitude and Longitude coordinates. Some examples of companies using this tool are Foursquare, globally and Vodacom’s mobile social network, The Grid, locally. Momentum is gathering for location-based marketing as search engines, mobi sites, and even social media platforms such as Facebook advertising get in on the action. Now innovators in the hotel industry are starting to introduce a similar concept called hotel location-based marketing which will help provide both would-be guests, and those staying already, with a great deal of information. It also allows constant two way contact with reception - like a roving concierge. notes that most important stage of retaining customers is to ensure that guests leave with a good impression and share this news. Reading up on user-generated review sites are on the to-do list for most travellers when planning a holiday. Good news for Cape Town, which was just recently voted the Number One Destination by Tripadvisor’s users.

These three tools are just some that can enhance the travellers experience through information sharing and communication. As we move further into the digital era we see mobile technologies playing a huge role in managing the tourist experience, as well as providing a platform for tourism stakeholders to communicate with each other and with customers.

This winter Cape Town Tourism has partnered with community-driven group buying service, CityMob, to offer great value winter specials to Capetonians and visitors alike. Visit our winter page. noted that it is seven times more expensive to obtain a new customer than it is to sell to an existing one; and by using online/ mobile marketing tools and social media platforms the job of retaining these customers is that much easier to accomplish.

Try it – its fun!

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