4 Marketing Tips to boost Tourism in these Covid-19 times
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the global tourism industry and in particular the Kenyan tourism market. And despite the slow opening of economy and lifting of lock-downs, we are yet to see the numbers rise to the desired output. The pandemic has literally grounded the industry to a halt, with over 2.3 million employees sent home, a majority on unpaid leave while the lucky ones on half-pay. That is hardly surprising given that a record 1.5 billion tourists traveled internationally in 2019. The bans notwithstanding, many travellers are yearning to go back at least some form of normalcy for the Christmas and New Year’s festivities. Having been at home for an average of six months, the time has come for many to find some fresh air, have fun and still maintain the Covid-19 safety protocols. The questions in many tour operators at this time is how will they at meet their end of year targets? What kind of marketing strategies or campaigns will attract back the travellers who themselves are in panic mode? How will the tourism sector reassure the population that there are still opportunities of travelling?
At CrystalPerk Mombasa, we have seen these tried and tested ways through which digital marketing that can be used to support the lifeline of this ailing sector. The value of digital marketing is seen in the long term when there is enough support to convert the marketing leads to actual sales. This includes, hotels and other forms of accommodation, along with airlines, car rental services, restaurants, entertainment venues, travel agents and tour operators.
Some of the top tourism marketing strategies for tourism and activity providers are:
- Understand your customers- first get to understand your ideal customers, what drives them to book and how they prefer to book. A quick research will give you your market segmentation, market valuation and the results to look for. Reinforce your digital engagement to bolster your knowledge of what your customers may like and what they don’t like about the company and get to hear their feedback about the services you provide and what you can do to improve the services.
- Send emails – Emails are the most valuable marketing asset. Through the right email marketing strategies, you will win the hearts of your prospects sooner than bore them with email spams. Create an active email list that will ideally have a subscription form that will invite visitors into the online community and thereafter you can connect with them and convert them into paying customers. You want your prospects to think about your during these festivities. Make sure your emails are what will make them remember you from among the competition.
- Use social media as a marketing channel and choose the right platform where your customers are and set up a strategy for each platform. For example, Facebook is the most crowded social media network and you can easily find a large target audience and advertise your company. When used correctly, it has quick returns. You may sponsor a post or run a campaign, to attract attention. Keep it simple and fresh. others include Instagram, and YouTube whose following ideally are intertwined to bring about maximum results.
- Optimize your Website – Long gone are the days when websites were used as digital brochures. Your website is the foundation for all your internet marketing efforts. Create engaging content, and blogs that will continually attract users to your website. Make sure to optimize it frequently to improve user experience and boost conversion rate. The website should be mobile friendly so as to reach a wider audience.
The implementation of these tourism marketing strategies will help you increase the visibility of your business whether it is at the startup phase, a growing business or an established company. The efforts of digital marketing are for attracting a larger target audience, convert them to actual sales via your sales team and get a better return on your marketing investment.
The government is expected to engage in an aggressive post-COVID-19 tourism marketing, which includes a 30 million dollars loan facility set aside to support renovation of tourist sites and restructuring of business operations by players in the industry. Join in the fray and ensure you reap big harvest even in these uncertain times.