Marketing Your Resort in the 21st Century
Career Path : Hospitality
There was a time when if you wanted to travel to an exotic location or soak up the sun at an exclusive resort, you were at the mercy of an experienced travel agent. There you would get information, look at pictures, compare vacation packages, book your flights, hotel room, and even restaurant reservations and special activities. Today, while travel agencies still exist, most people begin their vacation research right at home in front of their computers.
One can visit travel sites like Wikitravel and the Lonely Planet for destination information, and use sites like Travelocity and Expedia to compare flight, hotel and car rental prices, and book reservations. There are also loads of online message boards and user review sites to get regular customer reviews and suggestions from non-professionals. In the past, hospitality managers at resorts would work with travel agents. But today, people working in hospitality and tourism need to think of new ways to reach potential vacationers without the help of a travel agent. There are some more obvious ways to market your resort, like taking out ad space in one of the above-mentioned websites. But how does a resort cut above the clutter of similar ads to get noticed?
A big part of today’s hospitality business management industry needs to focus on these new ways of getting business. Being able to connect with potential customers through social media and interactive campaigns is at the heart of 21st century’s marketing strategy. Here are two different but equally important strategies:
YouTube â Does your resort have its own YouTube channel? Not only can the resort management post videos showing off their facilities as an online commercial, but you should also invite guests to post their own home-made movies taken at your resort. This lends an authenticity that sponsored ads can not match. Keep a close eye on the comments section to moderate it for only constructive and informative remarks, allowing serious users to discuss your resort and exchange suggestions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) â When someone searches for beach resorts or white water rafting packages, thousands of results can come up. SEO is great way to make sure your particular resort or vacation package comes to the top of the list. It does this by guaranteeing your sites will have enough of the key searched words to generate visiting traffic. Another method is to publish articles in separate vacation websites or article databases that link back to your resort’s website. Clicking on a top search engine link is far more common and trusted than clicking on an advertisement or sponsored link.
Aside from these two strategies, one should also maintain an online social media presence with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Like any good education for 21st century marketing, an outstanding tourism business management college should integrate the business skills to run a modern resort with the marketing skills to advertise effectively online.
Visit the Canadian Tourism College for information on hospitality management school.