Building a Social Media Travel & Tourism Strategy

However, since the buzz about social media optimization continues, I find many digital marketers in the travel and tourism sector (not to mention generally) are still struggling with how to apply the latest and greatest tactics to drive real value from social media.

Many of the marketing people I speak working within the various hotel chains often claim to be undertaking a social marketing campaign. However, I meet very few who are doing this within a broader integrated campaign and at best is often a simply fan page on Kaixin, renren or Facebook. This is a very one dimensional understanding of the use of social media marketing and misses a huge opportunity to develop a dialog with communities of travelers (and potentially reach new clients).

Further, many hoteliers and other travel suppliers are not aware of their standing on travel review and social sites. They don’t take advantage of the review sites, either as a way to gauge the competition or have a better understanding of the sentiment related to their brand. You should realize that when someone searches in a search engine, these review sites will be shown in the search results. Therefore it’s critical to seed the basic listing info necessary to draw users into learning more about your service. In the travel planning and research cycle, exposure to your brand constantly reinforces the idea that you may just have something to suit a particular type of traveler. Be sure all of your information is up to date, including rates, URL, phone numbers, office hours, etc., and provide an accurate and unique description of the business to each site whenever possible. You’d be amazed how much of the information out there is out of date or duplicated across multiple sites based on outdated information. Test it out.. if you have not done so, pop your brand into Baidu or Google and look at the results.. also don’t stop at page three.. I like to continuing looking at the search results on the 4th and 5th pages.. often this is where I find either the most positive or most negative feedback.

So a of couple of take always for those in the travel sector wanting to get more from social media marketing (smm). Understand your objectives of a social media campaign, understand the time-frame and what you are using to measure success, leverage review sites, use tools to measure your brands sentiment and also know where people are talking about you online.

Just as an online branding campaign is unique so is a SMM campaign. However, the tips above are universal and may help you in securing better outcomes for your campaign and ultimately your brand. If you have some more take aways of have suggestions on other key points please add them here.

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How to Design a Travel & Tourism Website

To learn about the Strategic Website Marketing methods, tips, tactics, techniques, useful information on powerful advertising, most effective promotional tips, resources, training courses by expert marketers, spam free e-mail marketing lists, e-zines, articles, press releases, and much more will help you grow your business fast.

The first thing to start to promote your business is to have a Website. If your Website was designed professionally, and attractively as well, it would have a better chance to attract more visitors than others.

Make sure your Website has these important elements:

* An attractive design to catch the eyes of the visitors, and make them review the information and details given on your Front Page and on other pages. Vivid photos will greatly help.

* Provides short but to the point information on the travel services you offer, the benefits, options, the experience level of the company and the qualifications of the staff.

* Gives information on destinations, environments, activities, accommodations, food, meals, dates, prices, discounts on prices, and fun. This information should be given in a way to excite and motivate the visitors to purchase your offers.

* Highlights the activities and the places to visit which travelers generally show great interest.

* Clearly states what’s different in these destinations that is unknown to most people, if applicable.

* Provides information on safety and security issues, procedures and precautions, how your company will protect the travelers’ safety, inoculations, first aid & medical emergency.

* Provides information on insurance and travel insurance companies.

These are the key elements your travel and tourism Website must have.

Then, you have to expose your offers listed at your Website to your potential customers, to multi-millions of them, and motivate them to visit your Website right away.

Your Website must also have the elements to attract the attention of the visitors to the content, and create a desire to review them.

Testimonials by your happy customers, may be with beautiful photos will keep the visitors longer at your Website and motivate them to read the information about the destinations and activities you offer in your tour programs.

Internet provides great opportunities for all businesses to promote their Websites on hundreds of thousands of high traffic sites, mostly for FREE or very cost effectively. This is extremely important for marketing your travel related business, too, most profitably.

The problem is, it takes a lot of time to search all over the Internet to find thousands of best sites to submit your URL.

Online travel and tourism directories and guides can help you save tremendous amount of time, since they provide lists of thousands of links to almost all sites, in almost all categories, you would need to visit.

There are also websites and marketing programs providing you with the lists of the most effective marketing sites, tips and tactics to reach millions of your potential customers and bring them to your Website;

One of the most popular marketing methods which is used by almost all online business owners is link popularity through exchanging links with other Websites.

You can easily find many link exchange programs through search engines to start to exchange links with other websites, in any
category you choose.

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Wiki Strategy: Promoting your Travel, Tourism or Lodging Website

A wiki is a website which allows users to add and edit content collectively. “Wiki wiki” means “rapidly” in the Hawaiian language.

A public wiki can be visited and edited by anyone using a browser. This creates a powerful online collaboration environment that is self-managed by its users. Wikis are considered part of the social internet, and a category of Web 2.0. There are many wikis that provide opportunities for hotels, inns, resorts and other tourism and hospitality businesses to post their own listings.

How big are Wikis? The most famous and, frankly, awe-inspiring wiki is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). According to Alexa, it is the 9th most popular website in the United states.

A private wiki can be password protected so only users can view and edit the information. This makes an excellent collaboration tool for your hotel’s work-team. We have tested over a dozen wikis for this purpose, and currently use several within our offices and manage hundreds of pages of collaboratively edited information.
From a hospitality and tourism marketing strategy perspective, a Wiki offers you the opportunity to copyright about your own area and business. The results will send your website qualified traffic, let you manage your hospitality brand, and most likely send you qualified traffic and online revenue. These are entirely free marketing resources, but you must make the time to utilize them.

Before you start exploring and entering your own copy, take 20 or 30 minutes and learn how to edit a page.

Etiquette: many wikis let you make updates anonymously. Ideally, you should log-in and create an identity. Don’t be self-serving or self-promoting — while you want your business added, it is better to build out complementary and appropriate information as part of adding your business (depends on the wiki what that info is. It is OK to correct mistakes, it is not OK to remove competitors. When you add a new page, make sure you start with the template that is appropriate. If you make mistakes, other people will fix them, and if you “spam” with inappropriate content, other people will remove you.

Wikipedia is a powerful resource that many hospitality businesses should be added to. Also check out its sister site, Wikitravel (www.wikitravel.org) for a website that is definitely appropriate for any hotel, inn, resort, hospitality or tourism website. Taking a few hours to create an information rich page about your area, your niche and/or your business is worth your time.

Wikicompany is a business focused resource that lets you add your company for free in just a few moments. See the listing I made for a hotel website marketing company.

There is a growing number of niche wikis, an example being SingleTrackwiki for mountain bikers. Keep your eye out for these and add to them if appropriate. They always appreciate quality content.

RoaringForkWiki. is an example of a wiki about an geographic area, the Roaring Fork Valley. That is the home of Blizzard Internet Marketing, and is a wiki produced and managed by Blizzard.

Many people want to set up their own wikis about topics they are passsionate about, or about their area. Mediawiki is a professional level version for real geeks. I would generally recommend you try an easy online versions try wetpaint, seedwiki, jotspot or stikipad which are easy to setup and get going.

We recommend you take a few hours and implement an online marketing strategy to promote your Travel, Tourism or Hotel website in wikis.

Resources:
Qwika is a wiki search engine if you want to search over 1000 wikis at once. Its results are dominated by wikipedia.
Check out the html to wiki tool if you plan on migrating web-based content to a wiki.
Mashable Blog on Stikipad
More about WikiCompany
New York Times on wikis in business

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A Rewarding Career in Travel & Tourism Industry

The global tourism industry is booming presently. Number of domestic as well as international arrivals has more than tripled. The tourism industry accounts for more than $1000 billion and is expected to grow by 200% in next five years.

Tourism also in a major way contributes to the economy indirectly through its association with other sectors such as horticulture, agriculture, poultry, handicrafts and construction.

Career in Travel & Tourism

Travel and tourism is United States’ 2nd largest service export industry, 3rd largest trade industry and one of the largest employment providers. There are various courses available that can help you become a part of this sector.

If you love to interact with people, travel to various places and be a part of the service industry, then a career in tourism is ideal for you. You can choose to become a travel agent, guide, tourism manager, tour operator, adventure travel guide, airline service staff and so on.

You can either join a diploma or a certificate course in tourism and travel. You can choose a Travel Agent Certificate program, Tour operator Certificate course, Airline Certificate course, Cruise Line Certification course, Hospitality courses, Tourism Management and so on.

What you get to learn?

One needs to have a good business sense to be in the travel industry. A course in tourism will teach you all aspects of becoming an effective travel professional. Some of the topics covered are:

National and International Air travel
Cruise Lines
Railway Reservations and travel
Lodging & Accommodations
Tour packages
Fare and reservation structures
About various Destinations
Quality Management
Project Supervision
Basics of Tourism Management
Organizational Behavior
Marketing Strategies

Various jobs opportunities are available within the public and private sectors. In the public sector, you can be employed with tourism department or directorates. A lot of interesting opportunities can be found with the private sector like Airlines, Tours Operators, Travel Agencies, Hotels and so on.

Job Profiles for Various Sectors

Tourism Department
In the tourism department, employment can be found in reservations, counter staff, marketing and sales, tour planners and tour guides. One can also be with the directorates and department of tourism. You get to be involved with the planning and promotion of tourism activities.

Airlines
Airlines provide a glamorous and rewarding job option. You can find employment as Traffic Assistant, Reservation Staff, Bookings Manager, Air hostesses & Stewarts, Sales and Marketing personnel etc.

Travel Agencies
Travel Agencies use agents to promote tour packages. They make arrangements of travel, accommodations, currency conversions, budgets, special needs, tourist attractions and planning. Tour operators organize tours to the various tourist spots and manage the travel and stay of the tourists.

Hotel Industry
One can find ample opportunities within the hotel industry in various departments. You can be a part of Operations, Front-office, House-keeping, Accounting, Maintenance, Public Relations and many more interesting departments.

Transport
Besides Airlines, travels include rail services, coach operators and car hire companies. Transport includes air, road, railways and sea. Job profile for people employed with rail and road transport includes planning, chalking out the tour program, calculating costs, arranging accommodation and other facilities like food and entertainment.

Personality Traits required to be a part of Tourism Sector

People who are a part of the tourism industry interact with people on a daily basis. There are certain personality traits required to efficiently handle the various responsibilities and tasks in the travel and tourism sector.

Good Inter-personal skills
Effective communication
High level of patience
Hardworking & Responsible
Good Marketing Skills
Creative Abilities
Ability to handle Emergencies
Organizational skills

Job Outlook for Travel & Tourism Industry

Experience, Marketing Skills, Communication skills and the Size and Location of the organization determine the salary of a travel agent/professional.

Full-time employee positions at travel companies are well-paid. Job prospects both in public and private sectors are excellent.

However, the most rewarding jobs for qualified tourism professionals are in the private sector with travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, railways, hotels, transport and cargo companies etc.

Jobs in the travel & tourism industry offer good remuneration and benefits, which include free travel for employees and their families. Salaries can vary depending on the industry and are higher in foreign airlines and agencies.

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India Travel Tourism – Opening Gates to Beauty With Diversity

India is a land that converges scenic beauty, wonderful and ancient history and also various cultures. This is a country that beholds unity in diversity and uniqueness. Indeed, no better reason could be sought for making India travel and tourism extremely unique.

For all the history lovers, great architectural history comprising of monuments, forts and palaces can be found in different parts of the country. The land sings glories about several stories that took place in the country in the past. India travel tourism has taken off well due to these factors making India one of the most visited countries by several people around the world. India also has several adventurous places to be explored as well as rich wildlife. Apart from all these India is one country that has lots of exciting delicacies that people relish!

From chats to chicken tandoori, idlis and dosas to sweet nothings like barfis and katlis, every dish has its own uniqueness and blend of flavors owing to the state it is made in. Other attractive features of India are the exotic beaches stretching over the peninsula region in the south. The country also has a stretch of hill ranges in the north which have popular hill resorts owing to its scenic beauty. The country also has several festivals celebrated with pomp and show. With several things to offer, India travel and tourism has seen a major boost in the past few years.

As a one stop country that includes several rich traditions and cultures, India travel and tourism has also seen overwhelming response from visitors to the country.

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