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    For travel and hospitality operators, deciding where to spend your precious tourism public relations and marketing dollars has to go beyond what your gut tells you. We like to use statistics to drive the fundamental elements of tourism marketing campaigns.

    Tourism Marketing Organic search statistics

    Please feel free to share this infographic (go to the bottom for the Pinterest embed code).

    Fully 27% of site visitors worldwide use organic search to arrive at a hospitality or tourism site.

    Large companies know this – 84% of them invest in search engine optimization as a tourism digital marketing strategy and see it as a critical tool that backstops their communications and media relations efforts. At Tartan Group, we would like to see smaller tourism companies start to invest in more savvy SEO work. The key is to know what your offering and brand is so that once armed with the technical fundamentals , you can target your offers to your people. Google keyword tool is your friend or should be.

    A whopping 73% of users worldwide use the internet as the path to their destination. Of those, 28% knew what they wanted and went directly to the URL they were looking for with another 17% using an existing bookmark or favorite.

    With so many travellers using known URL, it makes logical sense that four out of ten international visitors base their destination decision on recommendations from friends and relatives. That is how they got the URL! What this means it that your tourism marketing mix needs to make sure your brand and offerings are top of mind  and web visible – with their previous guests and with their friends. Help users know what they want and then help them find it and make it easy for them to share their positive experiences with their networks both online and in person.

    Besides travel recommendations from friends and relatives, what other methods do travellers use to choose a destination? Being a world renowned world destination drives 32% of travel decisions. We can’t all have pyramids in our backyards. But we would argue that beyond the iconic signature experiences , tourism marketeres can create a self proclaimed signature experience using public relations to bring destinations and experiences to mind for the traveler. We love bucket lists!

    Another 22% use the web and 15% like deals…so how about a series of web based promotions? We prefer speical offers as we frown on discounting for the sake of driving sales – particularly with signature travel experiences!

    Movies, print articles, television shows are part of the puzzle. These statistics indicate final decision making but don’t rate the influence factor of brand awareness. Traditional media will help drive brand awareness, but people make the final travel decision based on friends, known destinations, web backup and promotions. So better to make your destination known!

    These travel statistics tell us that choices are driven by multiple methods working together. Which means tourism operators need an integrated tourism marketing approach using tourism PR and digital marketing.

    How will you use these stats to drive your campaigns?

    The Tartan Group is top tourism public relations and marketing firm working with eco and sustainable tourism clients worldwide. Blog author Terry Rachwalski is a Certified Management Consultant in Victoria BC is a whole hearted advocate of integrated marketing  and provides digital service advice to Tartan Group clients.

    Here is the Pinterest Embed Code: 

    <div style='padding-bottom: 2px; line-height: 0px'><a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border='0' width='470' height ='558'/></a></div><div style='float: left; padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px;'><p style='font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;'>Source: <a style='text-decoration: underline; font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;' href=''></a> via <a style='text-decoration: underline; font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;' href='' target='_blank'>Tartan Group</a> on <a style='text-decoration: underline; color: #76838b;' href='' target='_blank'>Pinterest</a></p></div>