I have been writing about tourism marketing for some time. In 2007 i started my blog on tourism at the crossroads. It tracked some of the fundamental changes in how we market. Early in 2009 we touch on how the Internet had gained critical mass and was poised for a rapid innovation and change. I have followed the evolution of marketing changing from the P's of Product, Place, Price and Promotion to - People, Passion, Process and Platform.
This change is clearly seen in chain hotels and with Online Travel Agents like Expedia. It is however slow to catch on with small hotels and small tourism operators but that too is changing.
In the current evolution publishing is a new power for direct tourism marketing of small hotels and holiday activities.
Publishing is the new branding and suddenly everyone is an author with literally hundreds of marketing channels looking for original content. Everyone it seems is a publisher!
Today when we talk about marketing to a hotel or a destination we suggest we start with the story of their brand. In the case of Dominica Tourism Authority for example we created a very personal story of the Brand and this was published in our own http://travellersInsights.com and on many channels in many formats. THis publication may now be customised for target marketing in specific areas. The publishing meathods link the e-commerce database of products, attractions, properties and event into the finsihed product. It si a dynamic system ready to be printed or downloaded on demand.
The ezines and rich content sites are the new news stands and magazine stalls.
Destination marketing is a complete process. It is not enough to print brochures and build website. One must have technology that enriches the travelers shopping experience, making them want to return. It must facilitate rapid quotes, shopping list, compare lists, share lists, calendars, reservations and bookings for all travel activities.
The new Travel and Tourism Marketing platforms encompass everything from building distribution networks for direct sales, advertising and branding to publishing content and e-commerce technology to multiple channels, social media and smartphones. Today even the smallest hotel can and must have a Booking Engine. If it is an engine with the right vision and technology it will be a huge power in the evolution of publishing the brand and its products. Smart systems are the new age of integrated messaging, branding, publishing, e-commerce and bookable-ads. This is the next generation travel shopping