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6 Mistakes Tourism Marketers Are Making in 2021

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

As travel begins to increase globally, there is one central question that most tourism boards, hotels, and resorts are asking themselves, “How do we get people back to our destinations?” We’ve come up with a few things that tourism marketers can (but are probably not) doing to create scalable and effective marketing campaigns that drive tangible results. So let’s get to it...

1. Not Using Email Marketing Effectively

For over a decade, email marketing was neglected, widely considered antiquated or intrusive, and far too often an afterthought or the “plus one” to sexier methods like influencers or paid social media ads. However, it never really went away, and with the ever-changing and uncertain social media landscape, there is an increased importance of OWNING your audience.

An effective email marketing strategy is an absolute MUST HAVE in 2021, primarily for tourism marketers seeking to keep potential visitors engaged over long periods. Personalized messages based on segmented audiences, complex automated email funnels, and newsletters are just a few of the things that can boost your ROI and engagement through emails. On average, brands get $42 for every $1 spent on email (DMA 2019). You don’t want to miss out on that kind of return, do you?

2. Not Having an Integrated Strategy

Many tourism marketers (and marketers in general) have a variety of agencies, all juggling different ideas, strategies, and campaigns in hopes of increasing their overall bottom line. There simply isn’t enough synergy, primarily digitally, to create a connected, unified, effective marketing campaign.

A good strategy means having various elements not only working at the same time but working together to achieve and exceed goals. Keeping “on strategy” sounds excellent in the proposal stage, but it can often be overwhelming and tends to get lost in the sauce of daily “to-do’s” that marketing managers have. It’s imperative to make sure you are using the effective combination of the correct elements to acquire new and returning travelers successfully.

3. Not Being Inclusive (The Right away)

Black leisure travelers in the United States spent $109.4 billion on travel(MMGY Global)

In 2020, almost every major company or brand shifted resources to focus on representation and diversity. However, it’s not simply about appealing to African American audiences just to say you’re helping the overall cause. There is an actual business case to be made for developing campaigns that reach black Americans specifically. Look no further than Tulum, where American tourism has increased over 23% in just one year, primarily fueled by a heavily African American presence.

It’s crucial to develop strategies that allow you to talk directly to this audience. This includes partnering with the right influencers, travel groups, and media organizations, producing creative that reflects this audience to acquire new and returning travelers successfully, and operating to understand that what works or has worked for the general tourism market may not be the right thing for this audience.

4. Not Developing A Real Social Media Strategy

Many times, tourism boards, hotels, and resorts are guessing when it comes to social media. Should you pay Influencers to go and post about your destination? Maybe you should spend more on paid social ads? How about the content on your own page? There’s so much to figure out that it can be overwhelming even to address. The key is to have a solid social media strategy that is reflective of your larger goals. Then you have to ask yourself (or us) how you can best utilize social media in various ways to reach and exceed those goals. Doing the work upfront to flesh out a detailed and thorough game plan inclusive of all the elements of social media will save you a substantial amount of time and energy.

5. Not Partnering With Travel Groups

As Millennials (with money) resume their social-media-friendly traveling habits, doing so in curated groups will continue to be a trend. There are significant opportunities, particularly for Caribbean destinations, to capitalize on these behaviors by partnering with groups like CDE Antigua. Not only do these partnerships provide tangible results in the form of ticket and hotel bookings, but also valuable social media impressions from your destination.

6. Not Optimizing Your SEO

72% of mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of last-minute Google searches. Having the proper SEO strategy is essential to maximizing your digital sales as a Travel organization. Many Tourism boards don’t have the correct keywords or optimize for the right Long-Tail search queries that a potential traveler would use. In addition to having a stellar keyword strategy, you must have appropriate meta tags, mobile-friendly content, and quality information that leads other websites to link out to your page.

The first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks, and the top five search results receive 67.6% of clicks (Forbes). Ranking higher on search engines is a critical factor in increasing revenue in Travel and shouldn’t be ignored or underutilized.

Need digital marketing help?

If you are searching for a team to help you attain success sooner with your tourism business’ digital marketing, instead of having to commit mistakes or go through trial and error, Contact us today and schedule a discovery session.

The Long Tail Agency is a full-service digital and social media agency with a long history of media and tourism marketing. We offer a full suite of tactics and exclusive partnerships that you won’t find anywhere else.

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