Greece: Online Reputation Management & Destination Marketing

For an online reputation management program to be successful at a destination level, it is clear that Tourism Boards and DMOs need to follow an organized and methodical approach. Setting clear objectives, communicating it to all stakeholders and coordinating their activity while having integrated the program with existing marketing and operational activities are the basic steps to success.

This post focuses on Greece as a tourism destination and on the most recent initiatives taken at a national, regional and local/city level towards the targeted promotion of tourism on key strategic themes and using online reputation management practices.

Meanwhile,  abouTourism is glad to have contributed to the development of three of these projects.

Online Reputation Management & Brand Monitoring Mechanism for Greece

The Greek National Tourism Organisation (G.N.T.O) has recently introduced “True Greecean Internet-based initiative which aims to further promote the positive publicity of Greece as a tourist destination online, especially utilizing social media.

True Greece is a dynamic web based platform which is fully integrated in the existing marketing plan of the organization. This tool is utilized to directly clarify through facts, any existing “inaccuracies or speculations” that concern the wider operational and service environment in the country as well as the safety and security levels at Greek tourism destinations.

The mechanism has been designed to allow the organization to track, register and manage accordingly all comments, reviews and observations that refer to Greece as a tourism destination on an ongoing basis. The Internet and social media applications are already being used very successfully by the G.N.T.O to post news and to communicate the tourism “brand added value” of Greece. “True Greece” aims to further promote the positive publicity of Greece as a tourist destination online, utilizing effectively social media platform network externalities.

The initiatives’ key priorities are a) the promotion and communication of key elements and competitive advantages of the Greek tourism product and b) the promotion and dissemination (through social media) of positive messages/opinions that visitors have about their experiences (via video spots, web testimonials, reviews, posts, tweets). Based on these priorities a content strategy was developed mapping the target media and providing the basis for customized content and activities to be constantly disseminated to  third party channels.

In line with the real time and social nature of the project, the following phase of the initiative calls for support from volunteers who tweet and share the truth about Greece by responding to inaccuracies or speculations they may come across online. «True Supporters», is a team of volunteers responsible for monitoring and responding to online comments and mentions regarding Greece as a tourist destination. The «True Supporters» idea is based on the concept that the most effective response to negative mentions and inaccuracies is provided by real people that feel passionate about the destination.

The third phase of the project saw the development of a Facebook campaign which invites users of the Visit Greece Facebook page to create their own “True Greece” photo album, by selecting their favorites from the existing picture gallery of Greek destinations and win their True Vacations in Greece. The prizes comprise of vacation packages with return air tickets and 4-day accommodation for 2 for 150 lucky winners and the deadline has already been extended to the 27th of August due to high levels of participation.

As far as cooperation and coordination goes, the initiative is already being supported by a series of government agencies including the Greek Radio Television S.A., the Athens News Agency and the Hellenic Foreign Ministry. The agencies will be assisting the effort by tracking and gathering news and other related material as well as working with local, national and international media outlets.

abouTourism is glad to have been assigned to develop the concept as well the content planning & creation strategy for this initiative in partnership with Mindworks digital marketing agency (Business Unit of ATCOM).

More info onwww.truegreece.org

New Promotional Video for Athens Business Tourism

The Athens Convention Bureau has just released its first ever promotional video for the business tourism product of the City of Athens as part of its action plan and strategic direction towards the further development and promotion of business tourism.

Through the eyes of a business traveller visiting Athens for 3 days, viewers can get a glimpse of all the city has to offer in terms of conference, accommodation, and public transport facilities, as well as cultural, gastronomic, and other leisure activities.

Through the video we are invited to follow the delegate during the conference participation, site inspection, and sightseeing in the historic and cultural center of the city, the gastronomical journey and the Athens coastline. The video features over 20 locations and facilities in the Athens center and the greater surrounding area.

The video spot showcases the business tourism product of Athens under five key strategic themes; the Olympics heritage and specialization in congress and events organization, the business product at the city center and the surrounding areas, cultural heritage, conference facilities and additional activities at the coastal zone of the city as well as regenerated industrial multi-purpose venues.

Event planners are informed of the wide selection of modern infrastructure, and can choose from 40 conference and exhibition venues, more than 379 meeting rooms as well as satisfy any accommodation requirement from 695 hotels around Athens. Furthermore, they are invited to take a tour around unique sites and museums of world cultural heritage, sample refined and modern Mediterranean cuisine and explore activities for every taste and of the highest standards.

More informationwww.athensconventionbureau.gr

This is MY Athens Program Celebrates 1 Year

This is MY Athens, the visitor greeters program for the City of Athens celebrated 1 year of successful operation in July.

This is My Athens is free program available to visitors to Athens and staffed by volunteer Athenians who are excited to show visitors “their city” and all it has to offer.

Launched during a challenging period at a national and local level, during which tourism- an industry the destination is relying heavily upon- was also affected, the This is MY Athens program, a concept and developed by abouTourism, was greeted with unprecedented enthusiasm from Athenians and has received strong interest from the city’s prospective visitors during this time.

During this year we have organized numerous exciting events to keep the Athens Locals’ engagement and excitement high about the cause of the program. One of the activities was a special flash mob-like- event which was organized at a central city square. The event came alive with the participation of Athens Locals as well as the delegates of the EuroXpro 2012 Conference,  organized by AIESEC in Athens, who first experienced a walk with  Athens Locals.

A few days ago celebrating the program’s ‘birthday’, all Athens Locals were also invited to celebrate along with visitors, joining us all to a special birthday event which included a lot of music and special happenings!

We are glad to see that Athens Locals are as excited as ever to show even more parts of their favorite city to the world. At the same time the dedicated surveys show that Athens visitors are appreciating more than anything the opportunity to discover parts and secrets of the city that they would not have been able to discover without the help of a local.

More info: thisisathens.org

‘Incredible Crete’ Promotional Video for Reputation Management

The Region of Crete has just released a series of promotional videos showcasing that life in Crete is as beautiful as ever.

The videos attempt to directly tackle some key perceptions which have been formed and reproduced by mass media, inviting visitors to visit and “See for yourself, feel for yourself”.

The videos featuring the island have been uploaded on YouTube and Vimeo, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. They are also currently being aired on the Travel Channel, the leading international travel broadcaster, with which the GNTO (Greek National Tourism Organization) is already collaborating.

Official sitewww.incrediblecrete.gr

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Online/Offline Marketing Integration Case Study: This is Athens

Travelling & Technology: U.S. Attitudes & Expectations

A new survey, “Tech Norms for Travelers” conducted by Intel Corporation and commissioned by TNS to explore American attitudes towards travel and technology, finds U.S. vacationers feel anxious when traveling without their mobile computing device, angry when they cannot access power sources to charge these devices and annoyed when others take uninvited glimpses of their computer screens, potentially compromising their personal information.

The survey exposes the deepening love affair between travelers and their devices revealing Americans feel an emotional bond with their mobile devices to the point of feeling calmer and less stressed when they have access to this technology while vacationing.

  • Nearly half of all travelers feel anxious without their mobile computing device
  • Nearly three-quarters of young Americans admit to suffering “outlet outrage” when traveling
  • “Peeping-tech” behaviors rank amongst travelers’ top peeves while almost half fear device heists

Key Survey Findings

Today’s traveler has increased expectations and views each connected minute as invaluable, desiring to create, consume and share safely with a mobile device that is easy on the eye, and the back, with style and design paired with performance and long battery life.

Tech Turbulence

— Female travelers admit greater travel anxiety than men, being significantly more likely than male travelers to report losing their mobile computing device as very stressful (82 percent vs. 73 percent).

— Three-quarters of all travelers surveyed bring their mobile computing device to stay connected to friends and family (75 percent), bucking the idea that dependence on technology detracts from time with family and friends.

Outlet Outrage

— Sixty-three percent of young travelers admitted going out of their way to secure power for their device including compromising their comfort and hygiene by sitting on the floor (37 percent), searching public bathrooms (15 percent) or choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability (33 percent).

— Despite our tech addictions, 52 percent of all travelers are annoyed by the physical burdens traveling with technology brings, including heavy mobile devices, power cords and battery packs, and pulling their device out of their bag to go through the airline security check.

“Peeping-Techs” and the Fear of Device Heists

— Forty-six percent of travelers say their biggest pet peeves about traveling with technology relates to device security, including worrying the device may be lost or stolen and someone glancing at their screen. This concern rises to 62 percent among young adult travelers.

— Despite this reported paranoia, around one-quarter of travelers (26 percent) fail to take basic security precautions and admit to security risks including entering credit card details in public, using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, viewing sensitive documents on their device and even leaving their device unattended.

— “Peeping-techs” are among travelers’ top pet peeves. Half of American travelers (49 percent) admit getting annoyed when the behaviors of others compromise their traveling comfort and security, including screen glancing and viewing inappropriate content, with more than 29 percent of all travelers claiming they’ve caught fellow travelers peeping at their screens.

— Despite “peeping-techs” topping the list of travel peeves, more than half (51 percent) of young adults admit to peeping at someone else’s screen while 33 percent of travelers admitted being a “peeping-tech.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by TNS on behalf of Intel from May 9-13, 2012 among a nationally representative sample of 2,500 U.S. adults ages 18 and older with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Respondents were asked about traveling with Ultrabook devices, tablets and laptops. 

Full Survey here

New Tourism Campaigns & Social Media for Every Season

“Love Every Second of Sydney” User Generated Content Winter Campaign

Aiming to build its winter numbers and reach 2020 overnight visitor targets, Destination NSW has just launched a new campaign telling Aussies and Kiwis they’ll ‘Love every second of Sydney’.

The campaign was designed to emit a romantic factor behind Sydney while showcasing the wide range of events running throughout the city during the colder season.

Utilising ‘first time’ initiatives, the campaign includes digital and social media promotion including a first ever eight page fold out in the New Zealand Herald as well as tram wraps in Melbourne, bus sign in Auckland and light projections in Brisbane and Auckland.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase, said the campaign theme captures what research has shown people want in short breaks and weekends away: exciting, vibrant experiences packed into every second. She said the Group was also making an increased effort in combining its events with tourism promoting relevant shows.

This campaign will be the first time consumer generated content will be uploaded onto some of the key outdoor sites in Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. Social media will play a key role in the campaign with travellers urged to “Capture the Perfect Sydney Second” and share their favourite Sydney memories online, where their photos are displayed in a second by second timeline as well as play a type of ‘pass the parcel’ game on Facebook that will see fans win prizes every now and then.

Source: www.sydney.comwww.destinationnsw.com.au

Visit Florida New Summer Social Media Campaign

Visit Florida which recently announced an increased number of visitors and visitor spending for the first quarter of this year, launched its newest social media-based campaign to increase destination awareness as a summer vacation destination.

The campaign features “Florida’s Three for Free Giveaway” sweepstakes, where participants from the U.S can enter to win a grand prize of three personally selected Florida vacation packages. The five-week campaign, which is expected to garner more than 425 million impressions, kicks off with targeted Facebook and Twitter ad buys. Visit Florida worked closely with the two social media giants to develop a highly-defined target audience that includes families and couples throughout the North and Southeast who are interested in summer drive travel. As a way to continue the campaign’s momentum, house ads on VisitFlorida.com and a dedicated email blast to e-newsletter subscribers will begin in early June.

In the summer of 2011, Visit Florida conducted a highly-successful Facebook-driven campaign that became the subject of white papers from Facebook and Wildfire – the Facebook marketing software provider that produced the applications used in the sweepstakes. A Nielsen study on the “Sunshine Moments” campaign showed a 10-point increase in intent to visit Florida and a significantly improved opinion among the state’s key demographic of 25-34 year olds.

Developing a Social Media Strategy for Tourism Destinations

Slovenia Social Media Marketing Strategy  2011-2012

In 2011, TEAM Tourism Consulting prepared the ‘Slovenia Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2012’ for the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB).

STB, responsible for the planning and implementation of promotional activities for Slovenia, is one of the national tourist boards which have not only been successfully following the latest developments in digital tourism but also been proactive in using them to fully engage their customers and their partners. The Board’s established online presence included successful initiatives such as a series of Facebook Campaigns for key markets, which resulted in high awareness, sales turnover and partner satisfaction. Another progressive initiative as far as the social media approach by tourism destinations was concerned was the joint social media platform named DiscoverSlovenia.

Project Overview

In 2011, STB decided to commission the preparation of the strategy order to take its marketing activity to the next level, broadening the range of channels through which the Slovenian tourism product could be accessed and exceed the expectations of today’s online travel consumer, aiming to become a benchmark for European National Tourism Organisations.

In the light of the latest developments in the social media arena, the goal was to

  • raise awareness of Slovenia as a tourism destination online and support the brand,
  • increase the visitation numbers in its social media channels and website and digital communication while,
  • forge a unified, coordinated and practical social media marketing and management model to guide the entire organization through the latest digital developments.

Considering the growing popularity, variety and use of social media channels and given the challenging funding environment most of DMOs are facing, it is necessary to prioritize different areas of digital marketing, including social media channels, and have a well-planned, well executed and results oriented investment plan.

Integration of digital and traditional media is a key goal for a successful destination marketing strategy, says Manolis Psarros, TEAM Associate & Project Leader/ abouTourism Managing Director. “In regards to the Social Media Strategy for STB, great emphasis was placed on brand integration in all planned activities while developing social media workflows and inter-developmental cooperation plans in order to enhance all relevant processes and ensure the effective implementation of the strategy, maximizing social media benefits.”

Digital media and technologies now affect every single stage of the visitor’s journey to a destination, during his stay and even after this.  The purpose, throughout this project was to develop a holistic digital marketing strategy targeting the decision-making process of planning a trip to Slovenia, providing useful visitor info while being in Slovenia and utilizing attractive social media tools for sharing their memorable experience upon their return home.

As far as marketing integration is concerned, results until now have shown that social media activities can only be effective when they are interwoven with existing traditional media marketing efforts as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.

Project Processes

Based on this perspective, STB’s Social Media Marketing Strategy was developed in two phases.

The first phase consisted of the situation analysis which was performed through consultation workshops with the Board’s relevant departments and partners as well as through extensive research providing:

  • An assessment and analysis of Slovenia’s online presence and digital marketing activities
  • A review and evaluation of the Board’s operational procedures

The second phase, saw the development of the strategy which included the following:

  • Selection of appropriate social media channels where STB should invest based on the available resources and the set goals and objectives
  • Development of an appropriate content management strategy to accompany every channel’s guidelines
  • Specific digital media operational plan with appropriate resources and activities definition in order to ensure practical implementation
  • A partnership development plan focusing on travel-related digital media and tourism stakeholders following an established TEAM model, and
  • Monitoring and tracking guidelines. By monitoring the digital environment relating to Slovenia as a destination and by tracking the performance of STB’s marketing efforts through specific KPI’s, the aim was to validate the feedback/insights for further review and to fine tune the digital marketing strategy.

Tinkara Pavlovcic Kapitanovic, STB’s Head of e-Business and Strategic Projects, commented: “as the NTO we should know and understand what to expect from social media engagement, what are the goals to be achieved and that social media should be seen and handled as a part of the overall online activity of every tourism organization”. Measuring results is critical and is now integral to STB’s work.

In the presentation below we can see how the strategy has been put into effect being used as the basis for coordinated social media marketing efforts and effective implementation of targeted marketing initiatives, relating product developments to identified audience needs.

Location Based Information & The Mobile Traveler

With mobile travel research and bookings still emerging and expected to grow rapidly, brands have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. According to eMarketer estimations,  16 million people in the US will book travel on a mobile device this year, with that figure set to more than double to 36.7 million people by 2016.

Part of mobile’s appeal to travel consumers is its ability to draw on location-based information, aiding customers on the move who are looking for car rentals, hotels and other services on short notice.

A Q1 2012 report by mobile-local ad network xAd found that almost half of all local travel searches completed on a mobile device in the US were related to transportation. Travel agencies accounted for another 25% of searches, tours and attractions constituted 14% of searches and 12% of searches related to lodging and resorts.

Relatively high clickthrough rates were found for all three subcategories of hotels and lodging, car rentals and airlines. The CTR for ads shown after an airline search was an impressive 17.8%, followed by 17% for car rental searches and nearly 10% for hotel and lodging searches.

According to the report, the leading secondary action—the user’s next action after an initial click—for both car rental and airline searches was the placement of a phone call to a business, at 73% and 89%, respectively. For hotel searches, more than three-quarters of secondary actions consisted of looking at maps and getting directions.

These secondary actions are the result of reluctance among consumers to navigate brand websites on a mobile device. Instead of dealing with an inconvenient interface on a small screen, customers preferred to call businesses directly. In the case of those performing hotel or lodging searches, consumers turned to map and directions apps to find the information they sought. In both instances, users sought the most efficient path, underscoring why brands seeking to secure bookings from mobile customers must focus on optimizing local search with a click-to-call button in results.

In a new Location-Based Advertising and Marketing research report, Berg Insight estimates that the total global value of the real-time mobile LBA (Location-Based Advertising) market was €192 million in 2011, representing 5.0 percent of the total mobile ad spend. Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 90.9 percent, the real-time LBA market is forecasted to be worth € 4.9 billion in 2016, corresponding to 28.3 percent of all mobile advertising and marketing. Key drivers for LBA include the growing attach rates of location technologies in handsets, as well as the increasing consumer acceptance of LB Services in general.

Location is only one of many components in successful targeting, and marketers must also strive to leverage other contextual and behavioural information. High-precision real-time geotargeting is today sparsely used, and rightly so as most campaigns do not require targeting with an accuracy of a few meters. Hyper-local campaigns are nevertheless becoming more common.

Sources: www.emarketer.com, http://www.sacbee.com

Check Out More Trends on Tourism & Travel here

Digitize That! Innovative Destination Marketing Initiatives

Fresh and creative initiatives harnessing the power of digital media and tools designed to maximize engagement while following an integrated marketing approach.

VisitBritain Digital Torch Relay

Taking advantage of the Torch Relay journey across the UK, VisitBritain has just unveiled its digital and social media plans aiming to maximise the exposure of the relay destinations.

A unique interactive map has been created on visitbritain.com and Love UK which allows potential visitors to ‘Follow the Torch’ as it makes its journey within 10 miles of 95 per cent of Britain.

The ‘Follow the Torch’ map uses new integrated Google Street View technology so that followers across the world can see images and explore torch locations before they decide whether they want to visit.

Destination content will be added each day as the journey progresses.

Images and inspirational content will be posted via VisitBritain’s online network. All of VisitBritain’s digital platforms will be involved, with engaging content posted on Love UK – VisitBritain’s main Facebook page which now has nearly 800,000 fans, and has recently been named one of the biggest brand pages in the UK.

VisitBritain’s Super Bloggers will be joining the Samsung torch relay truck on key dates of the journey, capitalising on the unique access to tweet, blog and create stories that highlight towns and cities across the UK.

There will be live tweets from consumer site @VisitBritain, where VisitBritain’s corporate page will post a tweet a day to celebrate the 70 day marathon with each tweet offering insightful information about the area it will be passing.

VisitBritain will also be producing an app on Love UK which will enable all fans to pass virtual flags around the world. Users will be encouraged to keep passing the digital flag to Facebook friends in an attempt to build up points. The flag with the most passes will win a prize provided by one of VisitBritain’s key strategic partners.

Source: www.visitbritain.com

The 1st Wikipedia Town – Meet ‘Monmouthpedia’

Monmouth in Wales has become the world’s first “Wikipedia town”.

The project is called ‘MonmouthpediA‘ and was created after Wikipedia UK and Monmouthshire County Council teamed with the city’s library, museums and volunteers to work on the project. The entire town has been behind the project; partners include 200 businesses, several universities and nearly every school and community group in the area. The project has been in the works for six months, helped along by the local council’s installation of town-wide free Wi-Fi. Talking about the power of willingness.

Visitors will be able to use smartphones to scan barcodes at points of interest in Monmouth in Wales’ southeast, instantly bringing up a Wikipedia page about the landmark on their phones, in whatever language they are set to. Hundreds of articles about the life and history of the town will be available online in more than 26 languages, from Hindi to Hungarian.

The town has now installed over 1,000 QRpedia codes all over the town. This includes ceramic or metal plaques on public buildings, as well as smaller labels for inside buildings, and for labelling particular objects. And local shops also have glass stickers in their windows to give information on their professions.

As the ‘official’ Wikepedia page states :

“MonmouthpediA aims to cover every single notable place, person, artefact, flora, fauna and other things in Monmouth in as many languages as possible. Monmouthpedia belongs to and can be contributed to by everyone. It involves people from all around the world collaborating to share their knowledge through text, photos video and audio Wikipedia gives our work a global audience. We are the first town in Wales to have free and open wifi available to everyone. We use QRpedia codes around the town to give people easy access to content in their own language.”

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Targeted Destination Marketing: Engaging the Foodies

More and more destinations and DMOs are turning to diversified campaign initiatives in order to reach target audiences. Food is certainly an element very closely connected to the destination and definitely part of the whole on location experience for visitors but for the local community as well.

Niche social networks such as Foodspotting are embraced by DMOs realizing the importance of regaining that focus that is currently lost in the mainstream networks, engaging target audience on a deeper level,  while other destinations focus their marketing efforts on food through dedicated campaign initiatives. Are you hungry yet?

ELDHÚS – Iceland’s Little House of Food

Imagine having the chance to sample real Icelandic food in the country’s most remote and stunning locations? Inspired by Iceland recently took  the dining experience to a whole new level by introducing a new initiative called Eldhús, a pop-up food experience on wheels which travelled across the most remote and extreme areas of Iceland seeking out the best of Icelandic cuisine. Eldhús is an Icelandic word meaning kitchen. Literary, it means house of fire, referring to the part of an house where the open fire would be kept alive for cooking, before the days of metal stoves.

This tasty 12-day expedition through Icelandic gastronomy ran in March and saw Eldhús braving frozen glaciers and volcanic terrain, teetering along mountain paths and stopping off at Iceland’s most extreme beauty spots for tips and native delicacies from local farmers and fisherman.

Through the Inspired by Iceland communities on Facebook and Twitter people of Iceland were invited to nominate themselves or the people they know to take on the role of chef for one night and visitors to Iceland eating at Eldhús were lucky enough to be dined by these winning chefs.

Source: inspiredbyiceland

Foodspotting in Philly

There are likely at least a half dozen specialized communities where your target audience is spending time and interacting online. In these communities, you will find a high percentage of users are interested in your destination and in specific categories.  As larger social networks have become mainstream, niche social networks find their way in many DMOs social campaigns for a chance to connect with target markets on a deeper level, focus their efforts to groups that are already interested and join the discussion that is already going on about their brand.

Recognizing the importance and interest of the foodies community to the destination, Philadelphia became the first destination, through the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), to launch a major Foodspotting program with multiple guides, a contest at launch and Foodspotting’s marketing support, becoming a featured destination on their web and mobile platform.

Philadelphia’s branded page enables GPTMC to bring the With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® tourism initiative to Foodspotting, encouraging people to visit several area restaurants and link Foodspotting friends to Visit Philly’s other web and social media properties, including Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor site.

Source: www.foodspotting.com

International Online Travel Report

The trend to book travel online will naturally continue in 2012 – especially in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. In line with this trend the share of the online segment compared to the total travel market is expected to increase to almost one third worldwide, according to the latest “Global Online Travel Report 2012” by yStats.com.

However, in 2011 the value of the US online travel market was still higher than that of Great Britain, China, India and Brazil combined. and in 2012, the “Online Travel Segment” is forecast to represent almost a third of the total global travel market value. The UK is projected to remain the largest share of Europe’s online travel market in 2013, followed by Germany and France. Gross bookings on the Asia Pacific online leisure/ unmanaged business travel market are expected to increase by more than +30% in 2012 compared to 2010. More specifically:

Online travel arrangements continue to gain in popularity across the entire American continent

Compared to 2011, revenue generated in the US online travel market is forecasted to grow in 2012 by a low double digit percentage figure. Clients who bought travel products online in 2011 made most purchases through online travel agents amounting to almost 50%, followed by search engines and websites of tour operators. In the category mobile bookings, hotels were booked most frequently, followed by flights and travel packages.

In Canada, in early March 2012 Expedia was the leading travel website: it generated twice as much traffic as the second placed website Flight Network. In Argentina particularly younger people tend to book travel arrangements online; however, internet use in this area is growing across all age groups.

Online travel sector is especially successful in Europe

In Europe the total number of bookings through online travel agencies increased by almost 20 % from 2010 to 2011. In Great Britain, more than half of all consumers avoid traditional travel agents altogether and book their holidays online instead. In Germany, in 2011 customers preferred travel agents for more expensive travel arrangements and online booking for cheaper tours. In this sector online revenue has grown considerably, while offline revenue has decreased. In France revenue generated with online travel bookings grew between January and September 2011 more than the total B2C E-Commerce revenue. Additionally, in 2011, B2C E-Commerce revenue in the category “Travel and Holiday Accommodation” was higher than in the next four categories combined. Almost half of all Italian online customers booked their accommodation online in 2011, making this the strongest category within Italian B2C E-Commerce. In Russia almost 50% of all passengers had purchased their flight on a travel website, while nearly one quarter had booked tickets via phone.

Growth potential in large parts of the Asia-Pacific region

Although growth in the category online hotel bookings is expected to slow down in the Asia-Pacific region between 2010 and 2012, it still exhibits double digit figures. In Japan the share of online travel bookings – in line with the soaring trend – surpassed for the first time 50% in 2010. Unique visitor numbers for travel websites were evenly distributed across all age groups in Japan, while the group of individuals older than 55 was slightly in the lead in the first quarter of 2011. In China in 2011, only 14% of all internet users had ever visited a travel website, but online travel bookings are expected to become more popular there too. The Indian online travel market is also estimated to grow by almost 30% in 2012. The data for Australia is outstanding: the category “Travel, Accommodation, Memberships or Tickets of any Kind” was the most popular online product category in June 2011.

Online travel market in the Middle East is catching up

Spurred by the introduction of online payment options, the online travel market in the Middle East is expected to grow considerably compared to 2011. Growth is predicted for the share of online travel bookings in relation to total revenue generated with travel tickets until 2015, compared to 2010 figures.

Source: www.ystats.com, Photo source: travel.roche.com

eTourism Seminars- Practical Tools for Tourism Professionals

abouTourism in cooperation with E-Tourism Frontiers, are glad to present the new series of eTourism seminars to take place in two significant tourism destinations in Greece.  Our next stations are:

Thessaloniki on the 26th & 27th of April 2012

In cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the support of Halkidiki Hotel Association and the Helexpo Exhibition Centre

Rhodes on the 8th & 9th of May 2012

With the support of the Chamber of Dodecanese

Considering the fast technological developments affecting the travel and tourism industry and through our close cooperation with the industry, these seminars are organized in order to fill the gap, so that  tourism businesses and organizations can practically select and implement new technologies and media in their business, effectively applying new knowledge and skills.

The  eTourism training seminars are especially organized for tourism organizations, companies and professionals in order to help them build and develop their online tourism knowledge and capacity. The seminars offer solid, interactive and easy to grasp training in the fundamentals of  etourism, provided by expert trainers and presenting appropriate, locally available solutions.

Through a two full day program, featuring some of the world’s leading online tourism experts, including representatives from TripAdvisor, Expedia & Google Travel, participants take advantage of very practical training and interactive presentations on online tourism sales, marketing and management including sessions on digital marketing, travel distribution and sales, social networking and media.

Also, for the first time, the program will include a web clinic option, where the participants will have the opportunity to get their website reviewed and tested to see whether their business website is working effectively and how to improve it. A detailed analytical report on the website complete with recommendations for improvement and change will also be supplied.

In combination with the presentation of selected locally available solutions, the local tourism industry acquires easy to use and ready to implement knowledge to their business in order to effectively compete in the marketplace.

Are you Interested? Check out more information, analytical program and registration details here!