• The future of Tourism Marketing

Hello and welcome to Nic and Tim’s Maverick house of mysteries and marvels. No, no, you don’t need to introduce yourself – we knew you were coming of course!

Sit down, relax, and look deep, deep into the crystal ball here. Let your eyes follow the colours, your ears follow the sound of our voices. Lean in as the ball reveals the secrets of the future yet undiscovered.

The future of tourism marketing you ask? Let’s see what the ball has to say…

The future of work (in tourism)

As our visitors become more and more digitally savvy, our tourism marketers need to continue to hone their skills and stay up to date on the latest and greatest. The only problem with this is things just change so incredibly quickly. Your Marketing Manager is being asked to know things that didn’t even exist a year ago. With the majority of New Zealand tourism experiences being small to medium-sized businesses, this creates an unbelievable strain on your overheads – staffing wages and the constant training costs. Now is the time to think better about how to best stack your marketing team. Look to outsource those specific needs, skills and talents. Lean on specialists to get you the best results and drive the change you need in your business.

Big brother is (was?) watching

It’s not news that data has become the most valuable commodity in the world, with empires like Google, Facebook and Amazon being built off the back of trading services for personal information. While this has let us personalise ads and generate conversions effectively for years now, might the winds of change be blowing?

The explosion of ad-blocking browser extensions, and security conscious no-cookie tracking has given the industry a shake-up. How do you effectively deliver ads to someone if you can’t find them online?

Changes to the Google Ad platform coming in 2020 will seek to change the data that marketers can extract from campaigns, while maintaining a Google ID. Other platforms are relying on a ‘digital fingerprint’ which combines factors including device ID, IP address, OS and Location. Is your Marketing Manager prepared for a post-cookie world? Ensuring access to specialist consultation and platforms will keep you above the changing tides in the digital ads game.

A shift in the top three?

Could the US, once again, become our second-largest visitor market? These guys are coming in hot. Already our second-largest cruise market, the strong continual growth in total arrivals, and the massive increase in air capacity coming our way next October all show an incredible confidence in this market.

But what does this mean for your business? How are you placed to take advantage of our American visitors? Now is the best time to stop just riding the fantastic US wave and get tactical with your marketing.

Eco-conscious travellers

How our visitors travel, and their holiday motivations are changing. Things like flight shaming and voluntourism are the new normal. Even some airlines are encouraging people not to fly. How are you preparing for this new standard? Many of our incredible New Zealand tourism operators are already doing so much for their local communities and environments. How are you sharing this with your visitors before they arrive? Are you providing opportunities for your visitors to get involved? You might be surprised the impact this can have.

Solo travel

With the rise in one-person households, it’s no surprise that many people are choosing to travel solo too. It’s no longer just a traditional rite of passage for our youth, there is also a massive contingent of Baby Boomers choosing to get out and experience the world for themselves, alone. How do you support and attract this market? How do you communicate safety and security? Take advantage of this very flexible group of travellers and look at new ways to tailor your messages and aspects of your experience to ensure you appeal to this growing market.

Big-ticket events

Major events in New Zealand bring in high-value international travellers, and even get domestic travellers moving. With the 36th America’s Cup hitting our shores again in 2021 the opportunity to attract wealthy visitors is huge. While the MBIE can’t agree on a dollar value, smart operators will be gearing up to make the most of this influx of cash. How are you planning to get in front of these visitors, perhaps convincing them to visit further away than the Auckland region? How are you prepared to offer an experience to set yourself above the rest for a discerning audience? Planning for an event like this needs to start well in advance of the first boat hitting the water.