With hopes pinned on domestic tourism to lead the travel rebound, industry stakeholders need to sharpen their understanding of the local market and retune their offerings in order to market to the domestic audience more effectively.
That was the common refrain among travel players during a group chat session entitled Marketing During Covid-19: Should And How Do You Do It? held during the recently-concluded Virtual PATA Travel Mart.
A successful marketing strategy need not always involve fancy tech tools or deep pockets, opined the session’s moderator, Hannah Pearson, who cited email marketing as an example of low-budget marketing tactic which she has personally found to be effective.
Hoteliers should also think twice about engaging in price wars to bump up occupancy rates. PATA CEO Mario Hardy cited examples of boutique resorts in Thailand which had not resorted to price lures to elbow out the competition, but had instead rolled out value add-ons – a marketing strategy that has successfully helped to fill rooms amid the pandemic.
Marketing to senior tourists was also discussed, as this is a lucrative segment with time on their hands and money to spend on holidays.
Stirring up their interest in visiting a new destination would be best approached through direct email marketing and phone calls, as silver tourists are typically not a digitally-savvy bunch, shared Federico Gigena Sobrero, owner of Wedell Travel based in Argentina.
Akansha Dariyani, membership relations associate at PATA, agreed that traditional marketing tactics still worked best when it comes to seniors with limited digital savviness. But at the same time, she stressed, it is important to include a company website address and an email address to increase company visibility with senior travellers.