In Focus Digitally-driven for the Future

Travellers today are ‘different’, Wi-Fi facility is a priority for them. They ‘tweet before they eat” and upload pictures, tagging the location and brand, instantly. So why not make them a “teller of your tale?” Travel trade reveals the acceptance of the digital marketing medium and how it has over-shadowed other marketing channels in the tourism & hospitality sector. Akansha Pandey finds out.

A Google travel-tracking study reported that 65% of users turn to the web (online sources, video and social sites) for trip inspiration and planning which makes it the primary source for travel inspiration. Indians are the second biggest Facebook users, after the USA. This clearly establishes how imperative digital marketing (through Internet, email and mobile) is for the survival and growth of travel providers. Going forward, mobile as a medium is also going to be a bigger game-changer offering new opportunities and in driving further growth.

The impact of digital marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and has gone beyond sales and marketing to online reputation management, hiring new talent, retaining existing employees, finding investors, informing customers, conducting competitive analysis and market research. In the tourism and hospitality sectors, dissatisfied customers are the first to voice their opinion online. Through online reputation management, one can also turn such unhappy customers into brand ambassadors. It is difficult to have a control on what other people say online about a brand, but addressing issues and resolving them can bring a brand back in good light. After all, one must remember that ‘Google Never Forgets’.