Last year, we wrote about how 2016 is going to be the year for adventure travel and also know that Italy is regarded as a luxurious travel destination. What does this mean for tour and activity companies in the Italian Alps or the Dolomites? Well, we're convinced that you should make the most of these trends.
Here are 5 ways to get your company noticed by travellers from all over the world.
1. Get visual on social media
There's no harm in posting beautiful images of your work place, especially if it overlooks the Alps or the Dolomites. Visual content is becoming more and more popular as researchers discover that people are more likely to read what you have to say on social media when it's accompanied with an image.
Your aim should be to inspire travellers or winter sports enthusiasts to book a tour or activity with you and what better way to do that than with a great picture?
With a smart phone, you are able to take really good high quality images and post them onto your social media platforms, your blog and your website. Alternatively, you could invest in a professional photographer to help you create a visually attractive, wanderlust inducing website.
2. Prioritise your SEO
Prioritising SEO, or serach engine optimisation, means that you focus on making your website more discoverable on search engines such as Google. If a customer is searching for winter sports activities in the Dolomites, chances are that they will search for "skiing in the Dolomites" or if they're lazy like I can sometimes be, they'll search for "skiing Dolomites". If you're a winter sports company operating in the Dolomites, your goal should be to appear on the first page of those search results.
There are a few ways to do this:
1. Get your keywords in the right places. This includes having the region you work in in your company's name or including keywords that customers are likely to look for in the titles of your pages.
2. Focus on your content. Google has programmed it's search engines to ignore, and sometimes even devalue, websites that are stuffed with keywords but add no real value to the audience. You should focus on the descriptions of your tours, providing as much information as possible to your readers about the region, your company and your guides.
3. Consider starting a blog. Like I mentioned earlier, the best way to get noticed by Google is to add value to your readers. You could start a blog to let readers know about the different events that happen in your region, or the "Top 10 restaurants to visit in Pinzolo".
Do check out our free ebook "The Ultimate Guide to SEO" to learn more. We wrote this with tour and activity operators like you in mind, and we really believe that it will help you grow your business.
3. Get customers to share their experiences too!
Everyone's number one source of information for travel is none other than TripAdvisor. Why? Because potential customers trust other customers, proving the power of word of mouth marketing.
Interestingly, TripAdvisor also found that visual content is likely to increase bookings for hotels, stating that a listing with at least one photo is likely to increase online booking enquiries by more than 200%. Imagine the impact a photo from a satisfied customer could do to your business.
4. Work on your social media
The same is also true for social media. The more social media engagement you can facilitate during your tours, the better. A simple way to do this would be to ask your customers for their Twitter or Instagram handles, follow them and tag them in a group picture you will take at the end of the tour.
5. Give your customers 1000%
Probably the most obvious point ever but it needs to be stated none the less. Your customers are expecting a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they decide to make a trip to the Italian mountains. Some have even travelled across oceans to gain this experience and they expect to receive what they were promised when they made a booking with you.
Blow their socks off and you're likely to turn them into ambassadors for your tour or activity, but the opposite is also true. Make sure you hire guides and instructors who understand your vision and who also want to deliver the best possible experience to your customers. Encourage and incentives them to go above and beyond for your customers and you can be sure that it will pay off in one way or another.
Do you have any other tried and tested strategies that have helped you gain more bookings? Share your ideas with us!
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Published by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.