Croatia boasts seven UNESCO World Heritage sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, placing it fourth internationally for its heritage after China, Japan, and Korea. For a small country, this is impressive.
Croatian tour operators can use the prestige of these national treasures as a year-round competitive advantage, be it in their tour planning, offline promotion, or online marketing.
1. Tailor your tours around heritage sites and cut down on seasonality
A key part of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism's 2013 report "Croatian Tourism Development Strategy until 2020 (pdf)" is reducing seasonality.
This can be done by improving tourism infrastructure and working with the country's existing virtues: namely heritage sites. There will always be a market for visiting Croatia's most prestigous sites, and emphasizing this can make the country–and your tours–an attractive option all year round.
Think about what tourists want to see and enjoy during their holiday in Croatia. Can you provide this? Even better, with your skills and experience, can you think of a unique angle to use as your selling point?
2. Mention Croatian heritage sites in your web content for search engine optimisation
To increase revenue, you want your tour business website to show up on Google (these are called organic searches). Tourists will often search for key attractions that they wish to visit, so think about how to incorporate these into your website content.
For instance, you might use the keywords "Old City of Dubrovnik" and "walking tours" together on a landing page, or write a blog post with "Plitvice Lakes National Park" in the title. You can also think about getting these keywords in your headings, meta descriptions, and ALT tags.
3. Use professional photography of the heritage sites, plus "alt tags"
Visual content will be one of your strongest marketing tools, so it's worth investing in high-quality photos of Croatian heritage sites associated with your tours for your website and marketing.
When you upload these to your website, try to add alt attributes. These tags describe the image, make it more searchable, and also make your website more accessible for visually-impaired visitors.
4. Use UNESCO sites as an opportunity to create partnerships
A part of Croatia's tourism development strategy is "success through partnership". Can you make this relevant to your business? Could you work with local businesses to create an optimized, multi-layered experience for tourists?
TrekkSoft's Partner Network allows you to partner up with businesses who also use TrekkSoft, meaning that you can sell each other's products through your websites and channels. For instance, different types of tours and activities in Croatia.
5. Keep up with investment by the tourism board and the EU (and use it to your advantage)
In the "Tourism Development Strategy" report, it is predicted that there will be €7 billion worth of new investment in Croatian tourism by 2020. This is likely to particularly benefit: cultural, nautical, golf, cycle, wine and gastro, rural/mountain, adventure and sport tourism.
If Croatia's tourism infrastructure is improving (for instance, upgraded visitor centres, footpaths and walkways, beaches), it's likely that it can also have a positive impact on your tours too.
Keep up with investment, and think about ways to optimize your tours and business to best utilize it.
Want to see the impact that online booking software has on your tour or activity company?
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.