Tourism in Spain suffered heavily from the economic crisis, but in recent years the country's leading industry has undergone a revival. El Instituto de Estudios Turísticos has shared that in the first two months of 2015, 6.5 million tourists visited Spain, spending a record 8% more than last year (€6.6 billion).
This hasn't come without some changes: Spanish tourism has adapted to new trends by encouraging online bookings, introducing more low cost tours and trips to the market, and catering to the tourism influx from Russia, Holland, and some parts of Scandinavia.
Here are four strategies to get your tours or activities back on the map and reap the benefits of revitalised industry strength.
1. Embrace online business by adapting and educating your team
In a 2012 article by CNN, tour guide Marta Laurent Veciana shared that "Tourism in Spain is increasing, so I’ve taken an online business course and have upped my rates accordingly".
Paul Anderson, marketing director in Barcelona for the holiday-rental company Go with Oh, was also quoted in the article saying: “The number of Russian clients is soaring [...] So much so that we’re in a rush to translate all our websites into Russian”.
Adapting to online business is a smart move, and you should encourage your team to follow suit. Strategies to get you ahead digitally include:
- Giving your website a revamp with appealing design, strong visuals, and persuasive text content. You can read our visual content marketing guide for tourism professionals to get you started.
- Adding an online booking and rental system to your website, such as TrekkSoft software
- Boosting your TripAdvisor presence and ranking, and even displaying your reviews on your website
- Following online marketing news (try Tnooz as a starting point) to stay aware of new channels and strategies to promote your tours or activities
- Translating your website into target languages, plus using a multilingual booking system that facilitates different currencies, like TrekkSoft.
2. Being present on social media networks is key
As Euromonitor International recognises, online sales continued to grow in 2014 as social media and new online marketing tools were developed and continually improved. Tour and activity companies were able to reach an increasing number of customers through social media, and more businesses realised the advantages of having an online booking engine.
In order to remain competitive in the tourism market, it is crucial that companies remain at the forefront of advances in technology and digital marketing. This is why we published our free social media ebook:
To get ahead you can also:
- Grow your Twitter follower base and participate in Twitter travel chats
- Create a Facebook ad campaign and use Facebook to sell more tours and activities
- Don't forget about Google+ as a way to boost your online presence and SEO
3. Get creative with your marketing, online and offline
As tourists flock back to Spain, you need to make your tour or activity company stand out from the crowd of other options. Think of creative ways to market your business and consider your unique selling points that will incentive customers to book your tours or activities. Some ideas include:
- Maintaining a blog that provides quality content your customers will be interested in reading. If you provide vineyard tours, you could build an engaging wine-appreciation blog that keeps wine-lovers up-to-date with your business and their hobby. To help you out, you can check out our free writing handbook.
- Updating your home page to show off your credibility. How many years have you been in business? What makes your tours or activities better than others? Do you have statistics to persuade customers of this?
- Achieving media mentions that you can publicise on your website and marketing channels. Do you have any useful contacts? Do you have any news or stories related to your business that the press might be interested in?
4. Make it your goal to provide memorable customer experiences
Your business is all about your customer. Your ultimate priority should be to create high-quality memories that turns your clients into ambassadors for your business.
You never know which customer will write an article, blog post, or social media post about you and your business: make sure it's positive rather than harmful. Word-of-mouth endorsements provide the best marketing you could wish for.
What strategies have you benefited from in keeping your tours and activities on the map?