Digital Marketing Touch Points - Tourism Attractions & Dining In New Zealand

Now that we're in full road trip mode through New Zealand, I’m constantly scraping the internet to uncover cool restaurants and unique experiences between our adventures on foot and bike. In my searches I've stumbled across some terrible review-site profiles, outdated google listings, and ridiculously tough to use websites.

 My brother, Spencer joined us for some North Island exploring over the past few weeks. Curating his trip was a perfect time to delve into what pain points stand out in tourism marketing. 

My brother, Spencer joined us for some North Island exploring over the past few weeks. Curating his trip was a perfect time to delve into what pain points stand out in tourism marketing. 

As a marketer with an interest in the tourism industry and at this point... a tourist, here are my top suggestions for reeling people like myself in the door:

First, TREAT TRIP ADVISOR LIKE GOLD

When we're on the hunt for places to stay or eat, this is the first site I go to. If we're in a rush or super hungry (even worse, han-gry) this may be our only impression of a business prior to making a decision. If a review site profile is the only touch point between a customer and business, it’s clear this is a critical marketing exercise to get right.

 TripAdvisor is a major player in the tourism marketing game. 

TripAdvisor is a major player in the tourism marketing game. 

Success Looks Like: 

First, get professional photos of the business and add them to the collection. User submitted photos rarely show a business in the best lighting. Secondly, make sure your hours and type of dining options are up to date. Lastly, respond to all of your reviews. It's nice to see a business supporting the strong reviews and responding kindly to negative ones. 


Second, KEEP GOOGLE PLACES UP TO DATE 

If we're traveling a long distance, we'll often search for places to stop via Google Maps as we approach a town. This is such an easy way to ensure travellers know that your business exists. You can't compete with other businesses if you aren't even listed. 

 Not to be ignored: The Google My Business Suite (including Google Places) can change your entire online presence. 

Not to be ignored: The Google My Business Suite (including Google Places) can change your entire online presence. 

Success Looks Like: 

Google Places is part of the “Google My Business” marketing suite that is free for companies to use. First, claim your listing. Next make sure your listing always has current hours, a correct physical location and website url. 


Third, HAVE A MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE 

Nine times out of ten I'm searching for tourism attractions, dining or accommodation through my phone. It's great to have a crisp, clean website for desktop visitors as a baseline, but prioritize your business’s mobile site. Not only does it help me navigate information and help streamline the decision making process, Google and Facebook will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. 

 Gravity Nelson ticks all the boxes for mobile friendly browsing

Gravity Nelson ticks all the boxes for mobile friendly browsing

Success Looks Like: 

A businesses website, is the equivalent of a virtual storefront. It should be wildly easy to navigate and read. It’s fairly common for website visitors such as myself to quickly lose trust and patience with a business that forces a customer to read squished or overlapping text with images, the standard characteristics of a non-mobile friendly website. People will browse a website from a variety of tablets, phones and desktops so make sure that your website displays well on any screen size with clear buttons that lead to key information and menu navigation. 


Finally, MAKE YOUR INSTAGRAM SING

This is more important for destinations, hotels and activity providers. I'll scroll tourism hashtags and business accounts to get a feel for a place. This is the modern travel brochure mixed with word of mouth marketing. 

Success Looks Like:

If I could recommend a social channel that every tourism business take advantage of, it would be Instagram. Gather photos from guests/customers, a professional shoot, staff members and media/influencers and curate a regularly updated Instagram account. Half of the work is done by showcasing the experience to guests that are looking directly for your lodging, experience or food. The other half comes from using hashtags that when searched for put your content in front of people with zero brand awareness. Gold.  

A photo posted by Bestie Cafe (@bestie_cafe) on

Helpful Articles:

  • SEEN, shares some fantastic tips for Instagram Marketing like a boss. 
  • A more in-depth article about Mobile Website Optimization from eREACH.
  • Shopify has written a helpful introductory article for Google Place and Google My Business.
  • Check out TripAdvisor Insights for more information.