Interested in a way to make your tourism destination, agency or location more engaging? The more you search online, the more frustrating it becomes – you find the same old fashioned tips that are no longer so successful. In the age of technology, chances are you will need to focus on something more innovative to increase your popularity.
There are countless solutions and ideas to get over old school marketing techniques, but innovate instead. More and more businesses take advantage of technology and believe it or not, it seems to work. Most people have smartphones today and can find basic information at a glance – this is what you want to focus on.
No matter what you choose, always do it with trends in mind. The best part? Compared to other industries, tourism lacks dedication. Marketers in this industry are not really committed to succeeding, so going the extra mile will put you way ahead of your competition.
Create a top notch travel guide
Without travelers, you would not be anywhere. At the same time, without a good travel guide, your travelers will not know too much about you. From this point of view, focus your marketing campaign around travelers’ necessities and needs.
As a general rule of thumb, a visitor will never know the area as well as a local. This is a major advantage. It gives you the opportunity to create something that anyone can find useful – a perfect travel guide.
The guide must be easy to read. It should be skimmable too. Keep in mind that no one will read it word by word. Use subheadings and short paragraphs, bullets and short ideas. Come up with a list of hidden gems and best places to do and see. The more secret and local, the better.
How do you create the perfect guide? Easy. Think of something that you would will to pay for. Then, you have to give it away for free. People like freebies and when you also deliver quality, you are on the right way. Feel free to include some QR codes for tourism and travel as well – discounted tickets, special offers and so on.
Come up with a discussion platform
Such things work better on major social networks. Whether you create a group or you answer questions on your page, users will love hanging around. After all, most of them will be first time visitors, so they will have plenty of questions. The more you can answer, the better.
If it is a group revolving around your page and business (market for them in the group cover photo), users will also interact one with another, creating an actual community around your business. Some social media platforms also allow asking yourself a question and answering it right away for your audience to see.
Some of the most popular questions you will run into include:
- What kind of activities do you suggest for couples?
- Are there any pet-friendly hotels around?
- Is it easy to use public transportation?
- Are there any supermarkets around?
Make sure you are mobile
In a world where the number of smartphones outweighs a third of the world’s population, it is obviously time to go mobile. Most websites are already there, so make sure you follow the exact same rules. More and more people rely on their smartphones to find the information they need, rather than laptops and desktops. This trend is even more obvious in tourists who travel with mobile devices and no desktops.
Your website should be mobile optimized and not mobile friendly. When it is mobile friendly, it means people can get along. When it is mobile optimized, it is perfect to ensure a great user experience. If you rely on CMS platforms, they may already be there.
Provide Quality Information
Pretty much everything can be found for free over the Internet – be it legal or illegal. With these aspects in mind, most people can retrieve free information if they search hard enough. Whether you come up with a guide, suggestions or hidden gems, everything must be available free of charge.
People are mostly looking for directions when traveling to a new place. They would also like some notes on landmarks – nothing fancy or too historical, but just the most important facts. Reviews, embassy information, emergency numbers, public transportation, taxis, do’s and don’ts are just as common. In fact, many city councils provide such portals for their tourists already.
To help you understand the importance of online marketing in tourism, you should know that the Kerala government in India adopted QR codes in 2015. They were all over the area to help people learn more about touristic attractions. The tourism board of Hong Kong did something similar in 2017.
Become available to everyone
Most tourists cannot speak the local language. While surprising to many, there are lots of tourists who cannot even speak English, apart from a few basic words. They visit local attractions and try to find information in their own language over the Internet.
When they need you, you have to be there. There are many scripts that can translate websites in multiple languages. The tourist only has to press the translation button and select the flag. You can add such scripts yourself or get a CMS platform that has such plugins. The translation will not be 100% grammatically perfect, but it will make things much easier.
Push information within seconds only
Guides have the primary role to help visitors understand why certain landmarks are so important. But with so much free info online, less and less people pay for guides. Instead of having them search for info or trying to browse your website, you can also provide QR codes by most landmarks.
This way, a simple scan will give them a few notes regarding the landmark. It can be anything – a link, a video, a few notes, a longer message, a few pictures and so on. As long as you find it relevant, it will work wonders.
How to use QR codes to make city tourism more enjoyable and engaging
QR codes have gained lots of notoriety when they showed up because they practically build a bridge between the online and the offline. Someone walks down the street and sees a code with a call to action – be it a discount, some directions or more details. They scan it with their smartphone and they enjoy the freebie.
QR codes are used everywhere, but when it comes to tourism, they are often overlooked. Sure, some places are more innovative than others and have already implemented QR codes around cities to help tourists.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has QR codes on many mosaic pavements, beaches and vistas.
- Monmouth, Wales has plenty of QR codes linking to Wikipedia articles.
- New York City, USA used QR codes in Central Park to encourage engagement.
QR codes can be used in multiple places when it comes to tourism. They make great options for magazines and flyers, as well as your official website and even your window. They can be used around landmarks – as long as the city council approves it – or in buses.
While you can find QR codes on buses, it is not such a good idea to have them on moving vehicles because people do not have enough time to scan them. Using them inside buses or bus stations is a better idea. The same rule applies to trains.
Do not spam your potential visitors with QR codes all the time. They will scan so many of them that when they want to go back to certain information, they will barely be able to find the same code. Also, overusing QR codes can confuse tourists. If you release a new code and they have already scanned the previous code, they might overlook the new one, thinking there is nothing new going on.
Instead, try linking to a page that gets updated all the time, such as a page with special offers or upcoming events. When used around landmarks, they can keep the same information.
Link QR codes for tourism and travel to relevant information only. Stick to small chunks of texts, bullets and aerated paragraphs. You can link to a few notes about a landmark or directions to the most important landmarks in the area.
Tourists can find whatever they need over the Internet, but when everything is readily available, they will find it more convenient. Instead of using their favorite search engines and going through one result after another, they might as well just scan the code and get relevant information right away.
As a short final conclusion, QR Codes for tourism and travel can target multiple areas – directions, museums, transportation, landmarks and so on. Just like for any other campaign that involves QR codes, this one must be thoroughly planned or it might feel spammy – the last thing you want when it comes to enticing visitors.