All indicators are pointing up for 2010. The stock market is now at the same levels it was 2 years ago. Real Estate has regained its footing and is now on the rise in many markets. Travel is also coming out of the abyss as well. This year is and will be a down year for sure as the strong second half, can’t make up for the bad first six months. However, next year promises to be a good year for the travel industry. So my question to you is this; have you planned your online marketing strategy to capture new business?Once upon a time, travel agencies simply took out an ad in the phone book and that’s all they really needed. The real aggressive agencies advertised specials in the local newspaper. The methodical agencies sent out direct mail pieces to get more upscale business because mailers allowed you to detail the finer points of deluxe trips. Now these options are for the most part wasted money. Travel is researched and purchased online.Is your travel web site up to snuff? I read in agreement Steve Cousino’s article “Psst, your site stinks” published on Travel Research Online Article. Steve is a pretty bright guy. He accurately described how travel agents neglect or don’t seem to care about their online presence. I find this strange because travel is now an online product, your knowledge and people skills generally come into play after the customer has researched online. It’s really inexcusable to be in an online business with a bad website isn’t it? With WordPress, Online Agency and other content management systems and a bit of research and custom content written by you, it is very easy to have a very good site.
But what I really find odd is that the type of travel that agents specialize in is generally complicated. It is an accepted fact that the more complex a product is, the more it is researched online and purchased offline. That’s where you come in. You would think agents would put more resources into their sites. It doesn’t have to sell every tour product and every corner of the world. It just needs to convey your knowledge and expertise about your particular niche.
So again I ask; do you have a strategy to increase your online presence? Is your web site up to date, easy to use and professional? Have you researched search engine optimization techniques to get it to place well for keyword phrases that are applicable to your niche? Does it have good content written by you that displays your knowledge and details why it’s in the best interest of people to use your services? Do you post travel and resort reviews on traveler review sites, social networking sites and chat rooms? This is where your customers are. You need to be there as well.
It’s all a puzzle. But is you have all the pieces in place. The puzzle works.
My Two Cents,