Now I know you are thinking what’s the difference between online promotion and newspaper advertisements. But I would like to submit there is a huge difference.
I owned and operated a mid-sized travel agency in Silicon Valley for 20 years. We would run newspaper advertisements promoting Hawaii and Mexico vacation packages. These ads produced a great return on investment so we ran then every weekend, 52 weeks a year. We would co-op with big wholesale tour operators like Suntrips and Pleasant Hawaiian so we could run bigger ads than I could afford by myself. In the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News the Sunday Travel section readers would see these big ads promoting Hawaii and Mexico Vacations every weekend. In addition to my ads, 30 or 40 other travel agencies would run their own smaller independent ads. To add to the promotional frenzy, Ed Hogan at Pleasant Hawaiian would run lot’s of Radio ads hawking Hawaii vacations. Hawaii and Mexico Vacations were promoted constantly on the west coast. Now that everything travel is mostly promoted only on the Internet, Hawaii and Mexico are just another destination. The demise of Sunday newspaper travel sections has taken away the promotional advantage.
They must now compete on their own merits. As people surf online for vacation deals, they find many great destinations that are now promoted right alongside Hawaii and Mexico beach destinations. Hawaii’s not cheap and Mexico has issues that keep it in the news for the wrong reasons. No longer does Hawaii and Mexico enjoy the promotional advantage they once had from the Sunday travel sections. It will take new methods and new messages to promote Hawaii and Mexico vacations.