Todd Gehrke – Director of Group & Conference Solutions, Telluride Tourism Board
Customization. We are seeing greater demand for a personalized experience based on the participants’ goals and interests. As a result we are trying to create unique experience options and add-ons, to get away from just your standard off-the-shelf program.
Tullia Caballero – Director, S-Cape Travel
We are redesigning and developing new deluxe independent, self-guided and semi-guided cycling and walking trips in Italy, Spain, France and Greece. This is a concept that has been very popular among Europeans for a long time and is starting to catch on in North America. On a self-guided trip you receive a set of very detailed route notes and pre-marked maps that you follow at your own pace. [Since it’s] not a group tour there are no fixed departure dates and you can start any day of the week. This also means you can stop for a coffee or ice-cream whenever you want without making anyone wait for you. Also the prices are far more accessible without cutting out on comfort, service nor quality.
Lubomir Popiordanov – CEO, Odysseia-in Adventure Travel Company
Since the consumer interests are changing to shorter itineraries we have created more memorable short-break itineraries, focusing on [interaction] with the locals and once-in-a-life time experiences like wine + bike, walking + yoga, and immersion in the Rose Valley. We have also focused on cross-border itineraries revealing not only the beauty and traditions of one country but of a whole region (ex. Bulgaria – Macedonia – Greece or Bulgaria – Serbia – Romania).
Tammy Leland – CoFounder and International Program Director, Crooked Trails
In 2012 and 2013 Crooked Trails has moved into more custom programing for individuals and groups. We also will offer 2-3 Co-Founder led programs in 2013.
Manal Saad Kelig – Co-Founder & Director of Marketing, Gateway To Egypt & Great Wonders of Egypt
We plan to invest in really good story telling. The consumer is seeking real, credible and simple content.
Rick Kemp – Director of Marketing, Churchill Wild
I have been changing the mindset of all employees to realize that they are marketers as much as I am – even if it is not in their job title or description. Sharing their stories, observations and interactions with guests not only helps promote our product but often enhances the guest’s experience while at the lodge.
Irene Morgan – Regional Director USA & Canada, Destination NSW Australia
Greater emphasis on value, not just monetary value but value of life experiences. Our visitors tell us Australia offers some of the most unique, life-changing experiences on the planet and we are obligated to share them as much as possible.
We are also implementing a set of tools that will allow our customers real time interaction with social media even from very remote locations.
Alejandro Gonzalez – Venezuela Elite
We are emphasizing the authentic local cultural interaction that has always been in every itinerary we operate. We are also implementing a set of tools that will allow our customers real time interaction with social media even from very remote locations.
Becky Harris – Owner, Viaventure Central America
More and more our company’s products are based around creating an authentic and experiential travel experience that is value for money and hopefully demonstrates to visitors the passion that we have for our destinations. We’re constantly on the hunt for new experiences and products, especially those with a local spin that promote and support the communities and natural areas we visit. And we don’t just sell one type of trip—we know people’s travel goals and budgets vary. That’s why we have itineraries that cover everything from culture to adventure to relaxed beach time. We have economical trips, as well as upscale options that are tailor-made from end to end. So for us it has been increasingly about experiences, variety, value for money and sustainable travel.
The main marketing difference for us in the trade arena are the new markets such as Brazil and Australia and discovering what these markets are looking for and how they purchase – both very different. Also a large area of change for us is the move to market more to the direct, general public market and not just focusing on trade relations. This is a whole new world requiring totally different techniques which we are starting to learn about and apply.
Natalie Morris – Head of Sales, Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel
Clients are definitely venturing further afield and looking for more remote/unique experiences. As such we are adapting our product to stay ahead of emerging destinations and activities.
Carrie McDougall – President / Owner, Cultural Crossroads
We continue to add more cultural and hands-on opportunities based around indigenous traditions, cultural interactions, culinary, wine, art and music. Our travelers appreciate our intercultural encounters and we strive to continually include many special experiences, often not offered elsewhere.
Richard A. Mitsoda – Managing Director, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas
Clients’ buying patterns have and will continue to evolve with the influences of technology, supply, competition and lifestyle. Past performance history and marketing methodology should not be relied on solely to predict or plan a future years’ results. Unfortunately, too many companies find it easier to do what they are comfortable with rather than challenge themselves to examine or create marketing alternatives that will influence potential buyers. Without going into major details as to the analysis process, let me relate two recent changes in our marketing efforts for 2013 to enhance client engagement and influence the buying decision.
First, we created a marketing framework for our suppliers that clearly states what we will do for them online and with original content through our blog and social media in exchange for an exclusive deal unique to our company that is available for 30 days only. As this is performance-based, it has gained good acceptance. Second, online retargeting is being enhanced to “intelligent” retargeting. While retargeting, which tracks an IP address and puts your product in front of that person when they do a related online search is still effective, the realization was that more direct engagement was needed. “Intelligent” retargeting directly relates your product to the person that searched your website and continually engages them with helpful information to enhance trust and branding. So use a “blank sheet of paper” without preconceived ideas or reliance on past performance only, network with others, become aware and recognize trends, think, don’t be afraid to fail but be quick to adjust.
Marie Friede – Managing Director / Founder, African Profile Safaris
For programs we won’t be changing that much since it is all tailor made, but for marketing efforts we have been told by our clients the past year that we should concentrate on telling potential agents/ clients of our conservationist pilotguides. It is something that we have always done but haven’t thought to use as one of our main points to focus on when selling. Since we are outdoor conservation enthusiasts it was always naturally flowing into our tours, but only recently this seems to be the new trend for others to follow, so maybe it is time to share that it is the way we have always been operating.
Ben Stubenberg – Cacique / Chief, Caicu Naniki Ltd
Regarding adventure tours to northern Haiti, we have created a short overnight tour from Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, which is just 90 miles from northern Haiti. The aim is to allow visitors to create an easy way to “try out” the country in hopes that it will lead to longer trips in the future. Unfortunately, the negative image of Haiti is a high hurdle to overcome, but giving people a taste of the place that shows off its natural beauty, compelling sights and warm people is the first step.
Katarina Mancama – Marketing Manager, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
We have put a lot more focus on electronic communication, especially social media. This is a cost-effective way to reach potential consumers.
Kathy Stewart – Director PR, Butterfield & Robinson
In 2012 B&R launched a series of itineraries for our Private Portfolio which are designed and priced for couples, families and small groups who want to take a Private Trip with B&R. These itineraries were created in partnership with local operators that we have been working with for many years. These itineraries offer a lower price point than our fully B&R guided and operated Bespoke trips.
Natasha Martin – Online Marketing Specialist, Namibia Tourism Board North America
Of course, we aim to always adapt our tactics to meet the needs of the market, whether its starting a Pinterest board or providing a guide to choosing an eco-friendly accomodation.
David DiGregorio – Head of Marketing & Communications: North America, South African Tourism
As a tourism board our product remains the destination, however we are constantly changing how we promote our product and how we speak to consumers. Thanks to new and social media we are able to speak to and engage with consumers directly like never before.
Anders la Cour Vahl – Deputy Director, Visit Greenland
During 2012 we conducted a significant number of qualitative interviews with visitors in Greenland. The answers are now being processed and will form the basis for a psychographic segmentation of our visitors as opposed to the previous demographic ones. This survey has produced great insight into the mindsets of our visitors and stressed where and in which direction future product development and adjustment should aim [and] has also inspired our latest and succesful Big Arctic Five campaign in the Danish market.
Fan Na – Director – China, PureQuest Adventures
We adapt programs according to consumer interest and demand. For example, more of our clients get interested in culinary tours, we put together the resources and develop new programs.
Dan Oberlatz – Owner, Alaska Alpine Adventures
In 2013 we continue the effort around here to bring the best of Alaska to our guests. As a small shop, spread way too thin, we are steering away from SEO and instead are directing attention to putting our best face forward in all aspects of our organization. With a few exciting and innovative new trips and an entirely new reservation system, our focus this new year is to bring a user-friendly, all-inclusive, and customized experience to our guests from the time they begin thinking about taking one of our trips until they return from their adventure.
Hernan Acevedo – Incoming Tourism Manager, Voyage Colombia
We are developing new itineraries and new products oriented towards adventure travel since we see that the potential is huge, and demand is growing. For example we are creating an itinerary that includes the highlights of Colombia with the most important National Parks, including trekking.
Loren T. Siekman – Founder & President, Pure Adventures
Throughout my history with my previous start up Discover France Adventures and now Pure Adventures, we have always been at the forefront with Self-Guided Tours. This trend is now firmly part of the active/adventure space for cycling and hiking tours. We will continue to be leaders and believers in this concept but one area that we continue to adapt to is the customization that more and more consumers demand in their vacations. Therefore, we are marketing our ability to customize our trips to our traveler’s needs and interests.
Denis Yasinko – Project Manager, Wild Russia Travel and Adventures
To meet the market demands first of all we think about changing our products for better. We concentrate on every detail there is. We are constantly enhancing logistics, educating our guides, cooks and other staff. We make sure our equipment is always up-to-date and in good order. We travel a lot ourselves to monitor the changes in the industry and to be up to the highest world adventure travel standards. If we talk about being an inbound operator, we delegate all the marketing efforts to our partners abroad who sell our trips in their countries. As for our outbound operations we use the most modern marketing technologies to sell our trips to the Russian market.
Alex Herrmann – Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism
At Switzerland Tourism, we’re focusing on larger, more integrated campaigns, including TV and with an emphasis on videos. However, we still include more traditional marketing activities in our marketing mix such as print or outdoor. We continue to include humor in our campaigns, as this generated very positive feedback. What has not changed at all is our overall messaging: we still position Switzerland as a destination with authentic traditions and pristine nature – get natural.