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Your experiential hotel, attraction, activity and tour helps drive visitation.

Driving Consideration - how your tourism business helps your destination convert

activities attractions booking system online travel agents ota regional tourism organisations ticketing software tour operator tourism destinations Mar 19, 2024

Did you know that regardless of its size, your tourism business plays a pivotal role as a destination driver, especially if you offer experiential products?

Consider a recent scenario we encountered involving a major attraction in a leading city evaluating ticketing software options. Throughout this process, a critical gap became apparent: distribution and connectivity were overlooked. This oversight is concerning.

Today, Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are integral not only to sales but also to the broader marketing strategy. Research, such as Expedia's " The Path to Purchase - Uncovering how travellers plan and book online," reveals that OTAs are instrumental during the initial "dream" phase of travel planning. Travellers engage with an average of 141 pages of travel content within 45 days before booking a trip, with OTAs accounting for nearly half of these interactions.

Furthermore, studies by Arival underscore the significance of experiential products in driving destination choice. Whether you operate a tour, attraction, activity, or experiential accommodation, your business is central to converting destination consideration into a tangible decision.

The omission of distribution and connectivity by a major attraction poses a risk to the region's ability to convert interest into bookings. To illustrate this, let's consider the perspective of a consumer:

Imagine I'm in Sydney, contemplating a weekend getaway to either Melbourne or Brisbane. As I scour the internet for "Things to do" in both cities, OTAs present their array of offerings for the upcoming weekend. Ultimately, the city with the most diverse and accessible options is likely to win my decision.

The same principle applies to regions seeking to attract more visitors. Failure to integrate with OTAs diminishes visibility, potentially driving visitors elsewhere in search of richer experiences. Even if your region offers comparable or superior attractions, if they aren't showcased effectively, they risk being overlooked.

OTAs are no longer sitting only in the "book" stage of the consumer journey, they are integral to destination choice while the traveller is in the "dream phase". For any region, state/county or national tourism marketing entities, this is integral in destination choice and driving existing demand to conversion. It's not just about being connected with OTAs and facilitating transactions; it's about amplifying your destination's allure and securing its position as a premier choice for your ideal travellers.

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