If you’re looking to expand your tourism business, there’s no better way than to attract foreign customers. Sure, you may already have a captive and interested local market on your doorstep, but we live in a global society and the internet has made attracting foreign visitors easier than ever.
Here are just a few ways in which you could look at bolstering your domestic trade by increasing your foreign visitor numbers.
Attend international trade shows
International trade shows offer the perfect opportunity to increase awareness of your products and services in foreign markets. In particular, attending trade events specific to your sector will expose your business to an entirely new audience, and could have the knock-on effect of increasing your foreign connections. It’s very common for associations and affiliations to be formed between like-minded businesses at trade events, and these types of new, similar-business connections could very well result in joint promotions strategies in the future, to the benefit of both companies.
Make improvements to internationalize your website
The internet has allowed companies to reach far beyond their native shores and make international connections with foreign consumers. Consider translating your site into different languages and perform search engine optimization (SEO) in order to target foreign search engines. You could even set up live streaming events to attract more attention, or do as Melbourne’s Reptile Encounters do, and offer educational school incursions to educate and inform potential visitors of the services you offer.
Improve your social media presence
Search engines aren’t the only way consumers learn about businesses. Having a strong presence on the most widely used social media sites can also have a huge effect on your company’s global exposure, bringing visitors from far-flung destinations. The power of social media as a marketing tool cannot be overstated, and a well-crafted post can very easily end up ‘going viral’, promoting your company to previously untapped markets. Think carefully about your social media marketing strategy and spend time producing the best posts possible. The opportunities are limitless.
Get your business on aggregator sites
Tourists are increasingly turning to sites such as TripAdvisor before they travel, and having your site listed under a specific category in your specific geographical area can hugely increase potential visitor awareness of your company. While you may incur a slight charge for selling tickets through aggregator sites, the increase in visitor numbers will far outweigh the commission payments.
Consider making your business multi-seasonal
While most visitor attractions tend to think of themselves as strictly seasonal, there may be worth in exploring the benefits of making your attraction multi-seasonal. Often, opportunities can arise through other, unrelated events; for example, a local trade show or music festival that happens outside your normal operating times.
Carefully monitor (and respond to) customer feedback
While sites such as TripAdvisor and social media pages such as Facebook can undoubtedly bring you new trade, just one bad review can also do untold harm to your business, so it’s essential you closely monitor feedback. If you get a good review, it’s important you thank the visitor for their feedback to make them feel valued and respected. However, perhaps of greater importance, if you get bad reviews, you must address them and make in-roads to healing the client–business relationship. Even if you think a bad review is unjustified, you just never know who might end up reading a customer’s comments, and taking a proactive approach to dealing with client feedback will go a long way to maintaining your reputation online.