Have a Business and Marketing Plan – it’s very easy not to have a plan because it’s probably all in your head, but putting it all on to paper will help you to clarify your positioning, goals and direction to make it all happen.
Don’t Do it All Yourself – there are plenty of great resources, workshops and professional expertise in New Zealand to help any new tourism business start up in the right direction. Contact your local Regional Tourism Organisation and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Training provider for starters.
Know Your Target Market – this is the essence of your entire marketing strategy, if you know who you want to target then you can build products, services and a marketing plan to suit them.
Know Your Costs & Have Revenue Targets – Define your operating costs clearly and know what you need to earn each week, month and year to break even. If you are slipping on your targets then you can alter your marketing efforts to suit.
Have a Distribution Strategy – tourism has a wide variety of selling channels, so it’s important to develop a strategy to suit what you offer. Key channels include: travel wholesalers, inbound tour operators, travel retailers, information centres, online travel agents and websites, your own direct marketing (website, database, brochures, networking etc).
Have Your Own Story – in marketing speak this is like your own “unique selling proposition”. Treat travellers to a memorable experience by sharing your story with them, it may be something special about your location or simply how you deliver your products and services in a unique way.
Love your Country – if your enthusiasm and passion for your own country can be passed on to your customers, even in a small way, then you will have succeeded in inspiring them and they will tell others.
Have a Professional Online Presence – having a basic and cheap website is not enough to stand out, travellers do a significant amount of research online before they book so make sure your website reflects the nature of your brand and what you offer, great photos are always worth the investment (see more about images here). Ensure you have broad online exposure and a well optimised website so people can find you.
Build Relationships – the tourism industry in New Zealand provides regular opportunities for networking with others, whether it’s local, national or international, building and managing relationships with tourism partners, associations, suppliers and groups can help grow your profile and your business opportunities.
Got any other quick tips? Feel free to comment.