International travel is on the rise. If you’re in charge of marketing a destination, that’s good news, because it means your audience and potential visitor pool continues to expand. Now how do you get those travelers to your destination?
You might need to refocus your marketing efforts to be more inclusive and aware of cosmopolitan needs. International visitors come from many different cultures and will need some assistance navigating the process that convinces them to choose your foreign destination. Your job is to be their guide.
In order to do this, you need to have a broad reach, but also utilize some specific tools to draw foreign tourists in and give them easy access to your destination. Here are some ideas on how to do all of this and increase your international visitation.
Go where the tourists are: the internet
When planning a trip or just dreaming of one, people all over the world go to the internet first. This is the information hub for everything in twenty-first century life, so if you want your destination to be seen, you need to put it online as many places as possible. Start with a great website that is interactive, mobile-friendly, and attractive, and use great SEO practices so your site comes up as high as possible in online searches. No one can visit your destination if they can’t find you!
A broad social media presence helps too. Here you can truly engage with prospective visitors from all over the world. Posting compelling photos and content about your destination and brand can inspire would-be adventurers to add you to their travel list, and your accounts become a forum where people can ask questions or share their experiences.
People love sharing their lives with friends on social media, so if you create shareable content, tourists who loved your destination or who want to visit can share your content with their friends, giving you greater exposure and free advertising. If that seems like a daunting task, work with a partner like CWW to execute a successful social media strategy for you.
Additionally, make sure you register your brand on review forums like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business. Include detailed information and pictures on your accounts, and regularly respond positively to reviews–good and bad–to show that you care about your visitors’ experiences.
These reviews will not only help you understand your reputation as a destination for international travelers, but will also become a reliable source of information for other travelers. People are always more willing to try something when they hear opinions on it from others. The more information an international traveler can find about a destination, the more willing they are to visit.
Partner with foreign influencers
Online reviews have a strong impact on people trying to make decisions about their vacation destinations, but authorities and influencers have even more powerful opinions. People like these are either experts on a topic or are popular with a large following of fans.
Either way, people listen to them and want to copy them. When marketing a destination, you can reach out to travel writers or other foreign influencers with a sizeable following and invite them to visit your destination for free or at a discount in exchange for writing about or sharing online content about their experience.
This kind of partnership benefits you in two ways: 1) you’re essentially getting a “celebrity” endorsement from someone with a lot of people who value their opinion, and 2) this person will share information about your destination in their native language with prospective visitors who may know little to nothing about what you offer.
As we said before, people are more willing to do something, like visit a foreign place, if they have trustworthy, positive information about it. Inviting an international influencer to experience your destination sets a precedent for their followers. They now see someone they relate to has made this trip, so they will want to do it now, too.
Invest in professional tourism translation
There are thousands of different languages spoken around the world. If you are serious about attracting an international crowd, it’s a smart idea to spend money on professional tourism translation services. With accurate translations into the languages of your target markets, you can better communicate the attractions of your destination to billions of people worldwide.
Use these translations in all of your marketing materials, from printed materials to advertisements to online content, to get the most for your money. Better yet, partner with an destination marketing partner who has ties into international markets and can help ensure your marketing is culturally appropriate and appealing to that country’s traveler base.
Deploy your own international marketing team
There’s only so many people in your country to draw to your destination. Visitation can dramatically increase when you cater to the larger pool of foreign visitors. That’s where your international marketing strategies come in. A local marketing team in international source markets can dramatically improve your inbound tourism. They know the market and key people in the travel industry. They are able to communicate your vision and your destination in the local language through advertising, PR and social media plans. These are trusted travel industry sales and marketing experts that can help you develop international markets such as China, Mexico India and Japan.
Remember, it’s all about making travel to your destination easier for someone entering unfamiliar territory. They may already have the adventurer’s spirit, but it’s up to you to give them the map and team to find you.