Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Next Hotel Marketing Wave - Publish or Perish

The tourism marketing and development work we did for Dominica has opened our eyes to the future. Almost as a sideline, we created the TravelersInsights.com magazine. It was a personal account, inspired by our need to understand and document the brand. When marketing the destination on the Internet, it provided a framework for the conversation we entered or created. This was a success. We managed to place the new central reservation system we had created BookingsDominica.com on top of search results for most of the important Dominica Travel search words and phrases.

The TravelersInsights Dominica however sat on the shelves and was largely ignored by the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA). Hotels loved it so much that every single copy of the draft run disappeared. We knew that it was a worthwhile endeavor, but it needed the DDA to use and distribute it. This did not happen!

Adversity is often the mother of invention, and in trying to find a better use for the TraveleresInsights Dominica publication, we discovered online publishing. 

There are thousands of online resources where you publish travel stories, articles and destination promotional pieces. They break down into blogs, ezines, Web 2.0 resources, bookmarking, dedicated interest channels, document storage, re-publishers and online magazine racks.

Online magazines were our first foray. They are are slowly taking over from the corner store. Here, you get full-colored magazines of very high quality. In may cases, they may be downloaded or delivered by courier. Services like Magcloud print runs are very reasonable, at only 15-20 cents US per page for small runs. Try to get a regular printer to do that and you'll see what I mean. This is a good and inexpensive outlet for destination marketing. Their are no expensive print runs and no inventory. Quality magazines can be ordered one at a time and delivered anywhere (Print on Demand -POD as in TravelersInsights.com).

Closely related are the document sharing systems, like Slideshare. Here, high quality documents are stored online in PDF format, ready for download.

Next, we looked at ezines and started with ezineartciles.com. The submission was rejected, as they thought it was too professional and suggested we had copied it. When this was cleared, up the piece went on to be featured in Travel Tips. We are still working our way through these ezines with a list of over 500 services and some paid help in submitting to them.

It was at this point that the thought struck: Hey! Digital Publishing is the new marketing!
What better way to get noticed than getting publicity: print coverage online. One that you can do yourself, or at least control yourself. It is a slightly new twist on an old and dying adage, replace print with the hybrid of digital marketing. Both in print and online, have it ready to download, ready to print on your own desktop, or have it shipped to your destination sales staff, travel agent or traveler.

What is most interesting, from an Internet Marketer's perspective, is the fact that your listing in these online services often allows backlinks to your website. This means that your website get seen and, as these sites are often very authoritative, it means that Google and the search engines pay attention. This will help you get listed on top search results and directly increase you bookings.

I think I see a fundamental shift in marketing coming - see my article on Bukisca - Publish or Perish. These sites are examples of the new Web 2.0 platforms that are rapidly becoming voices and influences. We have used HubPages, Squidoo, RedGage and many, many others. See our Tourism Marketing Platform in the arcRes-Publishing link below for a researched list.

In our business of tourism marketing, we will often drop in our clients' Special promotions, hotel deals, car rental offers and restaurant advertising. For an example, see Barbados Special HubPage on Smartphones.


It's what we at AXSES have been gearing up for for a decade! Those who are our clients will know how we have positioned AXSES products to serve direct business to hotels and tourism suppliers.

Our flagship product, arcRes.com, has changed from a simple booking engine to a full-fledged publishing system.

We even coined the name arcRes-Publishing before we fully understood the impact it might have. 













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