Monday 16 December 2013

VBT Transforms Destination Sites to High Impact Travel Marketing

See detail on YouTube - Transform Bookings to Travel Planning & converts more bookers

Now any destination, tourism authority, hotel association and travel marketing organization can transform its bookings site into a high impact travel planning channel, where guest stay longer, do more and convert. The process is achieved using the new, giving guests immediate access to visual data in amatrix format that dances before their eyes and offers solution that are very personal at a click of a button.

VBT is now combined with a multi-media, muti-channel marketing program that includes Content marketing, videos, SEO and a target press campaign. This all drives massive trafic back to the new VBT travel planner which drives more bookings.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Marketing Hotels and Tourism with Your Publishing Cloud

See more detail on YouTube Video on Marketing Hotels & Tourism with you own Publishing Cloud

Latest Free Video by

This is a personal insight of Ian R Clayton; it introduces a brand new way of looking at how information can be formatted, re-proposed and published in the digital age. A major part of this strategy is how you can build and use your social media to reinforce your hotel and tourism marketing.

This is shared here for the first time on - a free services helping hotel and tourism companies as well as holiday destinations, understand and use the new digital media and the cloud.

Monday 4 November 2013

Building your Social Network to Rank on Top in Tourism Marketing

How to Build Your Social Network to Create Top Ranking in Tourism

This is number 11 in the series on of case studies and Tutorial by Tourism Marketing Machines. This video starts a 4 part sub-series on social network for hotel and hospitality. It goes deep how to market travel brands with the new media publishing. The new motto is "publish and prosper", and the series leads you through the steps from building your network to looking at the multiple ways that information can be packaged, formatted, distributed and promoted.

For the complete series of tutorial, case studies and how to guides see and learn about why you must Publish to Prosper in Tourism Marketing

YouTube Details >>>

Thursday 24 October 2013

Visual Technology for Tourism Gets Social Proof with 6 times more Engagement in Bookings

Its always been a big problem with online booking agents and central reservation systsems (CRS). On Average 95% of shoppers do not book. They lack engagement with booking and reservation systems which are the shopping cart in travel. Obviously there is room for improvement and VisualBookingsTechnology, the new boy on the block, is proving without any doubt that there is a better way.

In live installation VBT demonstrates that travelers engage more with the new visual interface to travel shopping. The travellers gets immediate response to clicks on options, with suitable properties displayed in a dynamic image matrix that echos sentiment is a stunning visual way. The shopping process is far more intuitive and personal.

Not only do travels stay on the site 600% longer, they also do more and click off to hotel website as 3 times the rate.

Check out the details as they unfold with this exciting new system for tourism destinations, hotel association, chain hotel and Central Booking Services: Click Here >>>

Tuesday 22 October 2013

TravelersInsights Magazine on IPad - Amazing Travel Marketing Channel

iPad Digital Magazines are Amazing, high resolution multimedia broadcasts. You can Download a sample at |

Over 400 downloads in just a few days. This is a great channel for tourism marketing..

For more on building your own Magazine app for the iPad go to:

Other useful links:

Go Direct to MagcastClick Here >>> 
About Publishing in the Digital Age Click Here >> 
About Print on Demand Services  Click here >>>
Wikipedia On Online Magazine Publishing >>>

Follow IanRClayton for latest updates in digital publishing

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Visual Bookings Technology's Astounding Success Is Changing Travel

See details on YouTube re Visual Booking Technology for Hotels and Tourism

It's a remarkable story:  A small tourism development company in the tiny island of Barbados, builds a better way to plan and book holidays and travel. Not ever planning to make a breakthrough, the developers just set out to make it better; make it more effective for travelers to see the products that suited them best.

They also wanted to make it better for hotels who were listed on their site at, the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia; making it easier for guests to find properties that really suited them, and easier to choose amongst options by offering visual cues and advise in an instant.

They wanted to make changes to the old ways and bring something new to the table. The result is Visual Bookings Technology which is an exciting new tool for travel planning and bookings.

Installed on the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia,  Central Reservations Systems (CRS), booking engines and property lists, the new system is an astounding success.

Guests are loving the instant visual results they see with each click of a button. They simply click on features and options and presto it's there in glowing colour, along with relevant information. They stay longer looking at options and do more, enjoying the immediate feedback and rapid fire display of every nuance.

The rate at which guests click through to the hotel's own website after seeing images, rates and getting quotes has gone through the roof.

Hotels are seeing 10 times more leads and some 100 times more. It's simply amazing says "Kathy-Lynn Ward" who heads the team and manages the development of new technology at AXSES, the company which owns the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia and has installed many great innovative solutions on that site.

Well done Kathy - we will take this to the world next!

See more and contact us at |

Be ready for the revolution!!

Friday 13 September 2013

Keyword Marketing & SEO For Tourism - When Words Fail You

See  Keyword Marketing & SEO YouTube for details

Part of the series of videos on keywords marketing and  research in your Search Engine Optimize.

In thi svideo we look at what happens when keywords fail. It gives 4 strategies to drive trafic to your website

For More Tourism Marketing Videos like this go to Free Videos

Keywords Strategies |  The TravelerShopping Footprint  | Using Press Releases to Boost Traffic | Why you need to Diversify your OTA Strategy | What's in Store for GDS | Case Study Video Promotion |  Why you must have a Social Network | The New Role of Publishing | Social PR | Case Study: MultiMedia & MultiChannel Publishing

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Choosing The Right Keywords for Hotels & Tourism Marketing

When Words Fail - See the full story on YouTube - why words fail and how to choose the right keywords for tourism This video will explain everything!

This is part of the free series on hotel and tourism marketing video available from (TMM)

The TMM videos cover the future of media and its effect on tourism, video and content blogging, the art of the Press Release, The peril of OTAs, the rebirth of GDS, how to beome your own publisher, they key to direct bookings and much much more-- Register to be a member TMM is free and packed with hot tips on how to market your hotel and tourism online.

Friday 30 August 2013

Barbados Family Holidays Make your Spirit Soar

Family Holidays Barbados Style

See this amazing Barbados Family Holidays Video On YouTube.

With more things to do per mile than any other Caribbean Vacation Destination Barbados tops chart for the perfect Family Getaway and adventure holiday. Barbados Holidays are for all ages and this is are especially true for families. Children love the deep sea dive on Atlantis Submarine, the Pirate ships sailing, safari trips, zips lines and the underground caves, even the museums cater to kids with talking pirates. A perennial favorite is Hunts Fantasy Garden near to Bathsheba: Truly a delight where birds join in your joy. See the video to experience a true delight and let your spirits soar with a trip to this magical tropical island.

This is another of the Distinctively Charming Series on Barbados. See all in the playlist Below: Watch Barbados Distinctively Charming Playlist on Youtube

Thursday 4 July 2013

Evolution of Search as Media is Hurting Hotel Marketing

Search Marketing for Small Hotels is Dead

Search has been sabotaged by Google (G) and does not exist as we know it anymore. It's now a G product offering entry to G services and soon will be exclusively a G media. It has been changing for 10 years and has gone through at least 6 steps in evolution so far, as outlined by Danny Sullivan on Moz (discussed below).

Big trouble for small hotels


see YouTube video how penguin is hurting hotel and tourism marketing

The evolution is insidious and worrying and is not ending with the knowledge graph. Unfortunately this is just the beginning of the new order where search is not an opportunity for local players, hotels and tourism operators, but a closed loop service of the largest conglomerate in the world.See the video below for details of exactly how this is a disaster for small and independent hotels, travel and tourism marketing..

The Trouble With Search

Right now we can see the implications of consolidation at international brand and OTA level. We once saw independent hotels showing up on the first page of search results; those days have gone. For the short term future it's the OTAs and big brands that are the winners.  But as the knowledge graph takes effect, search will more and more be geared to Google products, which will include bookings; Bookings via Google is the ultimate destination of this conglomeration.

We talked about this in 2009 with our blog on the new order of everything and followed it with our blog "the future of media," citing Clay Shirley then with several discussions on hotel finder, search as media (see below) and the knowledge graph . 

Big Brother Bid Data and the Age of Surveillance

The next step in the evolution is what Danny calls the Prism. "It's a spy program or an eavesdropping program or a data mining program, depending on who you want to talk to, that the US government is running."  In my view, the new search is about this Big Data thing, where we gather intelligence and inferences from all of the searches, browsing, profiles, choices and intelligence gather from people's actions, habits, searches and footprints. It's pervasive as more and more information is now put on the Internet and much more of this than anyone would care for can be accessed and used for intelligence in marketing and providing products and services.

The age of persuasion has moved to the age of  influence (Terry O'Reilly) but the next age is far more insidious and pulls the rug out from the idea of a social age of participation. What's next is the age of Big data/ Big brother and those who know how to use it will dominate marketing. The new age designation is not going to be fussy sounding like persuasion, influence or participation because it's not. The game is not equal and all the promise of social media being democratic and an equalizer may vanish. In its place is the age of surveillance, where everything we do, like, dislike and think is measured, analyzed and profiled, creating targets for suppliers and clients of the big data.

Worst Case Scenario

Market dominance centered in a few big data corporations like Amazon and Google-Commoditization of  brands

This seems to be the way we are heading. It does not bode well for the smaller independent brand.

Best Case Scenario

Ubiquitous access - Democratic distribution - Level Marketplace. This can happen, but it is not likely to be the preference of the Big Brothers who are determining the future of travel search, technology and media. We do have the opportunity to influence - this is still the age of influence, but do we have the passion?

More on Why search is failing small hotels and tourism

 see more on SEO for Hotels and Tourism failing  on Youtube


Danny Sullivan On Moz- The evolution of Search 

Trouble in search - SEO Google pulls the rug away
hotel and tourism marketing takes hit from penguin

  What is the knowledge graph - First Iteration

The Future of Media
Clay Shirley

Search as Media

Travel At a Crossroad

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Google One Channel Benefits Tourism

I like the Channel Trailer feature of the "ONE Channel' that Google has implemented on YouTube. Its just one of many recent changes and upgrade. In my view it is really the only "new" feature. The others are mostly improvements and tweaking, except of course that its now a sort of  'Responsive Web Design' (RWD), meaning that it will render well in all mobile, smartphones. iPods, iPads, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles (like xBox), TV and other devices.

Naturally that implies some consideration from publishers and creators: We all now have to understand the limitation and options of these channels and create our video accordingly. Don't create options to press a button or submit a form for TV. Its not there yet and you can really irritate TV viewer by suggesting they can subscribe by clicking the button.

Example Video Trailer

See TravelBarbados Youtube Channel | This Video

Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia is experimenting with the One Channel features. it has created its first trailer for BarbadosTravel on YouTube. The trailer describes the channel, promotes a sweepstake and encourage viewers to subscribe.

Things To Include in Your Trailer

1. Welcome your viewers and thank them for stopping at your channel.

2. Tell them what your channel does and engage them with images and a story line that builds empathy.

3. Make it short and fast. Hi, here we are, this is what we do, please subscribe. Get the viewer's attention and provide them with a reason to stay around. Imagine this trailer as an ad for your channel. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're making your channel trailer:

4. Add a call to action to your own opt in page, newsletter etc. We have used it to promote a sweepstake where the winner will receive a Free holiday in Barbados.

One Channel Trailer Examples:  

Tourism Marketing:
  Plains of Africa
  Oberammergau Passion Play
  Vice uncomfortable truths

   DIY Film Making (5 min)

  Jamie Oliver


YouTube Creator tips

Here is what says:

Have a clear call to action to subscribe (scripted and annotated in the video, and in the video description as well). Entertain the viewer - when in doubt show what your channel is about, don't tell

Indicate the type of videos you upload and when you upload them.

Think about the video's context; it will be seen on the channel, potentially after a viewer has already seen at least one of your videos. There's no perfect length, but shorter is better

Our Views On Trailer Etiquette

From what we  know and have seen, we think video trailers should be short (1 1/2 minutes max)

We have heard that YouTube plans to roll out special options for subscribers.

Other  One Channel Features

 As noted, the trailer is one of the new features of the "ONE CHANNEL" strategy by YouTube.

Here are its main features:

1. Consistent layout across all screens. Your brand can be the same across all devices. Mobile, iPads, iPods, smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, xBox, TVs etc.

2. Sections. More flexibility with playlists. Create lists of any type; no need to create sub-channels or pages.

3. Channel Trailer. As above, create a "welcome" video for non-subscribers.

4. Channels Connection. You can now link to your other relevant channels straight from the home page.

More on Barbados Click Here
BarbadosTravel Youtube Channel Click Here
The Trailer Click Here

Saturday 9 February 2013

Tourism Marketing Is Storytelling

All too often travel and tourism marketers miss the point: travelers love travel stories; stories about people, places, things to do, where to stay and what rooms, apartments and villas they may stay at. 

Learn from Review Sites
Travel marketers don't on the whole tell stories but create pitches and promotions, which are often just plain boring.  Largely they all sound alike.
That's why travelers use review sites; they are not pitches but a story of what someone thinks about a real experience, with real, unfiltered images, video and photos of places.

Travel is a story, but told by hotel and tourism operators, it loses much in translation. Hospitality providers can be storytellers; usually they are good raconteurs, but they are not credible when talking about their own property. It just isn't a story when we say how wonderful our own place is. That's why video is a great option. It delivers a visual of the place; its resources, dining, beaches and rooms.

Rooms Often Not Emphasized
When I look around at hotel websites, I see lovely videos, but many of them spend little time on the rooms. This is even true of villas, where you would think every owner would want to show it all off. What is seen is a rushed nod to the families and a peek inside the room. Why not show the entire bedroom, closets and all? And certainly show the view, accessibility and all facilities. (see example of a simple video below- also see the blog and story at the end)

Comments Add Proof
Now the real storytelling will include guests' comments; how they loved something about the room, flat or home they stayed in. Failing that, the owner can say why this room is great for families; not just because it has two bedrooms, but because it is on one floor, safe and away from stairs, with a large open terrace that children love to play in.

What's in a Name
All too often we do not name units attractively with compelling descriptions. "Villa number one" for example is not helpful. Call it the Nook, Den or "Roof Top Terrace Villa" as Poinsettia in St. Lucia did. Number 6 with two terraces is "The Garden Terrace Villa," number 5, "Poolside" and the unit tucked under the terrace and between the pool and gardens, is "The Nook."

As owners, we often fail to see our accommodation options as all having distinct character. But that is where the story lies. Write about it, get your guests to offer their own comments and create a page for every unit: where it is, how far from the pool, the beach and the office; what is special about it.

As hotel owners and managers, we group accommodation into a common category and that too we treat with drab generalities lacking character and distinction. We don't do videos of each unit, thinking that they are all the same. And if they are, what an opportunity we have missed not to build character into our product.

Video: Affordable and Essential Marketing 
You don't have to spend a fortune on videos to get the message across. See the example above. It is a simple video of film and still images with music and text; no voice-over. It is a visual story of a single villa-apartment at In the page it is displayed on, a short story of the accommodation gives good information that is helpful to the traveler. Each of the units at Poinsettia Apartments is unique with its own personality. The campaign will create a video and blog story for each of seven one and two bedroom apartment-villas at the hilltop resort on Vigie Cove, Castries St. Lucia.

You don't need a professional actor and a glitzy movie to be authentic. In fact, for a great majority of travelers, glitz is a put off. Many want to know who the manager, owner or host is. A video of a real person who will be there to welcome them is far better than a professional voice. Don't be intimidated by your voice. It is real and no actor or smooth talker can really represent you. Speak from the heart and you will create an authentic and real connection. We suggest that our clients use a combination of text, image, voice over and music only videos.  It's good to alternate and sometimes it is important to have that professional voice carry a message. But save the sales letter and the mission statement for your own voice and remember it does not have to be perfect.

User Generated Content Sells                                                                                  
In the recent Destination Marketing Case for Canada , emotional engagement and user generated content helps drive customers to purchase. Canada is a vast and beautiful country but why go there when you could go to California or the Caribbean? Emotional engagement can make the difference.

The implications to hotel and tourism marketing is that user videos resonate. Hotels tend to create high-end videos when travelers want to see the real deal;  the manager/owner or host and not an actor!

Be Where You Need to Be - Be Everywhere
Today p
eople move fluidly between desktop, mobile devices, tablets, television, broadcast services and print. To be present at the right time and place means we have to deliver a consistent brand experience across channels and a system to update posts and maintain a presence where your guests are.  

Example: StoryTelling Travel Marketing at Poinsettia

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Search Updates Hurt St. Lucia Apartment Owners and Local Tourism Companies


Google has dropped every small, local apartment complex from the first page listing. In their place are: Direct By Owner, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and major consolidators and directories. Oddly, even the Government and the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association sites are not showing up on the first page for searches like "St. Lucia apartments for rent."

The change is dramatic. Local apartment rentals that were listed on page one have gone. Just evaporated overnight. Check it out with a search for the phrase above or variation of it.  It is a long tail term that is one of the most searched terms used by travelers looking for self-catering accommodation for their St. Lucia holidays.


It's part of the big clean up and the new effort to list only credible authority sites. Also, someone searching for apartments will often want a list of apartments. From the search engines' point of view,  listing directories is a simple solution to the problem of too much content of suspect quality.  Google is on the war path with shabby content and by playing it safe with known name directories, it is cutting out the small, local property owners who provide the product that these Saint Lucia vacationers are looking for.


So what can the small apartment owners do in the face of declining occupancy when they can't get their properties listed on the first page of search results? Not being on “page one results” leads to a drop in leads of about 80% and that is very bad for business.

Villa and apartment owners can of course advertise on Google and with these big name sites. For a lot of them, it's too expensive.  The apartment market in St. Lucia is struggling with small marketing budgets and big hurdles. They are reluctant to pay for advertising that is expensive and has a short life span. Once the ads have run their course, they disappear.  The cost of a Google ad (adwords)  can be several dollars a lead and as travelers are very fickle, shopping around at an average of 20 or so sites before they buy, the close rate is low.

On average, 95% of travel shoppers do not buy on sites like Expedia and destination sites while shopping around. On the other hand, it makes sense to build authority and create quality, lasting content. That is a sustainable marketing option; good content and authority last. Before the latest search updates, they were also what got you to the top of search results. Now it seems International Companies with massive lists are winning out over local property owners with rooms, flats, villas and apartments to rent.


The good news is that you can still build authority that will influence ranking. It's a long process and cannot be done overnight; but done right, we are seeing a gradual increase in ranking. It's a matter of time before this turns into a page one listing, more leads and more direct bookings.

For a St. Lucia apartment owner client, we have been developing content and links which are finally beginning to show some results. The site is moving up and we expect it will be on page 1. Why? Because Google is looking for authority sites with excellent content and visibility and this is what property owners need to do.

You build authority with good content and by letting people know about it. Building authority is not about promotion. It's about content that travelers are looking for. One strategy is to find a new perspective on a major attraction and do your own story and video on it. See Ladera - stay in comfort and holiday in style.


It used to be that one could influence ranking with just a couple of good videos. Now we need a campaign with not less than a dozen videos. The videos need to be strategic, released over several months, with a carefully crafted message that reinforces itself without overdoing the keywords and links.  Variety in tags, keywords and links is now the essence. So the campaign will include using a closely related set of words with links that are not over-optimized.


Not long ago “G” told us to use keywords in our links (anchor text) so they would know what we are promoting. Today they are telling marketers that it is not natural to link back with the exact keywords we are targeting. One needs to vary the link words and use the raw URL as well as words like "Click Here" and "Visit" etc.  Also vary the words using related words like vacation, holiday, travel, getaways etc. Use words like flat, room, house, suite, studio, villa, apartment interchangeably where they make sense. This is part of what is called Latent Semantic Indexing. See more at
So if you find you have fallen off the search results, it could be that your back-links (sites linking back to you) are too optimized and now look unnatural. You need to change these links and add more random words so that they will now look natural.


Our campaign for is progressing slowly. We have published several videos, written many blogs, added content to the site and issued several press releases. The site has moved to the third page results. We will be publishing and promoting 8 more videos in this campaign.

Here is some of the Video collateral.

Villa Interiors:
Stay in Comfort, Holiday in Style
Long Term St. Lucia Living
Overview of Poinsettia

Resources: Organic Search results for "apartments for rent in St. Lucia"

Contact support (at) for more on these tourism video marketing campaigns
Tel: 246 429 2653


Thursday 10 January 2013

The Press Release

This post is a follow up on a question regarding the Press Release services we offer at AXSES and the services and strategies we use to get the best results.

Yes! We do all the work leading up to the PR, including the release writing and the follow up. There is a lot of blogging and publishing that has to be in place before we will send out a Press Release. After the release is published, there is more work to promote it and make it effective.

Before the Press event, we need to be sure we have a suitable video to be featured in the PR. We need blogs, website landing pages and special reports. All of these are created, published and promoted prior to the press event.
We write the PR, create the videos and articles and tweak the websites, blogs and online collateral. In many cases we build magazine style documents. 

These also get published separately to places that we know count like SlideShare, Scribd etc. We market those places by making sure they are picked up in online directories (pinged) and by creating announcements and promotions for them.

In some cases we will create online photogalleries on sites like TripNtale eg; and, as you might have guessed, we promote these also. There is much to be gained by helping these sites get known, so we will do tweets and announcements for these in the same way that we promote the PR.

We work with PRWeb to distribute the release out to journalists and the media. PRWeb is, in our opinion, the best online and offline combination, and we like that it is true multimedia release. 

We always include a video, an image and a quote, as well as a PDF attachment that covers more details that will interest certain journalists.
It's a lot of work but we have been told our PR is above average in pick-up and distribution. It all adds up. 

Once the PR is out, we monitor it and write about the places and angles on the media that is featuring the release or the video.  We do more promotions on the big named sites that carry our feature and we look for angles that are unique. 

In the case of Poinsettia and Ladera, CBS picked us up in their MoneyWatch. We turned that into a secondary promotion: "Affordable Caribbean Holidays featured by CBS MoneyWatch."

The PR on the launch of the Mobile Travel Calendar application was picked up by several high profile technology sites such as Silicon Valley and The Network Journal. We promoted these separately with pings, tweets and posts to various networks across the Internet.

As you can see, we put a lot of effort into making video marketing work for our clients.


PRWeb claims that it is the world's number one news release service1, with an unprecedented ability to reach journalists, bloggers and potential customers.  Each PRWEB release is optimized to get the best organic search results. The release also goes to premium online outlets, and is sent directly to journalists and bloggers.

The PRWeb release will go out to

Search Engines

Major Search Engines

Across the Web

Web Distribution

Associated Press Distribution

Associated Press Distribution

Media Digests

Business News Digests
Health and Medical Digests
Hospitality and Travel
Information Technology

The Press Release will be displayed on about 50,000 PRWeb user pages on the Internet. These are pages that are measured by PRWeb. In addition, many more will not be measured. A pickup will be to numerous sites that are not measured and are not part of the PR network. These sites in turn can be picked up by many more and the total displays of the release will be in the order of 5-10 times the reported number.


TAKE AWAY  Mobile Travel Calendar PR Followup.

If you do your own Press Release, it's a good idea to promote the folks who carry your story.

In order to get more traffic and create more buzz, we track who has picked up the release. Where we find a top media  pickup or an unusual one, we will post that as a story (or several stories) across the Internet.

In this case Silicon Valley, CBS MoneyWatch and The Network Journal were 3 pickups we chose to make a story on. The story was short. It might be just tweets to say "Wall Street is talking about WhatsOninBarbados." We may post that story to many, many sites with various news worthy angles relative to their own clientele and market.

The post PR reporting and follow up creates backlinks to our feature on pickup sites (eg: Silicon Valley) which makes it rank on search engines and creates additional visitors to it. That way more people learn about our featured client or release.

It all adds credibility to our news.

TAKE AWAY ON FOCUS re St. Lucia Holidays

Some were asking how we re-focus a story about a hotel or tourism event to make it newsworthy. See the take away below. Hope this helps.
When you are writing a PR, don't talk about what a wonderful service or special offer etc. Talk about a NEW service - release a NEW video and always feature how it is different from others and from what you did before.
In the Ladera campaign we originally featured the idea of saving money. Who cares? Everyone does that.  Changing it to "Publishing/Launching" a new video about new ways to save on exotic holidays worked.


PoinsettiaApartments Website >>>

To Your Success