Face to face, or ‘in the air’

2016-08-18 06:00

TODAY’S tourism transactions are ever becoming internet- based. The customer prospect looks on a website to identify where to stay or what package to purchase and then often books and pays directly with the product or with an e-agent.

If one considers the boom in things like Uber for transportation or AirBNB for accommodation a whole new dimension to competitive pricing and services becomes evident.

It is clear that tourism and leisure-reliant businesses, which do not embrace the new communications and transaction technologies, may well stumble at the opportunity starting blocks and as such we advise our tourism members to expand their marketing and business reach by getting into that sphere of services marketing.

This does not mean that the face to face engagement is obsolete. At the many promotional expositions we attend we find that show attendees do wish to speak to the product owner to get a sense of the integrity and personality not only of the tourism product, but also who their host may be.

Furthermore, in a world saturated with options I am of the belief that agents selling experiences and tourism services have to get firsthand knowledge of a destination and the enterprises within it. For this reason, we continue to host these market influencers via familiarisation trips down here.

Shortly we, in conjunction with SA Tourism, will be hosting a series of speed-marketing events whereby some 30 travel agents will have one on one business meetings with our members in an effort to secure business down here and afford the agents to get a real feel for our tourism sell.

The tourism trade, as well as the travel media, are integral in maintaining our brand presence and new business opportunities for mainly holiday, business, adventure, cultural and event-related tourism.

I believe there is a comfy home for both the techno trans-actor and the consumer who prefers personalised recommended travel options from agencies in the know. Either way, a prudent tourism practitioner will continue to adopt both options in addition to maintaining strong direct relations with existing and past clients.

After all word of mouth is still be biggest seller of recurring and new business in the hospitality sector - that is why websites like Trip Advisor are such an important reference tool for potential clients.

Tourism is a people-orientated industry so I do not foresee “robohosts” replacing the warmness that our South Coast hospitality fraternity imbues - not in my lifetime anyway.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.