DIGITAL SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROMOTION IN
DEVELOPING MARKETS – SRI LANKA EXAMPLE
Niranka T. Perera
Image Credit: lakdasun
“Tourism currently accounts for 9% of the world GDP & 6% of world trade”
148.3 MILLION
Online Travel
Bookings - 2013
Onlin...
Slide 3
DIGITAL INTEREST IN SRI LANKA TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY
Online Searches for “Sri Lanka Hotels”
Corresponds with Tourism...
THE ONLINE TRAVEL CONSUMER
Online Search Recommendations from friends & family
(where do people connect now? On Social Media)
Slide 5
THE ONLINE TRAV...
Source: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html
Normalized assist/last interaction r...
1.8
France
1.5
Germany
5.2
U.S.
1.5
U.K.
WHERE DOES SOCIAL MEDIA FIT IN?
Source: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/cust...
Source: http://www.sustainabletourism.net/resources.html
75% of consumers want a
more responsible holiday -
2012
22% of re...
Slide 9
ONLINE TRAVEL PURCHASE DYNAMIC
Colombo Hotel Search
1st April 2014
agoda.com app
Search Term Search Volume
sri lan...
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Slide 11
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MARKETING
Destination Marketing
Tourist Board
Destination Management Companies
Local Associat...
If the Target Consumer is not looking for a Sustainable
Tourism product, how do we position Sustainable
Tourism and benefi...
DIGITAL
IDENTITY
DIGITAL
STORY
TELLING
„FEEL
GOOD
FACTOR‟
THE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Incorporate
Sustainable
Touri...
Most popular pages on a website
1. Home Page
2. Photo Gallery
3. Special Offers
4. Accommodation
5. Location
What brand co...
Slide 15
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL IDENTITY EXAMPLES
Cinnamon Lakeside
Jetwing Hotels
The Rainforest
Ecolodge
Slide 16
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL STORY TELLING EXAMPLES
Slide 17
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL STORY TELLING EXAMPLES
COMMUNICATE FEEL GOOD FACTORS
A GUILT FREE SOAK!
WATER TREATMENT & REUSE IN OUR
GARDENS
COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE
TREE PLANTIN...
FINAL THOUGHTS
Slide 19
• Do not limit Sustainable Tourism communication to press releases and media
blitz
• Price, Locati...
THANK YOU
Website: www.niranka.com
Twitter: @ntp505
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'How to Guide' for Online Sustainable Tourism Promotion

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A look at how to position and promote Sustainable Tourism to an end customer, online. Sri Lanka has been used as an example for statistical analysis, while the thoughts shared are applicable in any travel context I believe.

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'How to Guide' for Online Sustainable Tourism Promotion

  1. 1. DIGITAL SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROMOTION IN DEVELOPING MARKETS – SRI LANKA EXAMPLE Niranka T. Perera Image Credit: lakdasun
  2. 2. “Tourism currently accounts for 9% of the world GDP & 6% of world trade” 148.3 MILLION Online Travel Bookings - 2013 Online Travel Booking Value (Billions) 65.4% OF BOOKINGS Are made on the brand site 39% OF BOOKINGS Are hotel reservations Slide 2 ONLINE TOURISM INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
  3. 3. Slide 3 DIGITAL INTEREST IN SRI LANKA TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY Online Searches for “Sri Lanka Hotels” Corresponds with Tourism Boom (visitor arrivals) Post Civil War Interest Surge Traditional Seasonal dips visible online as well
  4. 4. THE ONLINE TRAVEL CONSUMER
  5. 5. Online Search Recommendations from friends & family (where do people connect now? On Social Media) Slide 5 THE ONLINE TRAVEL CONSUMER - ZMOT Online Search & Recommendations from friends & family are the greatest influences on travel purchase decisions, compared to television, newspapers and travel offices Time to Purchase Time to Purchase DecisionInfluence DecisionInfluence
  6. 6. Source: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html Normalized assist/last interaction ratios Slide 6 THE ONLINE TRAVEL PURCHASE FUNNEL – UK (PRIMARY SOURCE MARKET FOR SL)
  7. 7. 1.8 France 1.5 Germany 5.2 U.S. 1.5 U.K. WHERE DOES SOCIAL MEDIA FIT IN? Source: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html Normalized assist/last interaction ratios Slide 7 THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
  8. 8. Source: http://www.sustainabletourism.net/resources.html 75% of consumers want a more responsible holiday - 2012 22% of respondents said that sustainability is among the top three influencing factors when booking vacations 2011 71% of those surveyed said they would make environmentally friendly choices this year 2012 Almost half of global consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that show a commitment to social responsibility 2012 58% of their travellers hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community 2011 Slide 8 SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PREFERENCES
  9. 9. Slide 9 ONLINE TRAVEL PURCHASE DYNAMIC Colombo Hotel Search 1st April 2014 agoda.com app Search Term Search Volume sri lanka hotels 1,300 sri lanka holidays 9,900 sri lanka travel 480 hotel sri lanka 1000 colombo hotels 390 galle hotels 110 Search Term Search Volume eco tourism sri lanka 10 eco tours sri lanka 10 sustainable tourism in sri lanka 10 Average monthly searches from Sustainable Tourism searches Online search patterns do not reflect a deeper interest in Sustainable tourism. As such, sustainable tourism is likely an influencer, not the main purchase driver 17% to 25% of SL Hotel Bookings happen between 0 – 3 days of check-in. The last minute deal culture is on the rise. Spurred by OTAs.
  10. 10. PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
  11. 11. Slide 11 SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MARKETING Destination Marketing Tourist Board Destination Management Companies Local Associations Brand Marketing Hotel Brands Tour Operators / Travel Agents Local Associations Positioning Sri Lanka as a destination that practices Sustainable Tourism Communicate brands‟ sustainable tourism value proposition
  12. 12. If the Target Consumer is not looking for a Sustainable Tourism product, how do we position Sustainable Tourism and benefit from its value addition and overall influence on a purchase decision?
  13. 13. DIGITAL IDENTITY DIGITAL STORY TELLING „FEEL GOOD FACTOR‟ THE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Incorporate Sustainable Tourism Into Your Brands Digital Footprint Sell the experience, not just the facts Identify with your customers core values What do you do? Why is it important? What does it mean to me? Slide 13 THE DIGITAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MARKETING
  14. 14. Most popular pages on a website 1. Home Page 2. Photo Gallery 3. Special Offers 4. Accommodation 5. Location What brand content does an online travel buyer consume? Where do we position Sustainable Tourism differentiators? Slide 14 BUILDING A DIGITAL IDENTITY
  15. 15. Slide 15 SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL IDENTITY EXAMPLES Cinnamon Lakeside Jetwing Hotels The Rainforest Ecolodge
  16. 16. Slide 16 SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL STORY TELLING EXAMPLES
  17. 17. Slide 17 SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DIGITAL STORY TELLING EXAMPLES
  18. 18. COMMUNICATE FEEL GOOD FACTORS A GUILT FREE SOAK! WATER TREATMENT & REUSE IN OUR GARDENS COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE TREE PLANTING INITIATIVESSlide 18
  19. 19. FINAL THOUGHTS Slide 19 • Do not limit Sustainable Tourism communication to press releases and media blitz • Price, Location and Experience will continue to dominate travel decisions. Incorporate the benefits of sustainable tourism to the end consumer in a non- intrusive manner that doesn‟t distract from your primary objective – to sell! • Focus on action oriented imagery relating to sustainable tourism where possible. Help people relate to the imagery and experiences. • Sustainable tourism initiatives may be perceived as money saving endeavors / or marketing initiatives. Clearly communicate why you have engaged in Sustainable Tourism • Use Social Media to elicit feedback and ask for ideas • Personify community involvement through recruitment, local sourcing or similar endeavors to your end consumers. Put a face on your sustainable tourism initiatives!
  20. 20. THANK YOU Website: www.niranka.com Twitter: @ntp505

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