It came as no surprise that when I researched what people were searching for regarding marketing, hospitality and tourism were right up there. The importance of marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry cannot be taken lightly as it is a major source of economic revenue for Kenya and several countries. And as such, going out of business is really not an option.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the largest recession in global history. More than a third of the world's population went into lockdown at some point. In a bid to reduce the spread of the virus, travel bans and gathering restrictions were instituted by authorities in different countries. The effects of these directives have hit the tourism and hospitality industries particularly hard. That is why it's necessary to figure out how to market businesses in this sector differently so that the workers can continue to earn a livelihood.
Best practices of marketing for the hospitality and tourism industry
The hospitality and tourism industry comprises mainly of:
Accommodation and Lodging
Food and Beverage Services (F & B)
Recreation and Entertainment
Convention & Event Management
When marketing in this sector, it is important to consider three main things:
1. The consumers' journey
This refers to the steps that your consumers take before a conversion activity. For example, before taking a vacation, a consumer will first think about the trip. After that, they will plan it, figuring out how all the pieces will come together before making a booking. After booking the trip, they go on the actual trip and experience it, following which they share their experiences.
2. Your marketing goals
You need to know what you want to achieve from your marketing campaigns. Do you want your consumers to purchase more air tickets? book your accommodation? eat at your restaurant? Your marketing campaigns should consider every step of the customer journey to get your consumers to convert.
3. Your consumers' perceived value
Knowing what your consumers' value is extremely important when it comes to marketing. This is gained by researching and understanding your consumers.
For example, if you're a restaurant owner, you may want to dig deeper to find out what your consumers deeply value and care about when it comes to your eatery. Food can be bought and eaten anywhere, but what sets yours apart and keeps them coming back? The drivers can vary, and may not always be for the food. It may be for the prestige associated with being at your location. They also may be driven to your location just for the foodgram (a good photo of the food presentation). Knowing the underlying drivers for your consumers choosing you will enable you to create a strong marketing campaign that isn't necessarily centred around visiting your restaurant, but other perceived value.
Remember, marketing is a continuous, sequential process that can help you achieve multiple goals - not just sales. It can help you build your brand, connect to your customers, and stand out from your competition. This is done through providing value. If you drop the ball on any of these things, rebuilding your brand will cost even more.