Experts share their insights on the latest trends and consumer behavior with Batangas entrepreneurs travel and tourism at Globe myBusiness Academyâ€™s Lakbay Learning Session.
Industry experts provided a well of knowledge and valuable advice to help bring Batangasâ€™ best travel and tourism entrepreneurs take their business to the next level â€” and into the future.
Here are some of their insights:
GetÂ DOT accreditation.
â€œ[This] ensures that the DOT is able to maintain a database of all legitimate tourism establishments in the country. This makes it easier for the DOT to track legitimate businesses against fly-by-night ones.â€ â€“ Marites Castro, DOT 4-A Director Officer-In-Charge
The Department of Tourism is encouragingÂ travel and tourism businessÂ owners to get accreditation for various reasons,Â with the number one aim of professionalizingÂ every aspect of service in the tourism industry.
As more and more travel and tourism establishments become accredited, the DOT is able to monitor if each establishment is complying with the set industry standards. Local travel and tourism establishments then meet nationwide and even global standards. A win for all!
Go where your market is.
â€œThere are 67 million Internet users (as of last year), and itâ€™s growing very, very fast. The Filipino people are becoming more connected because of their mobile phones. The Filipino consumer is more digitally connected than ever before.â€ â€“ Joey Flores of AdSpark
Flores adds that the average Filipino spends about 9 hours and 29 minutes on the Internet. Take advantage of this time that Filipinos spend glued to their smartphones by reaching out to them while theyâ€™re on social media, messaging with friends, watching videos, or searching online for various information.
â€œTraveling has become cheaper, opening up opportunities for all income brackets to travel. Now, anybody can afford to travel.â€ â€“ Grace Anduiza, Head of Business Development and Service Delivery for Globe myBusiness
As more and more people discover that traveling has become more accessible through the Internet, travel behaviors are shifting as well.
Anduiza adds, â€œSmartphone penetration is at 48 percent now, and come 2020, the forecast is 58-60%. This means that smartphone owners will start processing their travel destinations and activities through their mobile phones.â€
Many mobile phone users are now turning to their phones to explore travel destinations, book flights and hotels, and find places to eat.
â€œ53 percent of travel is being booked online. If you canâ€™t be searched on Google and you donâ€™t have a website or social media presence, youâ€™re crossed off the list because [people] canâ€™t find information about you online.â€ â€“ Rogelio Gabz Gabiano of @PinoyTravelFreak
With more people relying on the Internet for information, businesses will benefit much if customers are able to search them online. Online presence is at the top of the list for many businesses in the travel and tourism industry.
There are a number of ways to be searchable online: through a website, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, or even a YouTube channel. This allows the customer to get a preview or a taste of what to expect when they travel to a certain destination. Ultimately, this helps them make informed decisions when it comes to traveling.
Harness social media.
â€œStay relevant by having an online presence. Check your online reputation, and read all the feedback about your establishment. Donâ€™t use social media as only a means of communication; use it as a marketing tool.â€ â€“ Rogelio Gabz Gabiano of @PinoyTravelFreak
Social media accounts can be a useful tool in building that online presence. However, remember that itâ€™s also a powerful tool in communicating with your customers. Donâ€™t just use it as a directory for your contact info; rather, transform it into a powerful tool in reaching your customers.
Get an influencer.
â€œThree out of five people who watch travel blogs are interested to go to that space. 86 percent of travel blog content is produced by content creators and influencers. Take advantage of this through influencer marketing.â€ â€“ Joey Flores of AdSpark
Create content that tells a story and entices viewers to also want to experience the same things shown on the video. Find the best travel blog storytellerâ€”an influencer who is genuine and authentic.
Donâ€™t have that much of a budget? Flores has an answer: â€œGet microinfluencers â€“ those with 5k to under 100k followers â€“ because they are relatively cheap, they have a lot of impact because they are real people with friends. If they have a good time, they will tell the world, and the world will come to you.â€
Create relevant content.
â€œStart creating â€˜Instagrammableâ€™ spotsâ€”upgrade your decorations and the way you set up your hotel. Think of activities for the millennialsâ€”Instagrammable spots, food, or some offers for the week that are interesting.â€ â€“ Grace Anduiza, Head of Business Development and Service Delivery for Globe myBusiness
Targeting the millennials? Satisfy their need forÂ YOLO and address theirÂ FOMO (fear of missing out)Â by offering them opportunities to share these experiences from your establishment.
â€œOne of the considerations for younger travelers nowadays is WiFi. People like to be connected and show off where theyâ€™re going. Itâ€™s also for safety and security, letting their family know where they are. â€ â€“ Grace Anduiza, Head of Business Development and Service Delivery for Globe myBusiness
Being connected doesnâ€™t stop at you being accessible to potential customers; it also means having your present customers connected to the world at large. Make sure that your business establishment has fast, reliable Internet connection so that your customers can start posting about their experiences while theyâ€™re there. Nothing can be more authentic than seeing other travelers enjoying their vacation in real time.
Upgrade your customer service game.
â€œWill the emergence of technology, especially artificial intelligence, going to replace humans? My answer is â€˜no,â€™ but at this point, you have to start harnessing the power of technology. The way we do customer service is different, but itâ€™s still customer service with us connecting with our customers.â€ â€“ Grace Anduiza, Head of Business Development and Service Delivery for Globe myBusiness
Utilizing technology doesnâ€™t mean customer service has become cold and impersonal. Rather, customer service has become even more personal and more easily accessible. Responding to your customersâ€™ needs should become easier through the help ofÂ digital marketingÂ and technology.
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