Turespaña is the official National Tourist Organisation for Spain, responsible for promoting Spain as a global tourist destination year round. Spain is in fact the second most popular destination worldwide for the total number of global visitors recorded in 2017.
*Source: World Tourism Rankings
As such a popular destination, the challenge is not in attracting tourists, but in refining a clear strategy that focuses on specific challenges.
The brand image
In the European and Mature markets, Spain is seen as a “sun and beach destination”, the ideal destination for a sunny, summer holiday. Herein lies the first challenge; to diversify the tourist products on offer to the international tourist so as to re-position the country and the brand not just as a beach destination, but as a destination rich in culture, art, history, gastronomy and urban tourism.
Most of Spain’s tourism concentrates on coastal locations and islands, and as a result these areas can become extremely busy, particularly during peak season. Diversifying the product on offer and shifting the appeal to different interests, will naturally promote new areas, namely non-coastal and in-land Spain. This will in turn effectively support positive geographical spread.
In addition to the volume of tourists, Spain also wanted to target off-season. The challenge was to attract quality visitors during off-season periods to add value to the visitor experience, promoting what else Spain has to offer, while effectively achieving sustainable tourism as a by-product of this.
The Key Objectives
Attracting quality visitors
While Spain has no issues in attracting tourists to the destination, it wanted to continue to attract tourists, however, by way of a more targeted communication strategy to focus on attracting the right tourists rather than the number of tourists.
Historically, the global campaign focused on communicating Spain as a sunny destination, which without doubt resonated with worldwide travellers. The new strategy involves positioning Spain as a destination with more to offer in addition to a great climate, such as art and culture, history, nature, food and more. By marketing Spain as a year-round destination and tapping into the off-season travel opportunities, Turespaña effectively promotes the lesser known areas of Spain, further supporting sustainable tourism.
Targeting a new audience
In addition to when to target, Turespaña revised who to target.
The global campaign was based on Spain’s key assets, showcasing the Spanish way of life under the slogan, ‘Spain is a part of you’.
Initially, the campaign identified six different segments within the two main markets; the mature market and the emerging markets. After conducting several studies analysing different tourist profiles, the findings demonstrated that a particular segment provided greater revenue and overall value in overcoming the initial challenges. From this, further studies were developed within the key markets to learn more about this segment such as preferences, tastes and habits. As a result, the primary goal of the new campaign was to attract, “the cosmopolitan traveller”.
The cosmopolitan traveller tends to be a very high-value tourist to DMOs. They tend to spend more money, stay for longer periods and most significantly, is a frequent traveller who makes several trips a year.
They are seeking unique and authentic experiences, choosing to live as a local and discover the lesser known parts of a destination. They are conscious travellers, aware of sustainable tourism and their impact on where they are visiting.
The latter is highly significant in today’s tourism industry, and many DMOs are revisiting their strategy to appeal to this audience and provide the authentic experiences they are looking for.
The primary objective was to attract quality visitors in the shoulder seasons, followed closely by successfully measuring campaign effectiveness and return on investment. This is essential to clearly demonstrate the ability to directly correlate specific campaigns with conversions, e.g hotel bookings, flights etc.
A common challenge within the DMO space is sharing and co-ordinating customer data across the many individual parties involved such as hotels, airlines and other travel operators, and the key to all successful marketing campaigns is data. Customer data is invaluable to every business strategy as it shapes communications and determines engagement levels with your brand. It helps to provide a holistic understanding of the traveller; who they are, where they’re from, what motivates them, why they are travelling, how they plan their trips, what are the most effective channels.
With this in mind, Turespaña required a partner with access to global travel activity across all touchpoints in real time, to provide a deeper understanding of the customer and most importantly, to quantify the true impact of marketing campaigns.
ADARA Impact is a subscription tool specifically designed for destinations, with real-time data availability from over 200 global tourism brands and approximately 750 million unique traveller profiles every month. Turespaña have partnered with ADARA to develop a data-centric strategy in order to effectively learn, act, measure and modify marketing efforts.
ADARA’s global travel data co-op provides unparalleled visibility into travellers search and booking behaviour and motivations in Spain in real time, including both direct and OTA / Meta activity.
ADARA Impact placed tracking pixels on all of Spain’s global digital media properties and partners, acting as the connecting tool for the many different sources of data and stages in the customer journey. From this they were able to see every traveller that was exposed to the media, who then converted to a booking and visited Spain.
They started by tracking thirty different markets in the off-season period (October to November) to see which ones are responding and showing interest.
Impact allows destinations to see exactly where the interest was established, through to where and when the conversion took place. The key is that ADARA Impact has the ability to attribute the conversion directly to the relevant campaign, demonstrating the exact ROI obtained, as well as see exactly what worked where in terms of origin market, media and creative.
ADARA Impact achieves two key outcomes;
- Provides total revenue data in relation to flight and hotel bookings
- Demonstrates the effectiveness of specific creatives and media
In addition to these key outcomes, ADARA Impact also has the ability to;
- Track by market
- Record hotel searches
- Record flight searches
- Record total bookings
- Monitor the trip planning window
- Record key profiles - e.g single travellers, families etc
- Record average daily spend
Further to these more top-level stats, ADARA Impact can delve deeper to provide much more granular data. For example, from the origin markets you can report on which city responded the most, which airport had the most bookings, the class of travel and star rating of hotel, what type of media the traveller is responding to and even which competition your destination is losing visitors to.
To illustrate this, Spain found that with exactly the same ad spend, Italy were searching more than the German market, however, German travellers converted more by booking and visiting, while travellers from London stayed longer than those from Paris.
This type of intelligence is invaluable as it effectively shapes the digital marketing strategy to attract valuable visitors, facilitate audience segmentation based on origin market and the stage of the customer journey, and significantly improve the engagement rate by delivering the right message to the right segment.
- ADARA Impact attributed $3.9M in hotel revenue, and 8,279 incremental hotel bookings in Spain
- ADARA Impact also reported 35,134 total flights booked, +40,000 more travellers and 294,077 more days spent by visitors to Spain as the result of this campaign
After using ADARA Impact’s data in addition to traditional digital KPI’s such as click-through-rates and impressions, Turespaña can measure the economic impact and ROI from specific campaigns, providing solid accountability for media spend, as well as to determine future campaigns and strategy planning going forward. Turespaña is able to take these valuable insights and learnings to then apply to the next campaign.
- Data is key in today’s market
- Traditional KPI’s do not always provide the insight needed although they are still helpful to have alongside more detailed data
- Quality over quantity - attracting the right visitor supports both sustainable tourism and long-term growth
- Data facilitates effective audience segmentation and increases engagement rates