Engagement in tourism is key for a range of tourism businesses worldwide. Basic traffic to websites and social media channels is not enough, the quality of these visits by potential travellers to a tourism website is key. Engagement is what tourism organisations worldwide strive for, when marketing their tourism destination, products or services. In tourism, we now see more and more companies that leverage travellers’ stories that are being shared on different social media channels. In the following, different examples of digital engagement in travel will be looked at in detail (Google Insights 2013).
DOUBLE TREE BY HILTON
DoubleTree by Hilton is one of the hotel brands that are actively engaging with its consumers to make them share their story. This is a very interesting concept and Hilton Worldwide is allowing travellers now to share their videos and also tips that can help other travellers in their planning and booking process. Providing consumers with a separate platform where they can spend time and read other people’s reviews delivers great opportunities for Hilton, as travellers get the opportunity to use a more personalised platform and UGC content to help and facilitate them. As DoubleTree’s website aims to facilitate travellers’ booking, it was important for them to find a different platform that enables them to connect with consumers and leverage storytelling. YouTube was seen as an ideal platform for that.
Storytelling in tourism is one of the major trends for the tourism industry. Many destinations are already taping into the opportunities of telling a story and are trying to engage their travellers to tell meaningful stories. With the emergence and fast paced development of digital, many travellers are embracing the potential of being able to share their stories online. Worldwide, travellers are sharing videos, images and content, telling their travel stories and sharing these on social media channels. Hilton is aware of the power of social media and is now actively trying to leverage consumers’ passions with regards to telling and sharing their stories.
As a social media channel, YouTube offers great opportunities for organisations worldwide to share content and engage with consumers. Double Tree by Hilton is using YouTube’s potential as a channel where content can be shared and travellers can engage with the brand. Within Double Tree’s YouTube channel, travellers can actually share details about trips they have taken by selecting points on the map and sharing videos, images and other content directly through their Google+, Facebook or Instagram networks. When other consumers are planning a trip, they can then scroll through this UGC, get inspired, engage on the network and maybe even be influenced in their travel decision.
For Double Tree it is essential that their brand is being recognised internationally and travellers can see more personal experiences and UGC about Double Tree’s hotels around the world. Connecting with consumers and communicating DoubleTree’s brand is essential with regards to staying competitive in the tourism industry. Building up meaningful relationships with travellers worldwide, and making their YouTube platform an essential part of consumer’s decision making process in terms of inspiration, information and planning is crucial. Focusing on building long-lasting relationships is the way to go as digital is a great way of encouraging loyalty and transforming consumers into loyal consumers and ultimately brand ambassadors for individual hotels all around the world.
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