Survey into Tourism Operators Reveals Internet Still Tops The List
Based on a recent survey by Creative Thinking Marketing of holiday property owners and managers throughout Australia, one of the most popular types of holiday accommodation in Australia is Bed and Breakfast, followed by self-contained apartments and houses – together making up over 70% of accommodation listings. Certainly a change from the traditional hotel and motel style accommodation.
The research covered a variety of property types including backpackers, bed and breakfast, camping grounds, farm holidays, guest houses, honeymoon properties, luxury waterfront homes, meeting and conference venues, self-contained apartments and houses, ski lodges and tourist parks. On the whole, these properties catered for between 6-12 and 12-24 people, with the majority catering for at least 4.
These are not hobby businesses; they are people trying to make a real living out of tourism, for over 80% of respondents, they see business growth as very or extremely important. And they are serious about their marketing too, using a variety of marketing tools to promote their properties, including business cards, signage, advertising, internet advertising, their own website, brochures and to a lesser extent than perhaps traditionally, travel agents.
The most successful methods of promotion to obtain bookings for the property owners were word of mouth and repeat business, followed by internet search engines and tourist information websites. Internet accommodation directories are also seen as one of the key tools.
In terms of business promotion, other activities that scored lower on the scale, but did make an appearance were the NRMA, Yellow Pages, Travel Agents, Radio, Billboards and Real Estate Agents followed by 1800 numbers.
The bulk of those surveyed had limited marketing budgets, with over 50% spending between $1000 and $5000 per annum on marketing and over 70% falling into the $500 to $5000 category. When asked what they would do if they had an unlimited budget and they could do anything they wanted to promote their business – having their own website or an improved website scored high on the list.
Traditional marketing methods seem in decline, with over 75% of property owners and managers saying they would list their accommodation on additional web sites if they were available.
The key things identified for property owners and managers to list their site would be the cost, number of hits/hit rate and/or exposure and a results based booking system that is easy to find on search engines and that attracted the right target audience.
This fundamental notion of a success-based booking fee is the basis on which Take A Break Away www.takeabreak.com.au , a holiday accommodation portal new to the market, is built. Giving the owners the opportunity to improve the occupancy rate of their property with a risk-free, low cost, results-based solution.
Take A Break Away is an online Australian holiday accommodation portal designed to provide an easy to use, easy to book search facility for holidaymakers in Australia as well as for holiday properties to list online.
Take A Break Away offers a win-win solution for both tourists and properties owners - with owners being able to list easily and for free, with a low, flat rate success fee if bookings are accepted. Tourists get comprehensive, detailed information that is easy to browse and make bookings and enquiries. For more information on Creative Thinking Marketing go to www.creative-thinking.com.au or for Take A Break Away go to www.takeabreak.com.au
About the Research
This research was conducted by internet and hard-copy questionnaires during May to June 2003. The research is copyright © Creative Thinking Asia Pacific 2003.
About Creative Thinking
Creative Thinking Asia Pacific is an Australian-based group that helps businesses identify the right promotional tools to grow and facilitates an integrated approach to marketing and business expansion. www.creative-thinking.com.au
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