The Digital Tourism Show

Chris Torres

Learn from the industry's top business and marketing experts. The Digital Tourism Show is a tourism marketing advice podcast covering topics form business development, brand awareness, growth, and online marketing. Every episode has one aim, to help you grow your business and better understand your customers purchase journey. read less
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Episodes

278: The Last Ever Digital Tourism Show?
Jun 9 2022
278: The Last Ever Digital Tourism Show?
Welcome to what will be the last ever Digital Tourism Show… but not the end of me producing even more videos, podcasts, articles and marketing advice! Stay tuned to find out more. Many of you are probably aware that myself, Pete Syme and Mitch Bach took over the Tourpreneur community and podcast from Shane Whaley as he starts a new career over at Fareharbor. The three of us are about to launch an obscene amount of content that will help every Tour Operator understand many aspects of their business with one aim: to increase their profit margins. Because of this, it makes no sense for me to continue with The Digital Tourism Show as this, and more content, will be recorded for the Tourpreneur community and under the Tourpreneur brand. This is somewhat of a bittersweet moment as my podcast and videos have helped many over the last 5-6 years. But rest assured my thoughts and advice will not stop and will actually increase… it will just under a different name. Now if you are wondering about all the existing Digital Tourism Show you do not need to worry as all existing content will remain online so you can always refer back to past episodes. I do have one ask of you… So you can continue to receive lots of free advice, not just from myself, but from Pete Syme, Mitch Bach and the many speakers and operators in our community, please do join the Tourpreneur Facebook Group. This will be my new home as my Digital Tourism Show Facebook Group will also close in the coming weeks. So thanks to all of you for helping make the Digital Tourism Show a success and hope you continue to join me at my new home on Tourpreneur.
277: The Ongoing Issue with Sales and Marketing Tracking and Why Res Tech Must Change!
Apr 27 2022
277: The Ongoing Issue with Sales and Marketing Tracking and Why Res Tech Must Change!
Anyone who deals with sales and/or marketing has known for a while now that tracking the consumer journey from start to finish is becoming nigh on impossible because of the changes from platforms like Facebook and companies like Apple. It is now impossible to track across domain names, which means tracking over a booking widget or separate booking URL is no longer possible. But there is a simple solution to this problem that Res Tech and booking platforms MUST implement if they wish to aid their customers and partners in generating more bookings through their systems. What is the current issue? Most operators who use the likes of Fareharbor, Bokun, Trekksoft, Checkfront, Rezdy, PeekPro or any of the other popular booking platforms will be familiar with the widget that is added to a website. This works by adding a button and/or a snippet of code through a piece of Javascript. When clicked, an iFrame containing the booking widget launches on the operator website or a calendar loads on a page that itself launches a separate window so the consumer can complete the booking. Now the issue is, Facebook now needs you to verify your domain name to make tracking website interactions work properly. It also has to be a main domain name and not a sub-domain name. Without getting too technical, the widget loaded from most booking platforms is from a URL on the res tech side within a container called an iFrame. As this is seen as a separate URL – one that you cannot verify on your own Facebook account – Facebook can no longer track your customers' interactions once they start the booking stage. This makes it impossible to know if they completed a purchase or where in that booking journey they may have dropped off. Currently, it is mainly Facebook that has this issue. But this will eventually be implemented by the likes of Google and other platforms as global pressure on data tracking becomes more and more strict. Facebook, and other platforms, have launched a way to track conversions using server side tracking. This means a server you set up, say on Google Cloud, can help claw back some of that missing data. But it will still not be as it was before, and still not entirely help with how most booking platforms are currently set up. Server side tracking is also a lot harder to set up for the non technical folks and may cost you a small monthly fee (or large if you get a lot of traffic). There is an easy solution Some platforms, like TourCMS or Rezgo, offer an API solution, so a developer can build you a bespoke, on-site booking process that would get around this issue. However, this can be an expensive endeavor to build and maintain. We did this back in the day for companies like Gray Line and Macs Adventure, amongst many others, when we used to develop bespoke websites. However, this solution is not viable for the vast majority of operators. The easy solution, from what I can see, is if these booking platforms allowed operators to add a ‘payment complete’ URL that redirected the consumer back to a booking confirmation or thank you page on the operator website. Now, while this may still not allow you to track the full journey, it would allow you to track if that customer who visited a product page completed a purchase on your site. Some res tech may say this could stop any upsell opportunities, but another simple solution is to embed an iFrame into the thank you page that could still pull in upsell experiences and add-ons. By going to this page, the Facebook Pixel may have the opportunity to even pull in the sale price of that booking. This simple solution would allow for more insights into the ads or content that inspired that consumer to make the booking. That means marketing agencies like mine could create more of this content to create even more bookings and revenue for the operator and the res tech. For me, it is a no brainer that brings many benefits. The likes of PayPal, Stripe and most other payment platforms allow you to set a “payment complete” URL and it is high time booking platforms followed suit. Those who do will find themselves being recommended by agencies and other partners, more so, than those who don’t. If there is a good reason why booking platforms don't do this, please do tell me, but from where I am sitting, this solution, at least, must be implemented by all. Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
276: Research Blog Titles For Content Inspiration
Apr 7 2022
276: Research Blog Titles For Content Inspiration
In this 5-min workshop I want you to research blog titles relating to your business to help give you inspiration for your own content. Creating valuable, consistent content for your website is the number one criteria for better rankings on search engines like Google but a lot of business owners I speak to struggle to come up with ideas or know where to even start. Most of you watching or listening to this episode are already storytellers. You do this day in, day out in front of your customers so creating content that will help inspire future customers should be second nature. When writing content, it is best to write as if you are speaking directly to one of your customers in your own tone of voice. But I do understand that writing content gives the fear to some. Whether it is yourself or someone else that writes for you, looking at what is popular and engaging consumers right now will help you think of ideas for your own business. Download our guide: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow I would love your feedback. Do you want to see more of these types of workshops? Do you prefer the interview style episodes or a mixture of both? What else would you like to see me produce that I am not currently. Please do help me by completing this survey so I can produce content that you would specifically like to see: https://forms.gle/XMDJkDpTTHFnRE657
273: How To Start Optimising Your Google Business Profile
Mar 17 2022
273: How To Start Optimising Your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business, is the platform that gives your business the opportunity to show up on local or brand searches. But it is still under-utilised by most businesses I come across. It is a platform that every local business owner should be aware of and use, given that the information you submit to your listing can appear in a number of different ways on the search engine, including the knowledge panel and maps. Google Business Profile brings with it a whole host of benefits for local businesses, including helping them reach new customers, increase their overall visibility, and ensure that their customers can find information as easily and as quickly as possible. Just remember: local searches go beyond the simple discovery of new businesses. Often, people are searching for directions, contact information, the busyness of locations, reviews, and more. A Google Business Profile is effectively like having a free ad for your brand on Google. If someone searches your brand or keywords closely related to it, your listing takes up a 3rd of the screen’s real estate on desktop and sits between ads and organic search results on mobile. If you are old enough to remember, this is like the old premium listings in the Yellow Pages — but you don’t need to pay for this one! The amount of information you can display in your listing is incredible. With this 5-minute workshop, I want you to set yourself a task by updating one aspect of your Business Profile each day. Once optimised, set yourself just 5-minutes per week to keep this updated with photos, videos and news. By doing so, you will increase your chances of your brand being found and increase your chances of gaining new customers.  Download our guide: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
272: Sell your products on your Facebook & Instagram Accounts
Mar 10 2022
272: Sell your products on your Facebook & Instagram Accounts
Welcome to the Digital Tourism Show Episode 272 and in this 5-min workshop I want you to add your top selling products to your Facebook Business Page. With more and more consumers finding products on platforms other than your own website, it is becoming more important than ever to show your experiences in a place where your customers ‘hang-out’. This is no different to social media, but what most operators that I chat with don’t realise, is that you can add your experiences to a Facebook business page and Instagram account. With this 5-minute workshop, I want you to follow the guide I have provided within  the link in the show notes on how to add your own products to these social media  giants. By adding your products to Facebook and Instagram, this does not mean they become another booking platform for your business. In the US only (at time of writing), Facebook does offer a way to accept payments over the social platform through a partner like Spotify, but this will not connect to your current reservation system or availability calendar... yet... but you can set this up so that when a consumer clicks on one of these products, they are then taken to the product page  on your website to find out more information and potentially complete the direct  booking. If you only have a handful of activities, I will show you how to add these individually, but if you have a large number of them, I will also show you how to bulk upload all your products at once. We will break this down into 5-minute tasks that you will conduct and complete within the next 1-7 days, depending on how many tours and activities you wish to  add. For me, this is a no brainer as it is giving you the opportunity to promote your tours,  activities and whatever other tourism focused products you have... absolutely free. Download our guide: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
271: The 30 Second Video Challenge: Tips on Shooting video
Mar 3 2022
271: The 30 Second Video Challenge: Tips on Shooting video
Welcome to the Digital Tourism Show Episode 271 and in this 5-min workshop I want you to do something a little more creative. Tours operators, guides and customer facing staff all have one thing in common and that is interacting with customers. They show their passions for their destinations, share their stories and guide them through the amazing things a destination has to offer. If this is you, you have got what it takes to do what you do day in, day out, in video format and share on social media so other potential customers can get to know you before booking. This helps make a connection even before you meet them in person. I understand that many of you are a little put off recording video as you start thinking about how you are going to edit the footage, add music or add a nice intro… forget all that. With this workshop I am going to make it super easy for you. All I want you to do is take your phone, head out to a nice part of your destination that you know well, maybe a hidden gem, and film one 30 second video per day for the next 7 days and post up, as raw as it may be, on your social platforms.  This will get you not only used to recording video, but also allow you to test how your audience on your social platforms engage with it. Was there a specific video that really engaged with your audience? If so, maybe more of this type of content will help persuade someone to book with you. To help, I have provided a guide on planning and shooting video, which you can download in the show notes below. I love video marketing so I can’t wait to see what you all produce and feel free to post some of your best videos in the comments section of the relevant post on my Facebook Group. Download our guide: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
270: Create your own Cash-flow Crystal Ball and Predict the Future
Feb 24 2022
270: Create your own Cash-flow Crystal Ball and Predict the Future
Welcome to Episode 270 of the Digital Tourism Show and in this 5-min workshop I want you to create your own crystal ball... a 2-year cash-flow predictor that allows you to see how your business will look like over the next 2 years. I have been using a cash-flow crystal ball for the past 10 years and have found it invaluable for planning for the future. Once set up, you will not only have a complete overview of how healthy your business is but it also helps you see into the future and give you the facility to play about with your figures to see how a price increase, a new product or new member of staff will affect your profitability. Many business owners live month by month, day by day even and have no true sense of how healthy their business is. When asked what is your average monthly sales or how many tours you did in June, it tends to be guesswork. Within the show notes of this episode, I have provided you with both a Google sheet and an excel file that you can use to create your own cash-flow crystal ball. I have also supplied an example sheet so you can see how it looks with data in place. I want you to spend 5 min a day, for as long as it takes, to eliminate the guesswork and get to grips with how profitable your business is by using the provided sheet and update with your information. To help further, below is another link to a video on how to use the spreadsheet. This is not just great insight into your business but it allows you to make more informed marketing decisions. Are you paying over the odds for paid ads, commissions or that expensive coffee you get yourself every day. It really helps you predict the potential future of your business and plan accordingly. Please leave your comments on my Digital Tourism Show facebook group and let me know how you get on, especially if it throws up a few surprises. Download the help guide: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/  Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
269: Looking at Your Customer Purchase Journey
Feb 17 2022
269: Looking at Your Customer Purchase Journey
Looking at Your Customer Purchase Journey - 5 minute Workshop In this workshop I am going to ask you to look at your customers' purchase journey and determine if there are any gaps in your sales and marketing, meaning you are possibly missing out on potential opportunities to sell or upsell to that customer. It will also make you think on the platforms and tools that your customer may use. In the PDF guide that you can download below, you will see an overview and a diagram of a customer's purchase journey. These include… Dreaming Moments – When your potential customer is exploring destination options and ideas with no firm plans. At this stage, people are looking for inspiration. What tools and platforms do they use? What type of content inspires them? What are they searching for? Planning Moments – When your potential customer has chosen a destination. They’re looking for the right dates, the right flight, the right place to stay, and all the things they’ll do while they’re there. What tools and platforms do they use?  Booking Moments – When your potential customer has completed their research, they are ready to book their tickets and reserve their rooms. What tools and platforms do they use?  Experiencing Moments – When your customer’s trip is underway. Travellers are ready to live the trip they’ve been dreaming about — and share it with others. How do they interact with your business? With locals? With people in a tour group (if all strangers). Sharing Moments – When your customer shares content and their experiences during and post trip on social media, with friends, family and work colleagues. Do they use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok?  What are your customers' start and end points and what do they do in between? In the PDF guide, you will see an example of a potential customer journey as well as more explanation. I would like you to try and map out the journey of your own customer by using the diagram provided. Add in the potential touchpoints where they currently interact with your business and see if any gaps emerge. Are you missing a sales call followup? Are you inspiring them by creating content that really gets them excited at the dreaming stage. Are you falling down once they have booked by not keeping in touch or even asking for reviews? Have a go and see what emerges and feel free to split up each of the 5 sections per day. It may help you realise that you are missing one or more steps to interact with your customer, which can be all the difference to receiving a good review, an upsell or even the initial booking itself. Download our guide:  https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join our Facebook group: ttps://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
268: The Sales Process for Enquiry Based Tourism Products
Feb 10 2022
268: The Sales Process for Enquiry Based Tourism Products
Welcome to the Digital Tourism Show Episode 268 and in this 5-min workshop, I am focusing on the sales process for enquiry based products. This has been a question that has come up a lot lately, not just from our own customers but from other tourism business owners looking for this sort of advice online. Although some of you reading may not believe this, the amount of potential revenue I see being flushed down the drain is frightening. So many potential customers are either not being contacted at all, or they only receive one form of communication and then are forgotten about. The excuse I hear a lot is “I just did not have the time to contact everyone who enquires”. Let me apologise in advance if what I am about to say seems blunt but it is absolutely essential to convert the leads generated from marketing — especially during the pandemic. “Having no time” is something I can sympathise with during this chaotic time. I am a business owner myself so I understand how busy things can be, but it seems counterintuitive to throw away potential revenue that your business could make. I am sure we have all been there at some stage, but take a closer look at what you do on a daily basis. Really look hard at what you do. Could you spend 1 hour less watching your favourite show on Netflix if it meant you could close a few extra bookings? You probably could. Human beings are so good at procrastinating. If you took some simple steps to rearrange your daily routine your business could perform better in many areas. For example, in my business I have set up some automated tools to take care of the initial stages of my sales process. I also divide my day into chunks. I look at my email between 8am-9am and then later between 4pm-5pm. I spend a few hours helping my team with our own customers and then the last few hours on my business, creating strategies, looking at new opportunities as well as writing my thoughts about the industry, including this very guide you are reading now. The day-to-day is delegated to my team. I may be preaching to the converted here, but it really does help when trying to stay on top of sales leads to schedule in a section of structured activity each day, focusing on any leads generated. Dedicating even just one hour on sales per day can make all the difference. With this episode, my hope is that it can show you how to interact with your potential customer in an automated way, with just a few in-person touch points along the way. Not only that, I have provided a basic process guide and email templates that you can use today. Over the next 5 days, and following my guide, I would like you to go through your sales process and see how you can make improvements. On day 1, check all your enquiry forms on your site are set up correctly and ask the right questions. On day 2, Set-up the automated emails to your email platform of choice. Day 3, If you wish to try Facebook Form ads, set this up, targeting the right audience. My book, Lookers into Bookers, which you can download for free, provides advice on how to create Facebook Ads. On Day 4, Using Zapier, connect your website form(s) and Facebook forms to your email platform and test that this works. Guides on how to set up Zapier, and other platforms are widely available online, or take a look at my book which has some step-by-step guides. On Day 5, Launch and test the automated sales process and be ready to interact with your potential customer at key stages. What I am providing you is a basic process and you may have more complicated systems, but I hope it inspires you to take a good look at your sales process and make it more efficient. I would never go for a full automated process as you do need that human interaction, but what I propose in this guide will help make the process easier with a little upfront work. Let me know how you get on. Download the guide and email templates here: https://tourismmarketing.agency/tourism-marketing-reports/ Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow
267: Build up Your Customer Reviews & Brand Trust
Feb 3 2022
267: Build up Your Customer Reviews & Brand Trust
Welcome to the Digital Tourism Show episode 267 and the first of our 5 min workshops in which I will provide you with tasks that you can do for 5 min a day. Today, I am going to cover reviews and assign you a task to ask for reviews from previous customers. Next to actual bookings, reviews are the lifeblood for any tourism business as it can be all the difference between someone selecting your experience over another. Building trust in the minds of your customers is what makes them book with you in the first place. Over the next seven days, I want you to ask all your past customers if they can leave you a review with the angle of helping you rebuild your business after the devastating effects of the pandemic, without begging for them. To help assist you, I have created some templates that you are free to use to send to your customers. I would suggest selecting one of our post-covid templates and uploading to your email platform be it MailChimp, MailerLite or other platform that you use. Replace the highlighted areas with your own information and dynamically pull in the customer's name.  If you don’t use a platform for emails currently then I recommend MailerLite. Link provided in the show notes. You may also use a booking platform or OTA that allows you to send follow up messages to your past customers. If so, use the templates there too if allowed. On where to ask for reviews, if they came from an OTA and that OTA has an inbuilt review system, direct them to that. If they came direct or from a platform that does not allow for reviews, use Google as this will help your SEO and rankings long term. So what are you waiting for… follow our guide and use our templates by visiting... MailerLite: https://www.mailerlite.com/a/vgnsazj1cq Website: https://tourismmarketing.agency/reports  Please let me know how you get on.  Join our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow Website: https://tourismmarketing.agency
265: Important Announcements and the Future of The Digital Tourism Show
Jan 18 2022
265: Important Announcements and the Future of The Digital Tourism Show
Important Announcements and the Future of The Digital Tourism Show Welcome everyone to the Digital Tourism Show, the first of 2022 so Happy New Year to you all and hope you had a fantastic break. I wanted to use the time in this episode to provide you all with a few exciting announcements of things I am looking to launch in 2022, as well as an update on the future of this very show, so let’s start with the Digital Tourism Show. When I first launched this show back in January 2017, my main aim was to help educate tourism businesses on effective ways to grow their business through online marketing, and many of the episodes have fulfilled this promise. The show then evolved into providing insights from others in the industry, which in itself has added incredible value, but for me personally, I feel the show has lost its original focus and I want to go back to its roots, so this year, the show will be providing a lot less of these interview style shows and go back to providing actionable marketing advice. This will start with a new series of 5-min workshops, which will be launching in the coming weeks. I will do a separate video next week on what this will entail. The second big announcement is that I am currently working on a follow up to my book, How To Turn Your Lookers Into Bookers, entitled, ‘The Lookers into Bookers Marketing Blueprint.’  The aim of this book is to guide tourism businesses through a full marketing strategy from start to finish, highlighting each step of the consumer's purchase journey and how you can guide them towards booking with your company. Not only that, it will help advise on what you should do during experience and after. The book will highlight a real company and the journey they will take to become successful, as well as highlight the results of the strategy they will take. The book will come with actionable tasks and worksheets so you can implement this in your own business. The third announcement is that following the book, I will be launching ‘The Lookers into Bookers Marketing Blueprint’ workshops. These will be in-person workshops that will use the blueprint from the book, to further guide those who wish to take their business to the next level. More on that in the coming months. These are just some of the initiatives that I have planned for 2022 and more will be announced soon so please do keep on the lookout for more updates coming soon. Until then, stay safe and keep positive as I do feel 2022 will be the year we are all wishing it to be. Check out my Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaltourismshow My Website: https://tourismmarketing.agency