Price vs. destination: the travel marketers' challenge
A new Travelzoo survey in the UK shows that price is the leading factor when choosing a vacation destination and accomodation.
While this is not shocking news, especially as consumers search for value in a still-downtrodden economy, it does raise red flags for destination marketers who focus the bulk of their energy on showcasing their locales.
Many tourism boards do put some emphasis on value and discounts. The Orlando Magicard, Lisbon's dining and shopping cards, the Miami Beach INCard and so many others give discounts ranging from percentages off of dining to a dollar off of mini-golf.
A search on Google using the phrase "tourism board discounts" brings up first-page links to offers from three US tourism boards (Orlando, Las Vegas, Telluride) and five international tourism boards (Goa, Lisbon, Gibralter, Tuscany, St. Lucia). Intestingly, the links to the US destinations go to their home pages, while the international destinations tend to point toward their actual discount page or a partner offer page.
In a price-conscious world, though, the biggest challenge is to position a destination as affordable in a meaningful way while still promoting the many ways a tourist can spend money in that destination.
Should hotels drop rates? Should theme parks give away free dining with park tickets? Should tourism boards put a greater emphasis on price?
We'd love to hear about how price impacts your destination and how you address it through marketing, discounts or other ideas.