Travel industry marketers like Twitter… and not Facebook?

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Finding benchmarks for online marketing practise and business system structures was the idea of an internet-based survey by Verma and McGill. They polled 426 senior marketing executives in lodging and destination organizations looking at budget levels, marketing strategies, and organizational structures.

Twitter seems to be quite popular amoung the travel marketers. 80% of respondents stated they produced Twitter campaigns and Social Media promotions in-house versus pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SSEO) which are in most cases outsourced. However, there is a fine difference between accommodation firms and destination marketers: While accommodation firms often outsource all Social Media activities (i.e. Twitter campaigns and pay-per-click management), destination marketers prefer to handle those activities in-house.

„Each year well over 700 marketing executives gather for TravelCom, which is a high level marketing conference that was held this year in Las Vegas“ (…) One major theme this year was online marketing, but we realized that there was no overall knowledge of where the industry stands in this area. This study provides those benchmarks.“ Cornell Professor Rohit Verma, Executive Director, Center for Hospitality Research (CHR)

The bigger portion of the respondents (two-thirds) said their 2010 e-commerce budgets had increased compared to 2009. 71% of destination marketers and 60% of accommodation marketers see again an increase for 2011.

Spot On!
The travel industry is in a real change mode seen from a web perspective. Web traffic to travel brand sites decreased by 8% in March 2011 versus March 2010. During the same period, visits to Facebook pages jumped 20% according to the first-ever L2 Digital IQ Index. According to a report by PhoCusWright, an industry research group, the unmanaged business trips reserved online will rise twice as fast as the rest of the market. One in three trips will be booked online in 2012 and reach a value of $313bn. If you look at these numbers it surprises me that not more travel marketers are looking at ways to use Social Media and focus more on Facebook than on Twitter, i.e. like OmniHotels offers direct bookings from Facebook now.

Just a thought…

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