TripAdvisor is not just for Tourism Businesses.
Visitor Information Centres also have opportunities to leverage TripAdvisor to keep their visitors better informed and encourage them to stay longer, spend more and have a better experience in their destination.
Following are 4 ways VIC’s can use TripAdvisor to improve their visitors experiences and help drive demand and advocacy for their destinations.
1. Get your Visitor Information Centres listed
Visitor Information Centres are often attractions in their own right, with many offering local produce sales, bike hire, walking tours, event information etc.
Not to mention their great local knowledge and booking service, which all helps destination visitors to stay longer and have a better time!
So, it is important visitors can find Visitor Information Centres in TripAdvisor, either on the TripAdvisor website listing or when using the “Near Me Now” option on the TripAdvisor App.
Therefore each destination needs to ensure its Visitor Information Centres claim a listing and respond to customer reviews.
- Search TripAdvisor to see which of your region’s VIC’s are listed on TripAdvisor.
- Work with your region’s Visitor Information Centre Managers to claim and manage their listing.
2. Get your Destination’s public attractions listed
Many destinations most popular attractions are often public council/shire/government managed locations, such as lookouts, parks, reserves, walking tracks, playgrounds and beaches.
These are often hidden secrets of a region that visitors love to discover in addition to the tourism businesses in the area.
For example in Mount Gambier, many of the city’s main attractions are free and are managed by council.
Therefore, it’s important public attractions that are relevant to your destination’s ideal customers are listed on TripAdvisor and have the correct information displayed.
This will ensure they can be found by your ideal customers when using TripAdvisor.
- Identify all the key public attractions in your region that are of interest to your Ideal Customers.
- Jump into TripAdvisor and do a search for them.
- Which are missing and need to be added to TripAdvisor?
- Which attractions need their information updated?
- It is location correct on the map? It’s super important it shows up correctly in the TripAdvisor App map.
- Is a relevant website url displayed so people to find out more information about the attraction? This could be to your local regional website or council/shire website.
- Are the contact details, opening hours and description are correct?
- Are there photos of the attraction in the listing?
It is then up to you to decide if you want to claim and manage an attraction listing or just improve its listing, by updating the information above.
Claiming it means you have the ability to respond to customer reviews. So resourcing needs to be taken into consideration when deciding if you will do this.
If you do decide to manage it, it could be a role Visitor Information Centres undertake for attractions in their area.
3. Get your Destination’s managed tourism experiences listed
If your Destination Marketing Organisation, Council/Shire or Visitor Information Centre manages a tourism experiences in your destination, such as a walking tour, then it’s important to claim and manage a listing for each tourism experience, so you can respond to customer feedback.
Learn how to set up and manage a TripAdvisor Listing in one of our other recent blogs.
4. Encourage Positive Reviews
Encouraging customer to leave more positive reviews is a great way to increase awareness of your region’s attractions and is powerful free word of mouth marketing for your destination’s experiences.
Identify attractions that are important to your Ideal Customers and think about how you could encourage customers to leave positive TripAdvisor Reviews for these attractions.
- Have signs at the tourism experience, letting people know it is listed on TripAdvisor and asking them to leave a review.
- Hand out a small card to visitors after touring/visiting that asks them to leave a review.
- Include TripAdvisor listing details on the attraction’s brochure, and ask for a review.
A great example of a destination doing this well is The Margaret River Region. They manage tours of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouses and the region’s caves.
Guides at each attractions hand out a card at the end of the tour with the guide’s name and also asking people to leave a review on TripAdvisor.
The results speak for themselves, with hundreds of positive reviews being left by visitors, making the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and Cave Tours top rated attractions in the Margaret River Region on TripAdvisor
Over to you.
Which of the above opportunities can you implement in your destination? We’d love to hear if you are doing any of them already!
Like to learn more strategic Visitor Servicing?
If you would like to learn more on how to evolve your Visitor Centre so it remains relevant and adding value to your region, please check out our 2018 Visitor Information Centre Marketing Bootcamp. Places are very limited and enrolments close 1st June 2018!
This blog post was original written in 2015 and was updated in March 2018