Selling to the international market
International tourists usually travel for longer and spend more money than domestic travellers, therefore looking to overseas markets can be very beneficial when it comes to growing your tourism business, increasing your visitors numbers and improving sales.
In order to do so successfully, it is vital to be aware of and get to know your key target markets, familiarising yourself with their requirements and nuances. Understanding the various sales channels that can be used to ensure your product or service is best placed and promoted overseas is also of significant importance.
There are a number of differences between marketing to the domestic market and marketing your product or experience internationally. Overseas markets are very competitive and it is much more difficult to achieve cut through in a busy marketplace with lots of companies offering similar products and furthermore competing international destinations.
You may also be working with a much lower knowledge base and level of awareness. Selling internationally often involves selling and promoting the destination in the first instance, enticing international visitors to come to your area, before actively promoting your particular product or experience.
This is when working collaboratively with other businesses and marketing organisations in your area can be really beneficial. To achieve standout in the international market, it is crucial to make the destination as attractive as possible and outline the range of complimentary products and experiences available to potential overseas visitors to enhance their visit.
Engaging in the international market and trying to attract increased numbers of overseas visitors requires a large investment in both time and money. It makes more sense to hone in on one or two key markets that you feel your product or experience will work well in rather than attempting to target multiple markets. Understanding your key target markets and segments are fundamentally important.
Once you have established how your region and product or experience may appeal to the international market, you can tailor your offering and also your marketing and promotional activities accordingly. Having a clear understanding of what your consumer target markets are looking for will help you make more informed and effective decisions on how to present your offering.
Relationship management is also crucial to successfully growing your international business. Once you have selected which countries you are going to target, you will need to identify the best distribution channels that will deliver business from these markets. Investigating which tour operators and travel agents in your chosen market that specialise in selling or promoting products and experiences similar to those you offer.
Establishing key contacts and nurturing these relationships through a variety of means (directly, at sales platforms or shows, on sales calls or sales missions) are essential to build rapport and entice them to promote your destination/product/experience to their clients.
This is generally a long term marketing strategy, working to successfully maintain and build these relationships will take time and effort and it may take a number of years before you see a return in terms of business generated.