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N. 2020-1-DE02-KA227-ADU-008153

Tips for a fresh digital start in the tourism industry

Article by Bucovina

When you own a tourism business, such as an hotel, Airbnb or restaurant, making sure your customers feel comfortable, have everything they need and overall, leave with a memorable experience of their stay, become top priorities in each decision you take. Starting from the inside and outside design, to the menu, facilities, activities and offers, everything is designed to meet all kinds of expectations. Once you’re all set, it’s time to spread the word and let the word-of-mouth do its magic trick. For small businesses in small cities where everybody knows each other, it worked perfectly fine, but about one year and a half ago, our lives changed and it became more difficult to maintain personal and professional relationships.

With the COVID-19 pandemic kicking in last spring, along travel restrictions and lockdowns, many companies in the tourism sector struggled to survive and, in doing so, had to find new ways to keep in touch with their customers, and there was only one solution: digitalizing their businesses and creating fun and engaging content. But as the health crisis came unexpected, it found most workers facing a real lack of digital skills, let alone digital creative ones. Moreover, there was a financial issue as well and only some managed to hire social media or on-line marketing specialists, while the others, especially the small ones or traditional family businesses, had to find a way to establish an on-line presence on their own. Because we know how difficult self-learning new things can be, this article intends to make the on-line world a little bit easier to understand for you, with tips & tricks for a smoother digitalization process.

Build your website fast and easy

By far, the easiest way to design your company’s website on your own is using WordPress, an Open-Source CMS (Content Management System). Luckly, you don’t have to be a coding master. With a friendly and accessible interface, this website builder allows you to drag & drop different blocks and customize your content, such as text, image, headings, etc.

Also, plugins are a must have for WordPress. In the plugins search area, you can find free or paid tools to integrate all sorts of content on your website: contact forms, social media dynamic feeds for Facebook/Instagram/Youtube, gallery styles and many more. For an even more pleasurable experience, Elementor is one of the most popular drag & drop plugins, compatible with the majority of themes and which offers a wide range of content blocks.

With Astra and Futurio, depending on your type of business, you can import site templates and with a click, add all the information your customers need. Don’t forget to include contact details, a description of your tourism company, your offers, events, menus and prices and look for online tutorials when you’re now sure how to handle something. Lastly, make sure your homepage rocks and describes your activity best!

Get into the Social Media game

We can’t deny the contribution of a Social Media specialist for a company’s growth , but in times of crisis, you need to hold the fort and become one on your own. Many marketing agencies and niche blogs provide useful information for your content strategy. If you plan on reaching your target audience online, we’re going to talk mainly about Facebook and Instagram and shed some light on each one’s purpose and specificity.

Facebook, for instance, is a social networking site, which also allows a semi-formal content approach, including entertaining posts, contests, live videos or quotes, but mainly, it’s used for sharing real information about your company’s activity. Instagram, on the other hand, is a platform more oriented towards the aesthetic part of your business. Here’s where the creative digital skills are required most, as your posts should be visually attractive. Use in-app filters, presets, and colorful images, but keep in mind that too much it’s not always better. If your tourism business is a restaurant, instagram as many food pictures as possible, using different angles. People love them!

And even with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s always a good idea to take food pictures in advance and use them for emergency situations. Give your posts relevant descriptions and play with the words, creating funny riddles or rhyms.

Test your creative skills with Canva

With both a free and a pro version, Canva is an on-line design platform which comes in handy when you want to deliver eye-catching content to your audience. Whether you plan on designing a photo collage, a holiday card, a quote post with some pretty border, a Facebook cover for your page or a company’s presentation, it has them all.

One thing worth mentioning is that Canva also helps you set up your company’s online visual identity, by offering the possibility to create a logo, stickers, business cards and even banners. The lack of creative digital skills decreases using this platform, as it provides courses and tutorials for beginners (graphic design basis, personal branding, social media mastery), as well really useful blog articles on marketing strategies, branding and educational resources.

What we wish in the end is that this article offers a brighter perspective on gaining creative skills for businesses who wish to build an on-line presence. In the digital area we live in, it’s safe to say that you can reach almost anyone on social media. With this being said, the pandemic gave us an important lesson: no matter your age or qualification, it’s never too late to start learning and developing new skills and with the help of modern tools, it can actually turn out to be easier than ever imagined.

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