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Time for the domestic travel industry to shine!


Author: Mike Flynn

While the world has been locked up, immersed in Netflix, tuning home-baking skills and hosting family trivia video calls, many businesses have put their marketing budgets on hold.

As we start to emerge from restrictions, the first stop for most cooped up Australians (particularly for many who've had overseas trips cancelled), is going to be a domestic holiday.

We think this is a great opportunity for those businesses in the domestic travel and tourism sector to take a good hard look at your offering, your online shop-front and what relevant content you have out there to Entice your audience. In this article we provide tips and advice for businesses ready to take this opportunity.

1. Clean up your shop-front

Time to refresh those outdated images and add some big bold videos.

Update your website & refuel your social channels. Inspire customers with high quality imagery and video of your property, the location and your (current) team.

While your property has limited bookings, it is a good opportunity to schedule a video or photo shoot. While operations around your property or resort are quieter it's far easier to record on site, without disrupting guests or shots being affected by interrupting crowds.

Remember to sell the destination and the experience. Not just the fancy facilities.

2. Property imagery that get's noticed

You wouldn’t hire a new staff member that looks like they’ve forgotten how to shower during lockdown. The same goes for property, resorts and venues.

Images with bad lighting, incorrectly composed or blurry are on par with attending a job interview with 5 day old stubble and wearing a tracksuit!

It’s incredible how much revenue opportunity is lost by having bad photography of your property out there online to taint your prospects' first impression.

Let's take a moment to review good vs bad property images.

Example A: A blurry, low resolution accommodation image. With off-axis, mixed colour tones and tilted composition. Image courtesy of @AirBnB

Example B: A bright, sharp, composed and inviting accommodation image. With the outdoor view composited in post production. Image by @thepalmsagency for @ayanaresort

A selection of high-quality, meticulously retouched, professional images can sell a property 10x. You only need your images to sell a few extra bookings to make them a valuable investment and the images will last for many years until a property has had major changes or renovations. A long term investment.

3. DIY Budget photo tips

With many businesses in dire straits following the global pandemic, we appreciate investing in pro imagery might be some way off. So here are some quick tips if you don't have budget for professional photography:

  • Take extra time to prepare the scene, remove unsightly mess, iron the bedding smooth. Remove all chaotic electrical cables. Phase out clutter from the shot. The key is less is more!

  • Shoot with a tripod. Or prop up your camera on a stool chair.

  • Make sure the vertical walls are perfectly straight. Don't have the camera pointed downs wards or upwards.

  • Use the Timer function on the camera / smartphone to get a far sharper image, reduce shake and blur.

  • Shoot the room when there is the most natural light coming in. But watch there is not too much harsh contrast and shadows. This is often early in the morning.

  • When downloading the images, taken on mobile phone, make sure you download the Full Resolution images. If you send images by Text message, Facebook or WhatsApp they tend to get compressed. You want the images to be kept as large as possible.

Image by @thepalmsagency of @honzen.komodo restaurant

4. Time for a different perspective....maybe time for a drone!

Aerial content is still very much on trend.

Your property and the location can look incredibly stunning from a drone. Promoting your close proximity to a popular landmark, the surrounding landscape or stunning natural features can be done with the ultra wide view of a drone and experienced eye of a professional drone team.

If you have a drone and plan to shoot the images yourself, a quick tip with drone content is to stick to the rule of thirds.

See the examples below as a guide, you want to align your subject matter on the apex or join of the lines.

Image by @thepalmsagency of komodo national park, for Ayana Resort Group

5. Your (updated) team on show

There is no hiding the fact employee teams have been in dramatic flux. Certainly many management teams will have new faces in the near future. Why not take this time to organise a professional photo session, to capture fresh headshots of the management team. This is a solid investment that will prove it's worth across both work and your LinkedIn profile!

6. Let everyone know COVID-19 has been well considered

We're in a new age where businesses must implement stringent health, social distancing and safety measures. Without them no one can or will visit your establishment.

The hard work your business has invested for extra sanitisation and cleaning protocols should be shared and if anything, promoted.

Information and imagery on what systems you have brought in, to keep customers safe is a story worth sharing. It shows you care and you are genuine.

Videos or Infographic animation is a fantastic content medium to highlight business preparedness and is going to help businesses position themselves as relevant.

7. Don't just show off the property - feature the destination

Video can be a powerful tool to showcase the overall location. Things to do, landmarks to see. Natural beauty. Stunning landscapes.

While it’s easy to focus on the facilities, rooms, pools of a property or resort. Consider creative ways to share the emotional experience of visiting a destination.

100% Pure New Zealand did a fantastic job of this with their video series in 2018.

8. Brands with purpose stand out

Purpose-led marketing is the new trend in forging loyal customers and fans of your brand.

Consumers have been in lock down, simmering in a global soup of uncertainty. Brands that are authentic in sharing an inspiring purpose are going to positively resonate with the battered psychology of today’s consumers.

According to Lindsay Grace Kinniburgh Founder of Outsourced imagination, an innovative new purpose-led marketing agency, "brand-purpose is the new black of doing business."

Kinniburgh shares, "Consumers are increasingly drawing towards brands and businesses that operate with a deeper sense of purpose at their core. Backing this trend is new studies highlighting changing behaviours and beliefs. According to Edelman's ‘Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic’ report, 81% of participants said they must be able to 'trust' the brand they are purchasing from.

The new expectation is for brands and businesses to help address social challenges, stop putting profit over people, focus communications and actions on solutions and start protecting employees and suppliers. We are entering a new ecosystem with brand purpose and purpose-driven marketing at the core."

A content strategy that highlights the positive impact your brand’s purpose is making on the world is worth considering.

Or maybe this is a chance for your brand to re-evaluate its purpose?

Image courtesy of @charitywater

Prepare a media release with your new content

To maximise the investment made into fresh content, once you have published it and perhaps launched a new campaign or promotion, remember to send out a media release to industry publications with some of the images or video for their use.

One of our favourite travel industry publications is KARRYON.

In summary

With the global pandemic playing out around us, we've seen a massive shift in the amount of online content that is being consumed. The last few months have pushed more of the world to work remotely, shop online and dream of a holiday from behind a desktop. The pressure is back on for businesses to dust off how their brand is perceived online. It's time to Spring Clean your Content and be ready for the next chapter in domestic travel and hospitality.

For a limited time, we are offering a 30% Discount on all Property photo & video packages in Australia CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

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