Making More Money With Travel & Tourism Sites by Avoiding Two Common Pitfalls

I’ve been heavily entrenched in the travel & tourism industry for years-formal education, 1000s of books, reports, market research, etc. When I look at people trying to make money online with travel Web sites, I see a few fundamental flaws. Today, I’ll point a couple out so that you can avoid these common pitfalls.

Lacking Market Research

Many travel web site owners simply look for some keywords, write some articles (or outsource them) and call it a day. They then wonder why clicks are low, orders are nonexistent and profit is hard to come by.

It is imperative that you know at least the basics of the market you’re engaging in. For instance, simply knowing that “people like to visit Italy” isn’t enough. There’s all that who, what, when, why and how stuff too.

Unfortunately, finding travel patterns, demographics and solid market research without conducting it yourself can be either very difficult or very, very time consuming. Thankfully, there are sources that take the work and cost out of it all for you.

Going Far Too Broad

The next issue that plagues many travel site owners is the one of scope. By having a wiper scope your actually lowering your profit potential.

Let’s keep with Italy for a moment. Imagine you put up a Web site about traveling to Italy. What type of content do you fill it with and who is your audience? The answer is “who knows,” because people could be coming for all sorts of reasons, such as:

– Honeymoons
– Family vacation
– Thrill seeking
– Historical travel
– Religious travel
– Foodie travel
– and on and on and on

It’s possible that 95% of the traffic coming to your travel & tourism site is just being wasted. And the more you try to appeal to everyone, the worse it gets. We could narrow it down to just Rome and still have major site issues due to all the possible travel personalities and desires.

Before rushing out to stake your claim to the billions of dollars in the travel & tourism industry, take some time to get to know the specific market you want to target. If you can’t afford to spend hundreds of hours or thousands of dollars in research, look for the sources that do it for you. For instance, honeymoon tourism has billions at stake, but if you just rush out there with a honeymoon travel site without knowing something about the honeymoon market, you’ll be missing out.

History of Travel & Tourism

2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning of civilisation. The port at Lothal was an important centre of trade between the Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities was open to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religious festivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire building. The Brahmins and the common people travelled for religious purposes. Thousands of Brahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to be greeted by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One- the Buddha.

500 BC, the Greek civilisation

The Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks also enjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit of pleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important site for travellers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to provide for travellers’ needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.

This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’ first travel writer. Guidebooks also made their appearance in the fourth century covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this period.

The Roman Empire

With no foreign borders between England and Syria, and with safe seas from piracy due to Roman patrols, the conditions favouring travel had arrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of modern motels) promoted the growth of travel. Romans travelled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land also became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks (itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to identify quality.

Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, occupied primarily during springtime social season. The most fashionable resorts were found around Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals, Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down market tourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkenness and all- night singing.

Travel and Tourism were to never attain a similar status until the modern times.

In the Middle Ages

Travel became difficult and dangerous as people travelled for business or for a sense of obligation and duty.

Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in this fashion discovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players and minstrels made their living by performing as they travelled. Missionaries, saints, etc. travelled to spread the sacred word.

Leisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughal kings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of natural and scenic beauty (for example Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism was developed as a direct outcome of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be completed by a ‘Grand Tour’ accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men travelled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteenth century, the custom had become institutionalised in the gentry. Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent of Napoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to the decline of the custom of the Grand Tour.

The development of the spas

The spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain and a little later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa rapidly acquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an important centre of social life for the high society.

In the nineteenth century they were gradually replaced by the seaside resort.

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliest visitors therefore drank it and did not bathe in it. By the early eighteenth century, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors who drank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding of inland spas, the new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in the circuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point

Role of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the west

The rapid urbanisation due to industrialisation led to mass immigration in cities. These people were lured into travel to escape their environment to places of natural beauty, often to the countryside they had come from change of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to a leisurely pace in countryside.

Highlights of travel in the nineteenth century

· Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisure travel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisure travel to their destinations.

· Package tours organised by entrepreneurs such as Thomas Cook.

· The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often to their colonies to buy raw material and sell finished goods.

· The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool and promoted overseas travel.

· The formation of first hotel chains; pioneered by the railway companies who established great railway terminus hotels.

· Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.

· Other types of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineering spots etc.

· The technological development in steamships promoted travel between North America and Europe.

· The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.

· The cult of the guidebook followed the development of photography.

Tourism in the Twentieth Century

The First World War gave first hand experience of countries and aroused a sense of curiosity about international travel among less well off sector for the first time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a lot of travel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestic travel in Europe and the west. The sea side resort became annual family holiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in other countries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.

The birth of air travel and after

The wars increased interest in international travel. This interest was given the shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus of aircraft and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had become comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper for overseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age of air travel for the masses had arrived. The beginning of chartered flights boosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organised mass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, brought the cost of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.

A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment of world-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began to flock alternative destinations in the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volume only occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.

Sarvajeet Chandra writes on issues that are usually brushed under the carpet, or are too everyday-ish for high street strategists. He writes on making strategic plan robust, how to execute strategy well and other tactical issues for everyday business success.

Wiki Strategy: Promoting your Travel, Tourism or Lodging Website

A wiki is a website which allows users to add and edit content collectively. “Wiki wiki” means “rapidly” in the Hawaiian language.

A public wiki can be visited and edited by anyone using a browser. This creates a powerful online collaboration environment that is self-managed by its users. Wikis are considered part of the social internet, and a category of Web 2.0. There are many wikis that provide opportunities for hotels, inns, resorts and other tourism and hospitality businesses to post their own listings.

How big are Wikis? The most famous and, frankly, awe-inspiring wiki is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). According to Alexa, it is the 9th most popular website in the United states.

A private wiki can be password protected so only users can view and edit the information. This makes an excellent collaboration tool for your hotel’s work-team. We have tested over a dozen wikis for this purpose, and currently use several within our offices and manage hundreds of pages of collaboratively edited information.
From a hospitality and tourism marketing strategy perspective, a Wiki offers you the opportunity to copyright about your own area and business. The results will send your website qualified traffic, let you manage your hospitality brand, and most likely send you qualified traffic and online revenue. These are entirely free marketing resources, but you must make the time to utilize them.

Before you start exploring and entering your own copy, take 20 or 30 minutes and learn how to edit a page.

Etiquette: many wikis let you make updates anonymously. Ideally, you should log-in and create an identity. Don’t be self-serving or self-promoting — while you want your business added, it is better to build out complementary and appropriate information as part of adding your business (depends on the wiki what that info is. It is OK to correct mistakes, it is not OK to remove competitors. When you add a new page, make sure you start with the template that is appropriate. If you make mistakes, other people will fix them, and if you “spam” with inappropriate content, other people will remove you.

Wikipedia is a powerful resource that many hospitality businesses should be added to. Also check out its sister site, Wikitravel (www.wikitravel.org) for a website that is definitely appropriate for any hotel, inn, resort, hospitality or tourism website. Taking a few hours to create an information rich page about your area, your niche and/or your business is worth your time.

Wikicompany is a business focused resource that lets you add your company for free in just a few moments. See the listing I made for a hotel website marketing company.

There is a growing number of niche wikis, an example being SingleTrackwiki for mountain bikers. Keep your eye out for these and add to them if appropriate. They always appreciate quality content.

RoaringForkWiki. is an example of a wiki about an geographic area, the Roaring Fork Valley. That is the home of Blizzard Internet Marketing, and is a wiki produced and managed by Blizzard.

Many people want to set up their own wikis about topics they are passsionate about, or about their area. Mediawiki is a professional level version for real geeks. I would generally recommend you try an easy online

Travel Tourism Course – 5 Features to Look For

Looking to get into the travel and tourism industry? Taking a course is a great way to get educated about this exciting field while learning how to find incredible travel deals for your own benefit. The course you select should have all of the following 5 features:

Feature #1: Certified by major institutions, nationally accredited:
Any program you consider will likely be run in accordance with sponsoring or partnering universities. Make sure that the partnering university through which you take the course is a credible one with a strong reputation in the region. In addition, ascertain that the diploma which you will be awarded upon completion of the course is a nationally-recognized one.

Feature #2: Trains you to use computerized reservations systems:
Make sure that the program you choose will train you not only on the ins and outs of the industry itself, but also on how to use the computerized reservation systems available to travel agents today.

Feature #3: Teaches agency management techniques:
As a travel agent, you will be required not only to be an expert in getting your clients the best travel deals, but also to be able to manage your business. Confirm that the course or program you are considering gives you the management tools to success in the business of being a travel agent.

Feature #4: Offers an online-only option:
The advent of online education affords students of today opportunities for effective distance learning not available even 10 years ago. Make sure that your travel course has caught up with the times and orders an online-only component. This means that you should have the option to take the course without having to travel to a physical classroom.

Feature #5: Gives you insights into how to find the best deals:
Needless to say, the program should also benefit you both as a travel agent and as an individual looking for the best travel deals available.

Verify that any travel tourism course you select offers the above-mentioned 5 components. Finally, be sure to speak with at least one or two current students of the program to find out firsthand what they think about it.

India Travel Tourism – Opening Gates to Beauty With Diversity

India is a land that converges scenic beauty, wonderful and ancient history and also various cultures. This is a country that beholds unity in diversity and uniqueness. Indeed, no better reason could be sought for making India travel and tourism extremely unique.

For all the history lovers, great architectural history comprising of monuments, forts and palaces can be found in different parts of the country. The land sings glories about several stories that took place in the country in the past. India travel tourism has taken off well due to these factors making India one of the most visited countries by several people around the world. India also has several adventurous places to be explored as well as rich wildlife. Apart from all these India is one country that has lots of exciting delicacies that people relish!

From chats to chicken tandoori, idlis and dosas to sweet nothings like barfis and katlis, every dish has its own uniqueness and blend of flavors owing to the state it is made in. Other attractive features of India are the exotic beaches stretching over the peninsula region in the south. The country also has a stretch of hill ranges in the north which have popular hill resorts owing to its scenic beauty. The country also has several festivals celebrated with pomp and show. With several things to offer, India travel and tourism has seen a major boost in the past few years.

As a one stop country that includes several rich traditions and cultures, India travel and tourism has also seen overwhelming response from visitors to the country.