With the ascent of ICT, most of the marketing has moved from the analog to the digital stage. While everybody understands that this shift is the only way for a business to survive in this time and day, the question is whether digital travel marketing is powerful enough to guarantee that overseas destinations increase their Japanese visitors. The question is even more pressing if you consider working with the Japanese overseas travel market.
Meeting in person with tour planners proves time and time again that analog marketing should not be written off when you target Japan as one of your source markets.
Meeting with tour planners and sales-counter persons helps to
- Establish a personal contact with the people who are most likely to plan or sell tour packages to your destination;
- Engage them in a continuous business partnership;
- Have the right person to whom to provide up-to-date information about your destination.
Seminars, familiarization tours and workshops with tour planners and sales persons continue to result in new tour packages and larger sales volumes for destinations that make the effort to meet with the industry people in person.
JATA, always keen on helping its partners to understand the Japanese market better, provides a number of opportunities for person-to-person encounters.
The Japan Association of Travel Agents conducts a series of seminars targeting those who create tours
The attendees of the destination seminars held by JATA, do have certain expectations, though.
What they want to hear and obtain during the seminars is as follows.
- Copy of the destination presentations;
- Information from national tourism bureaus and/or airlines;
- See model courses which will help them create new package tours;
- Obtain detailed information which will help them create (a) deviation course/s based on the already existing ones;
- Obtain information indispensable for tour-planning (opening hours of tourist attractions, restaurants, special attractions, specifics, which are not available to the general public, etc.)
- Learn how to employ SNS in their work;
- Information on what attractions/experiences are available during the off-season;
- Trends in European travel (what do European travelers want to see, visit, experience, etc.?)
Call it old-fashioned if you wish but the truth is that even in the era of the Internet, smart phones and SNS, when digital marketing is all the rage, analog marketing remains an indispensable tool for those willing to put Japan as a reliable source market in their business portfolios.
This said, rather than relying on either digital or analog marketing, a winning marketing portfolio should include a balanced blend of both.
Ever heard of the term “digi-ana”? We have just coined it for internal use at JATA.