When it comes to marketing to international tourists, there are many tricks to the trade. Many small businesses are overwhelmed at the project of learning the ins and outs, despite knowing there could be big economic rewards. Earlier this year, the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) and Travel Oregon partnered up to deliver a first-of-its-kind global sales training on the South Coast to help ensure people understand how global tourism trends are different from domestic trends, and how best to take advantage of international tourism opportunities.
“International travelers buy travel differently,” says Gabi Duarte, global sales project manager for Travel Oregon. “Because international travelers tend to work with travel agencies and tour operators, it’s critical to develop relationships with those businesses. We work with local partners to educate them on how to supply tourism product to those partners so that the process is less intimidating.”
Some other common characteristics of global travelers include:
- Advanced booking
- Longer stays
- Spend more on average
- Book midweek and shoulder season
- Cancellations are rare
OCVA and Travel Oregon offered three global sales trainings—in Coos Bay, Bandon and Brookings. The Bandon training included an itinerary-building session, which was a valuable outcome for everyone involved. Travel Oregon and OCVA staff regularly attend international travel trade shows, where they share sample itineraries with agents and tour operators to give them an idea of something they can easily incorporate into their product and turn around and sell.
During the trainings, Travel Oregon explained which inbound visitation markets on which it’s focused: the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland), Europe (Germany, France, Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland & Iceland), The Netherlands, Asia (Japan, China, Korea, India – emerging market), the Americas and Oceania (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico – emerging market).
The trainings also covered why people visit Oregon and what they hope to do while they are here. “Based on our data, Oregon is generally a place where overseas visitors come during their second or third visit to the United States,” Duarte says. “The first time, they might have gone to New York or Disney World. Then they want to do something different, something their friends haven’t done. Because Oregon offers everything from rodeos and wine to mountains and coast, international visitors are recognizing Oregon as a place where they can get a lot of what the US has to offer in one trip.”
OCVA is looking to offer additional global sales trainings in the fall during its annual People’s Summit, which will be held in Waldport, October 9-10, 2018.
“We were thrilled with the turnout at the sales trainings, as well as the networking event in Bandon, followed by a Travel Oregon 101 workshop,” says Katera Woodbridge, OCVA sales and marketing manager. “Our expectation was that the majority of participants would be lodging properties, but there was a wide range of business types. The facilitated itinerary-building session really opened people’s eyes to how interdependent all of the businesses in the region are. We look forward to bringing this information to other regions of the Coast.”
Source: Oregon Coast Visitors Association
South Coast gets a primer on global tourism