Who’s Talkin? Last week we discussed Business Review sites, this week we have a list more specific review sites and forums in the travel and tourism industry. Listed below you will find sites that review or provide a platform for discussions about travel, destinations, restaurants, hotels, spas, and resorts.
The travel and tourism industry, like so many other industries, has been hard hit by the downturn in the economy. Travel and tourism are typically discretionary income spending activities, though business travel is a part of this, the biggest piece of their pie is the vacationer.
According to a Q3 2009 State of Travel and Tourism report by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
The current economic downturn has unquestionably created the most difficult environment for the U.S.
travel and tourism industry since 9/11. The industry has contracted by nearly $130 billion this year alone.
The travel and tourism industry is not just affected by the U.S. economy but also by the world economy and popular opinion. From the OTTI;
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitors spent an estimated $10.2 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of November – nearly $800 million less (7 percent) than was spent in November 2008 and averaging nearly $1.8 billion less a month year to date . Total international visitor spending is down $19.3 billion (15 percent) year to date (January-November).
With a shrinking consumer pool, if you are directly or indirectly affected by this industry it is imperative that you know what consumers are saying and what they aren’t saying.
What really matters to travelers?
Do travelers care most about price, value, location, or attractions?
Are travelers more affected by reviews and recommendations, or price?
Will they spend more if there is some hype?
With travel being so expensive are more people doing the “local vacation”, going to locations, attractions, and events that are drivable or short flights?
What do people think of your state, city, town, and/or neighborhood?
After they visit your establishment what have they said to their communities about you?
Are you out there listening, engaging, educating, and responding? Because if you are not, then that shrinking consumer pool is even smaller for you. Those companies that understand that being apart of the conversation is a fundamental component to their marketing, service, and sales strategies are getting more of the pie then you.
Here is where you can find some of the conversations that happening:
If you know of other travel and tourism specific review sites we would love to hear about them!