VisitThis or DiscoverThat

By Steve Mills

 

The role of national tourism organisations is still huge

44% of people who have seen or heard something in the past 12 months about a tourist destination have cited a tourist board source as the origin of this awareness.  This data comes from the recently published 2015 Global Tourism Monitor, a 24 country study examining public attitudes towards visiting over 100 countries worldwide.

Return on investment

At a time when governments across Europe and further afield are questioning the value of investment in tourism boards (which are usually publicly funded organisations), it is reassuring to get hold of some tangible supportive data straight from the mouths of prospective visitors.

At the same time, it is always useful for these organisations to be able to knock on the doors of their funders and proclaim how much more effective they are at driving visitors to their destinations than others, particularly competitor destinations.  For example, although the average proportion of those mentioning tourist board sources across the 111 destination countries was 44%, it varied from 59% for South Korea down to just 24% for Uruguay.

In terms of which tourist board sources offer most bang for their buck, it is still direct advertising, whether TV, posters, radio or newspapers, which appears most influential.  An average of 27% of those who had seen or heard something mentioned such advertising as the source.

Digitally savvy

Tourist boards are also clearly keeping up with the digital age, with 15% mentioning tourism board/destination websites as a source and 13% pointing to content by destinations/tourism boards on social networking sites.  This latter source also shows how far some tourism boards have come and how far others still need to go to harness to power of social media.  Whilst an impressive 22% of those who had seen or heard something about Romania found it on a destination/tourism board’s social networking site, the comparable figure was only 5% for Chile.

Printed information

And what about good, old fashioned printed brochures and leaflets?  Well, they are still clinging on; an average of 8% of those seeing or hearing about a tourist destination mentioned this as one of their sources.  Their use by tourist boards seems to vary least too, with a high of 12% seeing brochures/leaflets for Oman and a low of 3% for Mozambique.

So across the world, a country’s tourism fate doesn’t lie solely in the hands of existing visitors with their face-to-face and online peer recommendations.  There is still a strong role that national and regional tourism organisations can play in helping to encourage visitors across their borders……..even Uruguay’s.
To purchase the destination reports, contact us or visit the Global Tourism Monitor page and fill out the form.

Our opinions