Posted by: Carlos | July 16, 2010

Google is Huge Threat, Warns Online Expert!

Tourism businesses in Wales looking to weather the economic storm are strongly recommended to read this posting through to the end following the above article posted at http://www.travelmole.com/stories/1143068.php

It’s a big heads-up for small to medium size tourism businesses in Wales and presents the biggest marketing opportunity and income generator ever likely to come along in their lifetime.

Why? Because Google Places now dominates search results for tourism accommodation in Wales with links direct to tourism businesses’ own websites for commission-free bookings direct from searchers.

Too good to be true? Absolutely not! It’s been on the cards for a long time now but it’s not something you will have heard from the commission agencies it threatens, or from local authority tourism departments, or the Regional Tourism Companies or Regional Tourism Partnerships, let alone Visit Wales or Visit Britain.

Why? Because they have no interest in promoting change if it means loss of commissions, subscriptions, advertising revenue and public sector jobs. But the game’s finally up and it’s taken the might of Google to change the rules, love them or hate them!

How do we know this? Because after pioneering online mapping in Wales for over a decade Tourism Wales UK has made it its business to get close to Google, upsetting the establishment in Wales in the process just as Google has done with authorities worldwide. It’s been a bruising time but no pain, no gain and we know whose side we
would rather be on when it comes to survival in difficult economic times.

So, what does all this mean to tourism businesses in Wales?

I means that if they don’t already have a Google Account they should open one without delay at https://www.google.com/accounts

Once having done this or if they already have a Google Account they should go straight to Google Places at https://www.google.com/local/add/lookup, enter their business information and watch their listing take shape as they go.

What then does this mean to Tourism Wales UK?

Certainly more than one might imagine. Tourism Wales UK is privileged to be a Google whitelisted data supplier and hosted a meeting with Google last month (June 2010) at TechniumCAST Bangor to discuss the future for tourism in Wales.

Tourism Wales UK is certainly cut out for work at this level. Its credentials are strong, stretching back to 1989 with the launch of the national tourism newspaper for Wales by the then Minister of State, and membership of the International Federation for Information Technology Travel and Tourism going back as far as 1996.

But it’s never lost touch with its grass roots as many tourism businesses in Wales will testify.

The result is an autumn ‘Tourism’ Symposium during week commencing 15th November where Google will deliver the keynote. There will be a flurry of new marketing activity beforehand to drive business home for 2010 and to set the scene for the next five years.

The Symposium will also provide the UK launchpad for the WelcomeWeb Award scheme under pilot in Wales this year to help small tourism businesses considerably raise their game to maximise commission-free bookings from Google Places, Tourism Wales UK and Visit Britain.

This year, WelcomeWeb is looking for 1,000 tourism businesses in Wales with their own websites to take part in the scheme and sign up to Google Places. For businesses that don’t have their own website, their Wales.info website is equally acceptable and will prove just as effective.

Businesses that haven’t already registered their interest in WelcomeWeb, can do so at http://welcomeweb.info/register.asp. It takes only a minute or two. There are only four lines to fill in, there’s no cost involved and certainly no obligation to take part in the unlikely event that they decide against.

The equally good news is that businesses need not be enrolled in the Tourism Wales UK programme to take advantage of all this but if they want to stay in the loop and future-proof their businesses against new tourism technology advances, then it’s certainly recommended.

Go to http://wales.info/admin/ourpackages2010_2.asp to find out more.

For more information on this posting contact the Tourism Wales UK team at tourism@wales.info and visit http://wales.info

Source: Tourism Wales UK

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