Forty tourism business owners and technology company representatives attended the Tomorrow’s Tourist Today workshop at the Conwy Business Centre, North Wales on 16th November 2010.
Their aim was to come up with new ideas to help boost tourism to Wales as we enter a new decade on 1st January next year.
Presentations were received from Google’s spatial technologist Ed Parsons and Terry Jackson of Wales.info on new products and services already replacing search engine marketing as we know it, and will deliver increases in bookings and occupation rates for Wales at the same time as reducing business operating costs by up to 35%.
A ground-breaking change in strategy by Google now sees Google Place occupying prominent first-page positions in Google organic search results.
Google Places is free and will reward tourism business in Wales more than any amount of money spent on search engine marketing.
Tourism businesses in Wales without a Google Account will already be missing many new marketing opportunities.
Google has no plans to introduce a booking engine but accommodation providers can publish their rates in Google Places with links to online booking pages in their own and Wales.info websites.
Newly-launched Google Hotpot allows visitors to review places they know, and share recommendations with friends through their personalised Google Map.
Visitors can search and rate places on their mobile phones using Google Maps for Mobile.
WelcomeWeb awards tourism businesses websites for their legality, technical design and user-friendliness to maximise their performance in Google Places.
The Wales pilot this year has aleady resulted in a network of 7,000 mobile-phone, booking enabled websites for star-graded accommodation providers in Wales, many of which are easily found now by searchers in Google Places.
Full performance reports and recommendations are provided for the Silver Award for owners to pass on to their web developers for further advice.
WelcomeWeb also provides a Google Places account management service allowing tourism businesses to do what they do best; looking after their guests.
WelcomeWeb information and free registration is available at http://welcomeweb.info
The next Tomorrow’s Tourist Today workshop will take place at Bluestone, Pembrokeshire on 1st February 2011. Register http://www.inventorium.org/evnts/view/36″>now for this free one-day event.
To sign up to Tourism Wales UK for 2011, with up over £1,200 savings available from associated suppliers – one from TripAdvisor for serviced accommodation and another from Holiday Lettings-TripAdvisor for self-catering accommodation will pay back 2011 Membership twice over.
To take bookings online and save up to £295 setup charges from eviivo frontdesk© until 28th February 2011 sign up to Tourism Wales UK’s new Book Online membership.
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