As it was announced, as the measures are relaxed, the economy is opened, so is the mission of reviving local economies. One of the first "measures" is certainly to keep its citizens traveling within their country. Thus all states began to communicate the narrative that citizens buy and travel locally. The goal is, of course, to start the local economy after this health and economic crisis (which is yet to come).
Campaigns for domestic tourists have already started in Germany, Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Austria went a step further, and exclusively by political decision, which is not according to the rules and in the spirit of the EU, it decided to open up to Germany, but not to "let" its citizens spend their summers outside their country. Namely, the rule still applies that on their return, the Austrians have to isolate themselves, which of course no one wants and directly harms Croatia. However, until June 15.06, when "Day D" is for the tourism sector because most of the borders are opening, I believe that the pressure of the EU as well as Croatia will bear fruit and the Austrian market will open.
Now is the time. My Slovenia
It is to our dear neighbors that we will open a series of articles on how other destinations communicate at this time to domestic tourists. On the other hand, unfortunately, the campaign for domestic tourists has not yet started in Croatia.
"There comes a time when the most important journeys take place in the home country ... - points out Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board on Linkedin.
This is the announcement of a motivational campaign. "Now is the time. My Slovenia”Which started two weeks ago, and which aims to promote and activate the people of Slovenia to spend a weekend or vacation in Slovenia.
Speaking of the topic of the promotional film, watch the video with which the Slovenian Tourist Board communicated at the time of communication #stay home, travel later
"Providing a safe and at the same time quality experience in a sustainable destination that Slovenia can offer to its guests is of key importance for encouraging domestic guests to spend their holidays at home.”Point out the Slovenian Tourist Board.
A rounded story must be imperative
Everything that is one-time is one-time and effect. In Croatia, we often publish a video and call it a campaign. No, that is very far from the campaign. The campaign must have a rounded and meaningful story. It’s like creating a new website and then no one is filling the content on it. So, let's make a great concept, but we fall for the realization and elaboration of the same. We have a story, but we don’t have a product. Of course honor with positive examples.
In the case of Slovenia, the campaign video is just the beginning of the story.
The campaign is being implemented in cooperation with many partners: the tourism industry, destinations, key Slovenian tourism institutions, associations, influential individuals, the media and other institutions.
After the initial campaign, on the Youtube channel of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenian ambassadors of tourism joined in through short videos, inviting everyone to spend their summers in Slovenia through the story. So far, 46 video stories have been published.
I did something similar with the Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County, where local ambassadors from the destination tell their story and invite us to visit them. It is this human story, the emotion that has the greatest value, and that is why it is always often best to use local people with stories rather than actors in tourism communication. They did the same in Bol with theirs Bol stories, or the Zagreb County Tourist Board in the campaign "Vacation never closer”Where local winemakers invited everyone to visit them on their doorstep. Also, as did some tour guides, who told their local destination stories this time around.
Watch the videos of the Slovenian ambassadors HERE
By the way, Slovenia has already made excellent use of the name of its country and incorporated it into the slogan I Feel sLOVEnia, purely to point out a good example of branding.
As I was just studying how to communicate, I was thrilled by the main tourist website of Slovenian tourism - www.slovenia.info.
The website is modern, simple, "drinkable", informative with all the useful information and interesting stories about why to visit Slovenia. Also, communication is focused on three main menus. What to do - segmented by motives of arrival (from gastronomy, active vacation to culture), which destinations to visit - branding of regions has certainly facilitated communication about this segment and how to get to Slovenia, ie. how to plan a trip.
There is even a segmented offer of accommodation for the planned, cyclists as well as for eco accommodation. And when we open one of the offered categories, a new story starts, targeted only for that type of tourists. Basically, as you research the website, new stories are revealed, and it is clear that the whole project has a guiding thread and logic. Although the website looks simple, it is clear that it is a page with a lot of content that is cleverly positioned.
Region branding - 4 regions
A couple of years ago, more precisely in 2017, Slovenia created a new tourism development strategy, and the basis of the same is the branding of Slovenia as a green, active and healthy destination or green boutique destination.
The basis of the new strategy is the branding of Slovenia through 4 regions, which each tells its own story and has its own characteristics. A combination of four European geographical areas: the Alps, the Mediterranean, Pannonia and the Karst.
Branding regions is imperative today. While in Croatia it had 306 tourist boards, as many destinations that each develop their own vision and tourism strategy. The number of TZs is not even a problem, it is less important - the main issue is efficiency, synergy and branding the regions outwards. How we brand ourselves as a destination for tourists.
Take, for example, Zagorje, which in addition to the county tourist board, has 9 other local tourist boards. In addition, there are "brands" such as the Heart of Zagorje and the Pearl of Zagorje (unfortunately it is not about sub-brands). Now, it is not the number of tourist boards that is important, but branding and development to the outside. Isn't it logical and natural that Zagorje is one destination and brand? Which would then mean a coordinated strategy and vision of development, communication and a website. And yet how are we talking about a continental destination, where TZs have less fin. budget for all, each for himself developed some tourism of his own. Which is insane and totally out of all market rules. And that's where we fall. We are falling on market development. But this is certainly a broad topic, which we will discuss in more detail on another occasion.
200 euro vouchers for everyone
To boost the local economy and consumption, Slovenia has decided to introduce vouchers for domestic tourists. A great upgrade to the whole story about the promotion of a domestic guest in Slovenia.
The so-called tourist vouchers are part of a new government aid package following the end of the corona virus epidemic and will be given to them svi adult citizens in the amount of 200 euros, children in the amount of 50 euros, and will be able to use it by the end of the year at the latest.
Vouchers with which Slovenia wants to encourage spending in tourism will cost the state budget 345 million euros, will be issued in electronic form and will be available from June 1. Vouchers will be able to be used to pay for bed or bed and breakfast.
According to Slovenian media, it is estimated that with this form of domestic tourist spending, with 345 million "vouchers" donated by the state, citizens will spend an additional 172 million euros. Personally, I think that the additional consumption of citizens will be much higher. Vouchers are certainly a great move, because it directly creates domestic consumption and thus drives the economy.
On one occasion, I asked an expert meeting why the CNTB could not offer the option of direct booking through its website, otherwise the main promotional channel of our tourism, as well as other promotional articles, in the context of directly leading to booking accommodation. To my question, colleagues from the system of tourist boards rejected the idea, because it is not the job of the CNTB and it is not done that way. But, interestingly, this is exactly what the Slovenian Tourist Board does, which is logical. Because if we do a promotion through a native article, and using the marketing AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.), And we manage to get A and I and D, we are missing the last and most important step - and that is buying or booking. If we do not offer this option, then we are only extending the steps and the time the user must take to make a booking. And that's where the whole story falls. Either people have to look for additional info on their own, where they waste time and have a lot more steps to get to the reservation, or people just forget because something has distracted them.
Interestingly, one also important detail. When you click book, say on Terme Krka (above in the picture, the first offer on the right) a link opens, but not on the home page of Terme Krka, but on the page for direct booing, as can be seen below in the picture. All we have left is A or action.
It is always necessary to look at how to speed up and reduce the steps, because today it is more difficult than ever to get attention and keep it. Because the more steps (clicks) it takes to make a final purchase, in this case a booking, the fewer users go to the last step.
In fact, not only is it possible, but thanks to digitalization we can make a direct booking on one page, in this case through our main tourist page www.croatia.hr, in order to further speed up the whole process. It was on this topic that we discussed at 3. Loud Thinking where the topic was just now Smart tourism. The guest wants to buy a product now and now, and as the money will be distributed later, he is not interested, it is a matter of back-end and internal agreement. Technology makes it very easy for us.
Also, if we get the attention of the user and he wants to buy some product / content, which is the most difficult, especially today when the noise in communication is extremely large, not to give him the option to buy the product immediately. Everything falls into the water, which is a shame.
Croatia continues to neglect the development and potential of the domestic guest
In Croatia, on the other hand, Cro cards will be launched from June 01 or today, at least that was announced by MINT, while we are still waiting for the activation of the domestic guest. I honestly don’t know what to expect.
The CNTB launched a global campaign for key foreign markets, but not for the Croatian market. As for Cro cards, they were not intended as a measure to help tourism in an emergency situation, so this measure should not be seen as such. But as the whole project was ready, MINT decided to go with it. Unfortunately, at the moment, it will not have any impact on the market, because it is certain that in the private sector, where jobs and business will be saved, they will not pay money to Crokartica. But on the other hand, the public sector could generate some spending, which is again a political decision. Certainly the efficiency of the whole project should be looked at over a longer period, not through this year, where nothing is normal.
The domestic guest must be a base for fasting and before the season, and especially for continental and rural tourism
The fact is that we are neglecting the domestic guest again. Especially in the pre- and post-season.
Will that be a mistake? I’m afraid he will, not only now in this situation, but we are generally neglecting the potential of the home guest. The domestic guest must be a base for fasting and before the season, and especially for continental and rural tourism. This could be seen in the crowds at NP Krka and NP Plitvice last week.
Of course, one should be aware that a domestic guest generally does not have as much financial power due to low salaries. When we talk about price policy, the market is always the best regulator, which can be seen at current prices, both hotel and private accommodation, where prices are on average at a flat rate estimated at about 20-30%.
But we don’t even have a created habit, especially for continental and rural tourism, when we talk about a domestic guest. This crisis has just created an opportunity that rural and continental tourism could not even dream of, because it has created a great demand for just such content, as well as weekend travel. But now it is necessary to position itself and offer an almost tourist product. Like everything, one needs to engage in development, encourage and create a habit for domestic travel, and certainly how Cro cards can play one important role in the future. But again, not as a stand-alone project, but through a broader platform for activating the domestic market.
In any case, we can learn a lot from Slovenia. Although this analysis only superficially scratched the topic, the fact is that Slovenia has done much more to activate the domestic guest, while we are still waiting.