Where do travelers nowadays get information about the destination? Most people will surely pull out their smartphone and google wildly for it. This is practical and the World Wide Web is an extensive yet up to date information about accommodation, restaurants or travel activities. Most of the time, the results pop up right away, so users don’t even have to leave the Google main page. Destination websites thus seem obsolete and redundant.
“In order to keep up with the pace of digitalization, classical marketing tasks are no longer sufficient today,” says Dr. Guido Sommer, professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Kempten. The big players such as Google are creating new solutions that enable the entire customer journey to communicate with travelers.
“Your own website is becoming less and less important,” says the expert. This also increasingly calls into question the importance of destination websites and tourist offices.
This is despite the fact that the required technologies are actually already available. For example, in the field of outdoor tours, customer service could be increased enormously if real-time data were integrated.
If tour portals can openly access and integrate such data, then their users and guests would also be able to see promptly which routes have been blocked. However, the problem is in the fact that this geodata are often not openly accessible. This is all the more incomprehensible as these data are usually held by state offices, are therefore financed by tax money, and therefore belong to all.
For most regions and cities, destination websites are a must. However, marketing experts suggest that it is necessary to update the content regularly and offer real-time data as much as possible.