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23 Sep 2015

BY Matthew Parsons

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World Routes 2015: There is ‘no magic bullet’ to success when it comes to attracting visitors

How do you attract more passengers and tourists?

That was one of the questions addressed by a senior panel at World Routes.

 

A number of crucial ingredients were put forward although it was stressed that the recipe would be different every time.

 

“There is no magic bullet,” said Tim Jones, general manager, Asia and Strategic Partnerships, Tourism Australia. “You just have to be consistent in everything you do.”

 

Other best practices include measurement and technology, with social media becoming critical to brand and reputation. “People no longer travel, they experience,” said Mari Jo Laborde, chief marketing and sales officer, Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

 

“And social media has become the main channel to share that experience.” Dr Adam Wu, chief operating officer, China Business Network, said that official travel advisories could be even more of an influencer, so a strong relationship with governments is essential to sustainability.

 

Partnerships across the board were deemed to be the key ingredient for success, with airlines, airports, governments and suppliers along the value chain urged to work together to ensure price becomes a secondary consideration.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Mike Cantley, chair of VisitScotland, stressed the huge benefits – economic and social – that arise from a strong tourism sector, pointing to Scottish tourism’s tagline: tourism is everyone’s business.

 

But it was perhaps Michael Manuyakhlu, member of the executive council for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, KwaZulu-Natal, who summed up the situation best: “Visitors must be treated like Kings and Queens,” he said, “wherever they come from.”

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