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Tactical Sales Initiatives and Online Sales in the Cyprus Travel Sector

Ayia Napa, 22-23 May 2018

Introduction |  Background |  Agenda Day 1 |  Agenda Day 2

 

Navigator Consulting, in association with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry, are pleased to announce a training programme on Tactical Sales Initiatives and Online Marketing in the Cyprus Travel Sector.

The training will take place in Ayia Napa on May 22-23, 2018 at the Alion Hotel in Ayia Napa. Consultancy visits will also be arranged with each participating company. The training will be led by Philip Ammerman.

The seminar costs are covered by the Human Resources Development Authority for eligible participants. For further information, please contact:

Mr. Christos Tanteles
Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tel. 22-889-840
Email: christos@ccci.org.cy

Mr. Philip Ammerman
Navigator Consulting Group
Email: info@navigator-consulting.com

 

Introduction

This programme addresses the complexity and challenges of customer segmentation, online marketing and inventory management for Cyprus hotelliers and travel agents.

In an increasingly challenging sector, Cypriot travel providers much develop a much more segmented and tailored approach towards marketing. This includes:

  1. The identification of customer segments and micro-segments based on customer location and demographics; holiday opportunities; and unique selling propositions;

  2. The definition of special offers tailor-made towards specific segments;

  3. Direct marketing towards segments, supported by social media and content marketing;

  4. Campaign monitoring, continual innovation and adaptation.

Today, the technology exists online to market directly at relatively low cost. This 2-day training programme will cover some of the most important issues in tourism marketing today, including:

  • Capturing customer data and developing segmented databases

  • Developing high-impact newsletter marketing using Mailchimp

  • Effective Facebook advertising, including retargeting and lead marketing

  • Improving direct online sales via better special offers

  • Improving online sales funnel performance and user / customer experience.

The focus of the training is on developing and deploying cost-effective tools that lead to measurable and tangible results.

Consultancy visits will also be arranged with each participating company. The training will be led by Philip Ammerman.

The seminar costs are covered by the Human Resources Development Authority for eligible participants. For further information, please contact:

Mr. Christos Tanteles
Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tel. 22-889-840
Email: christos@ccci.org.cy

Mr. Philip Ammerman
Navigator Consulting Group
Email: info@navigator-consulting.com

 

Introduction |  Background |  Agenda Day 1 |  Agenda Day 2


Background

The Cyprus Tourism Sector faces three key challenges:

  1. Overcapacity of Supply: The majority of Cyprus tourism arrivals take place from June – September of each year. Incoming tourism numbers have been largely stable over the past 15 years and have not kept up with the increase in hotel bed capacity. Over six months of the year feature very low occupancy and limited flight access.

  2. Disintermediation: The rise of the internet and online travel agencies (OTAs) or airlines such as Booking.com, Ryanair or Aegean has seen key revenue streams for hotels, travel agents and tour operators fall. Travel consumers are internet-savvy: they are perfectly able to select and compare fares using direct providers or aggregators such as Skyscanner.net.

  3. Declining Terms of Trade: The commoditisation of travel means that Cypriot tourism companies face declining prices and margins, as well as a shift in bargaining power from themselves towards other trade channels. Given the rising cost base in Cyprus, this means that tourism service providers must work harder each year to break even.

In this environment, Cypriot tourism providers must manage their inventory and pricing carefully. Whether this is a room night or a seat on a departing flight, Cypriot hotels and travel agents must engage more frequently and more regularly in tactical sales offers to attract business, particularly in the low and shoulder season.

Tactical sales initiatives can be grouped around a number of targeted outcomes:

  1. Managing occupancy or “inventory”. Typical tactical initiatives include selling room nights during the low season; national holidays; filling mid-week hotel nights; developing successful excursions or package tours, etc.

  2. Managing customer loyalty: Rewarding repeat customers by offering them special discounts in exchange for repeat business.

  3. Managing different customer segments: Special offers for repeaters, regenerating lost accounts, VIP sales, golfers, long stayers, etc.

  4. Selling alongside regional events: Paphos Triathlon; Paphos Opera; Limassol Carnival

Experience from consultancy assignments indicates that there are several problems with the way special offers are currently generated in the Cyprus travel sector:

  1. Offers are undifferentiated: The same special offer is sent to all customer segments, irrespective of place of origin, previous consumer behavior, flight availability or language.

  2. Offers do not include sufficient value:  While many hotels or other providers offer a “10% early booking discount”, this discount is not of sufficient interest for many tourists to make the reservation. This is also insufficient given the vast difference between low season and high season costs.

  3. Offers are not based on a proper cost analysis: Most hotels or providers see the top-line discount as strong value. They ignore the real cost analysis of such a discount, or alternative offers which may have higher value for customers. A good example of this is the half-board special offer, or the sea view room upgrade offer. The actual costs of offering this per guest are rarely calculated either in terms of variable or real costs, or in terms of opportunity costs.

  4. Offers are typically defined prior to booking and departure. Very little is done to offer tactical sales initiatives within the property during the guest occupancy.

  5. Roles and responsibilities are diffused. For instance, many receptionist staff have a higher benefit on special offers (such as car rental or excursion sales) than to the hotel owners.

  6. The Cypriot market is often ignored. While many hotels target Cypriot customers or expat residents in Cyprus, they do not do so in terms of active promotion, but do so in the same way they target foreign tourists. This leads to very low results.

  7. Offers are often incomprehensible: Most hotelliers, for instance, provide a special offer using trade terms such as “supplements”, “BBT”, etc. These are often so difficult to understand, that a customer has to telephone and ask for clarifications. This in turn reduces the impact of emails, billboards or other promotional methods.

 

Introduction |  Background |  Agenda Day 1 |  Agenda Day 2

 

Training Agenda Day 1

Defining, Costing and Communicating Tactical Sales Initiatives

 

Registration
08:30-08:45  

Introduction: Disintermediation, Occupany and Competition in the Cyprus Travel Sector
08:45 – 09:00

 

Twenty Winning Sales Initiatives in the Travel  Sector 
09:00 – 10:50

We will review twenty strategies for using tactical sales initiatives. Each initiative will be explained and demonstrated using case studies.

  1. Discounting: OTA / Channel Specials

  2. Discounting: Daily Deal Websites

  3. Discounting: Direct Online

  4. Supplements: Half Board / Full Board

  5. Supplements: Room Upgrades

  6. Supplements: In-Resort Credit

  7. Supplements: Spa Treatments

  8. Supplements: Lessons or Activities

  9. Customer Segments: Children Stay Free

  10. Customer Segments: Loyalty Upgrades

  11. Customer Segments: Loyalty Free Stays

  12. Customer Segments: Regenerate Lost Accounts

  13. Customer Segments: Group Offers

  14. Time Planning: Mid-Week Specials

  15. Time Planning: Weekend Specials

  16. Time Planning: Seasonal Specials and Low-Season Offers

  17. Time Planning: Long Stay Offers

  18. Time Planning: Holiday Specials

  19. Time Planning: Selling Events

  20. Other Promotions

 

Morning Coffee Break
10:50 – 11:05

 

Calculating the Cost and Revenue of Service, Part 1
11:05 – 12:45

Providers tend to see special offers in a single dimension—filling occupancy—rather than in terms of costs of service. In this module, we will review different forms of calculating the cost of service. When viewed in this light, the real costs and benefits of a special offer or other tactical initiative become clear.

Methodology 1: Cost per Day

Methodology 2: Cost per Staff Hour

Methodology 3: Cost per Meal Upgrade

Methodology 4: Cost per Room Upgrade

 

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch Break

 

Calculating the Cost and Revenue of Service, Part 2

13:45 – 15:00

Methodology 5: Cost per Child Supplement

Methodology 6: Cost per Free Stay

Methodology 7: Cost per Free Spa Treatment

Methodology 8: Cost per Free Car Rental

Methodology 9: Cost per Free Lesson

Methodology 10: Cost per Third-Party Referral

 

15:00 – 15:15 Afternoon Coffee Break

 

Consumer Segmentation and Targetting
15:15 – 17:15

  • Definition of Customer Segments and Micro-Segments

  • Quantification of Micro-Segments

  • Determination of Value and Image by Segments

  • Quantification of Sales Success and Conversion Rates

  • Media and Communications Channels

  • Other Forms of Selling

 

Introduction |  Background |  Agenda Day 1 |  Agenda Day 2

 

Training Agenda Day 2

Online Marketing, Communication and Promotion

 

Tourism Promotion on Facebook, Part 1
08:45 – 10:45

Facebook is rapidly transforming into one of the most cost-effective tools for tourism marketing. This module explores Facebook marketing techniques for the tourism sector, and includes:

  • Generic posting and management requirements

  • Gaining Likes and followers

  • Managing online comments

  • Vouchers and events

  • Advertising formats

  • Retargetting / remarketing

  • Facebook lead generation

Morning Coffee Break
10:45 – 11:00

 

Tourism Promotion on Facebook, Part 2
11:00 – 12:45

  • Claiming and Managing your FourSquare Page

  • Developing travel incentives, competitions and vouchers using PageModo

  • Developing travel incentives and competitions using Side Stack

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch Break

 

Direct Travel Marketing Using MailChimp
13:45 – 15:30

 

  • Exporting Guest Data and Contacts

  • Consolidating and Cleaning Contacts

  • Segmenting Contacts Offline

  • Uploading Contacts and Creating Segmented Lists

  • Developing and Scheduling Tactical Sales Offers

  • Measuring Results

Afternoon Coffee Break
15:30 – 15:45

 

Analytics and Campaign Management
15:45 – 17:00

  • Measuring results across the online value chain

  • Newsletter opens and clicks

  • Social media referrals and special offer take-ups

  • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

  • Landing page performance

  • Online sales performance

 

Conclusions and Closing
17:00 – 17:15

 

Introduction |  Background |  Agenda Day 1 |  Agenda Day 2

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