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E-tourism_CRMMaintaining, Strengthening and Building Relationships

CRM is the total of all the continuous business processes that allow us to record, understand and meet the needs of customers. It is about highly defined procedures, not software, although the software is vital in carrying out the procedures. CRM is also a point of view: that the customer comes first in a marketer’s thinking, not the product.

The main CRM objectives of businesses are usually customer retention, customer acquisition, and improving brand awareness. Customers use a variety of offline and online media. They use search engines, check websites, make telephone calls, read brochures, papers and magazines, watch TV, listen to the radio, look at posters, go to exhibitions, open mail shots, and may even walk into your office. Online may be a major part of their lives, or a small part, or no part at all. Cross-media CRM should therefore be a key part of your business processes and the ICT systems that support them.

CRM is:
• Customer data capture (customer acquisition) including details of transactions, if any
• Analysing the customer data so that it can be actioned (customer knowledge)
• Communicating on an ongoing basis with customers to persuade them to travel (‘customer activation’)
• A unified view of each customer, across all the channels used

The operation of the systems that support these business processes, offline and online, usually resides in the e-marketing team. The non-technical challenges for e-marketing CRM staff are:
• To gain acceptance, by online and offline marketers and customer service staff, of the hard and soft procedures and customer service standards that are necessary
• To provide training and support for them to apply the procedures and maintain their motivation
• To ensure adequate monitoring and feedback of performance

The CRM database fields may need to cover:
• Demographics – such as gender, age group, income, education, size of household, location, and occupation
• Psychographics – such as personality and emotional factors connected with buying patterns; is the purchaser likely to be an impulse buyer, for example?
• Lifestyle – the customer’s choice of leisure and entertainment, interests and hobbies, and holidays
• Lifestage – for example, pre-teens, teens, families with young children, and empty nesters
• Values – for example, cultural and national
• Travel intentions – including when, how, and budget
• Travel group – for example, couple, family, extended family, or interest group
• Contact history – including recency, frequency, email open rate, and amount of address data held
• Occasions – for example, wedding, anniversary, or football match

Some of this data will be explicit – given by the customer and used to tailor the content you provide for them on your website or in your newsletter. Some will be implicit – deduced from their actions as a user of your website or e-newsletter. Do not confront your customers with big forms to fill in. Out of perhaps 50 or 100 possible data fields, your business needs to identify a very few as high priority for information capture. All campaign activity should be designed to acquire these. A key tactic is to ask the customer for a little more each time that contact is made.
etourismfrontiers E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.

To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.

The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Tourism eMarketing.
Destination Management.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Email Marketing.
Website Design & Management.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Web Content.
Content Management Systems.
Online Advertising.

E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.

This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

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Posted in Best practice, Development, Education and qualification, IT, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Sale and marketing, Sustainability.

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