The internet and other forms of technology are changing the shape, size and meaning of almost everything around us. The tourism industry is no exception. Whereas tourist operators used to rely upon glossy paper brochures and the whiteness of the teeth of the glamorous sales girl behind the counter of the high street travel agency, this is no longer the case as tourist operators and airlines now rely on forms of advertising which many of us still do not know about.
Nowadays, blogging, search engine optimization and email marketing are far more important than the smile that greets you in a major travel agency or the amount of semi-naked bodies on the front of the latest shining brochure. Search engine optimization refers to how search engines such as google.com or yahoo.com prioritize certain companies. This is based on how well the sites of travel companies manage to incorporate typical so-called key words into their sites. This is deemed to be a vital factor as very few search engine users ever go beyond the first page of results. Coming up first on Google’s list is nowadays far more important than the difference between being situated in a back-street alley or slap bang in the middle of the high street.
A similar stress has been placed on the importance of blogging. This is a portmanteau of web log and is basically a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. This method has been singled out as the ideal way of carrying out research, improving products and services and getting customers involved in the company yet without the hassle of carrying out surveys. The importance of this new method has even led to the world’s first ever travel industry blogging summit being recently held in at the PhoCusWright Conference, Orlando.