New Zealand Tourism Online October newsletter for 2007. Our October travel and tourism newsletter contains information regarding email spam filters, direct bookings with BookIt and New Zealand Tourism Online, writing copy specifically for the Web and more.

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Newsletter : October 2007

brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Online www.tourism.net.nz

NZTO Comment

by Garry Bond, General Manager, New Zealand Tourism Online

After working for the last 6 years at New Zealand Tourism Online, I hadn't had a holiday longer than 2 weeks. This year I thought I'll actually take some time off - so I did. For the month of September I travelled to the USA, Canada and Fiji. As a traveller I got to experience what other people look for when they opt to visit New Zealand. My thought patterns went something like this:

- I want to go somewhere warm
- I want to go to a new place and see different things
- I want to see as much as I can
- I need it to be within my budget (have a friend in Canada so accommodation sorted!)

As I was travelling alone, I decided a tour was the best bet. Let someone else do the driving. After online investigations about destinations, attractions, facts and figures, I booked accommodation, airport shuttles and airfares online. Very easy and it all went without a hitch - I even found the shuttle man in a red cap outside LA Airport. I must say though that the quality of most of the New Zealand Web sites is probably better that those in the USA and Canada. Maybe it's the competition here but for a traveller a nice site makes you feel more comfortable when making a booking decision.

Besides customs being very rigorous, getting used to tipping, long periods of time travelling in the coach, the experience was enjoyable. The vastness of the USA and Canada makes you really appreciate why travellers to this country can see so much contrast and get to where they want to go in a pretty short space of time. Two days driving through the desert doesn't really do it for me and you even get your burger quicker at a McDonalds here than you do in the USA (although seeing Elvis in the queue in Las Vegas was pretty weird). Another thing I couldn't get used to was the sheer number of people and the long queues to get to the popular places. Tourist prices weren't that cheap either but you could get a really good deal on a gun at WalMart.

Overall it makes you appreciate what New Zealand has to offer. Sometimes we forget this and take it for granted. We shouldn't.

SPAM FILTERS

Have you noticed a reduction in the number of emails you are receiving? Or perhaps an important email hasn't arrived in your inbox yet? If so, then you could be one of thousands of people who are having their valid emails filtered out and put in the spam box. The one mostly in the news lately is the Yahoo!Xtra Bubble issue. Maybe you need to check. We have found several clients who have not been getting accommodation enquiry or booking emails due to the filter system.

We have put together a Web page which gives you an overview of how to check and we strongly suggest you do so or you could be losing business. Click here for more info.

New Booking Function

With several hundred tourism operators opting to add a direct booking function to their listing on the www.tourism.net.nz site, the question is—why not join them and get your share of bookings?

This booking function is fully integrated into our site. It provides the ability for travellers (domestic or international) to book right now.

The setup is free and you only pay a commission on confirmed bookings only.

Here's 12 points for you to consider.

  1. Booking Button: You will have a "Make a Booking" button added to your listing
  2. Compare and Book: You will be included as part of the "Compare Rates" function within your region and category
  3. Cross Marketing: We can cross market your business, for example, someone who is interested in a rental car can also be offered accommodation options and visa versa
  4. Packages: We have the ability to construct "packages", for example, you could be part of a "3 Day Escape to Nelson" package
  5. Reduced Risk: Reduces the risk of losing a booking from customers ready to book now
  6. Bookings: Generate confirmed sales from international and domestic travellers
  7. Product: Additional exposure and details for your product offering, including availability and pricing
  8. Profile: Be a profiled operator on our site with a booking capability
  9. Save Time: Saves you time and effort by not having to deal with enquiries regarding availability
  10. Timely Information: Provides immediate information to customers, anytime of the day or night

New Feature

A 'Make a Booking Search' function has been added to the home page (under Air NZ Fare Finder) to allow travellers quick access to those operators with the booking option. This makes it easy for travellers wanting to book immediately.

Yes I'm Interested

Want more info including commission rates? Please email us now.

Want to join? Simply click here to apply online. We recommend the Enhanced Booking Package which at 12% commission provides excellent coverage on our site (including adding you into our Direct Booking directory).

The sooner you apply, the sooner we can get you up and running.

PS: Thanks to all of you who have already applied. Many of you are now live here and the rest are being processed.

Audio Visual Clip Update

Air Fiordland sample audio visual clipWe now have over 280 tourism operators with an multimedia audio visual clip and a new directory was created to promote these within the www.tourism.net.nz Web site. You will gain extra exposure here. Take a quick look.

The Audio Visual clips currently are viewed over 15,000 times per month. That's excellent exposure!

We have also linked this directory to our home page side menu and to our Visitor Information section for additional coverage.

Note: As these have been so popular, Yellow Pages now also have a version of this that will be marketed to the 200,000 odd businesses across the country. The price will however be $495 + GST but as existing clients, we will continue to hold our price at $395 + GST for as long as we can.

This product is geared entirely towards helping you convert “lookers into bookers”.

Click to view audio visual clipThis audio visual product is designed to be cost effective and compelling, with the images and sound combination really helping liven up your site visitors experience. The audio visual attaches to your listing on our site and includes button options and links so you can use it on your own Web site or in emails to your customers!

Key Features

  • Low cost
  • Fast loading
  • Communicate key messages and images in a focused format
  • Suitable for both small and larger tourism operators across all market sectors
  • Very appealing to your potential customers with additional conversion opportunities
  • Professionally recorded soundtrack of your key messages
  • Excellent selection of background music
  • Enhance your NZTO listing, see Air Fiordland listing example - Media Clip link
  • Enhance your NZTO Web page if you have one, see Air Fiordland Web page example - Details Box
  • Add to your own Web site after we supply you with button and text options
  • Include it in your own emails to potential customers

BONUS DEAL

You'll get all of this for just NZ$395 + GST for the 1st year and NZ$195 + GST for subsequent years. Includes:

- Professional multimedia audio visual clip
- Personalised code and button so you can add it to your own Web site and in your emails
- Listing in the audio visual directory on http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/featured-media.html

BONUS
- Listing on the specialised tourism multimedia audio visual Web site (under construction) worth NZ$195 + GST (click here for a sneak preview)

You guys have done Ko Tane proud. I'm really happy with the clip, but most of all the pronunciation of Maori words is excellent.

Dave Brennan, Ko Tane, Christchurch

Get your order in now! Contact your tourism consultant or our specialist AV product Manager Mike Kaye on 0800 14 65 54 for more information.

Business Centre

Have you looked lately? There is extensive information available in the business centre from sustainable tourism and Web tools to tourism information and links.

There is also an extensive range of advertising options available for those wishing to start marketing on the www.tourism.net.nz Web site or those who wish to gain greater coverage using special and often exclusive feature spots.

Writing Copy FOR THE WEB

It's easy to believe that someone's going to sip tea, curl up with a laptop on a couch, and look through your Web site for a while. If people are visiting your site, they're are there for a reason. As much care and love as we might put into writing nice copy, the truth is that most visitors won't actually read it. In reality, they'll probably scan it for a few seconds to see if it's what they're looking for, and move on if it's not.

Create Visual Order

Creating a consistent visual order throughout your site gives your readers visual ideas as to the importance of various elements by using color, contrast, size, and relative placement. Working with a designer at this stage can be worth while.

Easy on the Eyes

Don't tire the visitors eyes with small type, bad color combinations and wide columns. Conventional print convention tells us to use serif fonts for body copy and sans-serif for headlines, but do look around at other site to give you a few idea's about what you like as well. Remember one thing though—you can specify any font in your Web pages, but people will only see the fonts that are actually installed on their computers. For this reason, use commonly installed fonts like Verdana or Arial.

Intro Paragraph

You should look at including an introduction paragraph to each page. This summarises what each page is about. It doesn't need to be long but remember that site visitors can land on any internal page from a search engine and they need to know they are in the right place.

Headlines can Build Interest

Though you may feel you've spent a lot of time fine tuning your Web copy, it's time to go a step further and give your paragraphs a heading. Your first aim is to summarize content, but if you can tease interest, that's even better. Why not ask a question to be answered by the subsequent paragraph? And don't forget to include keywords in the headings to help with search engine rankings.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like many art forms, writing effective Web copy is a skill that grows with use. You don't have to change your site's copy all at once. Start with your most visible pages especially the home page and work your way through the rest of your site applying these principles. Creating an easy-to-scan Web site enables visitors to find what they're looking for, read what's most important, and get further into your site before making that all important decision to send an enquiry, call or book.

We welcome any feedback — send your comments to: news@tourism.net.nz

Regards,

The Team
Ph 0800 14 65 49
www.tourism.net.nz
New Zealand Tourism Online Limited
Head Office: 179 Tuam Street, Christchurch

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