What are the new golf destination promotion techniques in 2017?

By: August 9, 2017

Troon International has recently sealed a partnership with leading golf tour operators Golfbreaks.com, Your Golf Travel and golf.extra, to increase visibility and encourage more golfers than ever to venues within its world-class golf course portfolio.

Properties in the UK, Greece, Malaysia and the UAE will benefit as Troon International enhances its presence across all digital, social and offline platforms owned by the aforementioned operators, including the placement within TV advertising, and the delivery of social media campaigns.

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Is there any other way to target the most lucrative golf tourists?

On one hand, it is really obvious to partner with leading online travel agencies like Golfbreaks.com, Your Golf Travel, and golf.extra (I would also add Leadingcourses.com (a golf course review site).). On the other hand, it will be still hard to target on the most valuable golf tourists since you cannot filter their database and users. What I hear from many places that increasing direct online booking is their biggest focus in 2017.

Do we really maximize our online booking engine, email database or even our resort’s mobile application to generate more direct online bookings? Yes, even mobile applications. Some people talk about their mobile as a “butler,” or a “lifeline.” We have to accept the fact that we are living in a mobile-first reality. This is why customers can, among them golf tourists expect from us to address their needs with real-time relevance.

This requires investment in technology to be able to handle these needs. To motivate customers to book directly on our websites their next golf holiday, we should make booking experience a pleasant, quick, and easy one (especially on mobile!!!).

The real challenge for Troon International and its partner golf resorts is to find those moments in the life of the golf tourists when they are looking for an answer/solution/offer. These are the moments to engage with future customers and push them forward in the sales funnelHence, you have to be there, be useful and be quick during those micro-moments.

These “micro-moments” as Google calls them are:

  1. I-want-to-know: Is there any golf resort in Singapore? Is there any Robert Trent Jones designed golf course in XYZ country…if yes then where? Where is the nearest golf resort to Athene?; What is the easiest way to book tee-time/room/etc.?; Is there any PGA professional in the golf club? Etc.
  2. Iwant-to-go: is there any golf tournament in October in The Grove for amateurs?
  3. I-want-to-buy: What is the latest offer at the Westin Hotel in Costa Navarino?; holiday package, tee-time etc.
  4. Iwant-to-do: What can Costa Navarino offer to me in addition to golf?

What I am trying to say is that people will be influenced by many things during their customer journey before they arrive (if they arrive at all) to the above-mentioned websites and their social media channels. Personalized conversations – where you learn about the individual’s needs – can make a much bigger impact on future sales than the interruptive ads.  Marcus Sheridan recommends something very similar in his They Ask, You Answer book.

How can you motivate golf tourists to visit your golf resort?

It just came to my mind that last year KLM had launched its chatbot on Facebook and WeChat to promote ticket sales. Can you imagine that chatbots will be able to replace traditional hotel and golf club booking engines? Connecting the chatbot to the resort’s/golf club’s CRM platform should not be a big issue.

Two years ago, I have already shared with you that Shangri-La Hotels will use Samsung Gear VR headsets across all global sales offices. The hotel group has produced impressive VR videos for over a quarter of their 94 hotels and resorts. Their intention is to give a better understanding to their prospects of the Shangri-La product and experience.

Marriott Hotels was also among the firsts who utilized virtual reality to show their hotels via 2 Teleporters in New York.  I believe VR trips can positively influence real trips. These VR videos can give a much more precise feeling and experience than regular videos that we can find on YouTube or Facebook.

Virtual Reality is not only good for enticing people to choose and visit certain golf tourism destination, but also to explain what they’re going to do and how they’re going to spend their time once they’re there.

Your Turn!

How would you increase the visibility of a golf resort?