Question :
Hi There,I own a Cycle tour company called Kiwi Journeys where we offer bike hire, tours and  transport on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail and the West Coast Wilderness Trail.We have a great business and were have a very good year until covid. The past 3 years have been tough with cyclones, fires and now covid. I’m not one to usually reach out but a friend suggested Manaaki to seek some help. Half of our business is, or was international. so we need to try and survive on domestic clients. My main concerns are surviving which I’m quite anxious about, keeping my top staff, marketing as I can’t see past social media and newsletters. We have debt so loaning more money isn’t an option. Would love to chat and if possible get some help with marketing and website feedback.Many thanks, Andrew

Question submitted 25/05/20 @ 10:31am
Industry: Tourism
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      Morena Andrew – good on for your friend and for you reaching out! There are so many other tourism businesses like you in this situation. Domestic and maybe Australia are going to be our hope going forward. I often think about when selecting which region and which activity to do, how do I find out information about my choices? If you think about this, and then think how can I influence these people when they are thinking about planning their trips to the region?

      They google – what are your rankings like?
      They look at videos and other content – what content can you build up about the tours, the experiences that you share and build up followers?
      Do you have connections back to your past customers who loved their experience – could you ask them for feedback that you could use in your testimonials and/or social sharing? Could they come back for an experience and you give them something else on top of that – and/or could they recommend any people from their network who are coming to the region?
      Partnering with other operators – has this worked in the past, could you look at this now for helping each other?

      I hope others might come onto the chat and take a look at your site – and maybe even your Google Rankings – @richard-conway

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      Kia ora Andrew,

      Good on ya for reaching out on Manaaki! Just further to Andy’s advice, a few thoughts:

      – Absolutely take a look at all your channels to domestic market. Your own website, social media, RTO listings, iSites, partnerships etc. They may be different than your inbound channels – so worth a detailed review. If you

      – You can attempt to grow domestic visitors – but you could also look at increasing your $/visitor spend. For example: Is it possible to package rides with food/wine experience by partnering with some businesses on that Great Taste Trail?

      – Is there an opportunity to target the local Nelson/Marlborough community with guided tours too – maybe targeting interest groups (foodies, history/heritage buffs, nature interest).

      If you can survey your previous domestic visitor base you may come up with some nuggets.

      Happy to chat if you want to. Just find me on linkedIn.

      Kia kaha!

    • Up

      Hi Andrew – Some great suggestions from Andy and Peter. A few additional thoughts for consideration:

      1. Your TourismNZ listing – wondering if this should be adjusted to focus more on content for the domestic market. With the current ad showing tours starting at $299 per person, it may scare off the domestic market. Perhaps another one of your tours might be more appropriate as an eye catcher to grab interest. You can then upsell them.

      2. Facebook Look-a-like Ads – Do you have email addresses for your previous domestic visitors? If so, you can feed this in to Facebook and create a target audience similiar to the previous customers. It’s quite effective.

      3. Google Adwords – You may want to set up some re-targeting ads so once someone visits your site, you can market to them on other sites across the web. This will help maintain your presence top of mind.

      4. Live Chat – You may want to have a more prominent Chat function on the site that really pops when visitors come on. It’s a bit recessive at the moment. Would have thought if you can engage directly with potential customers, you can then sell them on to your product. Also, as an aside, you may want to look at your live chat functionality timings. I just visited it at 3:30pm and was asked to leave a message as it says “We are not online at the moment, our live chat hours are 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.”

      5. Existing customer analysis – do you have data on your previous NZ customers? Would be great to understand the types of market segments, as that can help you target your marketing messages, offers, and campaigns more specifically to those who may want your product.

      6. Network with other cycle operators in other parts of the country to see how they are getting on, and swap notes on what’s working and what isn’t. Everyone is in the same boat and now is the time where the communities are all helping one another.

      Food for thought. Kia kaha.

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