Tourism starts 2023 with good vibes, after a deeply uncertain period marked by the coronavirus strike and a certified revival in 2022. Last year, companies in the sector generated almost €160 billion in GDP, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. This optimistic climate allows the companies’ communication teams to move away from crisis frameworks and now focus on new messages adapted to the new times, demands and challenges.
This week Madrid has become the capital of tourism with the Fitur fair, where 755 exhibitors from 131 countries have the opportunity to communicate their different proposals, in many cases, under a plan developed by communication agencies specialised in the sector.
One of these, which is taking on more responsibility at the fair, is Munka Comunicación & Marketing, as 14 of its clients are exhibiting there, such as Turismo de Lisboa, Turismo de Egipto, Turismo de Túnez, Intermundial or Mesa del Turismo.
Its founder and director, Sara Díez, explains that all the actions developed at the event seek to “contribute to the positioning of brands in the market. However, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate oneself from the competition and for this reason, we are committed to strategies that include actions not only in traditional media, but also on the main digital platforms and social networks.
On the other hand, Díez assures that “the pandemic has given us a break to bet on the resumption of events, essential scenarios to publicise the services and the main advantages of the brands through their representatives”.
The new tourism scenario requires its communication architects to look for new formulas, beyond reaching the target public. In Díez’s opinion, “from now on the challenge will be to turn users into the great prescribers of our brand”.
Another of the agencies with a lot at stake these days at IFEMA is the Barcelona-based Alfabetiko Promotourist, which manages the communication of more than a dozen exhibitor clients such as CATA (Tourism of Central America and the Dominican Republic), Tourism of Costa Brava, Israel, Panama and Peru.
At Fitur, the agency is working on organising presentations of new products at the different destinations, managing meetings with leading tour operators and agents, such as travel agencies, tour operators and airlines, and meetings with journalists.
Its general manager, Eduard Moret, believes that “communication plays a fundamental role in the entire value chain” and that the main challenges in this regard are “knowing how to innovate, adapt and differentiate, not only in content but also in channels and formats, but above all, knowing how to connect and reconnect with our main final target audience”.
The ‘tiktokisation’ of tourism communication
Identifying new communication channels and exploiting them is also the line that Evercom is working on with its two clients in the sector who are exhibiting at the fair -Soltour Travel Partners and TAAG Angola-, who they help to organise round tables or convene journalists for presentations, workshops or meetings with spokespersons.
The director of the Evercom Life Division, Beatriz Doce, recommends “knowing how to make the most of the possibilities offered by the new communication channels and formats to create experiences that generate engagement with users, especially with Generation Z. In the age of content, the tiktokisation of content or the consumption of short videos will continue to consolidate and the industry will have to exploit the possibilities of this type of format in the face of a consumer who already makes purchasing decisions when travelling based on Instagram reels or TikTok videos”.
The Evercom spokeswoman predicts that concepts such as “artificial intelligence, augmented reality or the metaverse will take the tourism offer to a new level in the coming years”, which will condition the way we communicate.
Transparency, coherence and proximity
The Government of Aragon’s stand at Fitur will not leave visitors indifferent this Thursday. In it, people dressed in the period uniforms of Canfranc Estación, the new hotel of Barceló Hotel Group that opens its doors next week, inspired by the historical essence of this emblematic building, will parade along a catwalk.
The hotel group’s communication is managed by Fly me to the Moon. Its director of client services, Laura Santolaya, believes that “hotels, with their communication, must make emotion their new brand standard. The challenge lies in knowing how to transmit how tourism companies adapt to travellers’ demand to make their trips more complete, sustainable and conscious experiences”.
Transparency, coherence, proximity and trust are some of the pillars on which communication in this sector should be based, according to Santolaya.
From yesterday until Sunday, more than 8,500 people will witness colossal stagings whose merit is largely attributable to communication professionals.