Can Content Marketing Combat Overtourism?
This question and answer article was originally featured in ITB Berlin News 2018, Day 1. At ITB Berlin, GLP Films' Rob Holmes led a session entitled ROI Of Storytelling: Dissecting Successful Content Strategies.
Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Rob Holmes, Chief Strategist at GLP Films, expanded on the topic of overtourism and the role the tourism industry must play to avoid "loving our destinations to death":
We’ve entered an era where terms like “overtourism” are now at the forefront of conversations. International tourism is on the rise with no outlook of slowing down, and with that comes the issue of not “loving our destinations to death”.
Our challenge to the travel industry is this: how can we all be part of the solution to ensure the people and places that make up the tourism experience are protected for future generations? At GLP, we are proud to be part of the solution by leveraging marketing strategies as a force for good.
Can you give us an example of a live case study?
Strategic marketing can promote lesser-known alternative areas to better disperse tourists from overcrowded places. In 2012, the number of visitors making the pilgrimage to Machu Picchu, via the Inca Trail, surpassed the one million mark, a massive number of people for this fragile area. The lesser-known and more adventurous Salkantay trek was promoted as a means to better disperse travelers. In partnership with Mountain Lodges of Peru, GLP Films used character-driven storytelling to promote this alternative trek to Machu Picchu. Strategic marketing for the Salkantay Trek campaign led to an 8% increase in sales, which in theory alleviated pressures from the more popular Inca Trail.
What is your message at ITB Berlin?
Focus on target markets that support a destination’s people and places. Studies show that adventure travellers spend more money in the local economy, stay longer, place value in the environment, and seek out authentic experiences. Destinations can benefit more from a smaller number of high quality travellers instead of focusing just on increasing arrivals
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