Case Study: Southeast Asia Travel Association (SATA)

When the Southeast Asia Travel Association (SATA) determined one of its guiding principles was to drive higher levels of travel and hospitality business on the part of North Americans, the association’s board began researching marketing and public relations firms specializing in travel and hospitality as well as destination marketing. They started with a list of more than 25 agencies based in the United States and Canada. Their detailed vetting process turned up one marketing firm that possessed all of the experience and capabilities they needed to achieve such a massive endeavor- Eberly & Collard Public Relations.

SATA leadership had been struggling with travel and hospitality marketing campaigns for a few years due to the decrease in tourism from North Americans, particularly United States citizens. The association’s members, numbering in the thousands across multiple countries, had experienced a downtick in tourism dollars in the form of vacationers and leisure travelers. They had some sense of rationale behind the decline, but were left with troublesome questions surrounding specific strategy and tactile measures to address the problem. Honored to have been chosen as SATA’s agency of record, this is where Eberly & Collard Public Relations came to the rescue.

How we got there:

Eberly & Collard Public Relations’ market research team took flight immediately to conduct in-depth market research. This uncovered multiple key factors and new insights, affecting the decrease in travel to Southeast Asia. The research studies pinpointed issues and gaps in the ways would-be tourists searched digital content for the world’s and Asia’s top travel destinations, luxury accommodations, airline options, adventure and sightseeing tours, and restaurant and dining choices.

Our extensive research revealed the fact leisure travelers simply were not finding Southeast Asia in primary search results, especially in terms that would entice them to consider planning trips to the amazing countries and cities in the Orient’s Southern realms.

We compiled and developed a comprehensive digital footprint strategy to enhance digital marketing for SATA members. Our staff conceptualized, wrote, documented, and developed guidelines and best practices for the association’s members they could apply as individual travel and hospitality businesses, through micro-member consortiums, and/or directly with the help of our team’s travel destination marketing specialists. More than anything, our creative strategy honed and grew online communications to inform North Americans about the many must-see cities and countries Southeast Asia has to offer, including the businesses that provide incredible hospitality, travel, shopping, dining, art, cultural, historical, and adventure experiences in the region.

Website content optimization, site navigation classification and taxonomy support, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, interactive digital advertising, travel and hospitality publicity, digital newsletters, and social media channels engagement were all put to work to increase hotel reservations, airline bookings, tour company bookings, and overall tourism.

Notable Brands

The Results:

Our travel and hospitality public relations experts generated major results for the Southeast Asia Travel Association and its members, spanning all participating Southeast Asia countries and significant focus kingdoms. We identified key countries as primary marketing concentrations to evoke amplified bookings to the Continent’s Southern locales. Knowing from our studies and interviews of SATA members that Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam held the biggest potential allure for North Americans, we carved out strategies to showcase country-to-country real-life adventures, travel possibilities and luxurious accommodations via the web.

After assessing select SATA members’ reservation processes and conduits, we created marketing language and tone guide points Southeast Asia travel and hospitality businesses could easily apply to their websites, social media channels, and e-newsletters. Working also on the backend of SEO, our staff added travel-search savvy metatags and meta phrases to the content management systems of SATA members’ websites via Skype and onsite training sessions.

For participating hotels, airlines, fine dining establishments, and even top tour sites and museums, we produced and published Associated Press-style digital press releases to publicize them and online articles with link-backs to their websites. This was coupled with SEO-based blogs, and other forms of content management with key words and phrases to position Southeast Asia as the “go-to” destination for 5- and 6-star accommodations, explaining the luxury travel values as compared to the typical higher cost of a U.S. or Canadian vacation experience.

This helped them appeal to leisure travelers on the internet, leading reservation prospects away from other travel options and back to them through digital marketing campaigns.

Within one year, SATA benefitted from increased reservation results for one-third its member businesses. In two years, travel and tourism was boosted for half of the association’s members. The third year brought increased bookings, reservations and new North American tourism business to more than three-quarters of the members! We were thrilled to literally have helped thousands of hotels, spas, restaurants, tour companies, booking agents, airlines, transportation sources, and other travel and hospitality businesses improve click-through rates, leading to confirmed travel and reservations.

Contact us to help you solve your travel and hospitality marketing needs, and book your flight to Southeast Asia. You will be amazed by both!