We’ve arrived in the middle of Australia. At one of the greatest cultural icons in the world, Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock).
Twenty fours hours in, and we haven’t seen a single ad on Facebook and Instagram from any tour operator here.
They are running. We’ve spoken to them in their booth in the tiny village town centre, which provides services to visitors.
There must be 1000 people or more here as transient visitors, passing through for a couple of days of culture and awe.
Like any other tourism destination, competition for our dollar is fierce. We can choose camel rides, helicopter rides, cycling tours, restaurants, souvenirs, light shows, or doing nothing at all.
Yet not one is advertising to us.
Do you not know that in 10 minutes, you can have an ad set up targeting visitors in your destination today? Specifically to people visiting, not wasting a dollar advertising to locals.
Add in other targeting options like age, behaviours and interests, and you could sell almost anything to anyone here in the middle of nowhere.
Heck, I could sell fly nets here for $10 apiece and make money from Facebook or Instagram Ads.
Come on, people. Be better!
If tourism is all about getting visitors to stay longer and spend more, then who is at fault?
Tourism operators don’t always have the skills, knowledge or experience to execute.
Local Tourism Authorities (LTAs) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs or Destination Marketing Organisations) should be monitoring activity from operators and skilling them up where they fall short.
State Tourism bodies are doing their part (I think). I know this because I’ve been seeing Visit the NT and Visit Queensland ads on Facebook for weeks, and it’s not their role in the ecosystem to skill up operators.
Are you running a regional tourism business?
This lack of execution from your competitors is your opportunity. It’s a land grab for Facebook ads and Instagram Ads, and if you’re reading this, it appears it’s all yours to grab.