Logging on to tourism gain

By Christine Allen

8 comments
POTENTIAL: Northland businesses could be shutting out customers by not having websites and social media pages.
POTENTIAL: Northland businesses could be shutting out customers by not having websites and social media pages.

Have you ever wandered into a store only to leave again, angry and confused, as nobody stepped out to serve you?

That is what some tourists and prospective customers experience when they search for some Northland activities online, according to former Kamo High student Yusuke Inui.

The web marketing guru and managing director of Auckland-based Unleashing Potential is giving two free seminars on social media and web use for business at the Waitangi Copthorne Hotel, Paihia, on September 3.

He says Northland tourism businesses need to log on to the powers of web marketing, especially as the region relies on Google hits for tourism success.

Just this week, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) released figures showing that more than 10 per cent of jobs in the Far North were supported by tourism.

In Whangarei, it's 9.1 per cent and in Kaipara 13.5 per cent of jobs are supported by tourism.

Visitors use online sites to search for things to do, book places to stay and review those places. They share it all on social media and the TIA says there is plenty of room for industry growth. Mr Inui agrees that Northland has untapped potential.

He created his first website when he was 15 while studying at Kamo High School.

Now managing director and senior internet marketing strategist of Unleashing Potential, he says Northland has lagged behind in website development.

"It's a combination of factors. Northlanders are more laid back about marketing, they are old school.

He said users also feared social media sites.

"Not having a Facebook page is a mistake, it's a vital marketing platform.

"Having a Facebook page that you don't update is just as bad."

Hosted by Dive Paihia and the Paihia Business Association, the seminars will focus will be on Google Adwords, search engine optimisation, social media and effective web design.

The seminars run from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and 7pm to 9pm. Seating is limited so early registration is a must by emailing jen@unleashingpotential.co.nz.

- Northern Advocate

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