• Leveraging RTO data for operators

For years, savvy RTOs have been using digital marketing to drive awareness and preference for their destination.

But unlike a tourism operator using digital to sell direct, it’s always been difficult for RTOs to measure the dollar value of their marketing spend – until now.


New Zealand RTOs


Digital for Destinations
Paid Media

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Leveraging website users to drive operator conversions

Visitors to destination websites – whether they are reaching the site organically, or as a result of campaign work – show high intent to travel to the region. They’re looking at a destination website to get a feel for the region; explore the experiences on offer and research the types of itineraries that show off all the things they want to see on holiday. As they move through dreaming and in to planning, it becomes more and more likely that a user will eventually commit to travel to the destination they’re considering.

In digital speak, a visitor showing this kind of high intent is absolute gold for tourism operators. They’re pre-qualified and they are actively interested in a holiday to the destination the operator is based in.


Turning destination website data in to gold

Collaborating with Tairāwhiti Gisborne since Spring 2021, the Maverick Digital team set up various retargeting ad campaigns for Tairāwhiti operators that leverage the data from visitors exploring the www.tairawhitigisborne.co.nz site. Because these visitors are already interested in the Tairāwhiti Gisborne holiday proposition, when they see one of these ads they are highly likely to click through to the operator website and go on to make a booking.

Essentially, all of the hard work is done for the operator; they are able to get their value proposition in front of the highly engaged audience of their RTO’s site. The hard work of prospecting and pre-qualifying is already done, and all that is left is the conversion.

Helping operators see direct ROI from their RTOs marketing

Through excellent tracking, RTOs are able to measure the revenue that operators are seeing directly from this activity – down to the cent! On average, ROI across the campaign has been 8:1, with some operators achieving a return of 20:1; a phenomenal result considering the bulk of this activity has been taking place during the COVID pandemic.

Agile and cost-effective

For the RTO, the impact of this is two-fold. Tairāwhiti Gisborne has been able to measure the results of this work (the revenue amount that their operators are seeing in bookings), but they are also helping to show them the value of digital while upskilling their operators at the same time. Being digital, the campaign and the various operator creatives are highly agile; testing, learning and refining what messaging works best is easy. Operators can be added or removed as needed to better support any in-market campaigns. The activity is also able to be run as ‘BAU’ because of its remarketing nature – only targeting people who have engaged with the website so it’s impossible to waste money during the off-season.

For RTOs itching to drive more tangible value to their operators and be able to report real impact from marketing investment for stakeholders, this concept is a game-changer.

“This program allows us to prove the actual operator booking revenue of our investment in marketing the Tairāwhiti region. Clicks and impressions have taken a back-seat as measurement tools. Now success is measured by asking: What is the value of the bookings our operators saw via the sharing of user data from this piece of activity?”

– Holly Hatzilamprou, Acting GM Tourism, Trust Tairāwhiti

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