As a training on web marketing for regional tourism officers is in the air, I just wanted to take this opportunity to define what I’ d like to be covered for such training. This post will also refer to some interesting online ressource that IMHO every wannabe/confirmed web marketer for tourism should consider.

My point is to raise awareness for the trainees that web marketing is not bounded to having a pretty/flashy website. I anticipate that the trainer will talk about all those techie things that a newbie won’ t even catch; trying to persuade someone who never managed a website that he should be careful on his META tags, or on the way he is writing his articles, or on how he should be careful with all those SEO techniques …By the end of the day, I’ m afraid the trainees will only be more confused than before coming. Let’s hope I’ m wrong.

The other common mistake that I have seen when talking to people who is engaging with having a website is the following: they are all conscious that they should be well-ranked by search engines (sometimes “search engines” meaning “google” and nothing else) … That’ s already a good thing that your website be ranked in Google or other major search engine. But you should be aware that an online strategy is not about setting-up a website that you’ ll renew after two or three years. This is a full-time job- and BTW, please do not make the mistake of trying to have the webmaster who conceived/developed the website feed it. I mean, Madagascar has good webmasters, but feeding content, interacting with visitors, finding/applying new promotions techniques may not be the webmasters’s competencies. You may wish to consider a web-writer/journalist or a communication-specialist.

I also hope that this web marketing training will not only focus on link-exchange techniques, nor on buying banner ads on someone else’s website. My suggestion is to consider those techniques for potential partner site that is showing similar visitors as what you’ re targeting, and preferably, that already have a steady number of visitors.

Now, let’s come back to my favorite topic: I can’ t imagine any web marketing training for tourism operator that does not address Web 2.0 concepts like social media, podcast, blogging, mashing (example mashing Google maps with your circuit)…