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Sales and Distribution

Successfully reaching a destination’s visitor market with the necessary information and booking channels is essential in converting intention to visit into actual visitation. The sales and distribution channels used by destination managers have been influenced significantly over the last decade with the rise in internet usage. While traditional methods of sales and distribution such as travel shows, tour wholesalers and travel agents still play a real part in converting potential visitors, the trend toward online conversion has been the focus of much attention in the future of sales and distribution techniques in the tourism industry.Read more
Successfully reaching a destination’s visitor market with the necessary information and booking channels is essential in converting intention to visit into actual visitation. The sales and distribution channels used by destination managers have been influenced significantly over the last decade with the rise in internet usage. While traditional methods of sales and distribution such as travel shows, tour wholesalers and travel agents still play a real part in converting potential visitors, the trend toward online conversion has been the focus of much attention in the future of sales and distribution techniques in the tourism industry.


Research into the development of online sales and distribution channels has shown that:

  • An increasing number of visitors are using the internet for all of their travel planning needs, including information seeking, holiday / route planning and booking transport, accommodation and tourism-related products;
  • Destination Management Tip

    Use of the internet has changed the distribution network but you will still need to work with major partners to avoid being lost in the crowd.

  • The use of 'new media' such as Customer Relationship Management systems, email marketing, IT systems and real-time web reservation services are becoming an increasingly important aspect of marketing and sales;
  • Search engine optimisation and paid online marketing campaigns, website linkages and distribution providers can all help in increasing the exposure of a website;
  • Online booking and reservations systems such as the Discover Tasmania online reservation system, can increase overall bookings if a website is user friendly, regularly updated and search engine optimised;
  • There is an increasing trend towards websites that have user-generated content, allowing consumers to submit their own travel-related content and reviews of travel products and destinations.
  • Websites with user-generated content such as blogs, reviews and social networking can provide potential visitors with information that can influence their decision-making process and destination choice;
  • Evaluating the success of online sales and distribution techniques is important in developing future marketing strategies.

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has undertaken research into the opportunities for consumer-generated web-based content including an analysis of the appropriate development and design of such content pages.

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