The way Visitors makes choices for Travel to Guatemala is changing for the good.
85% of Travelers making Travel plans about Guatemala Travel do so on-line. How the Guatemala Travel audience by country of Traveler origin is broken down will surprise most in the Guatemala Travel industry.
Today the talk in major Guatemalan Tourism Markets such as Antigua Guatemala for example is that Tourism and Guatemala Travel in general is down, not true. The problem Antigua Guatemala faces is two fold, an oversupply of product and poor use or implementation of web sites representing Hotels, Hostels, Restaurants, Tour Operators and Bars. With 167 Hotels listed in Antigua Guatemala according the Guatemalan Embassy only 61 have web sites. Of those 61 only 11 offer any form of on-line booking service which in most cases is through travel giant Expedia.
Further to the problem of Antigua Guatemala is the fact that web sites that do exist feel they need to be in Spanish. Hardly the right thinking when 61% of the travel audience considering travel to Guatemala only speak English. Guatemala Tourism Operators appear to Lack the understanding that Advertising in local market publications and other forms of print marketing is targeted after the customer has arrived not prior.
Today 85% of the traveling public have already made the choices of places to visit in Guatemala before they ever board the air plane. Most if not all of the Guatemala Travel decisions are made from on-line search results that present information about Guatemala Travel which is another problem. Web sites that appear to be information sites about Guatemala Travel are often not that at all. Those that are about Travel information for Guatemala are cluttered with Banner Ads. All which scare the buying public away.
Woman make most of the decisions about travel for the family, couples or alone. Woman do the on-line research, offering information to the travel partners joining them on the Guatemala Travel adventure they have planned. Research indicates in the category of Vacation Rental Property in Guatemala and in Antigua Guatemala that most companies with web sites offering travel and Vacation Rental Properties answer inquires from potential customers less then 2% of the time. In fact of the largest real estate operators in all of Guatemala will not respond to an e-mail inquiry.
Now for the part about how Guatemala Travel planning is changing for the Global Consumer interested in Travel to Guatemala. A private group based in Toronto Canada has deployed a series of sophisticated web sites covering Guatemala Travel. The sites are made up of original content, photography and videos covering the beauty of Guatemala explained from a visiting travelers real experiences of Travel in Guatemala. The group understand the internet and have conducted extensive research into the most searched on-line terms humans would use to find information about Travel to Guatemala using search engines like Google. After only 6 months one of the groups on-line Vacation Rental Properties is the top rated property in all of Guatemala on Trip Advisor.
The group LJC operates web sites that cover Travel Central America, Guatemala Travel, Guatemala Travel Packages, Guatemala Vacation Property, Lake Atitlan Travel Guide, Where is Antigua Guatemala, Guatemalan Food, Guatemala Restaurant Guide, Social Media use for Travel, and Guatemalan Fashion. The sites have no ads and only focus on content driven information which attracts readers, followers and the buying consumer for Travel to Guatemala.
How big has LJC grown in controlling or potentially controlling all information presented about Guatemala Travel on-line? In 6 short months the LJC Guatemala Travel Network of sites covers interest from travelers in 6 Continents, 80 Countries and 1,096 Cities with a Social Media audience estimated at 357,000 and growing at a rate of 60,000 new followers ever month. In one Social Media site alone LJC is presented to an audience greater then 20 Million.
LJC has entering the second stage of this deployed Guatemala Travel Network the family of sites are enabled to take and process real time Travel Hotel Reservations, Book Tours, arrange transportation and offer Vacation Rental Properties. LJC also covers all of Guatemala not Antigua Guatemala alone. Strategic partnerships with supplier affiliates enabled LJC to promote and supply services in Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, Monterrico, Rio Dulce and Livingston Guatemala. The affiliates on this Guatemala Travel Network are the suppliers of travel services for all of Guatemala. The suppliers of Travel Services pay only when product is booked and paid for. Affiliates are hand selected.
What about INGUAT?
INGUAT has deployed or attempted new web sites including Visit Guatemala. Currently based in Guatemala City and its jurisdiction extends throughout the country. It is also the highest authority on tourism in the country and representing Guatemala at similar institutions in other countries and to international organizations in the industry. Must also promote inbound tourism and domestic. That said INGUAT has had many issues to overcome. Changing direction and directors ever 6 months has left the Guatemala Travel industry without support for those in the Guatemala Travel Sector.