Being Creative with Google Trends for Tourism

I just came across a link with the Year in Search 2016 in Google Trends. Naturally, I went ahead and filtered the results for the United Kingdom and Italy. I was hoping to find something in the top results that indicated an interest for Greek Tourism. The selection of these two countries was not random. These are the two main incoming tourism markets for my home island of Kefalonia and since a large part of my research uses Google Trends for prediction in Tourism, I was compelled to check it out. Well, I didn’t find something directly related to Kefalonia but with a little creative thinking I realized that several opportunities are sometimes staring at us in the eyes and we are looking the other way. There are the two basic Google Trends results that really got me thinking.

The 2nd most popular search term for 2016  in the recipe section for the United Kingdom is “Greek salad”.

So how can someone in Greece and especially Kefalonia use that result to promote a service or product, even convert interest to new customers. Well this is how:

  • Since the UK is so interested in “Greek Salad” wouldn’t it be a good idea to target them for that Keyword through SEM while on vacation to Kefalonia in the summer? For example, when searching for “restaurants near me”, restaurants could use adwords to show an ad with a  title containing something like”: “We have the best Greek Salad!”. Here, we went from Google’s Yearly search trends to Keyword selection in adwords for restaurants in Kefalonia.
  • Wouldn’t Greek restaurant owners want to know where in the UK people are most interested in “Greek Salad”? This could even be interesting to Greek Olive oil producers since a basic ingredient in Greek salad is Greek Olive oil. Well, Google Trends can tell us that too! Here, Google’s Trend report told us that the UK is interested in “Greek salad” and Greek Olive oil producers could add the UK as one of their most important markets (it actually is but this just confirms the UK as a potential Olive oil consumer).
  • Finally shouldn’t the next Greek tourism video ad campaign in the UK contain the concept of Greek salad? Here, we went from Google’s Trend report to ideas on designing the next Greek video ad in the UK.

The 1st most popular trending term in the vacation category for Italy is “Corfù”.

Corfu (or Kerkyra) is an island in the Ionian island complex (as Kefalonia). What can this Italian search trend tell us?

  • First of all we can conclude that a lot of Italians visit Corfu in the summer, which is true.
  • After looking a bit closer, it seems that the Italian regions of Basilicata, Apulia and Campania are the most interested in Corfu. Shouldn’t these regions be targeted as the regions where Corfu needs to be most advertised next year? And this brings us to the subject of Tourism Exhibitions and how a DMO should choose wisely where to participate. Let’s say there is a Tourism Exhibition in the region of Emilia-Romagna and then another one in the region of Basilicata in Italy. Which one should Corfu choose to promote their island? Isn’t it common sense that they should go to Basilicata? Even more so if they are running on a tight advertising budget. Where do they have more chances of converting interested leads to customers? Basilicata of course! Well, that wasn’t very difficult, was it? Just a look at one (FREE) analytics page on Google Trends and you can get so much in return!

To conclude, I just wanted to make a specific point in this article. My assumptions here are somewhat simplistic and need more data to be proven, but I think I made the point of how useful analytics can be for Tourism. A tourism destination, such as Greece, Corfu or Kefalonia cannot function these days without analytical power. A tourism promotional plan should not just be: Website, SEM, Social media Marketing, Display ads, leaflets and Tourism Exhibitions. Yes, these should all be part of the promotional campaign (…maybe not leaflets)  but the Where, When and Why for each promotional strategy should be powered and based on analytics. Even one page of stats like The Google Yearly Trends report can give us a lot of information. One just has to be knowledgeable about the industry and then add some creative thinking.