6 Steps of Online Travel Shopping for Belize Resort Hotels

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by

Millions of American and Canadian travelers decide where they will go on vacation by using the Internet to search for hotel websites, read online travel reviews, browse articles about exciting tropical vacation destinations and study what their friends are saying about travel on social media sites like TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and increasingly, YouTube.Belize Travel Planning Search Engines Social Media to Plan Vacation

Belize Resort Marketing can greatly benefit by recognizing how very important your website is in not only attracting visitors to look, but in the art of engaging online travel shoppers to engage so your hotel will make the "short list" of hotels that the traveler will select from to make their Belize Hotel Reservation.

Consumers go through a very specific multi-step process to decide where they want to go and where they will stay once they get to their vacation destination.

At a recent Online Marketing Seminar for Belize Hotel Association members and invited guests, Guest Caye CEO Dan Heimbrock, introduced the idea of an online travel shopper journey which is almost completely focused on how consumer behave as they dream, plan, and ultimately book their dream vacation.

Consider that Internet Marketing Belize websites have been around for 15+ years, and still many hotel websites fail miserably at engaging and converting travel shopper visits into true engagement, captured leads and direct bookings. Dan explained the 6 steps online travel consumers work through to decide what hotel or resort to place their vacation reservation.

Belize Travel Shoppers Take An Online Journey to Discover Belize Resorts  Shoppers first start DREAMING about where they want to take their vacation. They will talk to friends and family, look at travel magazines or destination websites or increasingly watch videos on YouTube about Belize Travel, Belize Vacations, or other Belize Trip topics.

Once the travel shoppers knows where they want to go, they spend time online searching Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines to find hotel websites that match their dream vacation wants and needs. These savvy consumers SEEK a great hotel experience for a great value in their eyes. According to the research done by Google Think Travel, the average shopper will visit 18 hotel websites along with some non-hotel sites related to their vacation destination.

The SEEK behavior is closely followed by SELECT phase, where the travel shoppers sort through their choices to arrive at a "short list" of hotels that get more serious consideration. Each traveler has their own criteria for making their choices, but we know that well-built, complete and easy to navigate websites give certain resort or hotels a real advantage in making the choice cut. TripAdvisor can make a big difference at this phase since shoppers trust other travelers much more than they trust hotel websites alone.

The all-important BOOK phase is one where many Belize Hotels and Resorts fail badly in helping the online travel shopper to feel comfortable making a direct reservation with the hotel. Not only do many hotels in Belize not offer online booking, but those that do mostly use outdated software solutions that make American online shoppers uneasy. In this case, uneasy may mean your hotel loses the sale because it failed to meet the online booking expectations of modern plugged in consumers.

The visitor EXPERIENCE is where so many Caribbean resorts and Belize hotels get very high marks. Nearly all resorts at every level in Belize offer visitors an absolutely fabulous experience – though some do a much better job than others. Delighting your guests from the moment they book your resort is all about communications, and email marketing is the preferred method for North American travel consumers. In fact, 77% say that email is their most preferred communication method to get information from hotels they have booked.

Once the trip is coming to an end, the ability for your guests to SHARE their experience with friends, family and their online digital network begins. Asking every happy guest to write a review on TripAdvisor is obvious, so remember to do it everytime. At Guest Caye, we help resort clients to send automatic Thank You Emails and Social Media Sharing Emails that make it super easy for guests to tell their story both online (via easy links) and offline to their closest friends.  Making online friends and gaining email permission from every single guest increases your chances of gaining referral bookings from happy guests.

Guest Caye Resort Marketing provides an all-in-one social marketing belize solution that includes a built-in booking engine, automatic email marketing Belize and Belize Hotel Reservation system to help you take advantage of the Consumer Online Travel Buying Journey. Call Dan Heimbrock at 513.328.5617 for more information and a free demonstration of the new software.

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Opportunity to Use Google+ Social Network to Engage Online Travel Shoppers

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 by


According to a recent survey by TripAdvisor called the “TripBarometer,” 40% of online travel shoppers that visited social media sites to research and plan their last trip used Google+. Very few eco-resorts are taking full advantage of the 2nd most popular social network for online  travel research. Of Internet Marketing Belize, Email Helps Travel Shoppers Book Onlinecourse, Facebook remains the most important social network for reaching online travel shoppers seeking hotels and resorts to visit on vacation.
3 out 4 social media travel planners used Facebook as part of their vacation research experience. Publishing fresh information, creating well described photo albums, and sharing the every day happenings with Facebook can help small resorts and exotic location hotels to engage likely bookers. Linking frequently in your posts to your "Rooms and Rates" pages and your online booking solution making it super easy for people to choose you instead of your competition. 
Social media marketing for Belize travel certainly extends beyond having a presence on the key social tools people are using to discover travel opportunities. An effective program needs to engage with your audience giving them content that is interesting, cool, funny or poignant. This is not nearly as hard as it sounds if your place is an amazing destination. Look all around you and share your special world with social media…it only takes about 15 minutes a day.
Belize Family Vacation Web Marketing
Guest Caye Resort Marketing helps independent hotels and resorts to connect with online travel shoppers increasing your odds of winning a vacation booking by serving the needs and expectations of American online travel shoppers.
Contact us at dan@guestcaye.com for more information about Internet Marketing in Belize and Caribbean nations.
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Capture Online Travel Lookers to Gain Online Travel Bookers

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 by

When American and Canadian travelers start planning their Belize vacation, the vast majority start by searching for Belize hotel website using Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. They visit hotel websites looking for the right place at the right price. According to research conducted by Google, the average online travel shopper will visit 17 different hotel websites trying to decide which one will get their online reservation business.Belize online reservation system makes travel shopping and booking easier

You can improve your odds of gaining this business by offering your web visitors with the option to request information from you by email. Your "Contact Us" form should be clear and easy to use asking for only basic contact information like Name, Email Address and perhaps when they expect to travel. Don't make them fill out a long form asking for every detail of their interests. Make it easy to fill out and provide a big button to submit their request.

In addition, many Guest Caye clients provide an email sign up form right on the home page offering to send information and perhaps special email savings offers in exchange for filling out the simple form. We call this granting email permission to the hotel and this behavior provides an outstanding opportunity to turn that hotel looker into a lucrative hotel booker for your business.

Client Table Rock Jungle Lodge in Cayo, Belize has been using this technique for a few years now with outstanding results. In fact, Table Rock captured an average of two website leads every day in 2012. 15% of these captured travel shoppers leads decided to book their vacation with the eco-resort located along the Macal River near San Ignacio. The result was hundreds of room nights sold generating significant incremental business for the resort.

Guest Caye Resort Marketing provides an automated way to capture traveler leads on your website and automatically send them informative emails to help set your resort apart from their many other choices. Hotels that communicate best win the most online business. If you want to make online lead capture and email nurturing part of your Belize Hote; Marketing program, contact Dan at Guest Caye for a free demonstration.

Online Form to Capture Travel Shopper Leads for Belize Hotels

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3 Keys to Higher Occupancy Rates on Your Website

Saturday, March 16th, 2013 by

Every effective hotel website must engage online travel shoppers in about 7 seconds or less, so the quality of your Belize hotel website really matters. Each month, over 50 million people visit TripAdvisor to consider where to take their next trip and thousands every day could be considering your Belize resort hotel.

The question is: Is your website ready to engage travel shoppers and convince them to give you email permission or make their booking reservation immediately?

Here are 3 important requirements that your website should address to increase your odds of winning online bookings at a higher rate:

1. Summarize your location, unique appeal and visual hook at the top of your page. If you fail to pass the 7-second test, you fail to win the attention you need to convince the online travel shopper to put your hotel on their "short list." Crystalize what your hotel resort is about and don't try to be everything to everybody. Carve your niche and communicate it with flair as the most important impression on your home page.

2. Present all the details of your rooms and rates in the same section. Don't make people work to understand what your hotel can offer. Be clear and concise and use attractive photography to showcase the experience your rooms offer to skeptical travelers. Your pricing and booking requirements should be prominently displayed and clearly stated so the shoppers knows the deal with little effort.

3. Take direct online bookings with a modern online booking engine. Too many Belize Resort Hotels make their travel shoppers fill out long and intrusive forms just to find out if the hotel even has availability! STOP. Serve the shopper and she will reward you with booking your hotel directly without the expense of 20-30% commissions charged by the online travel agents.

Every hotel that delivers a remarkable experience can expect to grow their business better with a fully functional, well designed and online booking enabled website. The whole world is your market, so invest in your Internet front door and delight your guests every time. This is the strategy to build your business to higher profitability.

If your hotel or resort in Belize is looking to improve your Internet Marketing Results, contact Guest Caye Resort Marketing for a free consultation. We have helped resorts double their annual occupancy rates with smart Belize hotel marketing that increases revenue and profits.

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Why the Belize Barrier Reef will blow your mind

Saturday, March 16th, 2013 by

Belize Hotels offer adventurous travelers with so many opportunities to interact with the natural beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef. Here you can scuba dive, snorkle, or try one of the new technologies available to let you experience the wonder of the reef.

No matter how you decide to experience the underwater world off the coast of Belize, you will never forget the amazing colors and sea life that dazzle your senses. If you want to book a hotel in Belize, check out the Belize Hotel Reservation opportunities you will find at www.BelizeHotels.org, the official site of the Belize Hotel Association. You can search hotel booking options and plan your Belize vacation with ease. Sign up for free emails too!

If you are a resort owner wanting to grow your business, contact Dan at Guest Caye Resort Marketing at dan@guestcaye.com

Thanks to our friends and new clients from La Perla del Caribe Villas, Caribbean Villas Hotel and Playa Blanca. Special shout out to DESEO and Rob Ackerley.

More Amazing Videos from Discover Belize Now right here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DiscoverBelizeNow

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Pinterest Adds to Social Media Marketing in Belize

Thursday, October 11th, 2012 by

Did you know that Pinterest is the fastest growing website of all time?

Pinterest is still relatively new but over 20 million people now have accounts and the number of active participants is growing everyday. So what is Pinterest and how can you leverage it to build more interest in your hotel or resort?Pinterest Social Media Marketing Belize Hotel Resort

Pinterest is a social photo sharing website that allows users to create collections (essentially photos and videos) of the things they like. The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” People using the site find images on websites that they like and they add them to their "collection."

This means that your website's photos have the potential to be "pinned" to your guests, friends, and just people that love traveling to Belize Pinterest boards which then allows their friends and followers to see and share these images AND the associated link back to your website. You can improve you internet marketing with social media tools like Pinterest.

That is a powerful idea on a lot of levels. Awareness, Discovery, Post-Visit Social Sharing, Search Engine Link Backs, and New Guests for your hotel. Here is a definitive guide to Pinterest Social Media marketing that can help any Belize resort marketing plan achieve results.

If you don't have a Pinterest account for yourself, I strongly suggest you set one up right away. This will cause you to look at the images you have on your website and which images are on which pages to try to make your site as appealing as you can for Pinners to pin you to their accounts.

Contact Guest Caye for help with your entire online marketing strategy. We love helping smart resort owners to build your business one guest at a time.

Belize travel marketing Pinterest social media marketing

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Google Organic Search Boosted with Paid Clicks for Belize Hotel Marketing

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by


Everyone understands how important gaining high page ranks for organic Google search results for hotel marketing success in Belize and Caribbean resorts. But did you realize that investing in Pay Per Click Google Advertising can boost your clicks dramatically?
When marketers have scrutinized Google’s research on how organic and paid search results work together the search giant concluded that nixing the paid ads would result in a 89% drop in clicks.
This means that you can INCREASE your online leads by adding paid search ads for your most important keywords…even if you already rank in the top 3 positions for your search terms. This is a very important research finding that can help you improve online marketing results.
According to research conducted by GOOGLE, the search giant found that paid search ads give you a 89% incremental lift in site visitors – above and beyond traffic you would normally expect from your organic listings.
So if you want to drive higher traffic to your hotel website to capture more interested online travel shoppers, you should add paid search text ads to your campaign!

Another way to boost your Belize hotel marketing results is to hire Guest Caye Resort Marketing to assist you in driving higher return on investment for your marketing dollars. Don't leave you success to chance!Google search improvements from paid clicks for belize hotel marketing results

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Seth Godin on Music Marketing; Travel Lessons Too

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by

Seth Godin, author of many fantastic marketing books, recently spoke with our friend at CyberPR – Ariel Hyatt about the music industry and how artists can make money in the new model which is vastly different than the major label dominated past.

Lessons for travel marketers abound in this interview:

  1. Standing up for what you love and believe in (as a resort hotel owner) helps you deliver the amazing experiences that your guests crave.
  2. Bravery in marketing means standing for something special (something weird, as Seth says) and attracting people that love that special thing.
  3. Marketing today is complicated, but if you are genuine and can "touch" people that experience your property, they will tell "people like themselves."
  4. Creating a "tribe" of people that truly love what you do or what you have created is powerful. You can attract a list of people that will not only buy from you again, but actually SELL you to their friends and family, if you make it easy for them to do so.
  5. If you want to be great, you have to be willing to fail. You can't appeal to everybody, so appeal to 'your fans' — the people that love you and talk about you.

There is a lot that independent resort hotel owners in Belize can learn from the new way that music is marketed online and through word of mouth from fans. Paying very close attention to your most enthusiastic guests and empowering them to tell your story when they get back home can earn you a lot of future business. So help people KNOW YOUR STORY and encourage them to share it with everyone. Look closely at your internet marketing program, your online reservation system and how you are using the free tools available on social media. Find ways of doing things better, or call Guest Caye Resort Marketing for help.


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Belize Tourism Marketing Can Leverage TripAdvisor Better

Monday, March 5th, 2012 by

Every great hotel or resort has by now discovered the real importance of www.TripAdvisor.com for engaging online travel shoppers and helping them make hotel choices based on the experiences of "people just like themselves."

That is a very powerful idea. Imagine if your best friend just returned from a trip to Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize and tells you it was an amazing trip — beautiful ocean front hotel, affordable rates, friendly atmosphere, easy to get there and best of all, its perfect for you! Might you think about taking your own vacation to Belize based on her recommendation? Absolutely!

TripAdvisor has become the world's most important travel website and most used resource by online travel shoppers. People simply trust each other more than they trust a hotel they have never visited before. Makes sense, doesn't it?

But How Do Travelers Interpret Your Hotel Reviews?

According to a recent article from TripAdvisor for Business, today's online travel shoppers put a lot of trust into independent customer reviews. In fact, 81% of travelers say reviews were important when deciding which hotel to book, and almost half said they would not book a hotel unless they could read reviews first.

As the world's largest travel website, TripAdvisor attracts 50 million unique travel shoppers EVERY TripAdvisor is the World's Biggest Travel Website, even in Belize and CaribbeanMONTH.

Once someone has used TripAdvisor in the past, the likliehood they will search additional hotels and reviews is remarkably high. 98% of survey respondents found TripAdvisor reviews to be accurate of their actual experience at a hotel.

TripAdvisor can literally make, or break your hotel business, so pay attention.

Management responses to reviews, both positive and negative, tell people that are looking at your reviews that you care about and are involved with the reviews people are posting about their experience at your hotel. Stay involved and comment back when people post reviews. 

Asking your happy guests to post a review on TripAdvisor is just good business. So start insisting on it from your staff at check out time, it can win you more bookings in the future.

Every Belize hotel and resort should upgrade your online marketing program to capture leads and convert them to booked guests. Are you doing all you can with Internet Marketing in Belize? If not, give us a shout at Guest Caye Resort Marketing. We can help!

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Social Media Marketing Benefits from Cross Channel Coordination

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 by

Smart hotel and resort marketers in Belize and other developing tourism markets have discovered how powerful adding Social Marketing, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be to increasing hotel bookings, driving higher revenue per guest, and prompting higher levels of word of mouth recommendations.

According to a recent industry survey by eMarketer, online travel shoppers who are exposed to messages across multiple channels such as online advertising, email, and social media SPEND MORE on average than travel shoppers only exposed to one communication channel.

To quote the article, "The study found that when consumers were exposed to social media in Social Media Marketing for Belize Hotels and Resortsaddition to other online ad formats or marketing channels, such as search, email and display, the average revenue per order for US advertisers was $280.71—more than double the order size compared to the average of all digital channels.

This has important implications for Caribbean travel and tourism marketers. Aligning messages in social media with campaigns running on search engines, travel portal websites or email marketing campaigns can be made more effective by lining up all messages to reinforce one another. The one-two punch of cross channel marketing gives consumers added reasons to choose your hotel and to spend more money once they do so.

Have you coordinated your web marketing and social media marketing so that all messages are reinforcing one another? If not, there is good opportunity to improve the results from your online marketing by doing just that.

Contact us at Guest Caye Resort Marketing in Belize or at our home office in Loveland, Ohio USA and we would be happy to assist you making your Hotel Marketing Strategy work harder to build your sales and profits. Call us at +513 444 4000 or email dan@guestcaye.com. 

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