What is a Unique Travel Proposition (UTP)?
You may be familiar with the basic marketing concept of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), whereby you define and promote that which makes your product or service unique and valuable to your target market. It means that you are communicating a focused branding message that informs your prospects what you do best and how you stand out against the competition. The USP not only positions your products and services, it is also at the core of your online marketing effort. Its effects will be evident on your website, brochures, online travel agency listings, ad campaigns, and social media outreach.
By defining what makes your tourism business and travel services unique and valuable, you have a greater chance of catching and keeping the attention of prospects that are planning a trip. As this concept relates to selling travel, BookingCounts calls it a Unique Travel Proposition (UTP) and this tourism marketing article will explain its usage and benefits. Defining the ultimate UTP and promoting it correctly will help you increase website traffic, the length of time visitors spend on your site, and ultimately get more bookings.
Why Every Tourism Business Needs a UTP
Your Unique Travel Proposition is essential from the moment your prospects become aware of your tourism business. That can happen in a number of ways such as:
- Your website appears on a search engine results page (SERP)
- Your ad (e.g. Google AdWords) appears on a SERP or content website
- Your tourism offering is listed at an online travel agency or third party booking site
- Your tourism business gets mentioned on a social networking site, travel article, or blog
This is your best and perhaps only opportunity to tell someone planning a trip to your destination that you are unique and worth considering. You are not asking the prospect to make a booking just yet. The only goal is to prevent that person from clicking the back button to return to the previous results page or ignoring your tourism business altogether and clicking on to your competition.
By telling every visitor what makes your tourism company special right away, you have a greater chance that your message will resonate and they will either bookmark your website or keep on reading. Without a UTP, visitors may quickly dismiss you as yet another bland and indistinguishable hotel/tour operator/attraction/etc…, and move on to your competition.
Competition in every sector of the travel industry is serious and the number of distribution and advertising channels is only increasing. You have seconds to explain your Unique Travel Proposition in an effort to convince prospects to consider your travel offer and take the next step in the booking process. Take full advantage of this stage 1 opportunity to excite and inspire every traveler who comes into contact with your business on the Web.
Communicating a UTP to Get More Bookings
Once you have defined your Unique Selling Proposition and turned it into a Unique Travel Proposition, the next step is to ensure that it is properly and consistently communicated via every online channel. Take this opportunity to open a new Word or Google Doc and write a paragraph or two describing your UTP in full detail. Next edit it down to several smaller formats (e.g. 75 characters, 160 characters, 250 characters) that can be copied and pasted to each of the places on the Web where your tourism business is listed.
Follow this list as a starting point of where to include your UTP:
- On your tourism website Home Page
- In the HTML Title tag of all relevant website pages
- In the Meta Description tag for your website
- On the About Us and related pages of your website
- Within all Advertising Copy (text and banner)
- Front and center on your Landing Pages
- Within your travel company and product listings at each Online Travel Agency
- As part of your booking process, whether on site or via a third party booking engine
- Included in each of your social media network profiles (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, …)
- As part of your listings on Industry and Membership Directories
- In the email signature for all staff members including auto-generated response messages
Bingo! UTP Offers Travel SEO Benefits Too
You may not have realized that I was setting you up to improve your travel website SEO and your ranking for those keywords and phrases that you currently target. By including some of your most important keywords in the wording of your UTP, your search engine ranking for those keywords will naturally increase. This means that it will cost you fewer advertising dollars to bring new prospects (and future customers) to your website.
Share Your Unique Travel Proposition With BookingCounts Readers
Now it is your turn. Post a comment below with the UTP for your tourism business. It does not matter whether you are in charge of marketing for a hotel, work for a tour operator, or manage a tourist attraction. Your examples will help us all to better structure and position a Unique Travel Proposition and leverage this branding tool to our booking advantage.