Tourist Marketing – Mabel Cajal

Mabel Cajal is a consultant and teacher specialized in tourism marketing. She had always been interested in marketing and, since she has been living in Malaga for many years, tourism is part of her daily life. Currently, she is fully focused on the development of digital strategies that generate opportunities for companies of the sector. Work that she combines with training people in digital skills.

She has also collaborated in specialized magazines such as Tecnohotel and Puromarketing and writes articles related to digital marketing topics in various media such as SEMrush, MailRelay or BlogsterApp, among others.

We respond to issues related to the peculiarities of tourism marketing and types of recommended strategies for a business of this type. He also reflects on what digitalization has meant for tourism promotion and the importance of this sector in our country.

When and how were you interested in tourism marketing?

I’ve always been attracted to marketing. For me is an exciting discipline in which you do not stop learning every day and even more since the great revolution that has brought the incorporation of digital media in our lives.

The focus towards the tourism sector is as a consequence of living for many years in an area with a great tourist development such as Malaga, of which I am always learning.


What are the peculiarities of tourism marketing?

Tourism marketing is only the adaptation of marketing discipline to a specific sector that, in general, is conditioned by a number of factors that in others do not occur or are given to a lesser extent:

  • The seasonality (in many cases) that tourism businesses have.
  • The tastes and preferences of consumers are different according to the nationalities.
  • The tourist consumer experience is very conditioned by the environment that surrounds it.
  • Mobile devices play an important role before, during and after the trip.
  • It is one of the sectors that is most influenced by comments on social networks.


What types of tourist marketing are there?

Our tourism marketing strategies should always be adapted to the companies and therefore conditioned to the characteristics of the same.

From that premise, more specific ramifications appear, such as hotel marketing, destination marketing, marketing of tourism services, marketing for travel agencies …


How do the topics affect certain communities when doing tourism marketing? Can we take advantage of them?

Of course. Whenever it is done well it is a feature that we could take advantage of.

A very clear example is the topic that Euskadi eats well and eats a lot.

In this case, the tourism department of the Basque Government has not hesitated to turn this “topic” into a gastronomic tourism product that promotes and empowers the region.

In a recent survey carried out by Dinamiza, San Sebastián is currently the main gastronomic destination, with the autonomous community of the Basque Country being the third in Spain after Andalusia and Galicia.


How important is the region in which our leisure or hospitality business is located when planning a tourism marketing strategy?

A good marketing strategy must adapt to the environment in which you are moving.

Obviously there are regions that are more adaptable to tourism products than others, so we will find more profitable businesses in some areas than in others.

The focus on the user, their needs and tastes is the pillar of all marketing strategies.

“Tourism is something that we must take care of and protect with enthusiasm because it supposes an injection of wealth in economic terms, employment and development of infrastructures for Spain”.

Mabel Cajal

How important is tourism to Spain?

Undoubtedly, it is vital. You just have to look at the numbers of tourists that come to our country and the number of companies and businesses that benefit from this sector that, although being oscillating in demand, serves to make our country prosper.

In the month of July 2018 have been 10 million foreign tourists who have visited Spain.

With respect to last year they represent 4.9% less.

According to Frontur, the inhabitants of the United Kingdom represent almost 2.2 million tourists, which
it represents 22.0% of the total and a decrease of 5.6% compared to July of last year.

France and Germany are the next countries with the most tourists visiting Spain. France contributes about 1.4 million (11.4% less in annual rate) and Germany almost 1.3 million (6.2% less).

Tourism is something that we must take care of and protect with enthusiasm since it supposes an injection of wealth in economic terms, employment and development of infrastructures for Spain.


Do you think that the lack of tourism in certain regions is due to a lack of tourism marketing actions?

The reasons can be several and it will depend on each specific case, but it could be due to the lack of interest in the lack of a tourist product, due to the lack of resources or a bad orientation in the marketing strategies of destinations.


Could you give me an example of an autonomous community that has good tourism marketing strategies?

Many of the autonomous communities of our country are working to enhance their tourism resources.

Personally I really like the approach they do especially in Andalusia, Galicia, Asturias and Valencia.


What do you think of the promotion of tourist spaces by government agencies such as or Marca España? Do you think that some coastal regions or provinces benefit more from this promotion than others?

The promotion of tourist spaces by institutions is a mandatory subject for a country like ours.

It is not a matter of seeing which region benefits more than another, but of being able to extract all the tourist potential from each and every one of them in those aspects in which, besides highlighting, they are suitable to awaken the interest of a specific segment.

What is more important for tourism marketing, online or offline strategies?

Neither one nor the other but both at the same time. Nowadays you can not think about separating the online strategies from the offline ones but they must be planned in unison to take advantage of the full potential of the two channels.

Raising them separately is a serious mistake.


What new opportunities has generated the digital channel for tourism marketing?

Very many, especially at the level of fluency and closeness in the communication between companies and users, which provides us with a high level of information that helps us adapt and correct the strategies we are carrying out.

But not only that, but the reach that we can achieve with the digital channel generate new opportunities to gain visibility, expand our brand and reach new potential customers at a lower cost than the traditional one.


What advice would you give to an SME or entrepreneur to promote their business of leisure, tourism or restoration?

Basically three tips:

  • To focus on one or more segments to direct their personalized actions for each one of them.
  • That seeks to offer an “experience” and not just a product or service.
  • That integrates the digital channel in their marketing plans and squeeze it to the maximum.


What kind of SEO strategies do you advise us to use to promote us: local, national or international?

This will depend on the type of business that is and the target audience.

If my company is a local services business, it would not make sense to do international SEO.

In case of being an SME whose target audience is of different nationalities or only national, the SEO should go in that direction so as not to waste resources on things that are not productive.


Are SEM strategies used in tourism marketing? At what time is it advisable to opt for them?

Seasonally and in the key moments of our business, it is always good to invest part of the budget in SEM strategies.

The most usual is usually on the eve of holidays or holidays or on dates designated by a special event.


How can we know when is the time to boost our business internationally?

Being attentive to the demand and being aware of the real possibilities of our company.

As has always been said, information is power.