Welcome to the Guest Caye Resort Marketing Blog

The Internet has changed everything about Belize travel marketing in ways that can benefit the small, independent hotels, resorts and lodges in Belize and other Caribbean and Central American countries. Never before have operators of remarkable resort properties been in a better position to take advantge of new technology and tried-and-true online marketing principles to drive your business forward.Guest Caye Welcomes Hotel and Resort Owners Wanting Better Online Marketing

Starting with an outstanding and highly useful website, Belize hotel owners can attract, engage, convert and communicate with guests and potential guests using inexpensive and highly effective online technology, social media marketing and innovative email automation programs.

Remember when every guest had to call you with a question or to place a reservation? Today you can service a large percentage of your guests and sales leads automatically and book their visit online without your help or time. This is a revolutionary idea and every property manager needs to make sure you have all your online marketing working every day.

Guest Caye Resort Marketing was created to bring you the tools, technology and expert support to help progressive hotels and resorts put a complete online marketing strategy into place. Guest Caye provides online booking on your website, a visual reservation management tool, automated lead capture and email marketing, plus access to thousands of online shoppers looking to book travel. We have made the complex world of online travel marketing simple, easy and best of all, profitable for you.

Guest Caye will be available to a select group of Charter Clients in late 2011. If you are interested in participating, please email Dan Heimbrock at dan@guestcaye.com. Thanks!

Guest Caye is an innovative online marketing and booking platform that enables small independent resorts, hotels and lodges to gain increased bookings and higher income per guest through web reservations, automated email marketing and superior guest communications.

How Pinterest Place Pins Feature Drives Interest in Your Belize Hotel

Monday, January 13, 2014 by Lauren Showen

Pinterest has recently launched a "Place Pins" tool that allows users to pin their favorite locations (vacation destinations, restaurants, beaches, etc) to custom and public boards. Be aware that the tool currently loads locations from FourSquare, so it is important that you have a FourSquare account for your business if you wish to be listed on the Place Pins tool. Here are some great ways to incorporate this new tool into your Caribbean web marketing:

Place Pins | Pinterest

Make your own board
Make a board of your resort and include all the information that you can about it, especially your contact information and as many great pictures of the resort as possible. Most of Pinterest is simply image sharing, so high quality, unique pictures can really help to make you stand out. Also be sure to include all of the fun activities that are available in and around your resort. 

Make yourself known
Post your images onto other relevant public boards. If your resort boasts cave tubing, for example, you could post on a board about tropical adventures or water sports. If you've captured great shots of wild life on your resort grounds, you could post your images on a board about wildlife photos. Make your Social Marketing in Belize interesting and people will pay you back with attention and additional "pins" that spread your news even further.

Remember that the goal is to make viewers interested in your resort and have them click through to your website. Include images that you think best represent your unique resort and be sure to include links to your site wherever possible without sounding like you're out to sell something. As always, be careful not to make classic social media mistakes while using this platform.

Are you looking for help marketing your Belize resort or hotel? Guest Caye Resort Marketing offers leading online software, marketing services and expert consulting to help you reach your full potential. Send us an email at dan@guestcaye.com to discover how we help you build your business one guest at a time.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Belize Resort Social Media

Monday, January 6, 2014 by Lauren Showen

It's no secret that social media outlets are important to promoting your Caribbean web marketing plan, but are you using it to it's full potential? Belize hotel marketing should consider how social media can help reach travel shoppers and stimulate them to look more closely at your resort as their next vacation destination.

Facebook

To get the most out of Facebook, you should be posting new content no less than once a week, but ideally, you should be creating a decent Facebook post daily. Posts should be related to your resort or to the travel industry. Here's a great post from the Gumbo Limbo Jungle Resort in Belize:

Notice that the post uses hashtags (a new feature on Facebook) and includes links. Hashtags make posts searchable and including the link to the website makes it more likely that fans will visit. Keep a close eye on 'likes' and shares on your posts. These are great indicators as to what your fans want to see you post about on your page. Here are some helpful tips about Facebook Hashtags for Marketing your Belize hotel or resort.

Twitter

Twitter is a great outlet for short, to the point posts. The lifespan of a tweet is much shorter than a Facebook post. In fact, studies say that the average lifespan of a tweet is 15 minutes. That being said, it's best to post at least once a day if possible. Here's a fun example of a great Twitter post by Black Orchid Resort in Belize:

The post is short and sweet and includes links to both the Facebook page and the YouTube channel.

Posting on your social media channels should be fun and easy. It's a great opportunity to show your resort's personality and features in an informal and FREE way. Just make sure that you aren't making any of these social media mistakes.

Have additional insights into these social media channels for resort marketing? Leave a comment below.

There's No Such Thing As Bad Press: How To Deal With Public Complaints

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by Lauren Showen

Somewhere down the line in your Caribbean web marketing, you're going to run into some negativity. While it certainly isn't easy for a hotel owners to hear/read a guest say negative things about their Belize hotels, and it's even more difficult when they are on a public forum such as Facebook or Twitter, keep in mind the old saying: "There's no such thing as bad press." If handled properly, you can use the negative commentary as a way to show your character as a resort.

**First and foremost, never, EVER delete a negative comment off of your social media channels unless it contains profanity or other unacceptable content. If it's just a sincere consumer complaint, do not under any circumstance delete the post. The repercussions of this will be far worse than just handling the complaint.**

 

Here are the best ways to handle public complaints:

Quickly
The quicker that you can get to the negative reviewer, the better. Word spreads fast on social media (for better or worse... read more here). Remember the last time that you were on the phone with a customer service rep and you were on hold for 15 minutes? How you were even angrier by the time someone listened to you? Imagine this, but magnified. Not only is the reviewer already fuming, but so are all of those who read the post who are on the consumer's side.

Publicly
On that same note, with complaints that are on social media or other public outlets such as TripAdvisor, you'll want to respond to the complaint publicly. Doing so shows that you're open to feedback, for better or worse, and that you genuinely care about your guest's experience. Better yet, your followers may get to see the problem get resolved right before their eyes.

Personally
In EVERY mode of communication, public or otherwise, every complaint should be handled individually. The more that you can personalize the situation, the better. Customers are more responsive to personalized feedback, so using their name and situation in their response and making your solution tailored to their complaint will yield much better results than sending a standard apology email/post/tweet to every guest.

Apologetically & Appreciatively
Apologize upfront for the guests dissatisfaction and communicate that you genuinely enjoy the feedback. Being able to put yourself in the customer's shoes will aide you greatly in dealing with negative feedback. 

Have any suggestions on how to best handle negative feedback on your Caribbean social media? Leave a comment below.

 

Tips and Tricks to Getting the Most Out of Trip Advisor

Monday, May 13, 2013 by Lauren Showen

There is so much emphasis on social networking and email marketing in Caribbean web marketing that one of the most important tools is often left out of the picture: Trip Advisor. This user friendly tool has come to play a pivotal role in a guest's choice of Belize hotel reservation that those who aren't using the tool, or aren't using the tool properly, are missing out on potential customers. Here are some simple tips and tricks to using Trip Advisor.

Use it!
This likely seems silly, but there are still resorts that aren't using Trip Advisor to help promote themselves. Guests take other traveler's reviews and opinions very seriously, and you want to have as many channels open as possible to support that feedback, both good and bad. Trip Advisor is a great way to respond to those guests who had some sort of negative experience with your resort and show that you genuinely care about your guests.

Be Honest
Put yourself in the shoes of the guest. You read a resort description that said "Olympic sized swimming pool and breathtaking views." Upon arrival, you are shocked to see that the "Olympic sized pool" is actually no bigger than your bathtub and the "breathtaking view" is of the hotel parking lot. No one likes to be lied to, especially when there's money involved. 

A beautiful REAL picture from the Gumbo Limbo Resort in Belize.

Be Unique
In the description for your Belize resort, focus on what sets you apart. Do you offer special tours? Packages for wedding parties or newlyweds? Have a great restaurant? Focus on these unique assets. Guests will be much more interested in these perks than the fact that your room comes with an AM/FM alarm clock.

Keep it Up
As your resort grows and changes, so should your Trip Advisor page. This is not a tool that you should create and then forget about; it should get as much attention as your social networking sites (which we hope are getting lots of attention). Post pictures of new features, update rates, and respond to comments on a regular basis to get the most from your page. On that same note, Trip Advisor is constantly coming out with new tools and features to improve their site (click here to read about their new direct email tool), so make sure you are staying up to date on all that is available to you through your business account.

What's your best kept secret about Trip Advisor? Share a comment below and help your fellow resort owners!

Social Media Marketing Benefits from Cross Channel Coordination

Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Dan Heimbrock

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. 

Travel Trends 2012 for Belize Tourism and Online Marketing

Friday, December 2, 2011 by Dan Heimbrock
Today TripAdvisor released the results of their annual 2012 Travel Trends Forecast research study with more than 2,700 respondents answering questions about their upcoming travel plans and ambitions.

Key Finding for Belize Resorts and Hotels: Despite the current economic climate, 31% of Beach breaks are Americans' top vacation choice for 2012, reveals TripAdvisor's annual travel trends survey.Travel Shoppers anticipate they will spend more on leisure travel next year, while 49 percent expect to spend the same amount as they did in 2011.
  1. Beach Travel is planned by 44%, while 42% want travel with Cultural Experiences. (This fits in well with Belize Tourism as more Americans discover the great beaches and amazing cultural, historic and adventure travel options in Belize.
  2. Americans are planning more international travel in 2012. 68% say they will travel outside the U.S. with 52% of those saying they will travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean and Central America region. (Great news for Belize as one of the only English-speaking countries in the North American tropics.)
  3. More people are planning to stay at B&Bs/Inns, Vacation Rentals and All-Inclusive Resorts with fewer choosing standard hotels. (People want something more than a room with a bathroom these days, so your property must deliver that remarkable experience that makes people talk when they get back home.)
  4. 12 percent select their accomodations based on how "eco-friendly" a hotel or resort is overall. Green credentials are becoming more and more important to an upscale segment of the American travel market. Most eco-concerned travelers are not that impressed by merely putting a card in the bathroom about reusing the towels. They seek substantitive evidence that the hotel, Inn or Resort is really environmentally friendly and focused on sustainability.
“U.S. travelers will be spreading their wings far and wide in 2012, with 68 percent planning international trips,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Sun and sand remain an enduringly popular choice, but the coming year will also see a renewed interest in cultural trips, as Americans seek to combine precious downtime with enriching experiences.”

To read the full report, visit Trip Advisor Travel Trends Report here.

Guest Caye Resort Marketing provides the industry leading marketing and online reservation solution for independent hotels, resorts and B+Bs in Belize and Caribbean web marketing.

Scuba Diving in Belize is Amazing; Belize Resort Marketing

Friday, December 2, 2011 by Dan Heimbrock


There are a number of great hotels and resorts in Belize with easy access to scuba diving and snorkeling at fair prices and amazing experiences. Here are a few recommendations from Guest Caye Marketing:
  • Cayo Espano is an upscale island resort that is out of this world.
  • Huracan Diving is located very near the world famous Blue Hole on their private island, Long Caye with only 4 rooms. Perfect for small groups of experienced divers.
  • Caye Casa on the beach in San Pedro offers laid back luxury at a very good price. Perfect for divers traveling with non-divers, close to town and other tour offerings.
Across the Caribbean there are diving destinations that can take your breath away with their natural beauty and sea life. But Belize must be counted among the best, so book a diving in Belize trip soon and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

If you own or operate a resort hotel or diving operation and need help with online marketing, web design and booking more guests, check out Guest Caye Resort Marketing. We can help.

Chaa Creek Lodge Uses Online PR to Drive Travel Leads and Online Reservations

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by Dan Heimbrock
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is perhaps one of the best known Belize Resort Hotels and that is not surprising when you consider how much effort Chaa Creek puts into online marketing for their hotel. The folks there do a great job at developing relevant content that helps keep thier website at the top of Google and other search engine rankings for Belize Web.

One example of the good work Chaa Creek does is the use of press releases sent via PR Web that contain keywords that many consumer online travel shoppers may be using while looking for vacation or honeymoon destinations.  This is a wise strategy because not only will these press releases be indexed by search engines, but the resulting traffic back to the hotel's website will drive leads, many of whom will end up booking their trip at Chaa Creek. Smart.

This method of gaining more web traffic is relatively easy to do. Start with a good story idea and develop a list of target keywords around that topic. See Chaa Creek's Release about Romantic Travel to Belize as a good example. Next, write your press release using the target keywords and put some effort into making the story interesting, easy to read and with some good pictures to support your story. Now you are ready to release the news to the Internet. PR Web is one of many available services that will distribute your press release for a small fee. Don't try to do an online release on your own, there is simply too much competition for you to show up anywhere. You are much better off paying the small fee to a service so that your news actually reaches the global audience you wish to stimulate. Try it for your Belize Resort Hotel, you may be surprised at how well this works.

Internet Marketing Belize :: Caribbean Marketing Ideas :: Social Media Marketing

Chaa Creek Lodge Belize Content Marketing in Cayo

Caribbean Web Marketing Problem is an Opportunity for Small Hotels and Resorts

Saturday, October 15, 2011 by Dan Heimbrock
According to Forrester Research on Travel Trends, over 60% of travel shoppers use a general search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo when planning travel. Globally, organic search is the most influential marketing channel for online resort marketing followed by paid search, then good old email marketing, social media, meta search and lastly mobile marketing. So what’s a resort or small hotel owner to do?
Internet Marketing Belize can use top search engines to drive web traffic with SEO
The Internet was used by approximately 90 million American adults to plan travel during the past year with 76 percent of online travelers planning leisure trips online. Most online travel planners are somewhat or extremely satisfied with their experiences in using the Internet to plan their trips. Importantly, most see the Internet as a very useful or essential tool for planning most aspects of a trip including where to stay overnight, planning travel routes, potential places to visit, attractions to visit, as well as learning about what to do.

Is your hotel software reservation system set up to handle incoming search traffic to maximize booking conversions?

The primary tools online travel shoppers use for travel planning are online travel agency websites (like Expedia and Hotels.com), search engines, hotel websites and destination area websites. Airline tickets, overnight lodging accommodations and car rentals are the dominant travel products and services purchased online by travel planners. (Source: Travelers’ Use of the Internet, 2009)

Google recently reported that 64% of leisure travellers and 65% of business travellers use search engines to begin their travel planning, exemplifying just how key search marketing is. (tnooz - talking travel tech, September 2010)

To be found on the Internet, every independent belize hotel and small resort must define the precise keywords that identify it to the search engines, then make sure your website and inbound links use these keywords, sometimes called “metatags.” Search Engine Optimization has become a billion dollar business, but the core ideas for effective search engine marketing are simple and easy to implement. Don’t fall into the trap of paying thousands of dollars for SEO services that promise top search ranks and can rarely deliver the hype.

Instead, know who you are and what keywords people will use to find YOU.
To discover the right keywords for your business, you must begin by thinking like your guest and what they care about most. What words or phrases would they enter into a search engine to find “exactly your hotel?” How would you start a web search to find a similar property to yours located on a different continent?

Need help driving more guests to your website and converting them into newly registered guests? Contact Guest Caye for a free initial consultation at dan@guestcaye.com.

Interactive Marketing Success is About Knowing What's Working and What is Not Working for Your Hotel or Resort

Sunday, October 2, 2011 by Dan Heimbrock
Interactive marketing technology has come a very long way in the last few years bringing it within reach for small businesses, including Belize hotels, resorts and other Caribbean destinations wanting to improve business results using the Internet.

This video presented by ExactTarget.com, the world's leading email marketing platform, features Guest Caye founder, Dan Heimbrock discussing how ExactTarget technology enables clients to grow sales, attract more new customers, and stay in contact with people to boost word of mouth referrals.




Key points to take away and apply to your resort marketing program.
  1. Smart businesses can craft a one-to-one relationship with their customers.
  2. It can be difficult for business owners to grasp what is working and not working in thier interactive marketing campaigns. You need to see and understand your data in real time.
  3. The best thing you can do to improve email and social media results is to know your winners and losers and adjust accordingly.
  4. Everything about online marketing can be improved, if you know what is working.
  5. Hotels and resorts can create game changing results by applying knowledge and online marketing tools based on ExactTarget technology.
Caribbean web marketing including social media, email marketing, hotel reservation systems and website booking engines are just a few of the important online marketing tools you need to be a successful Belize hotel or resort.

Guest Caye is an innovative online marketing and booking platform that enables small independent resorts, hotels and lodges to gain increased bookings and higher income per guest through web reservations, automated email marketing and superior guest communications.