Bad online travel reviews: their effects and how to react

This week a small tourism business belonging to a friend of mine suffered its first inevitable bad review on a particular well-known travellers’ website (cough cough, Tripadvisor, cough). I say “inevitable” not because of any ongoing bad service—indeed they run a very good operation—but because ultimately 99.9% of tourism businesses are going to one day find themselves a victim of it, no matter how outstanding their behaviour. It’s just human nature. Online review sites have a notably different effect on...
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Sometimes it’s ok to design in Microsoft Word

Small businesses (particularly in the tourism industry) often have to be cautious not to take leaps and bounds to improve their marketing – because if they did they would risk cutting off their nose to spite their face. If your marketing material and branding suddenly goes from naff-looking flyer to fancy-pants brochure, your current clients might suddenly eye you with suspicion. And any new clients will ultimately be more high-maintenance. If you project an image of high quality, ridiculously good...
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The Website Redesign of HakaTours.com

It is with absolute joy that I point you in the direction of the brand new version of hakatours.com, released finally at the end of last month. The revealing of the website was highly anticipated by all of us involved (three major earthquakes had provided extensive set backs) and there are still a few small bugs being fixed, but I can say regardless that I am incredibly proud of the final product. I cannot write this post before mentioning the...
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The Evolution of the Haka Tours Brand

For the first 3-4 years of its existence, I was responsible for Haka Tours’ marketing output, most of which was digital. Here is how I witnessed the brand evolve from start-up business to award-winning kiwi tour operator, including what effect it had on the clientele. 2007: The Beginning Haka Tours’s first tour was in June 2007, about the same time that I was graduating from university. The first tour vehicle was a 12 seater purple Mercedes and it was tour guide...
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