Interview with Mabel Cajal, tourism marketing consultant: “The use of technology in our sector is basic”

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brunch iloveimg resized 1
The 10 main benefits of having a good vacation rental software
18 December, 2017
customer journey map vacation rental
The 3 stages of the customer journey map in the vacation rental market
16 January, 2018
entrevista mabel cajal

AvaiBook has had the pleasure of interviewing Mabel Cajal, renowned consultant specialized in Tourism 2.0, Content Marketing and Social Networks, as well as CEO of Trendingtur and Social Media Marketing Teacher in various prestigious business schools.

  • Mabel, we wanted to start by asking you, looking back, when and how did you find out that tourism was the sector in which you wanted to channel your professional development?

It was really tourism that led me to develop professionally in this field, since I have spent most of my life in Malaga and Costa del Sol, what led me to have high experience in such an exciting sector as tourism.

After my university studies specialised in marketing, the combination was perfect to learn and enjoy developing strategies in the field of tourism marketing, a matter that now I focus more on the digital environment because of the conviction that tourism companies must put the focus on the Internet or will end up last in line. 

  • We are witnessing a boom in vacation rental, boosted by platforms such as AirBnb, among others. However, governments are increasingly regulating this market. How do you see the current situation in the sector?

Vacation rental is playing an increasingly important role because there is simply a growing demand from users.

Platforms such as Airbnb or similar what they do is to put both parties in touch with each other, knowing that there was a growing demand so governments have detected the need for greater legislative control due to the great scope and development that they are having.

The tourism market is quite large and the main thing for everyone to live together is that there is clear regulation by the institutions.

  • On the other hand, major portals such as, Expedia or HomeAway are playing an important role in this business. Some people see them as allies and beneficial to tourism owners and other people see them as harmful and “partners out of sheer necessity”. How do you see them, Mabel?

For me, these big companies are just another element that you can choose within your digital strategy.

Recently I heard a small rural business complaining about the high commissions they paid to for working with them.

It all depends on each case. We must not forget that the positioning in search engines and the investment in online advertising made by these OTAs is something unattainable for most people. The question is whether our alliance with them is productive for us or not.

In any case, undoubtedly if we can capture reservations from our own website would be ideal, but we must ask ourselves if we have the capacity to do so.

  • If we talk about the tech solutions to facilitate the management of vacation rentals, what relevance do you give to having a high level of automation of the tasks and allowing the traveler to book online?

The use of technology in our sector is basic nowadays, making easier the relationship with our customers, and should always be done looking for a high rate of satisfaction in the experience and ease that the user has when making a reservation through our website.

A good software specialized in vacation rental, such as AvaiBook, is certainly one of the best choices to succeed.

  • In regard to this issue, imagine for a second that you were a property manager managing several tourist apartments, what should have, in your opinion, a good software specialized in vacation rental for you to choose it?

The characteristics I would seek would focus on several essential elements:

  • As a tourism marketing expert, we’d love to ask you 3 quick tips that you’d give to any owner and that would help them improve their business if they’re not already putting it into practice.

It’s essential to develop an excellent brand image and digital presence:

  1. Through our own website we must work on a very visual design and incorporate images of both the installations and those that convey emotions and feelings because its effectiveness is more than proven.
  2. Social networks must be in line with our website and equally well cared as they form part of our own identity and online reputation, decisive factors in the choice of one establishment or another.
  3. Search engine optimization such as Google and the use of proper content marketing in tourism, will enable us the ability for new users to find us on the Internet.
  • A key point is customer loyalty. What factors are some of the most important to win this difficult battle?

A large part of this loyalty will be achieved according to the experience that the customer has had “in situ”. A bad experience can make a customer comment on the internet and that will be something really negative for your reputation.

Therefore, the best way to gain loyalty begins in your accommodation itself where, if any problems arise, we should be able to solve them in the best possible way.

From there, we have the possibility to continue maintaining our relationship with that customer thanks to tools such as social networks, content marketing or email marketing that we can take advantage of in our own benefit.

  • To conclude, Mabel, we would like to know how you see the future of the vacation rental sector in the medium term, if you can sense any clear trends, any disruptive factors that may shake up the market in the near future or if you think that there will not be any big changes on the horizon.

As we mentioned at the beginning, vacation rental has a rising demand that we can take advantage of, but it is undoubtedly necessary to see what happens in the market with the appearance of new platforms, new technologies and new forms of business.

Thank you very much for your time and opinions Mabel, we wish you all the best for the future.

These and many other holiday rental tips and tricks every month in our blog. Your business will be thankful that you read them! 😉

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