Tourism, travel marketing and ultimately conversion to bookings is now primarily digital. Therefore, establishing a prominent and robust online presence should be single most important marketing objective.

Now don’t be freaked out by the confusing smorgasbord of online platforms available to tourism businesses. There is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of importance to your business, no matter whether you run accommodation (of any sort or size) or an activity (tours, event, attraction, whatever).  It is your Google Business Profile (GBP).

Google Business Profile is free and the biggest determinant of your online visibility and credibility, and therefore success of your business. So, why is it so important?

Primarily, it’s because of its role in lifting your profile in Google’s local search results.

Google is the go-to search engine for travellers looking for information about destinations, accommodation, activities, and experiences. If you have a GBP profile, you will appear prominently in local search results when potential customers are looking for tourism products in their area of choice. Whatever the search terms they “places to stay near Uluru” or “tours in the Hunter Valley”, “rafting the Franklin River”, having a full GBP profile increases the chances of your business being discovered by locals and visiting travellers alike.

Your GBP profile is a comprehensive digital business card, providing the detail about your travel business to potential customers that they will need to make their decision to book. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and a motivating description of what you offer. Presented to them directly from Google Search results or Google Maps, it makes it easier for them to understand whether your business is in their consideration set and how to inquire or booking.

As I have preached in other articles, one of the most influential factors for travellers when making booking decisions is the reviews and ratings left by previous guests, and particularly Google reviews. GBP allows you to showcase guest reviews and ratings prominently in your profile. I’ve explained how positive reviews and high ratings build trust and credibility and effectively responding to reviews, both good and bad, demonstrates your commitment to your business and to your customer’s satisfaction. Harnessing the power of positive reviews on your GBP profile will predispose potential customers in your favour and help differentiate your business from others in your area.

GBP offers tools that facilitate direct engagement between you and potential guests. Features such as messaging and Q&As, coupled with TXA’s direct booking and payment capability through our certified connection with Google Hotels Direct and Google Things to Do. Travellers get to look at live availability and rates and ask questions about your product or inclusions, and even make live bookings with instant confirmation and payment directly to your bank account effectively facilitated by your GBP profile. By leveraging Google Business Profile’s interactive features and TXAs booking and payment connection, you can provide personalised assistance and streamline conversion with the live booking and payment process. This ultimately enhances the customer experience and your profitability because Google Hotels direct and Googler Things to do are 0% commission through TXA.

Google Maps is by far the most used navigation, exploration, and discovery tool used by travellers to find tourism businesses and points of interest. Discovery searches have increased 200% in the last year. Discover searches are when consumers search for a product or service in a particular destination. For example, “Holiday homes in Margaret River”. Having a Google Business Profile will allow your business to appear in these discover searches and also be visible on Google Maps.

Your GBP profile is seamlessly integrated into Google Maps, ensuring that your business is visible to everyone exploring your destination for booking and planning their travel. Whether they are searching for accommodation, tours, restaurants, or attractions, your presence on Google Maps increases your business’s visibility and accessibility to potential customers at the right moment when they’re actively seeking relevant information and ready to book and pay.

If you already have a GBP profile, you’ll understand the value of the insights and analytics that are provided by Google, for free. With these insights you can track number of searches/views, clicks, and actions taken, like asking for directions and other interactions and including all important reviews. With this information, that otherwise is not available, you can identify trends, measure the effectiveness of your marketing, and make fact-based decisions to really optimise their online presence, improve customer engagement and conversions to bookings.

To me, the most compelling reasons to have a Google Business Profile profile is that it’s free and so easy to create. Added to that, when you connect to Google hotels or Google Things to Do through TXA, bookings are direct, instant, with payment straight into your bank account at time of booking. It really can’t get any more efficient and effective than that! With minimal effort, you can leverage the power of Google to boost your online profile and visibility without having to spend a cent.

If you want to fund out more about Google Business Profile, Google Hotel Direct or Google Things To Do, and how you can use them, email us at