The Copy Collective is based in stunning Pembrokeshire in wild West Wales, one of the UK’s most visited counties for staycations. Tourism is a huge part of our UK economy – so how do we keep the tourists coming to visit our unique sites, attractions and services?
Long gone are the days that a sign at the front of your accommodation saying “Vacancies” is effective. Nowadays, you need a strong online presence to draw customers your way, and we can bet that you’re competing against several other companies with similar offerings to your local business. With a wealth of technology at the public’s fingertips, and with every organisation relying more heavily on digital marketing to reach those potential customers, clever marketing has never been more important for the tourism industry.
Here are our top 5 tourism marketing tips to make the most of your unique offering and to draw customers by giving them what they really want. No more stabbing in the dark, hoping for business. Apply these tips and watch the visitors flock!
Tourism Marketing tip #1: Be unique
Are you a café offering lunches during the summer holidays? NO! Whether this statement is true – if you’re a café, you’re very likely to offer lunches – you’re not JUST a café offering JUST lunch. You’re a vibrant waterside café offering daily freshly caught fish and the best local beer in the county, right?
Every type of tourist attraction – leisure facility, accommodation, restaurants, events – have something unique to offer. This is called your USP, or unique selling point. Really look at what you’re offering and try to see it from a stranger’s eyes:
Are you a traditional thatched cottage with an established rose garden?
Do your yurts have a spectacular sunset sea view?
Does your restaurant serve something unusual that you can only find in your area that must be tasted?
It’s easy for us to present ourselves modestly, especially when we’re surrounded by other amazing tourist-based companies. Modesty does not equate to sales, though, so proudly flaunt your uniqueness for all its worth!
Tourism Marketing tip #2: Know your audience
You’ve got a website, you’ve started a Facebook page, now what? Well, now it’s time to think about who’s going to want to engage with your services. Sending your newest blog post out to a Facebook page that mostly consists of your Mum and her mates is all well and good, but are they the people that will stay at your cottage, or visit your animal park, or take your boat trip?
Think about who you’re targeting. If you’re a one-bedroom cabin right on the coast, then you’re probably targeting couples. You’re likely to get enquiries from couples that like hiking and outdoor activities that are looking for a romantic short break. You probably want to consider accepting dogs, too, as walkers often like to bring dogs to beaches. Your season may not necessarily be only the summer holidays, as often couples like to avoid the busy times of the year and may come in June or September to enjoy some peace from the crowds.
Are your audience families? Couples? Millennials?
Are you offering weekend breaks versus week-long holidays?
Are your facilities child-friendly?
Do you cater for disabled visitors?
Do you offer food for people with dietary intolerances?
Tourism Marketing tip #3: Show your visitors around
This tourism marketing strategy can work in one of two ways, dependent on which type of tourist industry you are.
If you’re offering holiday accommodation, then offering a guide to the local area is a really good idea. Visitors are likely to be new to the area, so offering information about the best circular walks, the best restaurants and (crucially) how far it is to the nearest pub is just that extra little step to make your guests feel welcomed and at home.
If you’re a tourist attraction and you’re keen to keep people on-site, then why not offer an easy-to-follow map of your site, with all the important amenities included? Better yet, if you can allow the time or the time of your staff, then why not show guests around your site yourself?
Guests who feel looked after are more likely to return and are more likely to leave that precious good review – gold dust!
There are many ways in which you can offer your guide. Printed guides are useful as they can be taken out and about and be referred to when necessary. Equally, an app on a mobile is accessible anywhere, but a little more expensive to develop. A blog post is a great way of reviewing local attractions that may draw visitors to your area and keep them coming back. That also draws visitors to your website – win, win!
Tourism Marketing tip #4: Get them here on time
What we mean here is that you need to be wary of the time it takes to market your services and for them to be seen by your target audience.
If you’re using social media, then posting an update about summer holiday events and offers in the first week of July is probably not going to reach everyone by the time the school summer holidays arrive. This is true of all online marketing efforts, be they seasonal or event-oriented. Always make sure that you leave enough time for your tourism marketing efforts to permeate the market, giving potential customers enough time to consider, plan and book.
If you’re looking for help with Event Promotion on social media, then please contact us at least 8 weeks in advance of your event to allow enough time for planning, content creation and posting.
Tourism Marketing tip #5: Let the visitors do it for you
In the era of Instagram, where everything is visible, searchable and transparent, people love nothing more than real-life examples of other people enjoying themselves at the destination they’re about to visit. This is so much better than a review, as it does two things: it gives your potential customers an actual view of your cottage or activity, and it allows your current customers a healthy dose of narcissism – who doesn’t love a selfie while on holiday?
User-generated content is a great tourism marketing tool that you can harness to help sell your business online. Likes, comments and shares on your social feeds really help to push your services out to more people, giving you a distinct online advantage over your competition. Examples of tourism marketing UGC include:
Challenge photo: challenge your customers to take the best picture of a view, dish or activity.
Prize photo: ask customers to upload pictures of your offering, choose a winner and then use the photographs to create a montage of your successful summer on social media.
Create a unique hashtag for your customers to use if they’re uploading pictures to Instagram or Twitter. If you’re an attraction, such as a waterpark, they could be things like #wedoveinat<company name> or #makingasplash<company> or if you’re a cottage, why not something like #rosecottagedevon or #theoldtavernwiltshire? Specify location as much as possible, as it’s likely that there’s a Rose Cottage or The Old Tavern somewhere else, and you wouldn’t want to be plugging somebody else’s venue!
For more tourism marketing tips, or to chat about your specific online marketing strategy, why not give us a call for a free consultation today? The sooner we get started, the sooner you can start seeing the benefits and attracting those vital visitors to enjoy your best efforts.
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