Tourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (2022)

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Tourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (1)

While searching for ways to boost your tourism marketing strategy, you’ve probably come across the same tired tips and advice on most of the sites you visit. Talk about frustrating!

I’m writing today to tell you that those aren’t the only ways. Plenty of tourism businesses are marketing themselves in fun and creative ways that are both more efficient and more effective than what you’re currently doing.

There are many opportunities since, according to Google; “most consumers aren’t brand-committed in these moments. For example, 78% of leisure travelers haven’t decided what airline they will travel with, and 82% haven’t chosen the accommodation provider they will book with when they first start thinking about a trip.” (source)

I’m about to show you 11 super creative ways to take marketing for hospitality and tourism businesses to the next level. By the time you’re done, you’ll be a tourism internet marketing master…or at least one step closer!

So let’s jump right into the list…

11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination

#1 Creating a Tourism Marketing Plan for Your Destination

You might be thinking that this is not a creative marketing idea, but it comes in at number one because it’s the base for the rest of your marketing activities. Without an effective marketing plan you’re driving blind.

Creating a tourism marketing plan may be the most important thing you do for your internet marketing. Without a plan in place you’ll have a difficult time achieving your goals, have a hard time keeping track of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and if it’s even being effective!

The most effective marketers and marketing agencies are those with a detailed plan in place that they use to guide their marketing actions.

Creating a tourism marketing plan allows you to map out your step-by-step process to success, so start creating a marketing strategy document that you regularly update as your strategy changes.

#2 Drive Exposure with Influencer ProgramsTourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (2)

Using online influencers as a way of marketing for hospitality and tourism agencies is becoming more and more popular for a reason. It works!

(Video) Tourism Marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination

Influencers are people who have established a following around their personal online brand. Think bloggers, YouTube vloggers, Instagrammers, etc.

Many influencers have large followings and a highly engaged audience. They have been creating content for a specific niche for a long time and their audience is always happy and even eager to see more from them.

So what do you do? Find an influencer that caters to your industry and set up an exchange. It’s a win-win. You help them create content and experience something new and you get to expose your business to a new audience.

For example: your boutique hotel could offer a few nights accommodations in exchange for a short video on a travel Youtube vlogger’s channel. Your destination distillery may want to be even more specific and ask a popular blogger who writes exclusively about spirits to come for a visit and even a stay on the property for an all-inclusive, behind-the-scenes look.

The goal is to find someone who creates content that relates to your business and whose audience would be interested in what you have to offer. More often than not, the exposure costs you very little out of pocket. When you start working with influencers with a larger following you may be required to compensate them further, but the exposure is typically far greater.

#3 Create an Amazing Guide About Your AreaTourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (3)

Travelers are the lifeblood of the tourism industry. Therefore your tourism marketing needs to be focused around their wants and needs.

Most of them won’t know your area as well as a local would (yes, you), and a fun, informative guide is something that they would consider extremely valuable.

Make the guide easy to read and understand. Make it skimmable. No matter how good it is, very few people will read it word for word. Include lots of ideas for things to do and places to see, as well as all of the other information you feel is important to know about your area. The more super secret, “locals only” advice you provide the better.

Create a guide that you would want to sell or be willing to pay for, then give it away for free. That means high-quality photos and professional design.

#4 Build a Discussion Platform on Facebook

People visiting your area will have plenty of questions that they need answered before they come.

Are you beginning to see a theme here?

A great way to supercharge your tourism marketing is by creating a discussion platform around your Facebook page. Some businesses use their Facebook page as a customer-service platform.

You’ll be using it in a similar way, but instead of dealing with customer complaints you’ll be answering questions regarding your area quickly and informatively.

(Video) What is Tourism Marketing?

“What type of activities do you recommend for couples?”

“Do you know of a dog-friendly hotel in this part of town?”

“Is it difficult to use public transportation to get from here to there?”

Most of the questions you receive will be simple and the trust you’ll earn from the people visiting your page will be extremely valuable.

You can do the same thing around your Twitter or even Instagram handles. Snag handles like “Questions About Napa” or “Sedona Answers” and promote them as the place to have their questions answered.

#5 Create Awesome Destination Videos

The whole online world is moving toward videos. It’s time to get on the bandwagon. Videos convey a huge amount of information in very little time, so it’s a great way to showcase who you are and what you do.

But don’t go out and make a video that is just all about your business. Instead, show people your destination and help them out at the same time. We already talked about creating an informational guide about your area, why not turn that information into bite-size videos?

Create helpful videos that showcase things to do in your area, helpful tips about getting around, fun facts, and locals-only secrets. Share these videos on your website and social media. (Facebook is highly promoting videos and providing them with more exposure in users’ news feed.)

Tourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (4)

#6 Use a Challenge to Spark Interest in a Destination

Challenges have become a well-loved internet sensation. Today, promoting your own challenge is easier than ever because people are far more likely to participate and share with their networks.

A challenge is when you challenge a group of people—this could be your email subscribers or Facebook fans—to do something for a certain amount of days.

Create a fun challenge related to your niche and get your existing customers to help spread the word via email, social media, etc.

For example, if you’re a tourism bureau trying to get people excited and thinking about your location you could challenge your Facebook fans to share what they would do on a trip to your location. You would ask them to share every day for 7 days what they would do if they were visiting. You select one winner and provide them with a trip as a prize. Imagine the amount of buzz you could generate, if properly executed of course.

(Video) Tourism Marketing Strategies - Video Content

People love sharing this kind of content and the challenge will benefit you in another great way…

#7 Gather User-Generated Content and Promote It

Challenges like the one described above can be used to create tons of awesome user-generated content. People love real-life examples of others using your product or visiting your destination.

The trust generated from a positive review or even a challenge photo will be highly influential and help others get to know your brand. People buy from brands they like and trust!

You don’t need a challenge to find user-generated content though. People love to share and someone has probably already shared about your brand in one way or another.

Use tools like Social Mention. If someone shares a photo on Instagram or includes your business in a glowing YouTube video of their trip, ask permission and share it with your network.

If it’s really good, pay to promote it and expose new people to these positive remarks about your brand!

Tourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (5)

#8 Show Off What Makes You Unique on Social Media

Every business has something special that nobody else does. Whether it’s the way your servers carry wine to the table on three fingers, your stunning view, or even the unique way your staff greet your guests, it’s something to show off.

In tourism internet marketing, these types of campaigns highlight the human side of your business and build trust with the people exposed to it.

Even if your business isn’t able to showcase a 5-star customer experience, you have something special to share. Just look a little harder!

If you or a member of your staff brings their dog to work, make a series of videos about the funny things he does or the way he interacts with your customers. These campaigns are easily shared, especially if they’re funny, cute, entertaining, heartfelt, etc.

Tourism marketing: 11 Creative Ideas to Market Your Destination (6)

#9 Focus Your Marketing by Traveler Type

One of the most important parts of any tourism marketing plan is to know who you’re selling to. If you don’t focus your approach, your efforts will get lost in the ether amongst the droves of competition in your highly competitive industry.

(Video) The Most Effective Travel Agency Marketing Strategy

Millennials, families, couples, seniors, backpackers.

Whom are you targeting? Do you know where to start?

If you own a vacation rental company in a renowned surf destination and your typical customers are families, start by targeting families interested in surfing instead of the general population. As you learn more about your customers you can adjust the parameters and branch out.

If you’re trying to get more couples to your resort, target women who are engaged on Facebook and start putting you resort in front of her and speak to why it’s the perfect location for a honeymoon! Offer a honeymoon special with special treats like champagne, chocolates, and a romantic dinner included if they book through your ad.

#10 Make the Most of Mobile

Seventy-five percent of millennials would rather text than call, and spend more time on their phones than all other devices combined. They also travel more frequently than any other generation.

Market to them on mobile platforms and make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices when they end up there. That means: easy to navigate, fast loading, and a user-friendly layout.

Make the most of mobile tourism marketing by getting on the level of the majority of mobile users. Pictures tell a story faster, so create an Instagram account and post your best photos to it regularly.

Show your followers a unique view of your city that others aren’t sharing. Guide them through a virtual tour of your favorite things to do and see with thoughtful photos.

Tell your story where they want to see it…on mobile.

#11 Highlight What’s New in Your Area

One of the best ways to differentiate your message from that of your competitors is by highlighting the things that are new and exciting in your area. Keep visitors in the know about important events and unique goings-on around you.

Put yourself in their shoes and showcase the things that would seem interesting, fun, and exciting if you were visiting from another part of the country (or world) and you had never experienced before.

Bonus: #12 Contact Tourism Marketing Companies & Ask for Ideas

Schedule a free consultation with tourism marketing companies, like ours. : ) Even if we don’t end up working together, we’ll be able to provide you with some insight into what to do next.

Marketing companies that specialize in tourism marketing are experts in helping businesses like yours reach their ideal customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

(Video) 5 Key Trends in Tourism and Destination Marketing - February 21, 2019

Time to Get Started!

There you have it, now it’s time to get marketing. You now have a lot of creative ways to start marketing your destination, so don’t hold back. The worst kind of marketing is that which never gets done, so make yours a priority and get started today.

Who knows, this could be your best year yet!

Vanessa

FAQs

What are the 10 steps of the tourism marketing plan? ›

Once you've worked your way through these steps, your successful tourism marketing plan will include the following elements:
  • Executive Summary (write this last)
  • Mission Statement.
  • Industry & Competitor Review.
  • SWOT Analysis.
  • Target Audience.
  • Marketing Mix.
  • Objectives & SMART goals.
  • Strategies & Action Plan.
9 Feb 2022

What are the 7ps of tourism marketing? ›

(Product, price, place, promotion, people, process, physical evidence) have been considered to be the independent variables.

How do you attract customers to your destination? ›

10 Destination Marketing Strategies to Help You Grow Quickly
  1. Go all-in with online ads.
  2. Embrace the mobile experience.
  3. Become data-driven.
  4. Seek out win-win partnerships.
  5. Focus on branding.
  6. Work with influencers.
  7. Personalize the experience for your target visitors.
  8. Start a marketplace.

What are the 8 destination products? ›

The 8 destination marketing strategies with the highest ROI
  • Realise if your website needs a refresh.
  • Build a compelling and memorable visual brand.
  • Build a collaborative local network of suppliers.
  • Double down on Instagram.
  • Power-up your tourism content marketing campaign.
  • Design powerful customer experiences.
22 Jun 2016

What are the 7 strategies of marketing? ›

It's called the seven Ps of marketing and includes product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence.

What are the 5 marketing concepts? ›

The five main marketing concepts are production, product, selling, marketing, and societal. Companies utilize these five concepts in regards to the product, price, distribution, and promotion of their business.

What are the 4 types of marketing? ›

What are the 4Ps of marketing? (Marketing mix explained) The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives. The 4 Ps were first formally conceptualized in 1960 by E.

How can you promote a destination products or services? ›

There is a lot that goes into promoting a destination – and most of it is behind the scenes.
  • Websites. Every local and regional tourism office has a website. ...
  • Guides. ...
  • Press releases. ...
  • Blogs. ...
  • Social Media. ...
  • Large Activations. ...
  • Commercials. ...
  • Update them Constantly.
9 Jun 2021

How can tourism companies attract customers? ›

Your customers will find you and hopefully stick around long enough to schedule a booking.
  1. Embrace social media. ...
  2. Know your audience. ...
  3. Market your business in high tourist areas. ...
  4. Simplify the booking process. ...
  5. It's all about the content. ...
  6. Reviews are your friend.
31 May 2018

What is marketing in travel and tourism? ›

In a nutshell, Tourism Marketing is a marketing strategy that uses specific marketing plan and techniques to promote touristic products and services such as destinations, hotels and transport services, etc.

What are the 5 tourism products? ›

A tourism product is priced and sold through distribution channels and it has a life-cycle".
  • Rural tourism. ...
  • Gastronomy and Wine Tourism. ...
  • Mountain Tourism. ...
  • Urban Tourism. ...
  • Sports Tourism. ...
  • Shopping Tourism.

Why is it important to market a destination? ›

The purpose of destination marketing is to increase customer awareness of a certain destination so that they start to think about visiting, or to help them remember the location when they are ready to book a holiday.

What are the 6 stages of the tourism Area Life Cycle? ›

It suggests that the tourist destination life cycle goes through six stages; exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation and decline or rejuvenation (Bulter, 1980).

Why is tourism marketing different? ›

Most of all, tourism marketing is more customer-centric than any other type of industry marketing. Tourists spend thousands of dollars to travel and have a good time. If businesses cannot meet those expectations, it could lead to a bad review that affects the buying decisions of other potential customers.

What are the most essential 7 M's in marketing? ›

Seven cyclical elements to a successful integrated marketing program are: mindset, measure, model, map, make, modify, and monetize.

What's in a marketing plan? ›

The marketing plan details the strategy that a company will use to market its products to customers. The plan identifies the target market, the value proposition of the brand or the product, the campaigns to be initiated, and the metrics to be used to assess the effectiveness of marketing initiatives.

What is the best marketing concept? ›

The selling concept is one of the most popular marketing concepts available because it takes into account the realities of business — even loyal customers may not be enough to keep you going. With the selling concept, businesses must be good at finding potential customers and persuading them to buy.

What are the goals of marketing? ›

The purpose of marketing is to reach your target audience and communicate the benefits of your product or service — so you can successfully acquire, keep, and grow customers. So, your marketing goals must relate to the specific business objectives your company wants to achieve.

What are 5 examples of concepts? ›

120 Examples of a Concept
AdaptationAdvancement
HappinessHumility
IdealismImagination
ImprovisationInfinity
InfluenceInfrastructure
55 more rows
9 Nov 2019

What are the 11 pillars of experiential marketing? ›

It consists of 11 pillars: exceptional, shareable, memorable, relatable, memorable, relevant, personal, targetable, connectable, adaptable, engagement-worthy, and credible marketing strategies.

How can you promote a destination products or services? ›

There is a lot that goes into promoting a destination – and most of it is behind the scenes.
  • Websites. Every local and regional tourism office has a website. ...
  • Guides. ...
  • Press releases. ...
  • Blogs. ...
  • Social Media. ...
  • Large Activations. ...
  • Commercials. ...
  • Update them Constantly.
9 Jun 2021

Why is there a need to promote our tourism destination? ›

Promotion in tourism helps to draw the attention of the potential tourists, modify the behaviour of the existing buyers and influence them to visit a destination.

What are the essential requirements of a successful destination marketing? ›

Quick menu:
  • Define the Unique Selling Points.
  • Define Target Audience & Market.
  • Utilise Data for Analytics.
  • Brand Your Destination.
  • Involve All Stakeholders.
  • Create An Amazing Destination Website.
  • Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Experience Marketing.
19 Feb 2022

How can I grow my tourism business? ›

6 easy strategies to attract more foreign visitors to your tourism business
  1. Consider exhibiting at trade shows. ...
  2. Give your website global reach. ...
  3. Monitor and respond to online reviews. ...
  4. List your business on online aggregator sites. ...
  5. Think eco-tourism/adventure travel. ...
  6. Make your business multi-seasonal.

How is tourism promoted for example? ›

One of the best ways to promote the town is to create radio and television ads, focusing on the slogan for the town and the points discussed in the marketing plan. Make a tourist map. Another great way to promote the town is to create a detailed map for tourists and place them in local malls, restaurants, and bars.

How can you promote and sell a tourism product? ›

7 Effective Promotion Ideas for Tourism Marketing
  1. Showing online banners. ...
  2. Starting a blog or posting articles. ...
  3. Thinking of social media marketing. ...
  4. Using email newsletters. ...
  5. Checking the contextual advertising and SEO. ...
  6. Using tourist promo videos. ...
  7. Applying offline promo. ...
  8. In conclusion.

What is destination marketing and management? ›

The Journal of Destination Marketing & Management (JDMM) aims to be the leading international journal for the study of tourist destinations by providing a critical understanding of all aspects of their marketing and management, as they are situated in their particular policy, planning, economic, geographical and ...

What is marketing and promotion in travel and tourism? ›

Promotion is the process (set of means and actions) designed to inform potential visitors about the tourism product offered, sharing with them its most attractive and innovative attributes. As such it is usually integrated with distribution and implies communication activities, including advertising.

What is a tourism destination? ›

A tourist destination is a city, town, or other area that is significantly dependent on revenues from tourism, or "a country, state, region, city, or town which is marketed or markets itself as a place for tourists to visit". It may contain one or more tourist attractions and possibly some "tourist traps".

How can I improve my destination branding? ›

8 Tips for Successful Destination Branding
  1. Set Clear Goals. Or in other words, your ways to: ...
  2. Plan Ahead. ...
  3. Optimize Your Website. ...
  4. Don't Underestimate the Power of Print. ...
  5. Enhance Authenticity with Instagram. ...
  6. Bring Your Brand to Life with Video Marketing. ...
  7. Stage Memorable Events and Festivals. ...
  8. Promote All Year Round.

What do you mean by tourism marketing? ›

In a nutshell, Tourism Marketing is a marketing strategy that uses specific marketing plan and techniques to promote touristic products and services such as destinations, hotels and transport services, etc.

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