What is your best piece of advice for how to market a business in tourism - whether it’s for a tour operator, hotel, or experience provider?
To boost your marketing as a tourism business, we asked marketing experts and business consultants for their best insights. From exploring bundling options to creating engaging video content, these ideas can help you increase brand recognition and conversions.
Here are nine original ideas to market your tourism business:
It is no secret that short, powerful video is the future on social platforms. Instagram, TikTok, and even YouTube offer great organic visibility for high-quality short-form video content in the form of Reels, TikToks, and Shorts, respectively. Putting out great content in these formats will help you reach an audience of potential clients organically and inexpensively.
Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel
You're selling an experience rather than a tangible product in tourism marketing. And you'll most likely be advertising it to folks who live anywhere from an hour to half a nation or around the world! Tourism businesses must use social proof now more than ever to instill confidence and trust in those who visit their online platforms and to provide additional proof that their claims are valid.
When asked, the vast majority of people are willing to refer, but few take the initiative to do so independently. Referrals make it easier to get new customers in the door. You're squandering opportunities if you don't ask for them. As a result, harnessing the power of social proof is critical. Social proof includes testimonials, star ratings, reviews, endorsements, and even social engagement statistics.
Axel Hernborg, Tripplo.com
To streamline your review request process, use the power of Swell’s automated text messaging.
DIY trips are now much more popular due to the availability of social platforms for travelers. Partnering with other types of businesses in the tourism industry can unlock synergies and expose businesses to leads very likely to convert.
Tour operators and local guides can easily benefit from teaming up with local hostels, museums, and national parks. Then, they can partner with local businesses to combine the walk through the historic neighborhood with a visit to a traditional restaurant, local craft shop, or even a sampling of the beverages unique to the region. All such collaboration can be a win-win for the business owners and clients alike.
Michael Sena, SENACEA
The accessible and inclusive tourism market is a huge, loyal but underserved market sector. We are not just talking about wheelchairs and guide dogs either - more than 20% of the population has some form of disability and there is a large growing elderly traveler sector with disposable income to spend but who require information about specific features of your property.
You don't necessarily have to alter your physical property to start with but rather giving information is power - let everyone know exactly what you offer and this will attract more customers and cut down on customer service enquiries and ensure consistent accurate information.
Dale Reardon, All Accessibility Matters
Hotels are always looking for luxurious, local items to sell to guests in their lobbies and hotel stores. Target your products for tourism markets, and create a brand that your product is one of a kind, and can only be found in your area. Hotels will want to use your products within their establishments, and your customer base will grow tremendously when you hit the tourism market.
Olivia Young, Conscious Items
If your business operates in the tourism or related industry, it's always good to invest in a travel blog that targets highly researched travel-related keywords. You can see such keywords in tools like Ahrefs and Semrush. 'Travel insurance’ is a pretty popular one, though difficult to compete in. Also, searches concerning travel restrictions are still very popular currently.
In any case, having a blog that targets such keywords (with, say, two articles per keyword), and optimized in the best possible way will definitely help the website stand out and appear in the searches in the long run. You can also include a CTA (call to action) in your articles so that readers can directly access your product or service.
Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD
After 15 years in the travel industry, I've learned the most valuable and cost-efficient marketing stems from word-of-mouth. While often the easiest to set up, paid search engine and social media marketing tend to have only a moderate impact on a business's bottom line over the long term. Conversely, engaging with loyal customers and making it easy, fun, and mutually beneficial for them to share their positive experiences with others tends to pay back tenfold over time.
There are many ways to encourage word-of-mouth. Create something buzzy-worthy and engage with past customers online. Provide exclusive discounts or incentives for referrals. Create a platform and cultivate user-generated content. Ultimately, turn your focus to your past customers, and you may find yourself gaining a highly coveted asset in marketing - genuine brand ambassadors.
Dan Meyer, BACK&PACK
Choose one main channel of promotion, whether is it online or offline and focus on explaining all the ways your potential customers can experience something unique and suited to their needs. It doesn't matter what are you selling - tours, souvenirs, accommodation, or food. Your product or service needs to be the means to get your prospects to have the most memorable experience.
Klara Dumancic, Investors Club
The best way to generate actual business and high converting traffic is by networking and integrating with content creators for your destination. Users and customers are more often turning to personal reviews and experiences to make their decisions - this often comes in the form of video and blog content from creators who have visited an area. Find these creators through social channels and offer them incentives to come experience your business and share it with their followers. Look for city guides, itineraries, and local-specific blogs and creators as a starting point.
Sam Gallen, collystring