What Is Tourism Marketing?
by Karen S. Johnson; June 30, 2018 Go to Original article
When you go on summer vacation and spend days shopping in antique stores, hiking in a national park, eating local food and taking in a musical at the amphitheater, you are being a tourist. Tourism occurs when you leave your normal surroundings where you live and work to go to another environment to engage in activities there, regardless of how close or how far it is. You are a visitor, and what you do while visiting is tourism. Individuals and organizations at your destination promoted those activities through advertising or other forms of marketing.
Tourism Marketing Plan
Every marketing effort should begin with a plan, and tourism marketing is no different. The marketing plan is your road map and details the attractions in your area. It forces you to set a budget on your promotional spending. At the end of each tourism season, you can use your marketing plan to set goals and make changes for next year. For example, if revenue at one attraction did not meet expectations, perhaps it needs product development — some upgrades to make it more appealing to visitors — or better advertising.
Tourism marketing can be expensive, particularly if you want to attract national or international tourists. Typical funding sources are state tourism agencies and taxes, including hotel taxes. To stretch tourism dollars, public/private partnerships often form among local and regional businesses and chambers of commerce. For example, if there are several tourist attractions in a specific county — or across several neighboring counties — the entire area can be marketed as an appealing weeklong destination site by combining advertising and other marketing activities. Partnerships can provide tourists with a fuller travel experience.
Tourism marketing has distinct characteristics from other marketing plans. Because tourists are temporary, they are exposed to an area’s goods and services for shorter periods. But tourists are counting on having a good time, so marketers should consider strategies that appeal to the emotions, such as treating kids to a memorable experience. Tourism-dependent businesses rely on other organizations: One example of leveraging this dependence would be a musical venue offering discount coupons for meals at a nearby restaurant.
Combining tourism with volunteer opportunities is another tourism marketing strategy that appeals to many tourists. Popular both domestically and abroad, such volunteer tourism can range from repairing schools on American Indian reservations to installing water systems in poor communities. Promoting sustainable tourism efforts also appeals to environmentally conscious travelers. Sustainable tourism emphasizes a balance on tourist activities and the effect it has on its surroundings, such as the environment. Practices include such things as energy-saving upgrades, environmentally friendly products and signs and even limiting the number of visitors to outdoor areas. Go to Original article
Tourism Promotion and Marketing
by Robert Morello; Updated June 30, 2018 Go to Original article
The tourism industry is unlike any other because, instead of a product, you are selling a place and all the things it has to offer. You are competing with the entire world every time you promote tourism in a given destination, and this high level of competition demands a creative and unique approach. To be successful, your marketing should constantly put forth the best possible image of your destination, while creating interest on a broad scale in as many ways as possible.
Partnerships help maximize your marketing dollars and reach a broader and more desirable audience when promoting tourism for a given destination. Instead of attempting to create a broad base of followers and a reach that extends throughout the world, piggyback with a partner who already has that reach in a way that benefits both parties. For example, enter into a marketing contract with a national travel agency. Grant the agency special deals and promotions for its customers in exchange for nationwide access to the customer base. You will have to pay for the privilege, of course, but the return can far outweigh the expense, and the alternative of building your own national network is often unrealistic.
Trade shows provide your destination with access to every travel and tourism supplier in the region and beyond, every travel seller and company who sells or wants to sell your destination and the general public who has an interest in what you’re offering. Whether you attend existing trade shows around the country and the world, or you organize your own to bring attention and forward motion to your destination, the results can be beneficial. Trade shows bring together every aspect of the travel industry in one place and allow time for meetings, interaction and new deals. They also draw media attention, public attendees and, if they are large enough, national travel agencies and their millions of customers.
Advertising in Trade Publications
Take out ads in trade publications to get the eyes of travel sellers around the country onto your product. Create a brand for your destination that speaks to what you have to offer and why. For example, Las Vegas helped build its secretive escapist image by creating the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” campaign. Find your destination’s identity and describe it to the public so they understand why they want to visit you. Placing your ads in a smart and targeted manner is the final piece in the puzzle. For example, if you are in charge of tourism promotion for an outdoor adventure destination, you should be advertising in “Field & Stream” magazine instead of “GQ.” Making the most of your ad dollars is an important part of getting the job done.
Sponsoring Events and Giveaways
Sponsored events and giveaways that tie in with your destination and create a level of prestige for the brand. Sponsorships are available in all shapes and sizes from local parades to national events, each with its own target audiences and each with a specific set of benefits. Investigate events that take place in the regions you wish to reach that have a direct relationship with your tourism destination. For example, if you are promoting a great new art scene, look into local open-air art shows or national art conventions as possible sponsorships. Televised events have the extra benefit of local and sometimes national media coverage, a factor that multiplies your potential advertising reach significantly. It also tends to increase the cost of the sponsorship.
Leveraging social media, blogs and online videos allows destinations to connect with a target market by leveraging brands the end consumer already loves. For example, a Florida theme park may find a fruitful partnership by contracting with a popular mommy blogger to highlight new family features at the location and promote the overall vacation experience. By comparison a ski resort may find a likely partner in an Instagram star focused on luxurious living. Both content providers already reach the market the destination wants as future guests. Go to Original article
Eight P’s in Marketing Tourism
by Bert Markgraf
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Tourism marketing is different because the customer purchases a series of services, but is left with very little concrete value at the completion of his trip. As a result, the marketing initiatives have to emphasize the value of the memories, make the collection of services easily accessible and add value through additional programming and other factors. A key challenge is to convince potential customers that the item they are purchasing provides good value for the price, and that the services will be as described and expected. The eight P’s of marketing tourism summarize the special approach that is required. Many small businesses market tourism products and employ these marketing strategies.
The product is the collection of services that have features and benefits. Standard features and benefits include the normal amenities of a hotel room, for example. Good marketing adds special features, such as free breakfasts or free Internet.
The price has to match the product, but good marketing makes the price seem more attractive. The operator can either add features to the product and keep the price the same or give a discount for the same features.
The promotion gives details of the product and the price. The key characteristics of the promotion are the method of communicating the information, the content of the promotion and the cost to the operator. The promotion has a target market, and the method and content of the promotion has to appeal to the people who it reaches. The price the members of the target market are willing to pay has to cover the cost of the promotion.
Place refers to the location where the customer buys the collection of services. Ideally, the operator who sends out the promotion uses it to encourage the potential customer to visit the operator’s location and complete the purchase. With the convenience of online payments, the operator may find that the best strategy is to direct potential customers to an attractive website where they can complete the purchase.
Since the product is a collection of services, the people who provide the services are a key to the success of the transaction. Operators must have top-level service to initially complete the sale and to encourage repeat customers.
The key service component of the tourism experience is planning. The customer expects that the experience will correspond closely to what he purchased. The only way to ensure that kind of correspondence is to execute according to detailed plans, and have contingency planning in place for problems.
One way to add value to the standard product and to distinguish a particular offering from competitors is to offer exclusive programming. Customers will purchase a product that caters to their particular interests. Special programming can address such preferences and draw in additional customers.
If possible, the provision of physical evidence that the customer experienced the particular tourism product can help sales. Providing professional photographs of the customers at key events or the supply of branded products are effective strategies for promoting particular tourism products.
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How to Write a Tourism Marketing Plan
by Robert Morello
Marketing plans help to get a destination into the public eye.
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A tourism marketing plan outlines the advertising and overall marketing approach that will be used to promote a destination. Marketing plans create a customized action statement that the entire tourism board can follow and use to measure the effectiveness of each campaign involved in the effort. The process of writing a tourism marketing plan involves serious research and a good grasp of the marketing avenues that are open to you.
1. Review the marketing methods and results of years past in an attempt to illustrate what has worked and what needs to be improved with the new year’s approach. Create a first section of your marketing plan titled “Past Campaigns.” List the campaigns that have resulted in increased visits and use of your travel destination separately from those that have failed, along with their cost and some suggestions about possible improvements.
2. Research current market trends in tourism to gauge the climate in which you will be advertising. Review the successes and failures of your competitors — destinations with similar attractions or the same target audience — so you do not repeat any mistakes made but can capitalize on any successful initiatives. Analyze the geographic areas and demographics you wish to target with your marketing. Learn as much as you can about trends, income levels and travel habits and then report these findings in the second section of your marketing plan to underscore the initiatives and marketing tactics to follow. Title the section “Current Market Trends.”
3. Lay out the strategies you favor to market the destination. These strategies should be broken down into categories like online marketing, print marketing and partnership marketing, for example. Call the section “Marketing Strategies” and use it to describe the purpose of each strategy as compared to the others, the intended audience and reach, and the potential benefits of each method. A distinction should also be made between business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing.
4. Describe the goals of your approach in the fourth section of the plan, “Objectives.” Here you describe the intended market placement of the destination itself, growth goals over the short and the long term, and financial goals regarding return on the overall marketing investment. These projections should be based on past performance and should highlight the cost of each initiative versus its potential return. For example, web banners and email blasts are low cost but can deliver significant returns if past customers and frequent travelers are targeted.
5. Break down the strategies portion of your plan into individual marketing campaigns in the fifth section of your plan, which you should label “Initiatives.” List each specific funded program that will be undertaken as part of the year’s marketing for the destination. This includes everything from internal website postings to mailers to major television ad launches. Each listing should include a description of the initiative, cost analysis, projected audience and potential return figure. List the theme of each campaign and if possible, include some copy and or samples of the ads themselves to best convey the concept and allow for fine tuning and adjustment.
6. Close your plan with a detailed schedule of all marketing for the entire year to come with specific dates for each initiative to be run. Timing can be the most important aspect of any marketing piece, so plan your dates wisely based on the product or destination you are selling, the high and low travel seasons, any holidays that may come into play and the goals you are trying to reach at certain points throughout the year.
Always address the travel trade in a tourism marketing plan. Travel trade includes travel agents, travel industry publications and travel industry groups that hold tremendous sway over trade shows and media coverage, which can make all the difference in getting word of your destination out in a positive light. List the ways you intend to create a steady presence at industry shows and events in hopes of increasing the profile of your destination as a valid tourism option.
Never take a shortcut when researching the market or when creating projections for the future. If your data is off or your projections inflated, you will be left with questions to answer at the end of the marketing cycle.
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