12 Marketing Tips for your Tourism Business
As South Africa celebrates the Tourism industry as well as its Heritage during September, it seems fitting to shine a massive spotlight on local travel. Lockdown restrictions have severely impacted the growth of our tourism businesses. However, under Level 1, and going forward, companies within this industry can bring more travellers to their towns and cities by implementing smart and inexpensive marketing strategies.
Don’t wait for people to come, invite them!
Tips to get your tourism business noticed:
1. List, list, list
Visibility online is critical in getting the word out about what your tourism hotspot has to offer. List your business, whatever it is; restaurant, coffee shop, chalet, cab service, recreation establishment, or accommodation, on all the popular tourism directory platforms. Remember, the more places your contact details are displayed consistently and correctly, the better for your business’s online ranking.
2. Create your own website
If you are listed on all the directories why is it necessary to have a website too? Because in order for your own marketing efforts to work well you need to lead visitors somewhere. Also, it creates a specific platform from which you can create specific content-marketing strategies. Create and manage your website yourself by using a DIY website builder and save costs.
3. Use social media
Chances are you have already created a Facebook and Instagram page for your tourism business, but are you using it? Using it means you have to post content that engages people as well as interacting with your followers on a regular basis. Grow your audiences by boosting/promoting your page and posts.
4. Publish new content on your website regularly
Similar to other things in life, people don’t enjoy being told something is “fun” or “a must”. They want to be “shown”. Use your website and social media platforms to visually showcase your business, through photographs and videos clips. Remember to post targeted content. In other words, if your establishment caters for families, show families experiencing a great time there. If your tourism business is ideal for a diverse crowd be sure to showcase this diversity.
5. Share reviews
Nothing builds trust in a tourism business quite like the opinion of other tourists. Signing the guestbook is great but you need your happy visitors to take their review online. Make it easy for visitors to review your establishment (via multiple platforms i.e. Facebook, on your website etc.) and make a point to kindly ask them to do so.
6. Run a promotion or give-away
Run a promotion or give a prize away. It could create awareness about your tourism destination. When the winner claims their prize at your business it will also offer another opportunity for you to create marketing content.
7. Create an email database and share news and promotions etc.
You don’t want visitors to your establishment to forget about their amazing visit, do you? So, don’t forget about them either. Add them to your database (with their consent of course) and communicate news or promotions that would interest them. This way when they come round to your town again, guess who they will remember?
8. Do something NEW!
Feel like nothing worth marketing about is happening in your town or at your location? Then do something new! Revamp a room, host an event or launch something new. You know what your ideal visitors would be interested in the most.
9. Collaborate with others in the industry
If lockdown has taught one thing, it is that we are all better together. Don’t try to put your town on the map alone. Team up with others within the industry or your local ‘influencers’. Idea: If you own a restaurant, team up with a B&B for a promo or give-away. Or better yet, think bigger by hosting a food and wine festival together.
10. Create a tourist guide
You know why your town is a great place to visit. Create a guide to give potential visitors more reason to travel to you, put your town’s exclusive ‘spin’ on it.
11. Ensure you are physically visible
Are you visible enough? Make sure travellers driving through your town know you are there with good signage and a few local advertising boards.
12. Plan for success
The only tricky thing about marketing is that it needs to be on-going. Don’t only be visible when you notice it is too quiet. Plan for year-round success by making marketing part of your daily, weekly and monthly to-dos.
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