Adopting the right tourism marketing strategies can be a vital part of maximising revenue, building brand awareness and managing your company reputation. However, businesses in the tourism industry also need to be mindful of changing customer behaviours resulting from COVID. In this article, you will find the latest tourism marketing tips for 2022, which you can use to optimise results and achieve your business objectives.
- What is Tourism Marketing?
- Why is Tourism Marketing Important?
- 15 Tourism Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Result
- Tourism Marketing Strategies Linked to Coronavirus
- General Tourism Marketing Strategies
- 4. Capitalise on Voice Search
- 5. Deploy Artificial Intelligence
- 6. Enhance the Guest Experience & Satisfaction Through Chatbots
- 7. Utilise Augmented Reality Technology
- 8. Prioritise Personalisation
- 9. Virtual Reality (VR) Tours
- 10. Focus on the Customer Experience
- 11. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
- 12. Embrace Influencer Marketing
- 13. Facilitate User-Generated Content
- 14. Do Not Neglect Review Marketing
- 15. Invest in Remarketing Efforts
- Travel Agencies Provide an Opportunity to Increase Bookings
Tourism marketing is the collective name given to the various marketing strategies used by businesses within the tourism industry. This includes, for example, hotels and other forms of accommodation, along with airlines, car rental services, restaurants, entertainment venues, travel agents and tour operators.
The purpose behind tourism marketing is to promote the business, make it stand out from rivals, attract customers, and generate brand awareness. Many modern tourism marketing strategies make use of the internet, with websites, online adverts, email and social media platforms often playing a key role.
As it is one of the world’s largest industries, the tourism industry is extremely competitive. This means that businesses operating within the industry need to find ways to stand out from rivals, promote themselves as being the best option for tourists, and highlight some of the things that make them different, or superior. Marketing is essential for achieving this and many of the best tourism marketing tips focus on helping businesses to find a unique selling point and promote it. Of course, it is also crucial that marketers keep up with the latest trends, so that they can create a diverse marketing mix and use the best methods for getting their message out.
15 Tourism Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Result
Keeping up with the new developments in tourism marketing is crucial, but it is also essential to consider the meaning of these developments. Below, you will find a rundown of patterns that are important to the tourism industry as a whole, as well as developments that have arisen in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tourism Marketing Strategies Linked to Coronavirus
The outbreak of COVID has caused significant disruption to tourism and requires airlines, hotels, cruise companies, restaurants and other businesses to adapt accordingly and keep up with the latest tourism trends. Below, you can learn more about some of the tourism marketing strategies that relate to the coronavirus pandemic.
Customer safety has always been a major concern for those in the tourism industry, but customer needs in this area have evolved with the emergence of COVID. In particular, there is a greater emphasis on hygiene than ever before and this needs to be reflected within your tourism marketing efforts.
This means highlighting the steps you have taken to keep your property or business COVID-secure. Customers need to be convinced that they are going to be safe, so you need to emphasise these concepts of hygiene and safety on your own website, on marketing content, on third-party platforms and through customer communication.
Read our article, “Tips to Highlight Safety in Marketing & Guest Communication in Travel”, for much more on this topic.
One of the key ways those involved with tourism management are adapting to the pandemic is by placing a greater focus on customers in the local area, or in neighbouring countries. This is because the travel restrictions that are in place, and the overall reluctance to travel internationally, has made local customers a safer target demographic.
You can start by emphasising features of your business that are likely to appeal to local customers. For instance, rather than highlighting aspects like the weather and local attractions, which primarily appeal to international visitors, you might instead focus on your facilities, your ability to host events, or your luxury services.
For hotels, cafes and similar businesses, you may also appeal on the basis of providing locals with somewhere to carry out remote work, and you can do this by promoting your work-related facilities and your wi-fi.
3. Increase the Focus on Leisure
Another tourism marketing trend due to COVID is the increase in marketing efforts to leisure. With restrictions on international travel and mass gatherings in many parts of the world, business events have been hugely impacted by the COVID situation. Although leisure trips have also been affected, there is still an appetite for holidays and for getting away from the stress, so it can pay off to focus more on the leisure market.
If your business is usually geared towards business customers, consider whether there are ways to switch your attention towards those who are likely to visit for leisure purposes instead. You could try to focus marketing efforts on different demographics too, like couples, groups of friends, or families with young children.
General Tourism Marketing Strategies
The tourism marketing trends explained below are more general trends, which have been seen throughout the tourism industry and which are applicable at almost all times, for tourism companies of all types.
4. Capitalise on Voice Search
The rise of voice recognition technology has opened up new avenues for marketers to explore. In particular, hotels are increasingly using smart hubs to offer voice search capabilities within rooms, providing a more convenient source of tourist information. Meanwhile, travel agents are also making it easier to book entirely through voice control. One of the best tourism marketing tips is also to use SEO principles to focus on voice search results on platforms like Google. Additionally, voice search can be used to put customers in contact with a chatbot.
Video: Book a Flight, Hotel or Car Rental via Expedia through Amazon Alexa
In the article “How Can Voice Search Benefit the Travel Industry?” you will learn more about voice control and the ways it can be of help in the travel industry.
5. Deploy Artificial Intelligence
The use of artificial intelligence is another growing marketing trend. For example, travel websites can look at past bookings to make intelligent recommendations for future bookings, while hotels can use artificial intelligence to create a more personalised offering for their guests, and AI can assist with analysing data for marketing purposes. Of course, one of the other major areas where AI is used is through chatbots. The benefit here is that fast response times to customer queries can be guaranteed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of staff availability.
In the article “How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Travel Industry” you will learn the uses and benefits of artificial intelligence, and explain how it is changing the way tourism companies operate.
6. Enhance the Guest Experience & Satisfaction Through Chatbots
Chatbots are increasingly used for customer service purposes because they are able to respond to customers very quickly, even when staff members are not available. One of the best things about chatbots is their ability to gather the information that can then be used by a human customer service rep if intervention is required too.
This technology also allows for communication in multiple languages and the chatbot can be set up to attempt cross-selling and up-selling, which can potentially help you to boost revenue. Moreover, chatbots can be used during the follow-up stage of the customer journey too, in order to gather feedback.
Example 1: Chatbot Within Tourism
Read more about chatbots in our articles “AI Chatbot: What Are the Advantages for the Travel Industry?” and “AI Bot: Which Features Are Important for Travel Companies?”.
7. Utilise Augmented Reality Technology
Although similar to virtual reality, augmented reality is about overlaying digital information onto real-world settings, rather than replacing them with entirely new 3D environments. This can be used for tourism marketing purposes in a number of interesting ways; typically through the use of smartphones and mobile apps. As an example, some tourism apps now allow users to point their phone at a restaurant or tourist attraction in the real world and see online reviews on the screen. Meanwhile, some hotels feature interactive wall maps, which are able to offer significantly more tourist information when viewed through a smartphone.
In the article “How Augmented Reality is Revolutionising the Travel Industry” you get a closer look at the impact augmented reality is having on the tourism industry.
8. Prioritise Personalisation
Modern customers want to be treated as individuals, which is where personalisation marketing comes in. The basic principle is to try to target people with more relevant marketing messages, which appeal to them on an individual level. This could mean, for instance, sending a personalised email, showing them a product they might like. To be effective, personalisation marketing requires you to capture user data and make intelligent use of it, often through AI and automation. This data could be past bookings, web browsing habits, or activity on social media.
In the article “5 Ways Personalisation Marketing Can Benefit the Travel Industry” you can read more detailed information about personalisation marketing within travel.
9. Virtual Reality (VR) Tours
The pandemic has forced businesses to make more intelligent use of tourism technology and virtual reality is one of the most promising areas to explore. This can allow potential customers to experience a hotel, airport lounge, restaurant, local attraction or even certain tourist activities from afar, with no risk.
Today, virtual reality tours can usually be enjoyed through any of the major web browsers and viewed on a computer, mobile or tablet. The enjoyment can be further enhanced if users have access to a VR headset.
Virtual reality tours can be especially effective as a tourism marketing component, because they allow users to get a sense of what they can expect when they arrive. This can be an especially powerful tool during the booking process, when customers may start to have second thoughts, and when a little extra persuasion can make all the difference.
Video: A Guided City Tour of Dubrovnik (360 VR Video)
In the articles “How Virtual Reality is Transforming the Travel Industry” and “5 Benefits of Virtual Reality Marketing” you find more information about VR marketing and 5 advantages of using virtual reality to increase sales.
10. Focus on the Customer Experience
Within tourism management, it is important to try to keep in mind that most customers are not really paying for products or services; they are paying for experiences. With this in mind, some of the most useful tourism marketing tips stress the importance of competing based on the customer experience you can provide. Hotels might do this by offering smart room controls, while airlines might compete based on meals and entertainment. The trick is to promote the superior experience you offer and allow customers to share their experiences with others.
In the article “8 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in the Travel Industry” you will find out about eight of the most effective ways for those in the tourism industry to improve the experience for customers.
11. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is one of the best tourism marketing strategies for a number of reasons. Not only can it be used to draw attention to your business and your company website, it can also help to position you as a credible industry expert. Furthermore, an effective content marketing strategy can use SEO techniques to boost overall visibility. Content marketing is diverse and includes everything from blog posts and web articles, to infographics, e-books and videos. The key to success is to produce high-quality, genuinely useful content. Think about the expertise you have to share, keep customers up-to-date, and share knowledge about attractions, activities and experiences.
12. Embrace Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers are the new celebrities where many people look up to, so therefore every tourism company should consider influencer marketing in there tourism marketing strategy. Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals or businesses that have a degree of influence over a particular demographic, in order to promote your products or services. It harnesses the power of social media and shares similarities with endorsement marketing, in that people are more likely to trust the word of that influencer. An influencer might promote a restaurant by posting photos of the meal they had there, or promote a hotel by sharing a video of their stay. Influencer marketing can also take other forms, such as blog posts or written social media content.
13. Facilitate User-Generated Content
In terms of budget-friendly tourism marketing tips, it can be beneficial to encourage the creation of as much user-generated content as possible. User-generated content refers to any content that originates from internet users, rather than from the marketing business, and includes images, videos, blog posts, comments on social media, and more. A digital photo booth might encourage tourists to take photos at your location and the booth can automatically add your company name or a hashtag to the photos. You might also set up a section on your website for users to upload their own videos, while you can encourage discussion on your company blog, and on social media platforms.
14. Do Not Neglect Review Marketing
The modern travel and tourism industry is hugely influenced by customer reviews. After all, customers are now likely to read reviews before they book a hotel room, visit a restaurant, or even decide on a broad travel destination. For this reason, tourism marketing efforts must also place a focus on managing reviews, and there are several ways to do this. You can request reviews from guests via email, ensuring you have plenty of feedback and that the influence of bad reviews is limited. You can also focus on updating profiles on review platforms. Trends within negative reviews should be identified quickly and the underlying issues should be addressed to protect your reputation.
In the article “9 Tips to Manage Online Reviews” you will learn some tactics to sharpen your review management strategy.
15. Invest in Remarketing Efforts
The last tourism marketing trend is remarketing. Remarketing involves targeting those who have interacted with your business in the past, in order to generate future business. It can be extremely cost-effective because you know you are reaching out to people who have at least some interest in what you are offering. Remarketing can be carried out through social media platforms, Google AdWords, etc. Another major benefit here is that individuals can be targeted easily with extremely relevant messages. For instance, an OTA can show someone an ad for a hotel they have previously looked at, jogging their memory. This can be useful in cases where a customer has been interrupted mid-booking, giving them a reminder to continue.
Travel Agencies Provide an Opportunity to Increase Bookings
Within tourism marketing, travel agencies are important partners to attract travellers. They provide a platform for customers to find, compare and book products and services. By connecting to a travel agency, you are able to attract travellers who might else not find your business directly. So they can help your tourism company to optimise revenue.
Read “Travel Agencies Provide an Opportunity to Increase Bookings” and you will not only find a summary of some of the most well-known agencies to work with, but also acquire more information about the benefits of travel agencies.
In the highly competitive tourism industry, it is important to stand out from competitors and promote the qualities that make your business unique. For optimum results, you should use the most up-to-date methods, and the 11 tourism marketing tips in this article will assist you in achieving your goals.