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The Basics of Marketing to Tourists

Traveling in our world is easier than ever. Many Americans own a car and are constantly bombarded by photos on social media from their friends and family of what they are doing over their vacations. Tourist destinations can be a lucrative place to offer your business’ services, but there are some basics that you should understand in order to make your marketing strategies more effective in a highly-competitive market. Resort markets have the added advantage of peak seasons, which can allow for you to prepare and audit your marketing strategies on an annual basis.

Find Your Tourists

Any good marketing strategy starts by identifying your customer. If your customers are tourists, however, that can be somewhat tricky. Tourists come in all shapes and sizes, and have many different preconceived notions about how they want their trip to go. Marketing to tourists can mean many, MANY different things. It could be marketing to couples without children, young or old.

It could mean marketing towards families and taking into account the vast age range of children that may be included in such an endeavor. It could include pets, should the tourists be inclined to bring their furry friends along. Something else that must be considered in regards to marketing toward tourists is the reason they are traveling in the first place. For some it may be their honeymoon, and for others it may be a family reunion. Understanding what demographic of tourists suits your business best is important in defining which direction you want to go regarding your messaging process.

Most people travel because of an activity. If you are lucky, your business may cater well to family-friendly and adult-friendly activities, but most businesses tend to swing one way or the other. This can define your methods of speaking to your demographic as well as the design of your advertising elements.

For instance, if your business better suits adult crowds you may be more interested in choosing a refined look for your pamphlets and digital ads, rather than a high-energy, brightly-colored video advertisement that may be more suited towards families with children. Finding your particular brand of tourist allows you to move forward in figuring out which parts of your business you should highlight the most.

 

Highlight The Important Stuff

Whether it’s in yellow, green, or orange, you’ll need to highlight certain services that you offer that cater to your ideal customer. This seems easy enough, until you realize that advertising space is prime real estate and your company does a lot more than you think you do. It’s best to keep in mind which services are most popular at your company and put them at the top of your list. Also, you should consider what experience a customer visiting your area may be looking for.

If you offer a high-quality, slightly more expensive option for a service that the locals in your area may not want to pay for regularly, that is something a tourist may be more interested in making a one or two time investment in for vacation’s sake. If you want to learn more about the difference between marketing for locals and marketing to tourists, click here to read our other post on the subject. It is also wise to consider running a promotional deal with some of your more affordable service options, as in the case of families or bargain hunter tourists that may be more enticing. Be sure to include services that truly represent your company and make your abilities very clear. After this, you may want to start on your content strategy which we have several useful tips for here.

 

Be Available

The experiences that people have while visiting a place are something that they want to share with others. It used to be in a way that they would have to take a business card or photos of your storefront to remember who you are and what you did, but now with social media the experience and the organic marketing can be instantaneous. This means that your customers are much more empowered now in telling you what they want and how they want it. You do not have to speculate, and you no longer have to make guesses on effective changes to make in your business. Instead of sending out or directly handing your customer extensive surveys, you can now communicate with them directly through social media with polls and with question and answer sessions.

These will not be as precise or reliable as analytics reports, but they will provide you with some looser guidelines on how your customers’ experiences went and what stood out to them. Are your customers constantly posting about how beautiful the view is from your business, or how kind your staff is? Or are they commenting their frustration over how long their service took or how low the quality was? An added bonus to having a social media presence is the ability to make your consumer feel like an individual. One-on-one interaction can create an emotional bond for the customer in regards to your business, and make them feel more cared for as well as listened to. For more information on reviews and their effect on your business we recommend reading our article "Why Do Reviews Matter for Local Businesses? (And How to Get More of Them)".

This is a great opportunity to resolve discrepancies or gain positive feedback directly from the person who experienced it, which can be the breaking point for some between not leaving a review at all or leaving a review (positive or negative). Individual interaction and content that makes the customer feel like the hero creates the opportunity for a lot of organic marketing growth as customers post their own photos, reviews, and experiences in a business that now heavily relies on word-of-mouth and personal experiences.

 

We live in a world where you can no longer easily be the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” without your potential clients checking your reviews to see if that’s true. They’ll check to see if you can accommodate the things they care about, such as their children and maybe their pets. They’ll also look into the services at various price points to make sure that they are receiving the service that is right for them and their wallet. In this world where thanks to Google everyone can be an amateur researcher, your business must use their tools as effectively as possible to be clear about who you are, who you serve, and how you serve it; because tourists have plenty of options and plenty of time to plan out their visits beforehand. By utilizing the Swift Local Solutions marketing tools and our solid experience in resort marketing, you can reach the audiences that you hope to without difficulty.

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