For the past twenty years, I have been involved with Tourism Marketing. From my first job at a major resort, to creating campaigns for the biggest tourism company on earth, I have enjoyed every minute. Today, I’ll try to whittle down two decades of experience into the 5 Secrets of Tourism Marketing.
- Tourism Marketing Must be Integrated. If you’re involved with resort marketing, the days of just running television commercials, or just having a website are long gone. Today, campaigns must be fully integrated, with print, TV, a great website with video, remarketing, and display advertising. You must reach the people who are searching for a great vacation, and you need to increase awareness of your brand to those who will take a vacation six months from now.
- You Should Use Direct Response. Direct response marketing gives you immediate feedback, and an immediate return on your investment. In less than one week, your campaign can become self-funding, and your advertising expense suddenly becomes a profit center. One caveat – you must find an agency with significant direct response experience, and more importantly, a great record of success. The industry track record is just 5%, but some agencies, like Random, have a success rate of over 90%. Choose your agency carefully… it is the most important decision you will make.
- Social Media is Paramount. Tourism destinations serve as an escape to guests. Your team has created incredible accommodations, service, and experiences for your guests, but millions of people may stumble across your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. Your social media team must have a clear voice, and personality to convey what it means to be a guest at your destination. Are you exclusive? A family resort? Perfect for active, adventure-seekers, or an ideal escape for those who just want to relax on a deserted beach? Your agency, and your social media team, must work closely to create that voice, and help build your brand to a new audience.
- Show them, Don’t tell them. When you’re looking for the ultimate vacation, do you want to read a lot of lengthy text and look at a few pictures, or would you rather take flight over the incredibly landscaped gardens, soar over the sparkling pool, and fly across the white sand beaches and crystal blue sea? With new camera technology, drones, and great crews, we can create incredible videos at just a fraction of what it would have cost you a few years ago. Work with an agency that specializes in creating the experience of being at your resort, and you will be amazed at the differences in your conversions.
- Create a Relationship with Your Guests. Every guest that visits your resort is likely to tell a few friends of their experience. Make sure that those stories are great ones. Your relationship begins with your commercials, your print ads, and your social media team. It continues with your call center representatives, your front desk staff, the restaurant service, pool attendants and housekeeping. Once they leave to fly home, make sure that relationship continues. Keep in touch through email, direct mail, and social media. Send special offers, key updates on your resort, or simple photos at that perfect time of year. By keeping that relationship going, you will keep your guests returning year after year.
About the author:
Randy Pryor is the president of Random, a leading tourism marketing and resort advertising agency in Orlando, Florida. He has been creating tourism advertising for over twenty years for some of the largest resorts in the world. Please contact him at Randy@GoRandom.com with any questions.