4 steps to getting tourism back on track
Where to start
When it comes to promoting your community and attracting tourists these days, the road is not a straight and narrow path. With travel restrictions, pandemic closures and reopening strategies that are constantly changing, it can be a challenge to keep your tourism thriving.
If you’re looking to revive your tourism efforts, start by assessing your current state. Is your community ready to promote tourism and support travelers when they come to visit? Where can you invest wisely to create a sustainable strategy that will boost your reach? Talk about your community’s challenges and brainstorm how you can creatively attract tourists based on your community’s strengths and offerings.
If your community is ready to start a tourism strategy, read on to learn how you can focus your efforts to get tourists interested in visiting.
Tip #1: Identify your audience
Your tourism promotions will see the best results when you know the audience your community attracts. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor your messaging to their interests and spark a curiosity for visiting your area. To define your target audience, identify what your community has to offer. What benefits and experiences can these features provide to your visitors? For example, if your community is known for its mountain biking trails, attract an audience who appreciates the rugged outdoors, enjoys a good workout and loves the adventure and thrill of winding trails.
To further understand your tourism audience, identify their needs and expectations for their travels. What do they need to know before they arrive? Where would they be staying and eating? How will they get around? What amenities do they need? Dig into your audience’s thinking – What will influence their travel decisions? What information do they need to feel comfortable and confident on their trip? What risks or pains are they taking on? What are they most excited for?
By answering these questions, you gain a strong sense of who your audience is and how you can influence and prepare them to visit your community. This knowledge becomes your audience persona and empathy map that can guide your tourism strategy. It will help identify where you promote your messaging and how your community can support your visitors experience to make it smooth sailing.
Tip #2: Make it easy to find information
Many tourists search online to find the best destinations when planning a trip. If you’re going to promote tourism in your community, make sure you have a centralized place to showcase all your travel information online. This dedicated tourism space becomes a trusted source for your audience. It allows you to speak directly to potential travelers and provide them up-to-date information they can rely on.
Give your travelers the confidence and reassurance they need to look forward to their stay. Inspire them with creative visuals that showcase the variety of experiences they can enjoy. Use descriptive language that taps into your audience’s emotions rather than boring them with lists and long blocks of sentences. Curate images that resonate with your audience personas and help visitors imagine themselves in these experiences.
Port Hope Tourism
To see a compelling tourism website in action, check out Port Hope Tourism. When you enter the site, you are greeted with a dynamic video reel that sets the tone and feel of the community. The calendar of events is posted clearly on the homepage with upcoming events and an interactive map allows you to easily explore their popular attractions. As you venture further into the website, you are embraced by friendly, welcoming text and images that encourage you to explore the area and come visit.
Elliot Lake Tourism
Another stunning tourism website done right is Elliot Lake Tourism. When entering the homepage, you’re immediately captivated by the imagery and feature buttons that guide you into the variety of unique experiences to enjoy.
Discover Brantford is yet another successful tourism website approach. Attractive buttons and user-friendly tabs make it simple to start planning a visit, whether it’s short or long. Their news feature and blog tell stories of travel experiences that can be tailored to users interests and make it easy to subscribe and stay up to date on the latest adventures. They also provide itineraries that guide visitors through the best adventure, culture, family fun and food experiences in the area to spark your interest and give you the local favourites in Brantford.
Tip #3 Create the Inspiration
If you really want to motivate your audience to visit, pull at your audiences’ heartstrings and bring your community’s travel experiences to life in your tourism marketing. Paint the picture of what it’s like to enjoy everything your community has to offer - from tasting local market foods and visiting unique heritage sites, to walking less travelled trails and finding the perfect spot to watch the sunset. You can highlight these experiences in a variety of affordable ways, including targeted tourism campaigns, sample itineraries on your tourism website, vivid imagery and creative social media posts.
Cross-promote your local businesses through these experiences to help increase your tourism exposure and work with locals to highlight their favourite spots for a more authentic experience! This will also foster community pride within residents and help promote the support and reach of your tourism efforts.
To capture your visitors attention, tailor these experiences to your audience personas for more meaningful connection. For example, if you want to target families, consider promoting experiences that are adventurous, fun and entertaining to keep them busy for the whole day. However, if your audience is more into culture and entertainment, be sure to promote days filled with museum visits, theatre shows and nearby restaurants for a more refined experience.
Tip #4: Build your campaign
Promoting your community’s tourism with a campaign can be another great way to increase your audience reach and encourage people to visit. You don’t have to break the bank with this approach as you can do a lot with a little! Make your campaign realistic based on what your resources can handle. Create compelling campaigns that speak to your audiences through organic posts or set a small budget that generates a highly cost-effective campaign on social media.
Facebook and Instagram are the best vehicles for displaying high quality visuals and interactive posts to engage users in your tourism efforts. Prior to running your campaign, identify geographic areas you want to target to leverage the right audiences that would get excited to visit your community. Create a list of hashtags to increase your visibility and reach. You will want to keep these hashtags clear, easy to follow and relevant to your tourism campaign for best results. Be sure to take advantage of tagging and engaging others in your tourism campaign as well. User-generated content is an easy way to build followers and engagement in no time. Be sure to encourage visitors, local businesses and residents alike to use your hashtags and cross-post their experiences.
Throughout your campaign, remember to keep your messaging consistent across social media ads and your website to produce a cohesive brand experience. This may be the first time someone discovers your community, so make a great first impression and keep visitors coming back!
Start sharing your story
Whichever path you decide to take to promote your community’s tourism, you’re bound to attract new faces to your community because you’re putting unique content out there. To start showcasing yourself as a top tourist destination, contact us and we can help get started with your own tourism microsite.