When borders closed and local governments imposed lockdowns during the start of the pandemic, tourism dropped globally. Tourist spots closed, and many eager travelers had to indefinitely shelve their travel plans to stay safe from the coronavirus. Today, destinations see more hope as more countries are reopening and vaccinations continue to take place.
While the challenge back then was to pivot and continue to make profits despite the situation, now the hurdle that tourism-focused organizations and marketers face is to entice the many hungry travelers worldwide to visit a certain place.
Take advantage of the reopenings by preparing a solid marketing plan that appeals to the right travelers.
Highlight the Experience
When you promote a certain location, you must give your audience a taste of what visiting that destination will be like. Market a full experience and not just a place.
1. Have different approaches for different kinds of travelers.
There are no one-size-fits-all publicity materials that will unanimously attract every traveler. You need the patience to find out who your different target travelers are and then strategize how to reach them.
For example, senior citizens are more likely to find laidback activities that do not require strenuous physical activity, such as spas, museums, and parks. Millennials and Gen Z, on the other hand, will be more inclined to do demanding tasks. These tourists are the type to respond well to offroading with used trucks and visiting amusement parks, as opposed to older tourists.
Tailor your posts and ads to target specific audiences. Bundle your tours and offer promos with these different travelers in mind, too.
2. Collaborate with relevant influencers.
Diversify the sources from which consumers learn more about the destination you are promoting. Influencers are another popular method for attracting people to a location. These content creators are usually active on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, with a steady, engaged following.
To maximize your influencer marketing efforts, reach out to influencers who hold some authority on the industry you are focusing on. For example, if you are marketing an experience focused on local restaurants, tap food influencers to reach people with similar interests. Mind the social media channels they use, too, to make sure their content reaches the right travelers.
3. Use an optimistic tone.
While country and tourist spot reopenings offer optimism for the travel sector, many travelers are still likely to approach it with some hesitation. As new variants continue to appear, people will continue to have reservations when it comes to traveling.
If the area you are marketing is opening up tourism also, highlight victories, such as the percentage of vaccinated individuals in the local area or the compliance to COVID-19 prevention protocols. Emphasize facts and practices that reassure visitors of their safety and comfort when exploring the destination.
Take Advantage of Audience Participation
As you highlight the experiences in a specific destination, employ the help of your audience and visitors in various ways.
1. Share stories from and about local destinations.
Cities have their own identities. Promote the unique color of a certain place by sharing stories about people and the places themselves on online platforms.
One way to approach this is a video series highlighting small business owners in a certain area. Videos that summarize the various activities and destinations tourists must make time for can also highlight the DNA of a place.
A great example marketers can look at is Helsinki Freedom, a video series in which five Finnish directors focused on specific freedoms a person experiences in Helsinki. Although it focused on appealing to foreigners to work in Helsinki, it did a good job introducing the place’s unique beauty to overseas audiences.
2. Invite tourists to take part in tourism promotion.
When many tourists love to post their adventures online, marketers lose out when they do not take advantage of this. Create challenges that encourage visitors to post about their experiences in the destination. Set hashtags that every tourist can use, too, when they visit the place so that interested internet users can browse it and learn more about the destination through the eyes of tourists themselves.
This user-generated content can even be a wonderful way to bring attention to overlooked areas in your city.
Keep up with the Latest Trends
Find the right experiences to promote to potential visitors and adjust your tone to appeal to them. Be on the lookout for new tourist attractions, too, so you can be the first to promote them.