Updated December 2023City marketing is an effective way of attracting more tourists to destinations and experiences in your city. An effective city marketing strategy will attract more travelers to important destinations, producing economic, social, and cultural growth.

As a tour operator, when you have an influx of tourists visiting your city, there are more opportunities for you to boost your bookings, thus increasing your revenue.

What is the difference between city and destination marketing?

While these terms may appear similar, there are subtle differences between destination marketing and city marketing. Destination marketing is a broad term used to advertise the attractions of regions or even countries. A destination marketing strategy may be targeted towards a specific mountain range or a number of beaches. The versatility of destination marketing makes it suitable for tour operators figuring out how to attract tourists to a small town.

City marketing, meanwhile, is focused on the offerings of urban areas. A city marketing campaign is often vibrant and dynamic, mentioning restaurants, theme parks, and cultural institutions. City marketing may also be used to promote local businesses, and generally uses a more targeted approach than destination marketing. Rezdy’s blog contains more information on the differences between city and destination marketing.

City marketing

It is also important to understand the differences between the marketing and branding of a destination or city. While destination and city marketing focus on promoting an increase in the number of travellers visiting within a time period, branding of a city or destination hinges around improving its reputation among a large number of people.

Who can get involved in city marketing?

City marketing has traditionally been the domain of governments and tourist boards. However, with the rise of the internet and company-owned media distribution channels, it is now possible for local businesses, small tour operators and event organisers to shape the media image of their city. 

Why is city marketing important for tour operators?

City marketing is an effective tool for tour operators, as they can both contribute to and benefit from using it. Tour operators have the opportunity to contribute to city marketing campaigns in order to differentiate and promote their offerings. Simultaneously, tour operators can benefit from the increased publicity that effective city marketing campaigns generate. 

8 city marketing strategies for tour operators

Embarking on a journey through the dynamic realm of city marketing, tour operators find themselves at the intersection of innovation and exploration. In this section, we’ll dive through eight strategies designed to captivate audiences and elevate the allure of your city and destination. From harnessing the power of digital platforms to crafting immersive experiences, join us on a tour of city marketing strategies.

1. Come up with tour products that highlight your city’s uniqueness

A city marketing strategy must play to the strengths of the location it is promoting. A city that is renowned for its great food is a prime candidate for a local tour of restaurants and bars. For a city rich in history, it could be worth marketing a tour of historical sites, including museums and artifacts. A culturally inclined city could market its art galleries or music festivals in order to attract visitors.

For example, companies like EZ Ride LV incorporated guided tours of the Red Rock Canyon with electronic bikes. With the use of e-bikes, they’ve managed to open their target demographic to a wider audience regardless of age and fitness level. This allows for a more inclusive experience, even for those who think that traveling long distances is not meant for them anymore, they can opt to choose electric bicycles for seniors and join in on enjoying the scenic views.

2. Promote your activities on social media

Social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for distributing your content. Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook all offer slightly different ways of sharing content to various audiences. While these platforms allow you to post almost anything, it is worth taking the time to target your content to the platform it will be posted on in order for it to appear more natural. It is also worth using hashtags and location tags to increase the visibility of your content.

Videos are key to gaining people’s attention nowadays. With the rise of apps like TikTok, Instagram Story, Instagram Reels, and Youtube, people are now actively seeking videos for entertainment.

Now, when creating a video, don’t go out and spend your resources on a video that only promotes your business. Instead, promote your destination and help them gain some useful information. One way to achieve this is to create helpful and informative fun videos that showcase your destination. These videos can range from topics like things to do in your area, helpful tips, how to get around, fun facts, and insight into local places and secrets. 

Marketing a city

3. Run targeted advertising campaigns

In addition to designing your content for a specific platform, it is also worth targeting a particular audience when creating your city marketing campaign. Tracking and data analytics services can be used to give you an idea of the demographics your content should be tailored toward.

4. Offer discounts and promotions

Incentives such as discounts and promotions can be used to drive increased traffic to your city marketing campaign. Early booking discounts and last-minute deals can increase your offering’s appeal to budget-conscious customers, while exclusive offers and package deals can attract those looking for a more personalized experience.

With a booking software like Rezdy, creating discounts and promotions is made super simple with the help of our promo code generator. For example, setting up a promo code is as simple as:

  • 1. Create a Unique Code
  • 2. Set Usage Limits
  • 3. Validity Date
  • 5. Minimum Order Amount
  • 6. Select Discount Type
  • 7. Create Promo Code

Note: Some features like managing redemption days may be available only on specific plans. Adjust settings based on your tour operator needs and goals.

Curious to test this out for yourself? Start your FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy today.

5. Partner with other tour operators and travel agencies

Collaboration can be another excellent way of attracting customers. Networking with other tour operators and travel agencies can allow you to create package deals, and even cross-promote each other’s offerings to ensure your tour product reaches the right audience. Tools such as Rezdy’s online software allow you to build these partnerships and expand your reach as a tour operator.

6. Partner with destination marketing organizations

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) offer substantial resources and data that can influence your city marketing strategies and help align your efforts with their campaigns. Implementing the resources of DMOs can help your city marketing strategy reach a wider, or more active, audience. 

7. Participate in city events and festivals

Engage with your local community to spread the word about your tourism offerings. City events and festivals represent excellent in-person marketing opportunities to showcase your tours. These events can also be intertwined with your city marketing campaign, with special offers, reduced ticket prices, or other incentives.

City marketing strategy


Marketing a city is an effective way of attracting more travelers, businesses, and residents. Through storytelling, community engagement, and strategic promotion, city marketing can enhance the visitor experience and contribute economically and socially to the development of the city. For tour operators, city marketing represents a way of incentivizing travel to urban areas and benefiting from increased exposure. In designing a comprehensive city marketing campaign, tour operators can participate in and gain from the attractions and experiences offered in their city.

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