By Taz Bareham — 30 Nov 2015
Your success as a tour and activity provider largely depends on the success of your region as a whole. If you offer the most up-close and personal whale sightings on the island, but most visitors are heading to other islands in the area, then you won’t be able to increase your bookings and grow your business.
The best way to gain notoriety in the travel community and become a brand name that people recognize is to invest in destination marketing.
Destination marketing is a powerful technique that focuses on generating buzz about a specific region or area. In order to market the region properly, businesses and community leaders must work together in order to benefit the common cause. It can seem like a challenge to get everyone on board with one destination marketing campaign, but the end result is well worth it. Here’s how you can help get a destination marketing campaign started in your area:
As a tour operator, you should begin by connecting with agents who are willing to sell your tours and activities. Agents, including those at visitor information centres, hotels, and Online Travel Agencies, are able to create packages with other businesses in your area that are desirable to potential travelers. Once you have developed relationships with some of the premier agents in your region, then you can lobby the agents to partner with destination marketing organizations. As agents earn commission on every tour and package they book, they will be more interested in promoting a particular region versus one company. Rarely will a traveler head to one destination to simply try one activity, so tour and activity providers benefit greatly from destination marketing.
Map a destination network within your local area. Talk with other business professionals who are operating travel-related companies about creating a destination marketing campaign. This can include hotel managers, restaurant owners, and other tour and activity providers. Local leaders and government officials also may be interested in helping the cause, as tourism helps to drive the local economy and allows local businesses to thrive in the region.
Once you have created your destination network and your professional network, you should appoint a committee to design and execute the campaign. In some places, a destination marketing organization might already exist, and you can work with these professionals in order to start your campaign. In other locations, you may want to create this unique organization yourself in order to begin promoting your destination as a whole.
Destination marketing is just one way that you can continue to attract visitors and generate buzz about your tour and activity company. Rezdy, a software program designed specifically for tour and activity operators, strives to help businesses like yours grow into the future. Its software caters for easy connections between tour suppliers and agents. If you are interested in learning more about the best marketing techniques for tour operators and activity providers, then download our online marketing ebook today.