You know that you offer the most amazing views of the ocean from your sailboat excursions, and you rely on your online marketing strategy to promote your once-in-a-lifetime experience to people around the world. However, sometimes you need to look beyond your own business in order to truly succeed as a tour and activity operator. Sometimes, you have to work to promote your entire destination.

To do this, you will want to create a destination marketing strategy as well as a destination branding strategy. But before you develop and implement these important business strategies, you need to know the difference between the two.

What is Destination Marketing?

Destination marketing in tourism refers to a strategy that is often developed by a destination marketing organization. The organization is typically made up of travel leaders from a particular area, and can include tour and activity operators. Together, these travel industry professionals work to promote the destination or region as a whole. They highlight the various attractions and things to do, and they seek to target specific market segments who would be most likely to visit their destination.

The best destination marketing strategies focus on a specific theme. For example, your oceanfront destination may be promoted as a relaxing place to stay and play on the beach, whereas a mountainside community may define itself as a ski town. The destination marketing organization should come to an agreement on a common theme, and make that the forefront of all marketing materials.


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What is Destination Branding?

While tourism destination branding is very similar to destination marketing in the sense that the goal is to promote the region as a whole, there are a few distinct differences between these two important strategies. Rather than seeking to cause an influx of travelers during a specific time period, a destination branding strategy works to improve the general perception of the destination among a large group of people.

To start, a destination branding organization must identify what people know about the region, and also highlight what they may not know. Everyone knows that a city on the shores of the ocean is going to have great beaches, but do they realize that your town also has a historic downtown area with several notable attractions? With destination branding, the organization will often highlight lesser-known facts about the area in hopes of improving or changing the general perception of the region.

When it comes to effectively developing or changing the brand of a destination, it’s necessary to identify the target market segment that is most likely to visit the area. These are the travelers who need to be addressed throughout the entire branding strategy.

Promoting your destination is necessary to attracting a high volume of tourists to your destination. These same tourists will in turn become potential customers for you. Ultimately, as more people visit your destination on an annual basis, you will begin to see an increase in bookings year-over-year.

For more information on the role that destination marketing and branding plays in your overall marketing strategy, download the Rezdy online marketing ebook today.

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