Updated March 2024 – Picture this: Your tourism guests from one year ago are standing at a barbeque, and in conversation, they happen to rave about the great experience they had with your company. When neighbor Bob asks who he should book with, will your business be remembered and recommended? This is the power of branding travel and tourism.

Whether you’re building your brand from scratch or wanting to refresh your existing business brand identity, read on for a clear guide to branding travel and tourism businesses.

The importance of branding in tourism

What is tourism branding, exactly? It can encompass the name, visual identity, tone of voice, experiences, brand values, and industry associations of your tourism organization. Branding can also have powerful benefits for your business. Some of these can include:

  • Building recognition and familiarity for your business
  • Helping your target audience to establish trust in your business
  • Encouraging guests to find and rebook with you again
  • Empowering you to scale and expand your business to other locations and markets.

So where do you begin as you’re developing a robust, memorable brand in tourism?

Essential elements for your tourism branding strategy

Whether your guests are booking through a reseller, directly on your website, or with a local agent, your brand needs to be unique and consistent. Here’s a tourism destination marketing strategy that can make that happen.

Finding the right brand name

tourism branding strategy

It turns out, there’s a lot in a name. A catchy and unique brand name will increase your chances of recommendations and repeat bookings. This handy article dives into how to create the right name for your tourism brand. In short, aim to:

  • Research competitor names
  • Keep the brand name short and sharp
  • Consider how easy the name will be to search for and find online
  • Include the location within the name, and
  • Trademark and protect your brand name.

Importantly, your brand name should also reflect the unique qualities and experiences your tour or activity business offers. Amaz’n Kayak Tours sounds fun and friendly, for example, while a name like Pinnacle Cruise Experiences exudes luxury and exclusivity.

Creating a strong visual identity through brand design

Every successful brand needs a strong visual identity and brand image, and it can be worth hiring professionals to help you with this process. Ideally, you’ll set up a ‘style guide’ to ensure consistent visual branding. This might typically include information on your:

  • Logo
    Your logo, or graphic symbol, can be used across web, print, social media, reseller sites, and more. As with your brand name, your logo should reflect your tourism experiences and unique aspects of your business.
  • Colors
    A consistent color palette used across your website, booking form, and other marketing collateral will help build recognition and familiarity. You might like to consider the colors of the landscapes in which you operate as a starting point when developing your brand color scheme.
  • Imagery
    The photos you use to promote your tours or activities can matter a great deal when someone is weighing up whether to book. Focus on crisp, high-quality images taken on a sunny day; include the human side of your business, and be sure to capture happy guests with their permission. You might also plan to use a certain filter or color tint to ensure consistency across all images.
  • Fonts and typography
    Fonts are more than just letters on a page; they are a reflection of your brand’s character and essence. When selecting fonts for your travel business, consider factors such as readability, versatility, and alignment with your brand’s personality. Whether you opt for classic serifs, modern sans-serifs, or playful scripts, ensure consistency across all communication channels to maintain brand cohesion.

Creating your brand story

Think about why your tour company exists: what made you start it and what you started with. Consider what makes your tours or activities special and what makes your team stand out. Think about what made you want to run tours, events, or activities in your local area, and what makes them exciting for you.

Answering these questions can help you form a compelling brand story, which can then be shared on your website, social media, and public platforms. A passionate brand story helps your target audience to form an emotional connection with your brand and makes for a far more meaningful tourism experience for guests.

Developing your brand voice

what is tourism branding

To develop your brand’s tone of voice, think about who your brand would be as a person. How would they talk? What are the quirks that make them likable? Your brand voice can be used across SEO web content, video content, booking steps, and any other marketing collateral where guests might interact with your brand.

For example, a surf lesson company might get on board with touches of laid-back surfy lingo in their automated emails. Or a company offering high-end, multi-day cruises might use more descriptive words to describe silky white sands and their indulgently soft pillows.

Syncing with your destination marketing

Tourism marketing can be unique in that you’re promoting your location as much as you’re marketing your products or services. Destination marketing , where you work with other operators to promote your location at a certain time, can be incredibly important. In fact, research from one accommodation association found that every $1 million invested into destination marketing could return around $16 million in ROI for the local economy. Destination branding is similar to destination marketing in tourism but focuses more on shaping the general perception of the location. Just consider the very different tourism experiences you’ve come to expect from London, Las Vegas, and Tokyo.

It’s important that your tourism marketing strategy aligns with destination marketing efforts for your area so that guests can build consistent and accurate expectations when booking. It can be really useful to network with other tourism operators and work with local agents, such as visitor information centers in your area. Invest in price monitoring software like Dealavo to better understand your price positioning and market dynamics.

Leveraging social media platforms for brand building

tiktok travel trends

In today’s digital age, social media platforms play a crucial role in brand building for travel and tourism businesses. From Instagram to Facebook, Twitter to TikTok, these platforms offer unparalleled opportunities to showcase your travel experiences, engage with your audience, and amplify your brand message and marketing campaigns. In this modern tourism landscape, it’s important for tour operators to know how to harness the power of social media to create meaningful connections with their stakeholders and attract new customers.

Harnessing the power of testimonials and influencers

Testimonials and influencers can be powerful assets in building credibility and trust for your travel brand. Positive reviews from satisfied customers and endorsements from influential personalities can significantly impact the perception of your business and influence potential customers to book with your travel and tourism business. By exploring strategies for soliciting and leveraging testimonials, as well as collaborating with influencers you can amplify your strong brand reach and engagement.

Make a stellar start with your branding in tourism marketing

A strong, consistent brand can be one of your most valuable assets when running a tour and activity business. If you’re currently building your brand in the tourism industry, then Rezdy makes it simple to create a professional website, gain bookings via your network, and grow your reservations.

A reservation software like Rezdy equips your business with advanced tools such as real-time availability viewer, automatic guest communication, integration to various payment gateways, and further boosts automation within your business’ operations. Furthermore, Rezdy offers distribution solutions that connect you with the industry’s biggest resellers such as OTAs, local travel agencies, or even other tour and activity operators – so you can get your business out there. Rezdy Channel Manager is a distribution platform specifically catered for the tourism industry; connecting operators with access to over 25,000 active resellers worldwide.

Ready to build your brand with Rezdy? Book a free demo, or register for a FREE 21-day trial today.

If you enjoyed this article then make sure to follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and tour operator tips designed with businesses like yours in mind.

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