The phrases place marketing and destination marketing sound as if they could be synonyms, but they are two distinct marketing concepts. It’s important for tour and activity operators to know the difference between place marketing and tourism destination marketing. By developing a better understanding of these marketing techniques, tour operators can create more effective promotional campaigns that will drive tourists not only to their region but also to their own doorstep.

What is place marketing?

destination marketing

Place marketing is a marketing strategy that attempts to brand an entire place as a desirable location to live, work and play. For example, a particular city or a region may create a place marketing campaign that highlights the benefits of living in the community, the attractions that are located there and the industries that are thriving. The goal of a place marketing campaign is to promote all positive aspects of the community or region in order to attract new residents, visitors and business investors. In general, a place marketing campaign is going to emphasize what makes that region unique and appealing to all types of people.

What is destination marketing?

difference between place marketing and destination marketing

Destination marketing is a component of the larger place marketing campaign, and it focuses on the tourism sector of the local economy. Destination marketing in the tourism industry aims to increase awareness about a given region and drive more travelers to that location. Destination marketing campaigns are typically developed and implemented by destination marketing organizations, or DMOs. DMOs consist of representatives from the local tourism industry, such as hoteliers, tour and activity operators and local business owners. These individuals work together as a team to promote the opportunities that are available to tourists in that particular region.

Top destination marketing strategies for tour and activity operators

marketing strategies

These are some destination marketing strategies that tour and activity operators may consider implementing:

  • Partner with area businesses to create a regional tourism website. The first task that a DMO should take on is building a website that can be used as a resource for travelers who want to visit that destination. The website should feature visual elements that promote the tourism possibilities in the destination, focusing on top activities and attractions like beaches, historic monuments, restaurants and more. It also should include listings for top tourism businesses, such as reputable tour and activity companies in the area. Once the website is launched, social platforms can stem from the website to encourage communication with prospective travelers. Most DMOs have a website as well as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter accounts.
  • Develop a brand for the destination. Branding is critical to any destination marketing campaign. The DMO must work to create a brand that travelers can identify with. For example, a destination may brand itself as the perfect place for weddings and honeymoons if they are looking to boost the number of couples that travel there. A romantic destination will want to showcase photographs of couples lounging on the beach, sipping wine at intimate local restaurants and relaxing at state-of-the-art spas. All branding elements have to remain consistent, including colors, logos and slogans. Every detail needs to be considered during the branding process, and all participants in the DMO need to agree on branding messages.
  • Create packages with local tourism businesses that will be valuable and appealing to motivated travelers. Not all tourism businesses in a given destination need to be competitors. In fact, partnership among complementary tourism businesses can attract more travelers to the destination and encourage them to spend more money with additional businesses. Tour and activity operators, for example, can partner with local restaurants or shops to offer unique experiences at a valuable price.

Tour and activity operators often work with DMOs to help create and enact a destination marketing strategy for their region. The key to creating a successful partnership with a DMO is having the right technology in place. Rezdy can help you form effective partnerships with all types of distribution agents, including DMOs.

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