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As with tourism, destination marketing’s purpose is to increase visitors; however, it is unique in that the focus is on promoting an overall area such as a town, city, or region. It’s also the only industry where you have to bring customers to the product which means positioning a particular destination as an attractive brand beforehand. This requires a different set of marketing tactics, but it also allows for a lot of creativity as well.
Having a solid marketing strategy is crucial in building a brand, attracting new visitors, and gaining loyalty. Awareness is key in destination marketing which is why so many resources are dedicated to these efforts; however, demonstrating differentiation and delivering on that experience can destroy those efforts. What’s more, there are more stakeholders involved who represent the hospitality, cultural, and services industries within a destination, making it difficult to sync efforts without a clear plan for everyone to buy into.
For many rural communities, tourism provides a large source of revenue, and it does much to build economic resiliency. Tourism also provides a boost to travel-oriented businesses and local businesses whose focus is not directly related to tourism. Ultimately, tourism can be a sustainable means of economic development for rural communities who understand how to leverage marketing their destinations as a whole.
However, depending on the destination and its amenities, the marketing tactics and tools required will vary. For instance, marketers need to understand when to concentrate on contextual ads, search engine ads or social media channels while knowing how to best target audiences based on multiple factors such as interests, location, seasons, and more. And because visitors can share all the emotions associated with their travel experience, having a solid destination marketing plan is necessary unless, you want visitors telling your story for you.
The are the considerations that visitor’s bureaus and destinations need an agency partner to understand. Bull Moose offers both comprehensive and seasonal campaign Square Deal along with the resources required to put these strategies in place.