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Essential Tools for Tourism Marketing

Essential tools for tourism marketing 

Originally published by Beacon Media + Marketing. Updated and revised by Jennifer Gracey, Web Content Strategist & Writer on 07/14/23.

Making a significant post-COVID comeback, the tourism industry is roaring back to life with exciting opportunities in tow for travel agency and hospitality-based businesses, brands, destinations, and cultural and heritage experiences in the city.

In fact, CEO and President of U.S Travel Association, Geoff Freeman is on record saying, “Robust domestic leisure travel demand has been the driving force in the overall [travel] industry’s post-pandemic comeback… the surge we experienced in [2022] is starting to moderate, we expect [the trends in] this top customer segment to remain resilient in coming quarters.”

If you’ve not yet prepared your tourism marketing strategy, now is the best time to begin. Especially if you’re aiming to get and stay ahead of the competition by capturing your portion of the market share. Whether your primary clientele caters to domestic leisure, domestic business, or international inbound travelers, incorporating some (or all) of these 5 focus areas into your overall tourism marketing strategy will help your marketing campaigns gain traction, attract, and produce results.

Want help with your tourism marketing strategy or just want to talk business?  We’re here for that! Schedule a free consultation.

1. Marketing for Hospitality  

If you’re marketing your business in the hospitality sector, showing your potential customers what a great experience they can have is as important as telling them. Whether you run a restaurant, or a boutique accommodation experience, showing your customers and guests where they’ll be staying and eating allows them to not only feel confident they’ll enjoy the experience. But, it also allows them to more accurately visualize themselves having the same experience. 

Visual Storytelling: What’s your story?

Taking time to review where you’re currently with your story-craft and overall tourism marketing strategy will be tremendously helpful in determining what direction to take things next. Set aside some time to do an in-depth internal audit of your company’s visual imagery. You’ll want to look at your:

  • Website
  • Blog Posts & Articles
  • Social Media Profiles (FaceBook Page, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, TikTok, etc)
  • Google Business Profile
  • Crowd Sourcing & Review Sites (Yelp, Foursquare, etc)
  • Listings on Booking & Reservations Sites (, Expedia, Airbnb, etc)
  • Anywhere else your hospitality company appears online

There are some significant questions you’ll want to ask during your visual imagery audit. They should cover things like:

  1. Does everything I’m seeing across our customer-facing visuals look like my brand and the picture I want to paint for my visitors and future guests?
  2. Do our visuals match the experience guests and customers expect to have when they come?
  3. Do the colors, shapes, fonts, artwork, photographs, and videos tell a cohesive story that not only makes sense as a whole but, compels an emotional response from our customers?
  4. Does the imagery invoke a positive or negative emotional response? Why? How?
  5. Has the approach we’ve taken with our visual imagery so far been strategic and consistent in telling our brand story across the board or a hodge-podge mash-up?
  6. In order to level up our first impression to potential guests, is it time to rebrand or get more serious and focused in our approach to visual storytelling?
  7. Will it be a better investment of my time and skill sets to do a rebrand ourselves or hire branding and marketing professionals to really help elevate my brand? 

How do you use Google Business Profile?

If you’re not yet taking full advantage of Google Business Profile, you’re really missing out. Previously known as Google My Business (the name changed in 2021 in Google’s attempt to simplify the user experience) Google Business Profile is a powerful tool every business should take advantage of — particularly for companies, as it’s FREE. When utilized regularly, a well-set-up Google Business Profile can really help drive organic traffic to your company’s website.

Your Google Business Profile will contain the name and address of your company, operating hours, website URL, and a detailed description of your company and types of service offerings. It also allows you to post updates on special promotions or events, your customers and guests to post reviews, and more. If you’d like to learn more about Google Business Profile and what it can do for your marketing strategy, click on the linked article below for a more detailed overview.

Read more: Google My Business is the perfect tool for a tourism marketing strategy tourism marketing

Want to get started with Google Business Profile and not sure where to begin? Or need help getting the most out of this tool? Get in touch — as Google Certified Partners, we’re here to help!

2. Marketing Tourism Destinations 

Is your company a destination or experience-centric business? There many tools available for you to use in order to gain attention from visitors. Among the ones you’ll want to seriously look into and take utmost advantage of is: search engine optimization (SEO). SEO refers specifically to the strategic use of specific and related keywords that users type into their Google ‘search’ bar when researching a specific topic. When properly integrated into your tourism marketing strategy — having a well laid out SEO strategy exponentially increases the likelihood your webpages, blog posts, and other content appear higher in the SERP (search engine results page) on Google as well as other sites your company may appear on or have a profile set up with.

We’ll summarize a few of the techniques we use here, but if you want to learn more, this post we wrote on blogging for Arctic tourism is an illustration of how blogging can help get the word out about your destination and inspire people to come visit. 

SEO for Your Website 

A foundational premise of good SEO is: write engaging, informative, and relatable content people want to read. This is Google’s benchmark for providing quality content to people and continuing to build their reputation for being a good search engine. Really search engine optimization is your way of helping Google, and them helping you in return. Here are some more basics:

Read more: Top tourism marketing strategies for 2020 and beyond.

With the travel industry and tourism on the upswing, it’s safe to assume people are looking for your specific destination. Because of this, it’s important your website is the one they see at the top of their SERP on Google. By optimizing your content to rank for certain keywords (as mentioned already in the paragraph above) you increase your chances of getting eyes on your website. To help your site list higher on the results page than your competition here’s two of our top must-do SEO optimization tips:

  1. Use the name of your destination in headers and in your body text.
  2. Use the name of your destination in the alt-text of any images.

When auditing your existing website (or building a new one), it’s vital to remember: Your website is the online equivalent of your physical premises. And, it’s critical the way your website looks and feels to users should represent your company as accurately and relevantly as possible.

Information Maintenance: Keeping Your Website Accurate

Ensuring your website stays up-to-date and easily accessible by providing information people want to find in the places they expect to find it is critical when talking about tourism marketing strategies and how to give your potential guests a positive first impression.

Initially, people may use your site as a tourist information resource. And this is where providing them with accurate, high-value, and actionable information encourages them to take the next step by visiting you in real life. To learn more about the process we use at Beacon for building websites for our tourism and hospitality clients, click the link just below:  

Read more: 10 tips to improve your website’s ranking on Google

Content Marketing: Key to Capturing Your Audience’s Attention

In a nutshell, content marketing is: Marketing intended to garner an audience’s interest in products or services. It does not involve direct selling and nor does it typically involve paid ads. Content marketing does, however, make use of both written and visual content to show what your business offers, build support, and reinforce your SEO strategy. In fact, the purpose of content marketing is often categorized in the following ways: educate, entertain, inspire, and convince. This is where blogs and social media really help to build out a brand’s content marketing strategy. The most obvious forms of content marketing are:

  • text (such as blog posts)
  • video
  • imagery
  • customer reviews 


If you’ve not already developed a robust blogging strategy for your company, you’re truly missing out. Why? Well, they’re truly a perfect match for your tourism marketing SEO strategy! Blogs are an excellent convergence point for the integration of features Google loves. Blogs can also be used to implement a few sneaky tricks in order to get extra engagement. 

The Inbound Marketing Approach

At Beacon, when writing blogs for our clients, we make use of a philosophy called inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is best understood with a bit of help from a cat. For example:

What happens if you stand up suddenly and begin chasing a cat? Typically skittish animals, the cat will be surprised at your unexpected and sudden movement then scamper off as fast as it can.

What about if you stand perfectly still while holding out something our cat really wants (like a piece of freshly cooked grilled fish?) If it’s like many cats we know, it’ll come right up to you and quite happily take the fish from your hand.

In this illustration, think of your clients and customers as the cat. Inbound marketing tells us to, “Provide clients and potential guests with content they find useful and interesting.” That way, when they’re in need of your particular services, they’ll remember you and trust your business.

In the context of tourism, this could mean: writing insightful, value-added blogs highlighting the locations you run tours in, the specific activities you organize, the equipment that you rent out, etc. 

The Waterfall Method

We also make use of the waterfall method. This is a strategy that makes Google’s algorithm rate your blog posts more highly. Google really likes it when external websites provide links to your pages. These external website links are the digital equivalent of the more traditional word-of-mouth customer referral.

The reward is: Because someone likes your content enough to refer and promote it to others, Google notices and ranks your page higher thus moving you up in the SERP.

The caveat is: External links just because someone liked your content aren’t easy to come by. To help things along, we use our own blogs to provide those links by creating a waterfall structure of interlinked content! By writing an overarching “summary” blog designed to provide a high-level overview of a specific subject or group of interrelated topics, and then writing more detailed blogs on each facet of that subject, we link all the blogs together. Thus encouraging Google to trust that the content in each post is useful. 

Read more: What’s in a headline? How to write to get attention


Video marketing is something we’ve discussed lots lately and for good reason: Video is the closest we come to genuine human interaction, without physically being together in person. This is why video is so exceptionally powerful right and why it’s only going to continue growing in relevance and importance as a powerful communication and connection tool. 

A Powerful Visual Content Marketing Tool

We’ve written before about stats that show why you should be using video. (Those are available here.) The important takeaway is: video can and should be used everywhere. This includes in blogs to provide a quick synopsis or to further illustrate/highlight a key feature. They can run in your ads, on your website as a personal introduction, or welcome to the company — a message from or interview with the founder is always great. In short, videos should appear anywhere and everywhere you post content about your company.

Video is Memorable

People love video because it’s easy to consume and makes it easier for people to recollect the information presented. To briefly tie this back to something we mentioned before, “Give the consumer what they want and they’ll come back time and time again.”

The tourism marketing and hospitality industries are particularly well-suited to video. You’re offering experiences that people already crave, which look visually appealing, and that inspire people. Make the most of it!

Read more: How to start a dynamic video marketing campaign

3. Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism  

When marketing heritage or culture, the most important and foundational thing you can do is: identify your target audience. When doing this, keep in mind, different aspects of heritage or cultural traditions may appeal to different demographics. You’ll have the most success in this as you work to tailor your marketing plans and strategies to appeal to the interests of each of those specific demographics. 

Content Marketing and Immersive Experiences

When we discussed content marketing in point two above, we pointed out its ability to immerse people in the experience. This immersive experience aspect is even more valuable when talking about marketing something as story-based as culture and heritage.

Harness the Power of Story-telling Mediums

The use of high-quality, engaging written and video content really allows you to showcase the story of your site or attraction. By giving them a taste of what it looks, sounds, and feels like to be there and feel the age or the atmosphere of a cultural site is an incredibly effective way of drawing them and giving them a small taste of the reality. 

Direct Advertising: How to Draw Attention

In order to draw even further attention to your company and more specifically, the cultural and heritage sites you run — making successful use of direct advertising is important. With paid Google and Facebook ads, it’s possible to make use of all the content marketing mediums: text, imagery, and video. By strategically weaving them all into your marketing strategy, you’ll really show off the best of your company and everything you’re offering customers. The outcome of this brings us back to our cat illustration from point two: You’ll have far more hungry cats coming up to you looking for that tasty, appealing morsel of their own volition than you’ll get chasing them around.

If you want to learn more about social media advertising or Google advertising, these two articles are great places to start.

Want to talk strategy or ask us some questions about the waterfall strategy we used in this blog post? Schedule a free consultation and let’s chat!

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