Be Our Guest – Boost Tourism with Travel Marketing

Posted on July 7, 2014

This is the time of year that resorts, hotels and other tourist destinations around the world are preparing their facilities for the influx of summertime travelers. But with so many destinations available to the modern day nomad, how can tourist destinations set themselves apart from their competitors? Carving out a name for your destination as the go-to place when there are so many options can be a difficult prospect. One thing is for sure though—without the proper materials for your travel marketing plan, you can expect this tourist season to unseasonably stale.

The open road
Roadside Attraction Sign

Nobody is diverting to see the World’s Largest Yarn Ball anymore, but there’s still a place for roadside signage.

In the hustle and bustle of today’s culture, road trips are becoming a relic of a forgone era. Whether it’s due to time constraints, rising fuel prices or simply a lack of convenience, the days of cramming the family into the station wagon for a cross-country jaunt seem to be disappearing completely.

But for those that still feel the urge to hop in the car with a group of family or friends to engage in one of America’s greatest traditions, you may notice that things have changed along many of the nation’s roadways. Billboards advertising area attractions have become few and far between, and those that do exist have often seen better days. This may be due, in part, to the fact that these ads fail to create the impressions that marketing teams hope for as car travel continues to decline. However, installation of roadside signs that indicate relevant landscape, historical features and lodgings still have their place. Studies conducted in various South American countries have shown that clear and compelling roadside information regarding areas of interest can strengthen domestic tourism. And not much has the power to captivate like an enormous, colorful billboard that illustrates all an attraction has to offer.

1904 Tourism Brochure Yellowstone

These days, your travel marketing needs to work a little harder.

Marketing paradise

In an era where everything is increasingly consumable, it is important not to underestimate the power of traditional advertising mediums in getting tourists to find and choose your destination. We pass by these materials all day, every day—pamphlets advertising various services, flyers publicizing the latest and greatest events, business cards promoting industries and individuals—but we ignore them because they are cookie cutter and fail to stand out.

This doesn’t mean that they can’t be special though. Through careful planning and with a keen eye for design, your printed material can actually differentiate you from a sea of competitors. Custom stationary and marketing communications collateral can be designed to any specifications, with original designs, cutouts, or special materials. And to take things a step further, you can integrate QR codes into your marketing collateral for a true marriage of digital and print that is sure to astound potential clients.

It must be a sign

Guests & Staff both need to know where they’re going. Guests also need to know why.

The hospitality industry is unlike any other, a residential, leisure and business support environment in front of house, combined with a fast-paced, 24-hour service delivery system in back of house. And each of these areas is replete with its own particular needs and challenges. Therefore it is crucial that signage employed in hotels is planned carefully to create the desired effect.

Different plans should be designed and implemented in regard to signage that relates to guests, staff and management. Guest requirements include the need to be able to operate as independently as possible in finding specific rooms, locations, staff, or services with minimal staff interactions. For staff, signage must provide the informational, directional, identification, safety and security details to support the safe and efficient running of the facility. This will keep guests away from dangerous areas or spaces in which staff are conducting business and should not be disturbed. For management, in addition to all other critical considerations, signage must also meet appropriate building codes and fire regulations. These guidelines can differ significantly from state to state, even city to city, so it’s important to know and understand your local guidelines.

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