As a digital marketing agency that has worked with countless businesses in the travel and tourism industry, we have come to understand the important role that destination marketing plays in driving brand awareness and revenue for our clients. In this blog, we’ll explain what exactly destination marketing is as well as the benefits it can bring to travel and tourism operators who decide to invest in it.
What is Destination Marketing?
Put simply, destination marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on promoting the destination your business operates in. The main goal is to not only increase the amount of potential visitors to the destination but also to keep your brand top of mind in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer journey so that potential customers can recall your business when they are ready to make a purchase.
Here is an example of how destination marketing works:
Sandy, an avid traveller, has decided that she wants to go on a tropical getaway but has yet to decide on a destination. To help in her decision, she searches on Google to compare destinations that she is considering.
During this stage of the buyer journey, Sandy searches things like “Top Reasons to Visit Barbados” and “Things to Do in Barbados”. In her search, she comes across a well-written blog from a local tour operator that answers her questions and inevitably convinces her to visit Barbados.
A few months later, Sandy books her flight to Barbados. As the trip gets closer, she begins to plan her itinerary and searches “Barbados Itinerary for Solo Travelers” on Google. She sees an organic listing for a blog from the same local tour operator that she came across in the early research stages of planning her tropical getaway. She clicks on the article and immediately recognizes that she has been on this site before. Because she is now familiar with the tour operator’s brand, she decides to book a tour with them rather than their competitors.
While this is obviously a very simplified version of the buyer journey, the key takeaway here is that destination marketing is a great strategy you can leverage to build brand awareness and trust, which in turn translates into sales.
Why Is Destination Marketing Important?
Although some businesses may be reluctant to set aside resources to market the destination their business operates in, rather than just their business and services, it’s important to understand that destination marketing has a direct impact on the success of your business’s overall marketing efforts. If you’re still on the fence about whether to invest in destination marketing, here are some of the main benefits:
1. Building Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is crucial for any business as it establishes trust, credibility, and familiarity among potential customers. By ensuring that your business is present throughout the early and mid stages of the buyer journey, whether that be via paid or organic channels, you are giving your business the opportunity to create a lasting impression and have the destination become synonymous with your brand name.
2. Increasing Keyword Breadth & Authority
Destination marketing is also a crucial factor in broadening the keyword breadth of your website and establishing authority on search engines like Google. By leveraging destination marketing strategies, you can highlight the diverse aspects of the location, including attractions, activities, and unique experiences, allowing you to rank for a wider range of relevant keywords that align with both the destination and your brand. This expanded keyword coverage significantly enhances the chances of your website appearing in search results when users seek information related to the destination. Through consistent creation of valuable and optimized content, destination marketing also contributes to improving your site’s domain authority, strengthening your overall online presence and positioning your brand as a trusted and authoritative source about the destination.
3. Audience Building
Destination marketing provides opportunities to build and grow your audience, particularly through tactics like email list building and remarketing. By capturing user data when they visit your website, you can nurture and engage with your potential customers over time. This audience becomes a valuable asset for future marketing initiatives, allowing you to target lower-funnel strategies such as lead generation and sales conversions.
4. Opportunities for Local Partnerships
Destination marketing can also facilitate collaborations and partnerships with local entities such as tourism boards, restaurants, and attractions. By working together, local businesses can drive tourism growth, helping each other to succeed and promoting a sense of community. Partnership opportunities include developing joint tour packages, featuring local products or services, and exchanging promotional content, showcasing the best the destination has to offer. Local partnerships can also increase exposure to the destination’s amenities and experiences, improving the overall experience for visitors and increasing the appeal of the destination.
At Ontario SEO, we take a full-funnel approach to drive long-term growth for our clients in the travel and tourism industry, and that includes developing and implementing destination marketing strategies and tactics. Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.