Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world. But with so many destinations competing with one another for the attention of international travelers, it’s become increasingly important to ensure your destination’s marketing is as strategic and focused possible.
If you are looking for thoughtful ways to promote your tourism destination internationally, consider these top marketing trends and best practices.
Be Culturally Aware
Travel and culture are synonymous with one another, which is why fostering cultural awareness and sensitivity has to be a strategic component of your destination marketing. International travelers may need to be more conscious of how they act, speak or dress in your destination, and educating tourists by providing these helpful tips will entice the right travelers to visit.
When marketing your destination to other countries, you’ll also want to make sure your marketing campaign is not offensive or misinterpreted. Always run your campaign by an experienced, international marketing team to make sure you get language, culture, and diversity accurately represented or translated.
For instance, once BMW made the marketing mistake of improperly using the UAE national anthem in their commercial. The ad showed people singing the anthem and then breaking into a run toward several BMW cars when they heard the sound of the engine. The ad backfired. Emiratis found it incredibly offensive that the car company suggested their cars were more important than the national anthem. The company explained its intent was never to offend, and it soon replaced the ad with a less offensive version. By working with an international marketing team, you can avoid marketing faux-pas when reaching people from other cultures and languages.
Embrace the Art of Storytelling
Storytelling is tapping into one of the deepest and richest veins of the emotional human experience. Travelers and locals sharing their experiences in your destinations inspires people to want to manifest similar experiences of their own. The free flow of those experiences going viral ultimately takes over the promotion of the destination on a scale far greater than any tourism entity could.
When done right, a storytelling campaign captures and keeps attention. It’s easily remembered and more likely to be shared. And ultimately, it inspires people to take action by visiting your destination.
Your marketing campaign can feature travelers’ stories or stories from locals to showcase your destination in an authentic and engaging way. Storytelling marketing is arguably performing much more effectively than traditional marketing approaches – because not everyone is doing it well yet.
Once you’ve developed your storytelling marketing campaign, how will you promote it? We recommend sharing stories on the right channels to the right audiences via social media, public relations, events and more.
Develop Strategic Partnerships
The ability to reach audiences, attract awareness, excite interest, and convert it into action can be a significant challenge—particularly in the age of competition for tourism dollars strengthening around the world. Working with strategic partners maximizes a destination’s tourism budget by combining marketing efforts into one coherent voice.
Building strategic partnerships with local and international organizations can also improve travelers’ experiences. At CWW, we go beyond the traditional partner selection and bring in potential partners from other industries to maximize impact and sustainability.
A like-minded partnership approach provides greater strength, unity, and leveraged results, which will more effectively market the destination together when compared to individual efforts.
Offer Unique Experiences
Tourists are no longer looking to just visit a country’s most popular attractions. More than ever, they want to make the most of their vacation time with unique experiences. Whether your city or country boasts great wine, architecture, or cuisine, you can take that one step further by developing programs or attractions that appeal to specific niches, such as yoga enthusiasts. Or, you can create a new attraction, like a gigantic ice hotel, to offer something unique that most other destinations don’t have.
Travelers are also becoming more socially and environmentally conscious, and may want to volunteer in the local community or stay at a zero-waste hotel. As the threat of over-tourism plagues many popular destinations, it provides the opportunity for destinations like yours to rise above and attract travelers to your destinations during the right times.
Are you looking for help marketing your destination internationally? Connect Worldwide has a strategic combination of expertise in consumer and travel trade branding, digital innovation and media expertise, event management and promotional activities. Contact our team to request a proposal today.