By helloDarwin
April 10, 2024

9 marketing techniques for companies in the tourism industry (with examples)

There has never been as many tourists around the world as there is now. Countries are more connected than ever, transportation and accommodations have become democratized, and traveling has turned into a real priority for people. This reality is not just a perception; it is also reflected in astonishing figures.
For example, Canada has set a new record, accumulating more than 20.8 million stays of at least one night. It's worth noting that this figure does not include Canadian tourists traveling within their own country! Thus, it can be said that we are witnessing a very interesting period in the tourism industry.

Marketing Campaigns in Tourism: Where to Start?

If you own a tourism business, your first goal will undoubtedly be to make it known to potential visitors. Whereas in the past, people would consult travel guides to plan their stay, they now turn to the internet for discovery. Therefore, to be visible as a business, it's crucial to develop your web presence.

What are the most effective strategies for tourism businesses? Where to start?

Here are our tips for developing a smart web marketing strategy for your company that welcomes and offers services to tourists.
This article is part of a series about web marketing strategies for different sectors. Check out the other articles here.
Note: in this article, we will not cover companies that only offer accommodation services, as we will dedicate a whole article to them. However, the advice presented below can be applied to hotels and other accommodations.
Here are the types of businesses that are specifically targeted:
  • Travel agencies;
  • Spas;
  • Resort centers;
  • Businesses whose clientele is primarily tourists;
  • Rental agencies;
  • Guided tour operators;
  • Museums and art galleries;
  • Tourist organizations;
  • Festivals;
  • Amusement parks;
  • Cruises.

1) Identify Your Audience

As a business operating in the tourism sector, you've probably already established a general profile of your clientele to create marketing strategies. Now that you've decided to use web-specific marketing techniques, this process becomes even more important.
This step will help characterize the target audience by determining their age, gender, geographical location, and several other criteria that vary from case to case. We're talking about job type, salary, interests, and so on. In marketing, this is what we call a persona.
Here are two articles to consult for more information on this topic:

2) Define Your Goals

Once you know who you are addressing, you can move on to the next step, which is to establish your goals. Taking the time to define your aims will help you create much more effective marketing campaigns. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
  • What is the expected outcome following your web marketing campaigns?
  • Is the idea to attract more people to your website? Your social networks? Your newsletter?
  • Is it a campaign with the simple aim of making the company known, or do you wish to achieve specific objectives (sales, bookings, participation)?
Make sure to set clear and precise goals, even if it means formulating different levels of objectives (realistic, optimistic, dream...). This step will help you have much more effective brainstorming sessions when it comes time to decide what to focus on.

3) Work on Local SEO

Local SEO is becoming increasingly essential. For companies trying to develop an internet presence, it's a crucial process. In a nutshell, local SEO is an SEO technique that provides search engine users with hyper-local results. For example, in the case of a tourism business, someone might type "Sutton Resort Center" and in the results, Google and other search engines will want to highlight highly relevant places to accurately respond to the query. The first results will therefore be businesses that meet the searcher's criteria, such as geographical location and type of service offered.
Here are the main steps to start optimizing your local SEO:
  • Optimize your profile on Google My Business (which appears
    when people type your name);
  • Register your business in online directories and listings (Yelp, Yellow Pages, Tourisme Québec, Québec Vacances, etc.);
  • Optimize your website to specify where you are located and the type of service you offer;
  • Encourage user reviews.

4) Develop a Presence on Social Media

Social media is omnipresent in our lives. From morning to night, a large proportion of the population checks various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the other more niche networks. It's also worth noting that YouTube is sometimes counted among social networks. Knowing all this, as a business, it's very important to establish a presence on one, or several, of these platforms. It's not necessarily mandatory to maintain accounts on all sites. Again, you'll need to create a strategy and set your priorities according to your target audience.
Another very interesting point to remember about social media, which we will see often in the examples presented below, is the ever-important role of influencers. On Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, influencers are very interesting spokespersons, opinion leaders of our time, if we borrow the typical jargon of marketing. Since their work is hugely based on image, products, and life experiences, it can be very interesting to call on them to promote a tourism business.
Appealing to their services can prove to be an excellent strategy, as people are increasingly influenced by what they see on social media. For younger generations, it's even statistically proven that the "instagrammability" of a place is part of the criteria when they choose places they want to visit on vacation. Surprising, isn't it?
Here is also a very interesting article from AdWeek magazine on the subject of influencers in the tourism industry:
Do you have a web marketing project for your tourism business?
Contact us to be connected with specialists!

5) Create a Website

Don't have a website for your business yet? Don't wait! Nowadays, having a website is almost mandatory because, given that people first use the internet to plan their vacations, they will always prioritize businesses for which it's easy to find information.
Precisely, the website is a perfect way to convey information to people, and even if you prefer to put more effort into social media to cultivate a presence there, you can make the two work together complementarily.
Check out some of our articles about creating a website to learn more about design tactics and SEO optimization and to ensure your website is effective:

6) Take Online Reservations

Another very interesting function: the internet can help you simplify booking. Indeed, this function is not just offered to restaurants and hotels! Booking tools can be useful for spas, resort centers, guided tour operators, and much more! Different options are available, including Reservio, Yelp, Youcanbookme, Le Gérant, Eventbrite, as well as tools offered directly on some social networks, including Facebook.
You may wonder how online booking can be considered a web marketing technique. There are several reasons why this practice can be interesting. First, because it's a great asset that will attract more people to your website and your social networks. Then, because Google and other search engines might see the booking tool and highlight it in the results.

7) Promotions and Newsletters

People love promotions, contests, and special packages. Indeed, through the web, this tactic can be very interesting to attract people to your business. How to go about it? There are many possible tactics, and you will probably need to test several of them before seeing what works best for you. One idea: partner with other tourism businesses in your area for cross-marketing, creating, for example, joint packages or talking about each other on your websites, social networks, and blogs.
As for newsletters, one of the best tricks for convincing people to sign up for yours is to ask them to provide their email address in exchange for a benefit (e.g., an interesting document or exclusive discounts). You can also automatically sign them up when they make a transaction on your website. What to include in the newsletter? Links to articles, testimonials, contests, beautiful photos, and so on!
Here are helpful articles about newsletters to give you ideas on this topic:

8) Content Creation

How will people land on your website? Often, it will be through search engines or by seeing content that has been shared on social media. To increase the visibility of your business while optimizing your site's content for search engines, you must focus on content creation. The best example of content creation relevant for tourism businesses is blogging.
With a blog, you will have more pages on your site with relevant information, which will be analyzed by search engine algorithms. The articles will also provide useful and interesting information to readers. For this strategy to be successful, you must choose good article topics, based on the type of query people make on the internet. For example, if you are a spa located in the Sherbrooke area, why not write an article like "5 Places to Relax Near Sherbrooke"? This is the kind of question that works well on both social media and search engines.
To learn more about the benefits of content creation as a marketing strategy, check out these articles:

9) Work with a Web Marketing Agency to Promote Your Tourism Business

We've presented several examples of interesting marketing strategies to make your business known above. Feel free to test these tactics to see which ones help you achieve the best results. That being said, if you're not marketing experts, you might want to entrust the task to specialists. Why work with experts for your web marketing?
Here are 4 reasons:
  • Experience;
  • Speed;
  • Efficiency;
  • Guaranteed results.
To learn more about working with agencies, here are several articles to read:

Here are 8 examples of tourism businesses with interesting web marketing strategies

As usual, we will present examples from
here and elsewhere, to find a good balance of models to follow in which you can recognize yourself. We have also explored a variety of service types, to show examples that vary:

1) Jackalope

Instagram Jackalope
Jackalope is an action sports festival organized by the marketing company Tribu Expérientiel. Their mission: to sell adrenaline and entertainment. To attract people from here and elsewhere, they ensure to host brand guests, including the legendary Tony Hawk, an iconic figure in the competitive skateboarding scene.
Jackalope mainly targets a young audience and, accordingly, they have well developed their approach on social media. Even though it's an event that lasts a few days in August, they continue to feed the Instagram and Facebook accounts to maintain people's interest. They also do cross-marketing with clothing brands and restaurants present during the festival. Finally, they maintain a blog full of useful information for visitors.

2) Spa Balnea

Instagram Spa Balnea
Spa Balnea is located in a charming place, near a beautiful lake and the Bromont mountains. Despite these assets, it's not easy to stand out from other spas that are open in the region. To succeed, a good web marketing strategy is essential! Specifically, Instagram is a perfect tool to make people want to visit this place. This social network allows presenting very convincing arguments to people who browse their news feed and who are often looking for beauty and ideas of places to discover. Balnea is also very active on Facebook, where they present their packages, products, and special offers. Finally, it's worth noting that the company has a very beautiful and easy-to-navigate website.

3) Maison Lavande

Website Maison Lavande
Maison Lavande is a business that sells lavender products and offers access to its fields during certain periods so that people can experience something similar to a visit in Provence. It's notably an ideal place for hosting large parties and weddings. To attract people to the city of Saint-Eustache, Maison Lavande has, among other things, enlisted an army of Instagram influencers.
If you follow a few very popular young women's accounts on social media, there's a good chance you've seen images of these lavender fields last summer. The strategy seems to have worked, as the company has over 29.9k fans on Instagram and 14k on Facebook.

4) Igloofest

Spotify Igloofest
Even after more than 10 years of existence, this winter festival has not lost its appeal, even managing a big coup this year by attracting DJ Diplo, a big name in the electronic music and pop scene. So, how to convince people to go outside every weekend, when temperatures are so cold? Having found a little-exploited niche, the event organizers understood that people don't necessarily want to hibernate during winter, but they need a good reason to leave the comfort of their home.
Now that they have well established their reputation, they work to cultivate it by being present on social media, attracting quality artists, and implementing several content marketing strategies, including a newsletter on which they rely heavily to send exclusive offers. A very original point: they have also created personalized playlists on Spotify, which is a very interesting idea to continue promoting the festival throughout the year.

5) Beaujolais Wines AOC

Blog Tellement Swell by Ève Martel
The first foreign company on the list, Beaujolais Wines is a tourist organization that revolves around these highly coveted controlled designation of origin products every year. However, to renew the public and interest in this product, marketing specialists decided to implement multi-platform outreach strategies.
They resorted to a modern version of the press trip, where journalists mingled with social media influencers. Several Quebec influencers were invited to the French region where these wines are prepared, including blogger Ève Martel, who published numerous photos of her stay on her multiple social media accounts (Instagram, YouTube) as well as articles on her blog.

6) Ponant Cruises

Website Ponant Cruises
The French company Ponant Cruises offers luxury cruises in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. For a few years now, they
have even offered a stay in Antarctica. The boats are smaller than the average cruise ships, and the services offered to participants are worthy of a 5-star experience.
The prices of these services reflect the luxurious character associated with the company. Therefore, it's essential to target the right audience to create a successful web marketing strategy. First, note the magnificent website that presents the destinations, the ships, and allows booking spots on the cruises. This is a crucial point for a company like Ponant Cruises, as in addition to being very convincing, it adds a touch of credibility.
The cruise line is also very active on social media, with over 100,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 on Instagram, performs a lot of collaborations with media, and calls on influencers from around the world to promote its services.

7) Culinary Backstreets

Blog Culinary Backstreets
Next on the list, Culinary Backstreets is a company that was founded in Istanbul and that we have already mentioned in an article on the most interesting newsletters. In addition to sending interesting emails, this operator of gourmet guided tours offers a very relevant blog, with articles that give a preview of the type of content offered during the tours. These tours are offered in several cities around the world, including Istanbul, Tokyo, Mexico, and Lisbon, so the company's target audience is globally united by a common interest (gastronomy), but still varied due to different travel destination preferences.

8) Tourism Gaspésie

Facebook Page Tourism Gaspésie
To finish this list beautifully, let's head to Gaspésie! Tourism Gaspésie is not a private company but rather an organization dedicated to promoting this magnificent region. That being said, their promotional efforts have borne fruit in recent years, and they are not afraid of challenges. Indeed, the increase in the number of visitors, particularly the phenomenon of winter tourism, is not unrelated to the marketing efforts put in place by them.
They go all out, from traditional advertising (magazines, ads in the media), to web marketing tactics, including SEO, social media, content creation, influencers, cross-marketing, and so on.
We invite you to particularly look at the winter 2018/2019 campaign, where they offered articles, photos on social media, and inspiring videos presenting the region's assets during the cold season. What great ideas!
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