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If you're marketing a tourist attraction, hotel, restaurant, museum or other travel hot spot, getting your pitch in front of your audience is paramount to success. Convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and lone business establishments can take advantage of the following travel marketing tips to achieve the volume needed to boost revenues. Best of all, these tips won't cost a fortune to implement!
Print full-color guides or booklets about your area and mail them to your list. Contact complementary, but non-competing, businesses to see if they'd like to go in with you on production and mailing fees. If you run a CVB, create a robust area guide and solicit your local businesses for advertisements. This technique should not only cover the cost of printing and mailing your guides and booklets; it should leave enough ad funds left over to contribute to other CVB marketing strategies. Add value to your guide or booklet by asking local vendors to include coupons for special rates and discounts. You should also include maps and features by category and/or geography to help your visitors discover what they'll love about your area. Keep in mind that travel guides and booklets serve a dual purpose - to inform and to market.
Print brochures and rack cards to distribute at visitor centers, rest areas, and on local counters and tables. Again, it's a good idea to include coupons and maps. Compelling copy and dynamic design are crucial at the face-to-face level. Your customers are in the area, and it's your job to convince them that they should spend their time with you and not your competitors.
One of the most popular marketing strategies today, postcard-to-website advertising is the perfect economical way to get your attraction in front of key customers. Send postcards to a highly targeted mailing list and direct travelers to a special page on your website set up just for them. An incredible, time-sensitive offer - such as a free hotel stay, area guide, or dinner coupons - is a great way to capture e-mail addresses and other information you can use to continue marketing to your prospects. Vacation marketing is a long-term process, as travelers might consider a specific venue for weeks, months or even years before they finally decide to go. Due to this long-term sales cycle, it is imperative that you market on both the print and web fronts - so use postcards to get your customers to sign up for your mailing list. There are many, many creative ways to advertise to travelers, and they can't all be covered here. Don't be afraid to be creative, big, bold, larger than life - this is what many travelers want, so go after it!