8 compelling reasons why every tourism business needs a marketing strategy


When you think of marketing strategy, I’m sure you start to visualise a big bulky document that sits on the shelf, which makes you feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

When I think of marketing strategy, I see a dynamic plan that is pinned up on my board, which is highly focused, flexible and is something that I look at every day, and actioning the tasks becomes part of my daily ritual, and is fun.

Marketing has to be the best part about managing a business, as you get to communicate the benefits of your awesome business to your ideal customers – something that you should be super passionate about. But the hard part about marketing is trying to not be all things to all people – to be really focused and specific about what, how and where you communicate your messages to get maximum impact.

We all know that the tourism industry is mostly made up of small and medium size businesses, with limited budgets, which is why having a plan of attack, which is almost guaranteed of generating a positive return on investment, is crucial.

That’s where a marketing strategy comes into play.

A marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complex. In fact it should be a living, breathing document that guides you to ensure you are consistently marketing the benefits of your products and services to the appropriate audiences to achieve positive return on investment. That’s it!

8 compelling reasons why you need a marketing strategy for your tourism business

1. To identify your ideal customer

Your ideal customer will dictate all of your marketing activities, so it is really important to identify this persona BEFORE your decide on what tactics to employ.

Without knowing your Ideal Customer, you could be spending time and money targeting those who are not necessarily interested in your product/service, or you may be targeting those who we don’t really want to work with. If you aren’t specific with your messages, then you aren’t optimising your chances of making as many sales as you possibly can!

2. To identify what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts

Setting goals and objectives is a big part in making your marketing dollars accountable, and also being able to report on your return on investment – which is so important considering tourism businesses have a limited budget to spend on marketing activities.

3. To articulate what sets you apart from competitors

Knowing what makes your business unique or different from competitors in the industry is a very powerful selling tool, and communicating this in a way that ‘speaks’ to your ideal customers is a big part of creating sales.

4. To have an action plan to achieve your goals and objectives

An marketing action plan is literally a plan of what marketing tools and tactics you plan to use to achieve your goals and objectives, which are selected based on your marketing objectives and your Ideal Customer’s predispositions.

5. To better understand your marketplace

A strategic marketing plan allows you to assess your industry’s competitive environments, consumer trends and demands and gives you the opportunity to reassess and align your offering to suit the ever-changing marketplace and your ideal customers within it.

6. To help you focus and hone in on the most important tactics

At the end of the day you have limited resources to get your message in the hands of your ideal customers. A strategy will allow you to feel confident in your actions knowing that they are focussed and strategic, and will avoid making rushed decisions (like agreeing to a print advert in the local visitor guide on the spot without thinking about potential return on marketing investment) that may end up being a waste of resources!

7. To measure your return on investment

There is absolutely no point investing in marketing activities if you cannot track the return on investment. A strategy will outline how you intend on holding your actions accountable and will force you to review activities that are not generating a positive ROI.

8. To remind you that your in business to stay in business.

At the end of the day, you are in business for a reason. And if you truly want to make a good go of marketing your business properly, then a strategy is an essential part of providing efficiencies and positive outcomes for your business.

Paige Rowett

Paige is the co-director of Tourism eSchool and a Tourism Marketing Consultant (www.paigerowett.com). Paige is passionate about working with tourism destinations & operators to create sustainable marketing strategies, specialising in marketing strategy, customer advocacy, customer experience, content marketing, website strategy, search engine optimisation & blogging.

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