Free marketing tips and services for leisure and tourism organisations

Marketing tourism destinations

Marketing a visitor destination remains as chaotic as ever in the UK as the ongoing debate as to whose responsibility it is continues. Currently an uneasy mix of public and private finance is used, spread unevenly around the country. At every level from VisitBritain, the national tourist boards, the fast disappearing regional tourist boards, the emerging local enterprise partnerships, the destination management organisations to the local district councils funding for tourism promotion is in short supply. 

So what does the future hold for UK destinations? Plans for tourism business levies (more accurately TBIDs) to provide an alternative source of funding face significant opposition and delay as a suspicious private sector eyes the details set out in current proposals. Yet the income provided by visitors is of critical importance to most local economies and the need to compete to attract tourist trips greater than ever. Destinations that look beyond public sector dependency, galvanise their local networks, leverage external funding and exploit every opportunity to position themselves aggressively in the marketplace will be the winners. 

Top ten rules for marketing destinations

  • Understand everything about your visitors and the strengths and weaknesses of your destination
  • Concentrate your resources on those visitors who offer the best fit to and profit for your destination
  • Develop an agreed brand strategy and shared budget with your destination's major economic players 
  • Produce a yearly marketing plan detailing activity, audience targets, timings, costs and effectiveness  
  • Showcase those desirable experiences your destination does consistently better than any other
  • Drive collaborative marketing campaigns in tandem with your local and national tourism local partners
  • Deliver a trusted and comprehensive online and mobile device showcase for your destination
  • Provide compelling content to deliver impact at every stage of the purchase and visit process 
  • Provide high quality content for distribution to and by your partners, the travel trade and the media
  • Find new ways to sell your major experiences, the more you tell the more you sell! 


 Ten great tips for promoting destinations:

  1. Hire staff with sales to pitch to the travel trade and drive conference, membership and advertising sales
  2. Reduce the print run and use for up-selling, maps & offers and to drive traffic to your TIC and/or mobile devices
  3. Use QR codes on all printed materials, posters and encourage tourism and travel partners to add to their own materials
  4. Highlight a selection of 3-4 easily bookable day, short break or holiday packages that best showcase your destination 
  5. Subscribe to a press enquiry feed such as Travmedia and set daily targets for responses and press release uploads
  6. Provide an online media library with free to use print ready images and Tiktok/Instagram/X friendly video clips
  7. Always offer charismatic, well-briefed spokespersons for all broadcast media interviews
  8. Set measurable objectives for trade fair attendance including sales leads achieved
  9. Kick-start your penetration of emerging overseas markets by targeting local and UK-wide ex-patriate communities
  10. Ask local hotels and attractions to hand out prize entry postcards to guests to drive data capture and market intelligence

If you would like further advice and support on how to attract more visitors to your destination, contact The Leisure Doctor at: