Free marketing tips and services for leisure and tourism organisations

Marketing visitor attractions:

Given what you might ordinarily think about, bearing in mind notions of discretionary spend in times of belt tightening, leisure attractions have got it easy. A key insight gleaned from the current economic downturn is the reluctance of the average person, and in particular families with school age children, to forego holidays and day trips. It is the experience and associated memories that linger long after a visit that is so highly valued.

If you're in the business of marketing attractions it is the active, emotion triggering memorable experiences on offer at your venue that should scream out from your publicity. This year's Olympics will almost certainly not improve your visitor numbers but a well planned and executed marketing and sales makeover will get your tills ringing.

 Top ten must-do's for marketing visitor attractions:

  • Understand you'll only succeed if you can deliver at a profit an experience enough visitors want and value
  • Hire a professional/experienced marketer(s) to deliver an annual plan with timings, costings and measurable targets
  • Launch with a splash - you'll only get one chance to quickly build awareness and product knowledge
  • Make all staff accountable for hitting marketing targets, including those for footfall, income and customer satisfaction
  • Understand why customers visit your attraction and build your marketing around the benefits they're seeking
  • Build a clear, identifiable brand delivered with consistency across all operations and marketing  
  • Focus on promoting within your immediate catchment area unless you're a very large attraction  
  • Join and be an active driver of the local tourism network to gain maximum value from wider destination marketing
  • Adopt professional sales tactics to earn more revenue from admissions, retail, catering, venue hire and friends/donors
  • Don't just survey your own visitors, ask non-visitors with similar profiles why they're not visiting and adjust your offer


 Ten great tips for promoting visitor attractions:

  1. Drop those small advertisements in newspapers, magazines, maps and listings sites and focus on social media
  2. Use cut-out coded vouchers and online measurement tools to measure all leaflets, advertisements and socials 
  3. Lobby your local authority for brown tourism signs and regularly use AA or RAC signage 
  4. Use at least 10pt font size in all your printed and online communications
  5. Maximise the readability and impact of the top quarter of your racked main leaflets
  6. Provide free entry and refreshments for coach drivers and group leaders
  7. Offer familiarisation visits to journalists & tour operators and allow them to bring their children or older family members as appropriate
  8. Provide great photo opportunities on site to encourage word-of-mouth promotion and advertise free mobile phone charging
  9. Make sure your attraction appears in all local mapping and listing applications, including Google maps
  10. Enter as many attraction and tourism awards competitions for which you are eligible    

For further information and advice about marketing visitor attractions, contact The Leisure Doctor at: