Free marketing tips and services for leisure and tourism organisations

Marketing accommodation:

Pick up most brochures listing places to stay and you'll see page after page of pictures of bedrooms and bland external shots. Facilities described as features are endlessly repeated in ad after ad with little differentiation beyond the size of and rates charged by establishments. Marketing tactics are highly variable from the centralised branded activity of major hotel chains to small ads placed by local guest houses. Turn on a smart phone and you'll find the most successful operators using dedicated, booking enabled mobile sites to showcase and sell their available rooms.

Promotion and booking has moved online and many accommodation providers feel squeezed between rapacious site aggregators and hostile customer reviews. Large companies restlessly seek to identify greater shareholder value providing customers with a constantly shifting selection of hotels, brands, names and experiences. Independents without a clearly defined, and unique, offer run the risk of being squeezed between luxury and budget brands or fail to adapt to higher customer expectations. Knowing how to market your business properly has never been more vital.  So, if you're responsible for attracting more guests and increasing revenue, you'll need access to effective promotional tools and resources.

 Top ten must-do's when marketing accommodation:

  • Be clear about where you fit in terms of the accommodation sector and offer outstanding value in that category  
  • Identify and focus your marketing on those customers that best match your accommodation offer
  • Build a strong brand identity and be consistent with your service delivery and promotional messages 
  • Remember that customer retention is easier than customer acquisition
  • Promote the experience and benefits you offer, don't just list features and facilities
  • Create and deliver a timed, costed local sales & marketing plan, in support of externally delivered centralised marketing
  • Develop content for mobile devices and adapt and extend for web and print, not the other way round
  • Establish revenue per available room and customer satisfaction as key performance indicators
  • Measure ROI for all marketing activity and agents in terms of costs & commissions against bookings and income 
  • Stay in control of dynamic booking, don't let it control you, offering added benefits in of place of rate cuts     


 Ten top tips for promoting room sales:

  1. Provide online availability and instant booking on your own website as a minimum 
  2. Run press advertisements to promote last minute availability ONLY 
  3. Improve SEO by updating your web and mobile sites with fresh relevant content on at least a daily basis
  4. Create new content using the (free) Google Keywords facility to improve your website's SEO
  5. Network hard at chamber of commerce and business breakfast meetings giving regular presentations and fam visits
  6. Programme sales visits to and from domestic and inbound tour operators, conference organisers and ground handlers
  7. Demand exclusive discounts from your most popular local attractions and package up to attract more leisure stays
  8. Work to become the preferred partner for all your local non-residential conference venues
  9. Join forces with other local hotels and venues to achieve the critical mass to attract and service larger event business
  10. Set key performance indicators for the speed of response to, and conversion of, non-automated enquiries 

If you would like further advice and support to attract more visitors, please contact: