Understand your market
Be aware of changes to your local area’s visitor profile. Is there an increase in a particular overseas market? If there's an airport near your business, find out which markets it serves and investigate whether it's worth promoting to them. Your Destination Organisation or tourist information centre should be able to give you information about trends and developments in your area.
Work with others
If you're an accommodation business, ask other local operators to send customers your way when they're full. If you run an attraction, ensure local accommodation owners link to you on their websites and perhaps offer a discount to their guests in return.
- Think how you can make your business stand out from your competitors. If you have a unique selling point (USP) – such as a spectacular location, a truly sustainable ethos, proximity to a popular attraction or the opportunity to learn new skills – shout about it.
- Contact your Destination Organisation to see how they can help you promote your business. Many produce printed guides list tourism businesses on their websites.
Embrace digital marketing
- Read our Online Marketing Toolkit for advice on creating a high-quality and inspiring website which is optimised for search engines.
- If you're an accommodation business or a ticketed attraction, offer online bookings. This could reduce your costs and provide added incentives for customers to buy in advance.
- Embrace and be aware of customer review websites. Demonstrate your service by acknowledging and thanking positive testimonials and manage your reputation by responding appropriately to any negative comments. Encourage your customers to leave comments on review sites and engage with you on social media.
- If you're an accommodation business it's worth assessing the value of working with an online travel agent. Consider how much you'll have to pay in commission, whether there are any minimum requirements and if there are any repercussions if you decide to terminate the contract.
- Track where people are finding your website using Google Analytics. Which websites are sending customers to you? What are people searching for when they find your business? You can target these to drive more customers to your website. Find out how to track your website traffic in our Online Marketing Toolkit.
When promoting your business, it's important to ensure you abide by your legal obligations under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Find out more in the Pink Book Online.