Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism

Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism – 10 Tips to Stand Out

By: Frank DePino | September 27, 2022

With pandemic restrictions loosening and the world once more ready to travel, marketing for hospitality and tourism is more important than ever. We undeniably live in the information age, and businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to stay relevant. Travelers have countless choices, so how do you convince them your destination is where they want to go?

Marketing for hospitality and tourism is the network of strategies and connections used to promote products and services in the travel industry. Marketing draws attention to destinations, hotels, transport services, and local activities while focusing on customer services and memorable experiences. Most travelers plan their trips online, and the industry has largely turned toward digital marketing tools to adapt. 

Read on to learn more about tourism and hospitality industry marketing and ten vital tips to stand out from the competition. 

  • What is hospitality and tourism marketing?
  • Hospitality and tourism marketing trends 2022
  • Marketing strategies in the hospitality and tourism industry
  • Storytelling
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Lead Generation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile-optimized Website
People at hotel discussing the last hospitality and tourism marketing trends

What is hospitality and tourism marketing?

Hospitality marketing is focused on customer satisfaction and providing the best possible experience. Tourism marketing centers on the destination and activities the traveler can enjoy on their trip. Combining the two allows you to expand your target audience and offer customers a complete travel experience. 

Hospitality and Tourism Marketing Trends 2022

A strong online presence is essential for effective hospitality and tourism marketing in 2022. Travel spending hit a pandemic high of $105 billion in June 2022, proving people are ready to travel again. Recent studies show nearly all travel research and bookings are done online. Aside from the ongoing trend of shifting to a digital format, here are some other noticeable trends in the industry. 

The United Nations World Tourism Organization said the tourism and hospitality industry continues recovering at a strong pace as travelers’ confidence returns. Global destinations saw nearly three times the number of international arrivals in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year. 

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1. Focus on Ecotourism

Conservation and sustainable travel come together to benefit the environment and local community in a recent trend called ecotourism. This practice is about more than simply visiting the beauty of natural attractions. Traveling with a focus on education and conservation while visiting the natural wonders of the world in a way that causes no harm to the environment or local people is a growing trend— one the tourism and hospitality industry should note. 

2. Short format video marketing

As we continue into the digital age, people consume more information online and develop shorter attention spans. Blog posts and content marketing are still effective tools to drive web traffic, and you shouldn’t abandon them, but no marketing strategy is complete without short format videos. Short, visually appealing videos on TikTok and Instagram will expand your target audience and drive traffic to your website. Influencer marketing can also be a boon to your brand in this area. 

3. Self-care and wellness

Your potential customers are looking for ways to care for themselves. Adapt your branding and marketing to let them know your focus is on them. Ensure your target audience feels cared for and show them that their experiences matter to you. 

Marketing for hospitality and tourism: the best strategies

Marketing Strategies in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Your marketing plan should be as unique as your location. While there is no single strategy that guarantees success, a combination of the following strategies will certainly give you a solid foundation from which you can grow. 

4. Storytelling

Include storytelling as part of your tourism and hospitality marketing campaign. Allow your potential customers to form a personal connection with your destination, history, and philosophy. Seek feedback from your guests, employees, and business partners. Then, use that information to tell stories and connect further. 

With the popularity of ecotourism, use storytelling to highlight local conservation efforts and showcase the sustainability efforts your business takes to be part of the solution. Do you have staff members who go above and beyond to provide an excellent guest experience? Make sure your potential customers know about them. Many guests travel to historical places. Use the history of your location and local area to your advantage through stories to attract potential guests’ attention. 

5. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most valuable tools in your digital marketing toolbox. The content on your website will drive traffic and help you reach your lead generation, brand building, and awareness goals.

Produce content with Google snippets in mind and continue building your website until you rank high enough to win the featured spot for the topic or keyword. Don’t just post it and forget it, either. At least once a year, go back and review your old content. If you can, update it with new content and reshare it with your target audience. 

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6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Like most internet users, you’ve likely searched for information using Google or other online search engines. Think about how often you’ve found the information you sought on the first page of search results. Now, you understand the importance of SEO for hotels and how it can help you attract more visitors. Your website needs to be on the first page of your industry’s search results, and a diverse SEO marketing plan will help you get there. 

SEO uses keywords and the search engine algorithm to increase your website’s “gravity.” The stronger your draw and the wider your network, the more weight search engines give to your site and the higher you will rank among the results. SEO encompasses all the methods you use to increase your rank on search engines. 

7. Lead Generation

Knowing your target audience lets you focus your marketing efforts where they are most likely to work. Lead generation is a crucial part of your wider marketing strategy. You need to reach guests planning on booking a trip and those who are still undecided but interested.  

More than 60 percent of hotel bookings take place online, which means you have unprecedented opportunities for lead generation using a targeting marketing campaign. You have a multitude of methods available. Form a plan using some or all of these tourism and hospitality lead generation strategies.

  • Mobile-optimized website
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing/video marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Online webinars and virtual events
  • Cross promotion with other businesses in the industry
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
  • Curated experiences for your destination
Email marketing and social media marketing for hospitality and tourism

8. Social Media Marketing

Social media is an enormously useful tool in any marketing plan for tourism and hospitality. The vast majority of your customers will use some social media. Are you taking full advantage of the tools at your disposal? With the rising trend of short-form video popularity, especially related to travel, you should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, at the very least. 

If social media marketing is daunting, or if you have struggled with engagement, consider hiring a professional. Help is available and worth the investment. A successful social media marketing campaign can boost your bookings while keeping you relevant and on customers’ radar. Use the demographic information your pages provide and tailor your efforts where they work. 

9. Email Marketing

Maintain an open line of communication with your guests even after they leave through email marketing. A well-timed email featuring photos of your destination can inspire guests to book a return trip once they’ve resumed their normal daily lives. 

Email marketing efforts also let you connect with potential customers to share enticing information about your tourism and hospitality services. Your website should have opt-in and exit pop-ups to grab visitors’ attention and grow your email list. 

  • Your email marketing will receive more engagement if you use graphics. Consider hiring an agency to handle your email list. They will provide professional emails with graphics and photos to catch the notice of your subscribers. 
  • Maintain relationships with your subscribers through a newsletter with the most recent information about your business or location. An interesting monthly or bi-monthly newsletter can generate leads and keeps your customers informed about what’s happening. 
  • Send birthday emails to subscribers for nearly 500 percent increased interaction, according to a 2020 Campaign Monitor report. People want to feel connected, and being remembered on their birthday is an excellent way to reinforce that connection, so they think of you when they’re ready to book a trip. 

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

10. Mobile-optimized Website

Especially in the tourism and hospitality industry, a professional, mobile-optimized website is the single most important tool you have to reach potential customers. Before booking a vacation, consumers will research locations. A majority of those searches will be conducted on cell phones. It is crucial for your site to work across a variety of devices. 

Your website is so important that you should trust it to a professional. Invest in a high-quality website and keep it up to date, optimized for speed, and working across multiple devices. Maintain a steady stream of content marketing across mediums, all linking back to your website. Your site is the face of your brand and often the first interaction potential guests will have with your business. 

Use your website to showcase the atmosphere and services you offer through engaging copy on one page while sharing guest stories on another and highlighting local attractions on yet another page. Make your site a one-stop shop for tourism and hospitality in your region. Content marketing allows you to cast a wide network of backlinks that lead back to your website. 

Conclusion

A successful digital marketing campaign for your tourism or hospitality destination can mean the difference between going viral and staying booked or struggling to get guests through the doors. Take advantage of the tools at your disposal and the unprecedented level of contact you can foster with potential guests and adapt your marketing strategies to focus on what works.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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