The Importance of Marketing in Tourism

by Andra Picincu - Updated November 08, 2018
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Ever wonder what the most popular vacation resorts and hotels have in common? What about the top rated travel agencies? They offer not only excellent service but also invest heavily in marketing to expand their reach and drive customer awareness. In a 2017 survey, 48 percent of hotel professionals said that they were planning to spend more on digital marketing campaigns. About 44 percent expressed their intention to invest in social media. Governments spend billions on tourism marketing as well, in order to promote their best destinations and boost the local economy.

Increase Customer Awareness

Many travel destinations that are popular today have only recently been added to our holiday map. Sierra Leone, South Korea, Nepal, Iceland and Vietnam are just a few to mention.

The number of tourists visiting Sierra Leone, for instance, increased from 40,000 in 2005 to 74,400 in 2016. The number of overseas arrivals in South Korea more than doubled between 2005 and 2017, growing from 6 million to 13.1 million visitors. Another example is Iceland, which welcomed 34.9 percent more travelers in 2017 compared to the previous year.

One of the reasons why these destinations are so popular is that they're heavily promoted in the media. A few years ago, travelers knew little about these places and the number of flights was limited.

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Today, you can easily travel from one place to another and use the internet to research every possible destination. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and other online platforms are flooded with exciting stories and reviews from travelers worldwide.

Tourism agencies, hotels, B&Bs and other industry players leverage today's technology to promote destinations that are new or untouched by tourists. This helps increase customer awareness and opens up a world of opportunities for tourists and hospitality professionals alike.

Grow the Local Economy

Tourism marketing contributes to the growth of local and national economies worldwide. In fact, one-fifth of all global jobs created over the past decade have been within the travel sector. Nearly 10 percent of all jobs are supported by this industry.

The more people visit a city or country, the more money they spend. This helps grow the local economy and attracts investors. New hotels and vacation resorts open their doors, leading to the creation of new jobs. As the local infrastructure and services improve, the number of tourists increases even more.

Promote Local Brands

Many small cities and towns are home to world-class accommodations. Marketers promote these places online and offline to drive brand awareness and attract visitors. They also make sure that information on restaurants, hotels and other venues is easily accessible and up-to-date.

For example, if you own a B&B, you can advertise it on Facebook and Instagram as well as in travel magazines and on travel blogs. Another option is to join Booking.com, Hotels.com and other online platforms where travelers can book accommodations at discounted rates. Those who decide to stay at your B&B may leave reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Expedia and other websites with millions of visitors, which further helps increase brand awareness.

Tourism marketing drives business growth. If customers are satisfied with your services, they'll spread the world about your facility, whether it's a local pub or a hotel. This will bring you more clients and give you a competitive edge.

Considering these facts, it's no wonder that travel professionals invest billions in marketing. Digital advertising spending in the U.S. travel industry increased from $2.4 billion in 2011 to $8.5 billion in 2018 – and it's expected to reach $9.8 billion in 2019. If you want to stand out from the crowd and promote your venue, focus on improving your marketing strategy.

About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.

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