Tourism marketing can be very challenging. Whether you work for a convention and visitors bureau, hotel, airline, local attraction or other tourist-related company, the importance of developing the right tourism marketing mix is only half the equation.

In this age of digital media, reviews spread like wildfire… especially the negative ones. Did you know that angry customers are two to three times more likely to take the time to post a bad review than those who walk away pleased? You can’t stop it from happening, even when the reviewer was unfair or the experience was an exception to your normal outstanding service.

The stats speak for themselves:

  • 88 % trust online reviews as much as they trust their best friends’ recommendations
  • 80% choose to go elsewhere if they read bad reviews
  • One negative review online (when not countered by positive reviews) can cost up to 30 new customers!
  • It takes 12 positive reviews to cancel out the nasty side effects of just one negative review.

So how do you get that positive momentum started and maintained? Here are four foolproof tourism marketing strategies that will get customers singing your praises loud enough for everyone to hear!


Strategy 1: Develop an Impressive, Jaw-dropping Guide About the Area

Whether you’re marketing to event planners for large groups, or individual travelers, providing an informative, interactive visitor’s guide about the area has a myriad of advantages. However, it needs to be an extraordinary guide… one that people will want to keep for reference and share with friends. A printed guide or brochure will be more useful when coupled with a digital, online version.

To make your tourism marketing outstanding, the guide should include:

  • Content that is easy to skim (bullet points and short paragraphs are best)
  • Photography that connects on an emotional level
  • Local advice (tips that only locals would know)
  • Highlights about your destination (unique specifics that can’t easily be found elsewhere)


Strategy 2: Create a Destination Video

All you have to do is look around and notice – the world is moving toward videos… and for good reason. Videos deliver a great deal of information in a short period of time. To be impactful, your presentation must be useful and not just a typical video ad about your company. Helpful tips on getting around, fun facts and local advice will make a positive impact for tourists. Be sure to include time and money-saving tips they aren’t likely to find elsewhere.


Strategy 3: Create an In-house Review System

Don’t wait for backlash or praise to be seen on Yelp, TripAdvisor or anywhere, for that matter. Develop an in-house review system that prompts honest feedback before the customer departs.

This can be done any number of ways, such as training the checkout desk to ask questions while performing any final transactions. Review/feedback cards set in rooms or the front desk are rarely used by guests, so the best method is one-on-one. For example, if a manager can personally talk to the guests, any problems or issues can be handled on the spot! Negative reviews will likely be eliminated altogether.

Using open-ended questions, versus multiple choice or yes/no types, will give you feedback that will help improve your destination and demonstrate interest in customer feedback.

Sample questions:

  1. What did you like the most about (your organization)?
  2. What did you like the least about (your organization)?
  3. Is there anything you would like our management to know? We are always looking to improve!
  4. If your friends asked about your visit with us, what would you tell them?
  5. If (organization name) was your company, what would you change?

In addition to handling any negative experiences on the spot, specific positive feedback can be included in the marketing materials.


Strategy 4: Social Media Buzz That Excites

Face it, social media is where most people get their daily dose of information. It’s also where they expect to find special promotions, upcoming events, videos and posts that provide unique advice or news. Tourists want to get excited about their trip before they arrive, so they are on the hunt for anything they can find, such as breathtaking photos, testimonials, and the inside scoop. It needn’t be overly time-consuming. In fact, Google alerts provide an efficient way to keep track of who, what and where anyone is posting anything about your city, metro area and your business. You will be surprised how quickly the alerts roll in that are worth sharing. Bam. Social media that excites!

Here’s how to set up a Google alert:

  1. Go to in your browser.
  2. Enter a search term for the topic you want to track.
  3. Choose Show Options to narrow the alert to a specific source, language, and/or region.
  4. Select Create Alert
  5. Set up as many as you like!

Using all four tourism marketing strategies simultaneously will provide a mix that will keep the positive buzz going and position your company as a leader. You will be able to circumvent any negative feedback and promote all of the rave reviews. Possibly the most important aspect: your company will be seen as one that genuinely cares about tourists’ overall travel experience.

For more than 26 years we’ve partnered with travel, tour, hospitality and leisure destinations to help captivate and convert visitors through impactful print and digital projects. Our work supporting the tourism industry has won numerous industry awards. We’ll show you how to stay ahead of reviews and build a strong, favorable reputation. Our collaborative approaches to tourism marketing evoke reactions, build credibility, shape perceptions and ultimately inspire people to go places. Contact us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation at: or (630) 639-8985.


About Evoke Idea Group, LLC

Evoke Idea Group, LLC is a full-service design and marketing creative agency providing award-winning marketing communications and graphic design solutions since 1996. For more than two decades, we’ve helped mid-to-large size B2B and B2C companies, marketing departments and breakout companies captivate and convert customers through print and digital campaigns. We serve a wide range of clients on a national, regional, and local basis.

We are in the business of bringing awareness to brands and helping to grow companies through strategic marketing, digital marketing, advertising, web design, video and graphic design services. Our fresh, creative approaches are translated through: graphic design, logo design, website design, advertisements, infographics, digital marketing, social media marketing, web banner ads, print materials, flyers, case studies, sell sheets, posters, brochures, branding and identity, brand guidelines, packaging, trade show booths, exhibit graphics, video and animated motion graphics.

Our full-service advertising agency provides freelance marketing communications and graphic design solutions throughout Arizona, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tucson, Peoria, Prescott, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Elgin, Schaumburg, DeKalb, Joliet, Chicago, Chicago Suburbs, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County, Pima County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, DeKalb County, Cook County, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, the Midwest, the Southwest, USA and worldwide.