How businesses can learn promotional strategies from tourist boards

Companies are constantly looking for new ways to improve image and will often employ a wide range of different marketing strategies at any one time to keep things fresh. Email marketing and direct mail are two of the most common methods that can be used to entice new and keep current customers. However, there is no hard and fast way to go about painting your brand in a positive light and firms can often learn as much from other companies and rivals as they can glean from their own marketing efforts.

Tourist boards are brilliant at depicting the location they are promoting as a perfect holiday destination, and some of their tactics can be mirrored in any form of business. They can paint a picture of the area’s best features, which in turn brings in revenue, so why not try to use some of the same approaches?

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Tourist boards have never been afraid to experiment in other countries in order to gain as much exposure as possible. For instance, last November, the agency Curb Media worked on behalf of the Swiss tourist board to install large blocks of ice around London to promote winter tourism in the Central European country.

Ice blocks were put in busy places such as Canary Wharf, Broadgate’s Fulcrum sculpture, Westfield Shopping Centre and St Pancras Station. Each one depicted Swiss glaciers and represented one of the five ski regions of the country. In addition, there were 75 Swiss flag cards surrounding each block and anyone that freed a card from the melting ice had an opportunity to win a winter holiday to Switzerland.

Get your brand message right

Whatever types of marketing method you use, it is the message that you must get absolutely spot on if you are to get people onside. This means that companies – just as tourist boards do – need to promote the most important details of the services the company provides and what they can expect from you. Tourist boards aim to show off the different activities that visitors can take part in while on holiday in that country, and so firms should show the services that they would provide to any potential customer. You should be attempting to provide an image of the products and services that help to make you an industry leader in your sector.

Companies should brainstorm the different things that help to make their services stand out against their rivals and show these off in marketing communications.

Highlight your best features

Some tourist boards will have millions to spend every year on marketing methods to paint their area in a positive light. Think about how much money it would cost Visit California for their recurring TV adverts that feature scores of big-name celebrities telling viewers about the joys of a holiday in the US state. Indeed, people such as Rob Lowe and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have appeared in the adverts.

While your company may not have the budget that Visit California does, it is vitally important that you highlight the features that make your brand great. In marketing communications, paint a portrait of your firm in the best possible light. Companies can also paint their products in a positive light by offering out promotional items such as polo shirts. 4imprint has a wide range such items to choose from.

Foreign visits to UK down in August despite Olympics

The number of visits to the UK by overseas residents was 5% lower in August, despite London hosting this year’s Olympic Games, figures showed today.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were around 3.0 million visits to the UK in August, down 5% compared to the same month in 2011.

Overall, however, these foreign visitors spent more money than their counterparts last year.

The amount of money spent was 9% higher than in the same period a year ago, at nearly GBP2.4bn. This includes any money spent on the purchase of Olympics tickets.

Visitors to the Games spent almost twice as much money, shelling out GBP1,290 per person on average, against GBP650 spent by other overseas visitors.

The majority of visits for the Olympic Games from overseas were made by European residents, while an equal proportion came from North America and other countries around the world.

Looking specifically at all visits made to the UK this summer for the sporting spectacle, there were an estimated 590,000 completed visits to the UK by overseas residents in July and August that were either specifically for the 2012 Olympics or Paralympics – by those participating, working or watching the Games – or primarily for another reason but involving attendance at a ticketed event.

The ONS noted that the decrease in total visit numbers in August followed similar falls in June and July, when visits to the UK were around 7% lower than in 2011 and spending on those visits was in line with the previous year. Across the whole of the year to date, the number of visits from overseas residents is unchanged in percentage terms from 2011, while spending is 3% higher.

UK residents made slightly fewer trips abroad in August 2012 compared to a year earlier, with visits abroad by Britons down 1% to a total of 7.3 million. Expenditure on these visits rose 6% from 2011, amounting to more than GBP4.5bn.

Bargain hunting British travellers widen horizons in search of deals

Spain is still the UK’s most popular overseas tourist destination, but with bargain hunting Brits keen to find the best deals, UK travellers are widening their palette of options, according to data provided by Asda Money.

The UK government recently increased Air Passenger Duty adding more to the cost of foreign holidays, which could deter some from heading overseas or look to seek cheaper alternatives. The cost of going overseas is increasing and so a number of people might look for cheaper holiday destinations.

Whilst Spain has always been one of the most popular places for British tourists to visit, this could change as bargain hunting Brits search for cheaper holiday destinations such as Hungary and Latvia.

In a poll of 2018 adults, commissioned by ABTA, 12% of customers said they would be going overseas between July 27 and August 12 to get away from the London 2012 Games.

Asda Money offers affordable travel money to destinations across the world. Asda Money is a trading name of Asda Financial Services Ltd.