Destination Marketing (or the ‘marketing of a place’) is a form of marketing in which a destination is promoted to potential visitors in order to increase the number of people who travel to that location, including but not limited to tourists, skilled workers, and students. Destination marketing helps to drive economic growth to the area by sustaining air service and boosting the economy as well as creating familiarity with an area. Further, it is a great way to share and educate people on the cultural aspects of a location. Cairns, located in Far North Queensland, Australia, is a perfect example of a region that benefits from destination marketing due to the high demand of tourists who visit the city.
One key goal for destination marketing is to make your destination more appealing than locations that may compete with you for visitors. For example, Cairns, a prime diving destination with the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, must compete with overseas diving hotspots like Fiji, Hawaii, and the Caribbean for guests. One way to appeal to people who are undecided is to highlight all appealing factors at the destination to show what makes it unique. It also needs to show visitors that the destination meets all of their travel needs and requirements- don’t just tell divers about the Great Barrier Reef but show them too. The collective experiences offered by a certain destination is an important marketing tool ready to be utilised with the help of the 4 P’s: product, place, price, and promotion.
Travel is social and has become extremely personalisable so it comes as no surprise that travellers often utilise social media channels before, during, and after travel. Many research, plan and book almost an entire trip online, with roughly 9/10 travellers placing high importance upon reading reviews (Trip Advisor, Facebook) before making decisions. Social media allows you to connect to over 2 billion people around the world, so odds are that you’ll find somebody looking to travel to your destination. The tourism industry is constantly evolving- it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and stay tuned into what your audience responds to so you can market to them.