How to stand out in the crowded tourism industry

27 September 2019 0

Today marks World Tourism Day. Having worked closely with tourism clients and being part of an organisation operating within the industry, we know all about the importance of tourism.

Today (Friday 27 September) marks World Tourism Day. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the global social, cultural, political and economic value of the tourism industry.

Having worked closely with tourism clients and being part of an organisation operating within the industry (NewcastleGateshead Initiative), we know all about the importance of tourism.

The stats back this up – tourism is worth nearly £146bn to the UK economy*. We are the seventh largest international tourism destination ranked by visitor numbers and fifth largest ranked by visitor expenditure**.

It’s obvious that the tourism industry is highly competitive, with consumers now having a broader range of destinations available to them.

How do I know what visitors want?  

With easy access to destinations both nearby and across the world, consumers now have more choice than ever before. Research is a great way to identify your target audience and reach them with the right content.

Carrying out visitor surveys can give you access to invaluable data on who is and isn’t visiting your area. As well as identifying the demographics of visitors, further details can be gleaned such as the reason behind a visit, what they enjoyed and whether they are likely to return in the future.   

How do I use research to increase tourism?

Once the research has been completed you can start feeding the learnings into your tourism strategy. You should now know your target audience, why they come to your destination and the things they love to do when they are there. This information can be used in marketing campaigns to target specific audiences with content that you know will interest them. It can even be used to influence what kind of events your destination holds or improve your online channels.

Using research properly, along with other data that you hold from online channels, can enhance your tourism strategy and ultimately lead to an increase in visitors to your destination.

We’ve completed visitor studies in destinations such as Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford and Coventry which have helped shape tourism strategies, inform marketing campaigns and even support successful city of culture bids.   

On World Tourism Day this year why not take some time to consider how research can help your destination stand out in the tourism industry.

*ONS, 2018

**UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2018 edition

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Ian Thomas

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