Ideas & knowhow


Enter awards & boost your business


Follow these simple notes to create an award-winning application. You’ll find this process can boost your business in other ways too.

I've acted as a judge for many different tourism and hospitality awards over the years, most recently on the judging panel for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. This article looks at the benefit of entering awards and gives an insight into what I and fellow judges look for.

Before you start… imagine the scene:

Congratulations! You’ve won!

What do you w…

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What one thing really matters?

One thing that really matters

Feeling a bit jaded by marketing? Got less energy but know you need to keep promoting and attracting more visitors? 

Let's face it: life, running a business and marketing can be exhausting. There are some times when it all feels a bit too tiring, and it's hard to decide what to actually do

In these times there's a simple thing you can do, that will really improve all your marketing, and give it fresh impetus. 

It couldn't be simpler. 

Just answer this question: what one thing do you want v…

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Before you discount

Before you discount

When visitors aren't as plentiful as you'd like or all the economic forecasts are gloomy, it can be tempting to start discounting prices.

Stop! You might not need to. Here are a few things to think about before you discount any prices. 

First of all, are you jumping to conclusions? If you’re panicking because you think things are going to be difficult, it might be worth looking at previous booking patterns to see if you often have glitches, and their causes.

Then, make sure you've done all th…

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Simple example of a great call to action

simple call to action

Calls to action are an essential part of getting people to part with their cash.

They come in many forms, from a gentle reminder to follow you on social media or sign-up to your mailing list so you can start to nurture people until they're ready to become customers, to a more direct 'book now'. 

Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. I was reminded of this yesterday when a letter arrived: a genius example of simplicity hitting the mark. 

The writer has my email addre…

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Stop feeling stressed by social media marketing

Social media overwhelm

Social media is an essential part of tourism marketing. It’s free and can be incredibly effective.

It can also feel overwhelming and stressful. Here are a few ideas to help:

1. Create, then consume. Social media is useful when you use it to post, not just to scroll. So stop scrolling, think what you want to post, post it, and then if you have time, take a peak at the rest of your timeline. Being deliberate about how you use social media definitely helps.

2. Decide why you want to be on social…

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Learning from Sicilians about pride and passion


Last week I went on a ‘Learning Journey’ trip to Sicily. Together with around 25 representatives of other tourism and food businesses from the UK, we were given an incredible opportunity to get an insight into food heritage and tourism on this surprisingly lush island.

We visited food producers, restaurants, hotels and had some really interesting discussions among ourselves. The idea of these Erasmus+ funded trips is that tourism professionals have an opportunity to gain new ideas and consider …

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What's the downside to your business?


I'd like to suggest something that is going to sound a bit bonkers. 

Trust me, it really can help you market your business more effectively.

Tell people about something that's bad about your business. 

Yes really. Declare a downside or a disadvantage. Don't hide it. Tell people about it. 

it doesn't have to be anything earth-shattering or something that will really put people off. Just something you're aware of. Perhaps an aspect that some people find a bit odd or off-putting. Or something t…

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Marketing your tourism business in tricky times

Tricky times

Recent economic predictions have indicated we could be in for a rocky time. inflation increases, fuel price hikes and an uncertain economy mean that not everyone will want to think ahead and book a holiday or feel good about spending on a day trip. Combine this with the discounts available on overseas' holidays and iffy British weather and the domestic tourism industry isn't feeling as confident as a few months ago. 

So, there may be tricky times ahead. What can you do about it? 

First of all,…

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Improve reviews, get more recommendations and save time

Improve reviews save time

If you're ever been on one of my marketing workshops, you've probably heard me talking about certain topics again and again. Some might even say I nag...

Here are some points I keep making - they probably sound familiar? I go on about them because they're key to the success of your business. 

Visitors need to be inspired, given information about your surroundings, other local businesses and multiple reasons to visit. They love to get 'insiders' tips' and if you do this right, they'll share…

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Don't advertise until you've done everything else


Have you ever had a random phone call or email offering you the chance to advertise at a bargain price? Or thought you might need to pay money and advertise your business to give it a bit of a boost?

This article could save you a lot of money!

It's never a good idea to advertise just because you think you're getting a bargain. I'll come on to when to advertise later. But first, before you pay to advertise, make sure you've really taken advertise of all the free channels and opportunities first…

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