Ideas & knowhow


Is it better to have a large or small marketing budget?

Large or small marketing budget

Asking whether it's better to spend a lot or a little money on marketing probably seems a bit daft. Surely more is better? 

Not necessarily.

I've worked with thousands of tourism businesses over the years, from individual B&Bs to five-star hotel chains, from private houses and gardens to grand stately homes. Less than 10% of them have a significant marketing budget, even the large organisations.

Almost everyone believes they need a bigger budget. But is that really true? 

How much should you…

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Attracting & welcoming walkers

Welcoming walkers

Walking is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits. Many tourism businesses benefit from them, so it makes sense to think about how to attract and welcome them. 

"Walkers" is a very broad term... There are ramblers, scramblers, hikers, people who prefer guided walks... the list goes on. 
Identify which type of walkers would be interested in staying with you and target that group. Think about:

  • Hard core long distance walkers
  • Social walkers
  • Sightseeing walkers
  • Moochers
  • Walking to justif…

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How to make your marketing more consistent

Consistent marketing

There's one thing that makes every marketing activity stronger and more effective.

No, not money. Not even a lot more time. 


Taking one small action every day or week can be as effective as spending ages and pots of money on bigger activities. 

Consistency builds momentum.

It builds trust. It builds awareness. It builds experience.

It builds business and profitability.

What sort of marketing activity am I talking about?

I mean any action you might do regularly (and I do mean…

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Ideas for social media posts in Autumn

Social media Autumn

It's the one thing everyone tells me they struggle with - ideas for social media posts.

What can you write about to keep people interested and engaged, even if your business isn't open or busy at this time of year? 

Here are a few ideas

Before we get started: instead of just scanning through these ideas, I suggest you get a pen and paper (it works much better if you can actively scribble, not just think or type) and jot down related thoughts as you read each topic. Let the list below spark mo…

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Don't just tell - show


We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but how often do we actually use the right photos to convey key points? 

Most businesses have something they need to tell their visitors or need to stand out somehow. A single photo might do the trick. 

Have you thought about the key messages you're trying to convey and then made sure you're using photos that tell that story? 

Years ago I advised a hotelier, Dave, who ran a small hotel in an area that was notorious for dirty and run-down …

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Purpose-driven marketing?

Purpose driven

Who are you? What do you actually do?

What do you care about?

Do you do anything to ‘do good’?

How are you connected to your local community?

What are your values and ethics?

How are you making your business more sustainable?

As money becomes tighter, visitors think more about how they spend their precious income.

Some visitors will turn to chain businesses because they think they’re trustworthy, and offer a standardised product.

Many others are turning their back on faceless chains, a…

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How content marketing can help your tourism business

Content marketing

One of the effects of an impending recession is that many people take longer to make a decision than usual. Visitors may need more reassurance than usual.

When times are tough, businesses tend to do one of two things:

They try to sell like crazy, going into omnipresent overdrive, constantly posting on social media, offering discounts and thinking that sooner or later persistence will pay


They struggle with the sense of doom and gloom, think marketing is probably pointless, and go into se…

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Should you promote your business even when the economy is rubbish?

recession marketing

The economic news is rubbish. Winter is coming. Morale is sinking.

Many are wondering: Is there any point in promoting my tourism business just now?

As this article about the businesses that will survive shows, you do need to believe in a better future and to keep marketing your business. Here are a few other things to think about right now.

My long experience in tourism marketing has shown me that in every recession there are opportunities. People notice the businesses that keep going, those…

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How to deal with uncertainty in your business


There seems to be one dominant theme running through our world at the moment: uncertainty.

In fact, things feel so uncertain, some of the time it’s not even clear what we feel most uncertain about… Rising living costs, the environment, changes in the ways we do business and live, changes in the market place…

I have a bit of a mother hen approach to the businesses I work with. I’d love to gather everyone up under a broad wing, and cluck to tell you everything will be OK. Since even my bingo win…

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Who will survive?


How are you feeling about the months ahead?

Normally the beginning of September fills me with enthusiasm and hope. It's a month of fresh starts, new pens, learning, and looking forward. This year feels different. I’m still full of plans and ideas, but there’s a lot of caution in the air.

Is it all doom and gloom? In this article I take a quick look at which businesses are most likely to survive the tricky times ahead

Tourism is a fluid industry: full of arrivals and departures of both visitor…

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