Ideas & knowhow

Understanding visitors

Sustainability: why you should talk about it more even if you don't feel you're doing enough (yet)

sustainability

I have never met a business owner who is proud of all they're doing to make their business more sustainable. Not even the gold-starred, award-winning ones. Everyone feels like they're not quite doing enough. Some feel guilty. Others fear that someone will come along at any moment with a big waggy-finger and tell them off. 

It's true: we could all do more. But doing something, anything is better than not doing anything. None of us will ever do enough - that's the reality but...

In the meantime,…

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Promote your business to just one visitor - at a time

Promote to just one person

Small businesses have a great advantage over larger ones: they can offer a much more personalised service, and tailor what they do to suit their customers better. 

It can sometimes be hard to convey this to visitors though.

When you write words on your website, in a mailing or on social media do you ever feel like you're casting your words out into the world, not knowing where they'll land or who will read them? I know the feeling!

​It's hard to write in a way that will appeal to potential new gues…

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Trends you can use in your marketing

Take advantage of trends

I've been considering some current trends and what visitors are looking for at the moment. Can you use one of these to either develop an aspect of your business, or use as a different promotional angle to appeal to specific markets? 

Slow... slower: a strong interest in slowing down, pausing to enjoy the moment or to simply spend a longer time relaxing and being 'off-line', 'away from it all' and escaping a busy world

Silence: building on the slower trend - a chance to just enjoy silence, or n…

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Quick marketing boosts when visitors are uncertain

quick boosts

I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with people who wondering if the weather will ever get any better, and tourism business owners who say that bookings seem slower than usual. The two are definitely connected! You can’t change the weather but there are two easy things you you can do about it.

The first easy thing…

The world is in turmoil - war, climate change and economic certainty. It’s natural for people to be reticent about planning day trips and booking breaks. But many do hav…

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Back to marketing basics

Marketing basics

Sometimes it’s worth taking a step backwards to help you leap forward.

Now and then I like to re-consider the basics of marketing. It’s easy to make things more complicated than they need to be.

There’s a short sequence of marketing activities that work, again and again. It’s more about words and ideas than anything else, so it’s free.

Here’s what you need to do to get someone to book, buy or decide to visit

Think: does your current marketing do this? Can you change your social media posts so the…

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Use anticipation and FOMO

anticipation and fomo

Can you feel the excitement and anticipation in the air?

As the weather warms up, holidays approach and we slowly cast off our Winter vests, it’s uplifting to look forward to the Summer.

Social media is filling with news of last minute preparations for attractions re-opening, and visitors are posting about their plans for trips.

Now’s the time to take advantage of two related factors in your marketing: Anticipation and FOMO (fear of missing out).

When I talk to some business owners about using a…

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Lessons from award-judging

important for all businesses

I’ve just spent several days judging accommodation awards for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. I enjoy doing this as it gives great insights into trends and what others are doing to stay ahead. Perhaps surprisingly though it’s also a reminder to go back to basics.

Some of the best B&Bs or hotels miss out on awards (and bookings) because they don’t do the simplest things. The same lessons apply to other tourism businesses, whether attractions, activity providers, or food and drink outlets.

R…

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The best social media for your business

Social media

Facebook, Instagram, X/Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn… It all feels a bit overwhelming doesn’t it?

At least once a week tourism business owners ask me which social media channel works best, or ‘Do I really have to try to do them all?’, and ‘If I’ve only got time for one, which should I choose?’

It really depends on what you’re trying to do and who your target markets are, but there is one social media channel that works best for most tourism businesses. I’ll get to that in a moment.

If you’re feeling ov…

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Missing chances to increase your revenue?

Increase revenue

Are you leaving money on the table? Or maybe just not attracting people who want to spend money with you?

There are  reasons why you may not be attracting visitors or making as much money as you'd like.

Once you've considered each of these, small actions can have a big impact.

1. You don't make it clear who/what kind of people can benefit from your business. People often think something isn't for them, for example they may like the look of a holiday cottage but just not know what they'd be ab…

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A fast growing trend you need to use

insider tips

I’ve been going on about this for a while. If you've been listening, you may be feeling a little smug as you'll have seen rsome good results already...

If not, its worth psying attention to this trend as its noty going away!

One of the biggest post-pandemic trends in tourism is an increased desire among visitors to gain insights into places that give them an ‘insider’s view’.

I’ve noticed it in two different generations:

  • younger people who don’t want to follow the crowd, are independently-…

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