The Friday Five: Destination Marketing in a Small Town

Posted by Emily Watson on Jul 27, 2018 8:06:00 AM
Emily Watson
Friday Five V2This week's Friday Five is focused destination marketing. Destination marketing is used promote any place people may want to visit such as a town, city, region or country. The main goal is to attract more visitors to a certain location in hopes to help the overall economic health.  Here are some great articles and resources that focus on why destination marketing in a small town is so important:
  1. How to Make a Small Town a Big Deal 
  2. Marketing a Small Town
  3. Here's What Google Thinks: Five 'Next Practices' in Destination Marketing 
  4. 5 Killer Tourism Marketing Campaigns That Make Us Want to Travel
  5. Sustainable Tourism: Five Essentials for Rural Areas and Small Towns


How to Make a Small Town a Big Deal - Stamp

Since U.S tourism-related employment increased to 7.6 million jobs in 2016 (National Travel and Tourism Office), it's no wonder that destination marketing has become a growing trend in the past few years. This article outlines the major focal points of destination marketing and what channels you can use to market a small town destination. 

Marketing a Small Town - The Goss Agency 

One thing people dislike about destination marketing is dishonesty about a place they are paying money to visit. Honesty is one of the things travelers look for when conducting research on their next adventure. Small towns should focus on honesty. Travelers who are looking at these smaller destinations aren't visiting those areas for the same reasons they would visit a larger destination. Market your local area by highlighting the fun quirks and things that make that place unique.

Here's What Google Thinks: Five 'Next Practices' in Destination Marketing - Forbes 

In an increasingly mobile centric world, it only makes sense that destination marketing should be utilizing mobile friendly resources as well. Some trends that are emerging in not only marketing as a whole, but destination marketing, is making sure you are sending appropriate messages at the right time for researching travelers, including videos and even virtual reality to help tell stories, and trying to market less to customers. Instead, try inventing unique ideas and ways to make an experience for them when they visit your destination.

5 Killer Tourism Marketing Campaigns That Make Us Want to Travel - TrendyMinds

These unique and fun destination marketing campaigns really caught our eye, and apparently millions of others around the world. "Inspired by Iceland" offers education on responsible tourism with the possibility of winning a free trip to the country! The "Pure Michigan" campaign uses Tim Allen's serene voice to remind us to all take a minute away from our hectic lives to "remember just how beautiful life can be". Maybe Tim Allen isn't in your budget, but you should check out these out-of-the-box ideas to market destinations not everyone thinks about visiting. 

Sustainable Tourism: Five Essentials for Rural Areas and Small Towns - Kanava International

With Tourism ranking as one of the top industries world-wide and creating numerous jobs and money for local communities, it is seemingly an important area to focus on. But as in many other industries, tourism can face many challenges - especially in rural areas. Small towns should focus less on the big tourism industry (which may actually be destroying rural tourism), and really hone in on what makes their place unique. Planning for long term sustainability, staying authentic to local communities, and spreading the word, are all important factors to sustaining small town tourism. 

Having spent a few years working in the tourism industry, it really opened my eyes to see how unique events and destinations bring people in from all over the world to experience what has always been right in our back yard. We may not immediately think of these local destinations as something people want to experience since we see them every day. But think of the last time you traveled somewhere. Why did you go there? Why was it exciting to you? These are all great reasons to market local destinations to show others out there how great your area is! There may be some local historic stories to be told or a really quarky event they may want to check out. Of course the added bonus of an economic boost to your area is never a bad thing! Stay tuned for more destination marketing tips and trends.


Download: 10 Trends  Favoring Rural Communties

Topics: Case Studies, Economic Development, Marketing Tactics, Tourism Industry, Brand Awareness, Marketing Operations

Posted by Emily Watson

Emily Watson was born and raised in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications, focusing in Public Relations. Following college, Emily moved to Colorado where she got her start at a marketing agency as a Project Manager. Upon her return to Pennsylvania a few years later, she worked as an Account Executive managing clients such as New York Philharmonic, Rite Aid, Ruby Tuesday, and Belle Tire. Currently, Emily is a Marketing Strategist at Bull Moose Progressive Marketing located in Meadville. She is on the Senior Student Advisory Board for Slippery Rock University as well as a volunteer for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler.