Tourism is projected to become a billion pound industry in Northern Ireland by 2020.
Whilst that might be the case, there is still plenty of work yet to be done and recently myself and my colleague Jason Powell, of Powell Destination Marketing, had the pleasure of teaming up to host a tourism marketing workshop in Portrush on the north coast.
We set-up shop in the Magherabuoy House Hotel, just off the incredible Causeway Coastal Route, and started our workshop designed specifically for local bed & breakfast and self-catering traders.
Focus on Tourism
Jason started the day with a focus set firmly on the principles of tourism marketing.
With so much support now readily available via Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland it’s important to utilise what’s already out there including the regular opportunities e-zines and in-depth market research.
These two massive organisations have undertaken all of the research needed so we don’t have to.
Instead, we have to focus on creating engaging products and messages for our target customer profiles like the Culturally Curious or Great Escapers.
A Great Escaper wants a holiday linked back to nature in someway so why not package your bed and breakfast rooms with a local walking or hiking trail?
The research tells us this is exactly what they want so now we have to get the message out there!
Focus on Digital
The next step is all about getting these specific messages and products in front of potential travellers.
Nowadays it is essential to do this is via digital channels online and the second half of the workshop allowed me to focus on all things digital whilst also relating back to Jason’s talk earlier in the day.
We focused on using digital signposts to drive people back to your website where direct bookings or enquiries are most likely to happen.
These digital signposts include, but aren’t limited to, popular social media channels, search engines and email marketing.
It was a great day and the feedback has been very positive.
At Counter Digital and Powell Destination Marketing we try to keep things simple when it comes to tourism marketing.
Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland hand us the puzzle pieces; it’s just about us putting them together in the right order and getting out there online!