Why destination marketing is essential for hoteliers
Destination marketing is often undervalued by hoteliers. As a general rule, hoteliers are more apt to take pride in and heavily emphasize the professional, luxury services that they provide. However this is not always the most effective way of driving bookings.
To truly succeed at marketing your hotel, you need to emphasize one vital feature – the destination.
Obviously any hotelier worth their salt will touch on this point. If nothing else, they provide a brief statement about the location of the hotel, after all, if customers have no idea where you are, why will they book with you?
But the destination is so much more than that.
Destination is about rugged wild landscapes waiting to be viewed through the hotel window every time a guest pulls back the curtains. It’s about stunning sunsets over verdant green forests that take your breath away. It’s about that icy, winter-crisp air waiting for guests the moment that they step out of their villa.
Potential guests don’t want to KNOW where your hotel is. They want to FEEL where they could be.
When you correctly implement destination marketing, you transform a statement of your location into an evocative image, one that customers will yearn to experience for themselves.
Destination and USP
If you want to drive bookings, and improve your conversion rate, then you must lean into your destination marketing. Perhaps your destination is actually your primary Unique Selling Point (USP)
If that’s the case, then you could be losing out on hundreds of potential guests a year. Statistically speaking, newlyweds are more likely to select their honeymoon destination based on destination marketing being pushed as a hotel’s USP.
Consider it from a guest’s point of view – they are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Memories that will last for decades and never fade away.
When it comes to long speeches, they say that an audience won’t remember what you said, but how you made them feel. Hotels are no different in this respect, and you need to push that feeling BEFORE they even make a booking.
Destination marketing possibilities
It doesn’t have to be all about lush landscapes either. Every hotel possesses their own unique attractions. You merely have to consider what you have to offer. It could be:
- Sightseeing, historical buildings etc.
- Recreational activities
- Regional tours, spa, pool, ski slopes etc.
- Easy to visit, transport available to a wide range of places
- Sports, cultural celebrations etc.
Every hotel offers an entirely unique experience and a responsibility to do it justice. Sometimes it may be difficult to pinpoint, and other times you may simply have too many options (which is by far the best situation!)
Where does destination marketing fit in the guest booking journey?
Holidaymakers and guests of any distinction aren’t going on holiday simply to stay at your hotel.
It’s disappointing, but it is the truth.
Guests will always begin their customer journey with a destination in mind, and in the process of researching and googling their desired locations they eventually settle upon a hotel to stay at. It is this section of the customer journey that is so vital to guests. This is the moment when their vague idea of a plan gains definition.
Your potentials guests currently have an unspecified plan, it is formless and directionless. By successfully employing destination marketing, you begin to form an image in their mind. Like wet clay on a potter’s wheel, you take this ephemeral concept of a holiday and direct it into a well structured desire to stay at your hotel.
Be it a honeymoon, holiday or business trip, destination marketing is essential to landing those guests!