Tourism marketing: time to get it right

20/06/2020 - 13:51

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While there’s speculation that WA’s borders will open to the domestic market in a matter of weeks, international travel won’t be on the agenda for Australians anytime soon.

Ningaloo Centre website, designed and developed by Market Creations

While there’s speculation that WA’s borders will open to the domestic market in a matter of weeks, international travel won’t be on the agenda for Australians anytime soon.

July school holidays are just around the corner and with neighbouring favourites of Bali and Thailand off the cards, many Western Australians are considering destinations and experiences within our State’s borders for the first time.

This presents an unprecedented opportunity for local government. Tourism is a key economic driver for WA, generating 100,900 jobs and injecting $12.2 billion into the State economy. From a local level, business owners and operators in region often rely on a visitor market for a significant portion of their revenue.

Now is the time for local governments across the State to invest in tourism marketing, showcase their unique assets, and entice holiday-goers to their locality.

Market Creations is a marketing agency that has operated in WA for over 20 years and supplies website design, development and hosting services to 86 of the local government authorities in Western Australia.

Managing Director, Darren Lee said there are a number of quick wins local governments can implement now to grow their tourism base, but it all comes down to strategy.

“Without a well-developed strategy in place, your marketing is likely to be ad-hoc and reactive, rather than proactive,” said Mr Lee.

“A marketing strategy should detail key messages and channels and should be continually referred to in order to ensure all communications are strategic, consistent and timely.”

Pilbara-based local government, the Shire of Ashburton recognised the post COVID-19 tourism opportunity early and engaged Market Creations to develop a marketing strategy to support and grow their visitor economy.

The Shire of Ashburton offers a unique ‘reef to range’ experience, with the immaculate coastal waters of the Mackerel Islands on the Western boundary of the Shire, and the raw beauty of Karijini National Park on its Eastern border. As part of the strategy, Market Creations will be working with the Shire to refine their brand, key messages, stakeholder engagement and digital marketing activities.

“At this time, local governments should critically assess their tourism offering and how it presents to the market. Potential customers will be searching online to find a WA-based holiday destination which captures their hearts and sparks interest – so your digital presence is vital,” said Market Creations Managing Director, Darren Lee.

“Does your tourism offering have its own website and social media? If no, why not?”

Market Creations recently designed and developed a custom website for the Shire of Exmouth’s Ningaloo Centre. As a multisite to the Shire of Exmouth’s corporate site, the Ningaloo Centre is hosted on the same platform but features a completely unique design.

Users can fully immerse themselves in the ‘Ningaloo experience’ and easily find information on tours, accommodation and events without the distraction of Shire news. The website’s live Instagram feed showcases images captured by visitors to the area, acting as a visual testimonial.

“Tourism marketing is all about storytelling. Through a well-planned strategy, you can define your key messages and execute them consistently. This will build brand awareness, trust and ultimately attract customers,” said Mr Lee.

“Then it’s a matter of telling the story in the right place. The vast majority of customers search for information online prior to purchasing, so your digital presence needs to be up to scratch and capture their attention.”

“Tourism is a competitive marketplace, but the current climate presents an incredibly valuable opportunity and WA local governments should strike whilst the iron is hot.”

To learn more about how Market Creations can help you develop a marketing strategy or refresh your digital presence, contact (08) 6168 1000 or visit www.marketcreations.com.au

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