Lessons in Tourism Marketing from a Road Trip
I have just returned from a road trip in our motor home in which we really had no agenda or itinerary for two weeks other than to travel and enjoy our journey. Well, perhaps we had one other requirement: to feel cool weather. This was the ultimate luxury for Floridians toward the end of July.
There’s a travel blog that details the traveler’s perspective on these trips called How Do I Travel which i write. However, professionally, I’ve taught tourism courses and been in the tourism industry for many years in Florida so it is impossible to totally shut that down when travelling. So many small towns I go through I want to desperately help. To help them to develop their tourism business but it is not possible to do with such limited time. And some do not want help. Others are just nowhere near having the infrastructure. I always order print publications from destinations we are possibly going to visit and this these publications give us ideas on directions to head. And I always learn about our wonderful tourism industry when I travel and bring back ideas and trends to share.
The advertising and the editorial content of visitors guides, whether online or in print, is fascinating to me and you can learn so much from it. And being a tourist as well as a destination marketer I hope to bring some type of interesting angle when looking at these guides and ads. I learn a lot when doing it and I hope to pass on some of that knowledge through this blog.
As I write the travel blog portion of this trip on another blog, I will be looking for interesting examples of destination marketing, real-life visits and how those might have been improved or just simply surprising tourist destinations that are completely off the radar. When taking a road trip (at least me anyway) you really don’t know where you’ll end up or what you’ll find. It is all spontaneous but based on awareness of the product around you.
One of the joys of travel is finding that interesting destination that really was unexpected and finding a destination that simply isn’t a destination but is enjoyable and interesting for what it actually is despite the fact that you can’t get a magnet with the town’s name on it to save your life. I am fortunate to have grown up and gone to school in the Harrisburg – York – Lancaster – Lebanon market. Gettysburg and Hershey were staples of local trips. I never realized then just how significant this area is in the tourism industry and how well the region’s product is developed. I was re-energized reading a story about how to turn Harrisburg into a cultural tourist destination recently that has since had several stories published on the subject. It can be done and so while the trip was enjoyable and restful, my mind was working and my thought is to share some of those thoughts here.
So as I manage to wade through the travel stories in the evenings and weekends and consult with the visitors guides that brought me there, I’m sure i’ll come up with some interesting tourism thoughts that might help professionally and will post those here. In the meantime I will continue to blog about museums, finance, marketing and general management in addition to tourism – all of which are closely linked. Thanks for following.