As we stride into Spring, dodging puddles and making the most of the sporadic appearances from Mr Blue Sky, let’s consider how venues and destinations can capitalise on the Great British Summer.

  • British Tourism is worth around £127bn to the UK economy, – that’s 9% of the UK’s GDP (Deloitte 2015)
  • 2016 tourism forecast is for 36.7m visits and £9bn in visitor spending. That is +3.8% YOY and +4.2% YOY respectively (Visit Britain)

Okay, so it is late in the day to start thinking about attracting the hoards of summer tourists to your venue or destination. Most tourists will have done their planning, and have their itinerary already mapped out.

However, there are still tactical opportunities to reach this lucrative market, and it is all about getting mobile. With cheaper roaming rates and millions of free wifi hotspots around the UK, more and more tourists are using their mobile phones as they key point for accessing information while they are on holiday.

  1. Raise your tourist profile: go where tourists are looking for information. You need look no further than social media: Trip Advisor, Google Places, Facebook etc. These are free tools, and really don’t take much time to keep updated. Make sure you keep track of any comments though, and manage your responses to both praise and criticism. Don’t leave comments or questions unanswered – there is nothing that customers hate more and it’s a sure way to create a viral storm.
  2. Targeting and personalisation: a little bit of budget can go a long way. Online channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have detailed demographic, geographic and personal information about their customers. Work with them to invest in a bit of targeted paid posting to ensure you are reaching visitors to your neck of the woods. And check your metrics. If something is providing a good ROI, do it more. If not, tweak it. Or bin it.
  3. Stay connected: maximise your own networks and reach by tapping into others. Connect, befriend, follow other people, places or personalities showing an interest in your sector. Make sure you are seen in their worlds. Follower Wonk is a great tool for growing and understanding your social following.
  4. Content is King: we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again… keep the content on your online channels up to date, interesting and engaging. As well as remaining relevant, you will also see an improvement in your SEO optimisation. Consider using paid for posts to widen the reach of particularly interesting snippets…for less than a few hundred pounds you can end up being seen by millions of eyeballs.

To find out more on how you can generate footfall to your venue / attraction this summer, contact Ian on ian.sykes@438marketing.com or call 0207 653 1958.