When you’re on vacation in a brand new city, you want to experience the local color of the place, which means eating at the best restaurants, visiting the most beautiful beaches, and seeing the famous sites. You also want to shop at interesting stores for souvenirs or to outfit yourself for adventures at your destination.
As board sports retailers, this last point is important. Whether you sell surfboards, skis, or skateboard gear, there’s a good chance you have products someone visiting your city wants and needs. If your store is located in a tourist destination, then there’s an even better chance that many of your potential customers aren’t locals—they are in town for a few days or a few weeks, and they can be a great source of revenue.
So how do you reach these tourists and convince them to shop at your store? By tweaking your marketing strategy just for them. These tips will help.
- Set up a booth at or sponsor a big local event.
Whether it’s the county fair, a festival, a concert series, or a competition, the chances are good that someone is traveling from out of town to attend. Tabling at these events and/or getting your logo onto various marketing materials can help you reach this target audience. At the very least, they’ll see your name and think of you later, when they need something you happen to sell.
- Partner with tourism agencies and services.
Get to know the owners of the best hotels in town, talk to the hospitality branches of your local government, and get in touch with your favorite restaurants, attractions, and events. Smart tourists know to ask locals for recommendations, and if you’ve asked certain people to mention you, it could go a long way—after all, word of mouth is the best advertising strategy. Just don’t forget to return the favor!
- Leverage social media to welcome tourists as they arrive.
Twitter’s advanced search feature makes it easier than ever to find tourists. Searching for exact terms such as “visiting CITY,” or tweets containing the words “vacation” and “CITY” can help you zero in on people planning a trip to your location. A friendly tweet telling them to enjoy their stay, asking them to stop by, or even offering them a promo code is quick, simple, and great customer service.
- Use Instagram to search the airport.
Instagram has a convenient location feature, where you can see who has taken a photo at certain places. The airport is a great place to monitor, especially if you’re a business looking to appeal to tourists. Again, comment on photos and be direct by asking people to stop by your store while they’re in town, wishing them a great visit, and welcoming them to your city. Be a resource and make people feel good about their vacation destination, and they’ll respond accordingly.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly and optimized.
When we’re traveling, we rely on our smartphones even more than usual. From looking up a restaurant to calling an Uber to seeing what fun things are around us, our phones guide us through new cities and help us plan our trips. If your business wants to appeal to tourists, your website must be responsive (IE, easy to view and simple to navigate on any device) and have great SEO. These two features will mean visitors will find your store during their Google search, will feel welcomed and informed by your direct and easy-to-use website, and will be walking through your door before you know it.
We hope these tips have given you some new and innovative ideas for marketing your business to tourists and visitors. Here’s to a great summer!