Differentiating your tourism campaign to attract international visitors

Public relations executives often rely on email blasts to communicate their message. But those types of messages don’t always resonate with the target audience. When it comes to destination marketers, the challenge lies in creating a durable brand. The brand should capture the essence and values of the location. It should also effectively reach and engage the target market. To overcome this challenge, destination marketers must develop comprehensive strategies that encompass various aspects. That includes infrastructure, culture, geography, history, and the unique offerings of the destination.

Differentiation in the attention economy

In a highly competitive tourism market, differentiation is critical for tourism campaign destinations to stand out from the crowd. Generic advertisements featuring pristine beaches and blue skies fail to distinguish one destination from another. Instead, successful destination branding requires a deeper understanding of what truly sets a place apart from its competitors. Beyond the sun and sand, it’s the values, personality, and emotional connection that persuade potential tourists to choose one destination over another.


In the contest for customers and their attention, travel campaigns transcend traditional marketing techniques. These days, they tend to enter the realm of brand management. Good brands have the power to evoke emotions, create an identity, and improve the perceived value and desirability of a destination. Just like consumers choose lifestyle products to express themselves, the choice of a holiday destination becomes a significant indicator of lifestyle. To capitalize on this, destinations must develop brand personalities. Those personalities should align with their core values. They also need to resonate with the aspirations of their target audience.


Travel campaigns face numerous challenges due to the decentralized nature of the tourism industry. They must navigate the interests and objectives of various stakeholders. That includes governments, chambers of commerce, private companies, and civic groups. Finding a balance between these diverse interests and creating a brand identity that’s acceptable to all requires skillful management. Additionally, the authenticity of the destination must be preserved. Visitors must experience the promised brand values to build a lasting connection.

Brand identity

To establish a durable brand identity, marketers that create tourism campaigns must follow a multi-step process. First, they must identify the core values of the locale. This is done through extensive research and stakeholder consultation. The process involves surveying local businesses, economists, previous visitors, and potential tourists. Second, the destination’s position in the marketplace must be defined. That way, marketers can translate its unique offerings into brand personalities. This requires perseverance, as building a powerful destination brand takes time and incremental efforts.


Politics and limited resources often hinder destination branding efforts. Tourism organizations must maintain their role as coordinators of promotional resources. They need to take command of both branding and product development. Otherwise, larger operators and transportation companies will dictate the destination’s appeal. This will end up leaving smaller players and the local economy at a disadvantage. By establishing a unified brand identity, destinations can attract attention. They can also build pride among locals while appealing to tourists through travel campaigns.


With shrinking budgets for marketing tourism campaigns and intense competition, destinations must find innovative ways to outsmart instead of outspend their competitors. Traditional marketing strategies alone are insufficient to address the problem with share-of-voice. Instead, destinations can leverage the power of the internet and relationship marketing to maximize the reach of their tourism campaigns within limited budgets. Engaging with journalists and consumers, utilizing multiple-media portals, and maintaining ongoing communication are essential for sustaining brand awareness.

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