5 Strategies to Leverage Tourism Marketing for Economic Development

Posted by Jenny Lee on Jan 11, 2016 1:49:22 PM


266 Million.  The number of jobs that were supported by the travel and tourism industry.

Over the years, tourism has become one of the world’s largest industries and one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.  As growth is only expected to increase, it’s essential your community utilizes tourism marketing and promotion to drive change and growth for your economy.

Does your economic development, chamber or DMO staff understand how to influence tourism marketing to drive your economy’s goals?  Interested in learning how?  Here are five strategies you can use to leverage tourism marketing for your community’s economic development.Tourism_Blog_Pic.png

  1. Marketing strategy, branding and campaign development

Places leave the most lasting impressions, tangible or intangible, on human beings.  People are also the ones making the decision where a company stays or relocates to, and similarly, where they want to vacation.  The world is becoming more competitive at a faster and faster rate, and choices for visitors and companies are becoming more challenging.  As companies work to relocate where their workforce is and as visitors seek out their next vacations, how your brand attracts and retains those audiences is a destination’s challenge of the future.  Having a brand gives you the tools to have a real dialogue about your place.

  1. Tourism as workforce attraction strategy

Why not leverage a visit to your community as a channel to market to those looking to relocate?  Studies show that when potential visitors and business executives are exposed to both tourism marketing and visits combined, those destinations are more likely to be viewed as desirable locations.  Take Southern Vermont’s branding campaign as an example.  Become a Vermonter for a weekend.  Become a Vermonter for life.  Vermont begun to market that the state had more to offer than just a weekend, but that they were also a place to relocate and reconnect with the things that really matter, for life.


  1. Marketing of local assets

Utilize your community’s local celebrities, products and attractions from your community to generate national awareness.  New Mexico True and the 505 salsas brand partnered together to brand the salsa as Certified New Mexico True.  Now whenever anyone sees the 505 salsa, they can be assured the final product was 100% produced in New Mexico.  Similar to this, Pure Michigan partnered with Kroger to promote their produce as grown locally in Michigan.  People coming to shop there can be confident their produce was grown in Michigan and harvested at the peak of freshness.

505_Blog_Pic.png  Pure_Michigan_Blog_Pic.png

  1. Using tourism as targeted industry

Use tourism as an economic force in your community and target it as an industry.  Hospitality, culinary, tours, transportation, sports and recreation – these jobs have the ability to play a significant role in your economy.  Puget Sound could attest to this, as tourism makes up a large part of their economy. Measured in jobs, with over 108,000, it is the largest cluster in the region.  Their tourism and visitor industry has also created substantial upstream and downstream benefits in related industries, additionally supporting the region’s cultural community and quality of life.

  1. Collaborate to maximize impact

Two forces are stronger than one.  Consider participating in an economic development and tourism co-op marketing opportunity.  Or working with economic development and chambers.  Aligning tourism with an economic development message can be a beneficial opportunity with both parties.  Whichever makes sense for your community to partner, the goal is to encourage new development that stimulates growth and visitation, showing prospects that your community is the one to choose.


If you missed our last tourism webinar, click below to check out the recording:

Click Here to Download the Recording

For slides from the webinar, click here:

Click Here to Download the Slides


*Based off 2013 data from the World Travel and Tourism Council

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