6 Location Marketing Ideas for Tourism Brands

By Rebecca White
Published on August 30, 2018

Are you using location marketing to attract more customers and visitors to your local tourism experience?

Did you know, recent research by Google found 85% of leisure travellers only decide on what activities they are going to do in a region AFTER they have arrived in destination?


Google has also found that Mobile Searches for “Things to Do Near Me” have grow 5x in the last 2 years.

This presents a huge opportunity for all locally based tourism experiences – attractions, restaurants/cafes, cellar doors, tours, hire products, accommodation, events and visitor information centres.

Following are 6 location marketing ideas you can do right now to help reach and convert destination visitors into actual customers to your local tourism experience.

1. Optimise for Local Mobile Search

Up to 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business.

Therefore it’s essential you give your website the best chance of showing up in smartphone search results of your potential Ideal Customers.

What you need to do

Think about the questions your Ideal Customer has about your type of tourism experience when they are are already in your destination.

What are their Google “I can’t wait to explore” moments?

What questions do they have that they will be searching for?

  • “Tourism experience” category in destination “x”
  • Map of location x
  • Opening hours
  • Best “tourism experience/coffee/breakfast/pizza etc” in destination “x”

Include this information on your website, either on a standard webpage or a blog post, and optimise it for key search phrases your Ideal Customers are likely to be searching for and also ensure it has a relevant call to action, such as “book now” or “contact us”.


NOTE: It’s ESSENTIAL that you have a mobile responsive website, otherwise your website wont be displayed in smartphone search results.

2. Supercharge your Google My Business Listing

Building on #1, the second important to-do is to check your Google My Business listing.

You need to ensure it is up to date with a description that includes key search phrases, opening hours and contact details.

Google My Business populates Google Maps and Google Trips, and also rank high in organic smartphone search results, especially when people choose the suggested “Near Me” search query.

What you need to do

Read though our blog and follow the steps on how to set up and optimise your Google My Business Listing

3. Rock TripAdvisor “Nearby”

73% of travellers voted TripAdvisor ahead of word-of-mouth, content and official hotel ratings as the most influential source of information for holidays. These results were highest among Generation X (74%) and Australian (82%) travellers.

TripAdvisor App’s has an incredibly useful “Nearby” search function which is used by many travellers when researching their visit when already in destination.

You need to make sure your tourism experience is included in this search.

What you need to do

  • Download or update your TripAdvisor App to your Smartphone
  • Select the “Nearby” search option, and select the category your product is most likely to show up in
  • Confirm your listing is showing up on the map. If it doesn’t, adjust the listing address until it does.
  • Confirm your opening hours and all other contact details are correct.

Repeat the same process on other location-based review apps used by your Ideal Customers, such Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon), Yelp or Wikicamps

4. Improve the ranking of your TripAdvisor listing

Equally important as showing up in the “Nearby” search in the TripAdvisor, is to improve the ranking of your listing in TripAdvisor.

Your ranking is determined by the recency, frequency and quality of reviews. The higher your ranking, the higher you rank in the searches on the TripAdvisor website and smartphone app.

Plus if your listing makes it to the top 10 category of your TripAdvisor experience in your destination, you may also be featured in organic search results of “Top 10 Best “Destination” “Product” Type.


What you also need to do

Are you working for a Destination?

Then #2 & #3 also apply if you work in a Destination.

Work through the steps we cover in the TripAdvisor for Destinations and also Improve Visitor Experiences using TripAdvisor and Google blog posts to ensure your Visitor Information Centre and local government managed free or paid attractions also have a chance to be found in the “Nearby” search and improve the listing rankings for each product.

5. Feature in Facebook “Nearby Places” + “Nearby” App

Like TripAdvisor, Facebook has a “Nearby Places” on their smartphone app.

Facebook also has a stand alone “Nearby” App.

It works in a similar way to TripAdvisor and allows people to find local businesses such as accommodation, restaurants and attractions.

What you need to do

  • Check your Facebook Page Template is set to “Local Business” otherwise your Page wont be displayed on the map
  • Check your contact information is correctly updated, including your opening hours
  • Ensure you have your Facebook Page Call to Action button set to “Contact Us” or “Book Now” to encourage customer conversions, such as calling or booking online
  • Encourage customers to check in and/or leave a recommendation. According to Facebook this helps strengthen your chance of your Facebook Page being shared in the Facebook Nearby Places search or App. Plus it is fantastic customer advocacy for your tourism experience!

6. Location based Facebook Ads

Finally, depending on your tourism experience, you could also look at testing out some Location Based Facebook and Instagram Ads.

These are Ads that are shared with Ideal Customers who are visiting your region.

What you need to do

  • Check out this great resource from Jon Loomer which takes you through Facebook Location Ads in detail.
  • Then if you aren’t familiar with how to run Facebook Ads, work through the free training in the Facebook Blueprint eLearning
  • Target people who match your Ideal Customer demographics and interests. Then choose location targeting “People Travelling in this Location”, and your relevant action you want them to take (eg “Call” or “Visit” or “Book”).

Facebook Location Marketing Targeting Example.

Important Note on Facebook Advertising

We only recommend going down the path of Facebook Advertising if you have a marketing strategy in place, which clearly identifies your Ideal Customers, and how the different types of Advertising on Facebook are relevant for the different stages of your Ideal Customers path to purchase.

If you need help with this, then check out our next round of our Tourism Marketing Academy + Mastermind which starts again soon.

Over to you.

Which of these location based marketing ideas will you apply for your tourism business or destination?

This blog post was first published in December 2016 and updated in August 2018.


Rebecca White

Rebecca is a tourism marketing specialist and co-director of Tourism eSchool. Rebecca loves working with tourism destinations & operators to create sustainable marketing strategies. Her specialty areas are tourism marketing strategy, visitor servicing, visitor engagement, social media, customer advocacy, customer experience, content marketing & blogging.