3 Ways for Tourism Brands to Optimise YouTube

By Rebecca White
Published on November 11, 2019

Does your Tourism brand have a YouTube channel but you haven’t looked at in awhile?

Well, now is the time to give it some love with some simple updates!

Why add YouTube into your marketing mix?

Because YouTube has your potential customers attention.

People are using YouTube to search and plan for their next trips.

Recent research from Nielson’s shows the huge reach and time spent on YouTube by Australians.

Further YouTube statistics tell us that:

Where does YouTube fit with your marketing strategy?

So you can see YouTube has the attention of your potential customers, but where does it fit in with the marketing of your tourism brand?

YouTube has an important part to play in your Search Engine Optimisation and Content Marketing strategies for your tourism brand.

For Trip Inspiration

  • People are searching YouTube for inspiration when deciding to go on their next trip in their “I want to get away” micro moment searches.

For Trip Planning

  • Once people know their next holiday destination, they are using YouTube videos to help them plan out the finer details of their trip.

For Validating Booking Choices

  • People are also looking at videos of tourism experience before booking (or visiting) to confirm they have made the right decision when it comes to choosing a specific tourism experience!

It’s important to note that YouTube doesn’t take away from short, engaging videos you take on your smartphone and share on your Facebook/Instagram pages.

Instead, think of it as an additional channel to grow awareness and interest of your Tourism brand through your more professional videos.

New to YouTube?

If you don’t have a YouTube channel for your Tourism Brand already, we recommend you set up one up through your Tourism Brand’s Google Account, (not through your personal Google Account).

Ready to dust off your YouTube Channel?

However if you have a YouTube channel already, here are 3 tips to get YouTube converting more YouTube users into potential visitors + customers for your business or destination.

1. Optimise your Videos

As a Google product, YouTube gains lots of traction in Google’s search engine results.

So upload your free video content on YouTube and then embed the video on your website.

This would be any up-to-date, professional videos of your Tourism Business or Destination.

There are several ways to optimise these videos to take advantage of both YouTube and Google’s search engine results. These are:

  • Optimise your video filename for relevant search phrases before you upload it to YouTube
  • Make your video public
  • Ensure your video title includes relevant search phrases
  • Write detailed, search phrase rich video descriptions. If you are putting a link in the description make sure you use the https:// prefix before the www so it is a live link. Use the first 22 words strategically, as these are seen in the query page.
  • Add relevant keyword tags to your video (but don’t stuff too many in)
  • Choose the right category for your video
  • Optimise the thumbnail so they engage people’s eye when they look at the video. If you don’t like the three that YouTube has suggested, create your own in Canva.

To complete all these updates, log into your YouTube Channel, and then head into “Creator Studio“.

Then on the left menu, choose the “Video Manager > Videos” which is where your uploaded videos are stored. Work through each of your videos and check all the items above are updated.


2. Create Playlists

Next we recommend you organise your videos through Playlists.

This helps encourage people to explore your channel and learn more about your tourism experience and wider destination.

For Tourism Businesses

  • If you don’t have a lot of videos on your channel, curate in great videos from your regional or state tourism organisation or from complementary tourism businesses YouTube Channels.
  • Create Playlists of the different experiences in your region that are of interest to your Ideal Customer.

For Tourism Destinations

  • Create Playlists of key experiences in your destination, and then curate in great videos from Tourism Operators and local regional tourism organisations.

3. Optimise your Home Page

Finally, you then need to optimise your YouTube channel Home Page.

This is so when people land on your YouTube channel, they see it is on brand, is updated, and it encourages them to learn more about your tourism experience.

What you need to optimise and update includes:

  • Check your Channel Icon: Make sure this is not chopped off and is the same as your profile image on other social channels such as Facebook and Instagram. This is linked from your Google channel, so update it from there if needed.
  • Update your Channel Art.  It’s wide and narrow, so chose a great landscape image of your tourism brand. Alternatively use Canva to create custom YouTube channel art.
  • Update your “About” section. Describe in easy-to-understand language who you are and what your experience is. Make sure you include relevant search phrases your Ideal Customers may be searching for, such as your location and experiences you offer.
  • Update your “Links” and add a link to your website and other social media accounts, so desktop visitors can click through to your website and other social accounts. This done at the same time as updating your About section.
  • Add Sections. Once your’ve organised your own videos and also user generated videos into playlists, it’s then a great ideal to add these to your Home Page, so people can see them when they scroll down.
  • Choose a Feature Video. This is the video people see as soon as they arrive to your YouTube Home Page. Choose a video that gives a good overview of your tourism experiences. You can choose one for new visitors and also returning visitors.
  • Choose Feature Channels that complement your tourism experience, such as your state or region YouTube Channels or other Tourism Operator channels.

Tourism Brands rocking their YouTube Channel

Queensland, Australia

While they are a big Tourism brand with an very active and engaging YouTube channel, they have all the optimisation tips we talked about covered.

  • They have a fantastic optimised Home Page
  • They have used Sections and Playlists really well to showcase the different Queensland experiences for visitors.
  • They have also linked through to their Local and Regional Destination channels on their Feature Channels so people can learn more at a local level.


Adventure Bay Charters

This is a great example of a Tourism Business with a well optimised YouTube channel.

  • Their About section including key search phrases and links to their other social media channels.
  • They have a fantastic Feature Video which provides visitors with a great overview of their tourism experience.
  • They have curated videos from around the region into their Playlists, to add more value to people visiting their channels.

Like to learn about YouTube?

These three tips will get your started with optimising YouTube, however if you would like more tips, check out these articles to learn more:

Over to You

  • Are you using YouTube as part of your marketing?
  • Which of these tips can you apply today?
  • We’d love you to share your channel in the comments below once it is updated with the above tips as we may feature it in future training!

This post was original written in 2017 and updated December 2019 for accuracy

Rebecca White

Rebecca is a visitor economy specialist and co-director of Tourism eSchool. Rebecca has lived and breathed tourism for over two decades, and is passionate about helping regional tourism organisations adapt and evolve their activities to ensure they are adding value to their local communities whilst also remaining relevant to their visitors ever-evolving values and travel planning patterns.