The power of sound public relations practices are invaluable to tourism clients, but a great marketing project has the power to convert real dollars for your key partners. At Walker Marketing, media outreach is the tip of the spear for garnering interest in tourism assets. When coupled with an offer that positively affects the very institutions that benefit from tourism, you can create the ultimate win-win situation.
When tasked with finding avenues to benefit the partners that support tourism efforts, plans were created to offer business and service discounts to non-residents. These discounts were meant to foster additional visitation to some of the very businesses that fund tourism efforts. After careful planning and client consultation, it was decided that a multi-faceted coupon book for local businesses and services would fit the bill nicely. There would be no cost to tourism partners for participation in the coupon books, only the honoring of a nominal and redeemable discount.
The coupon book program consisted of eight key categories including hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, outdoor sports, shopping, photography and car care. The individual discounts were fairly standard—usually between 10-20% off the regular price of goods and services. Once completed it was determined that the coupon books should be distributed primarily among true visitors to the area, not just existing residents. This was accomplished by onsite distribution of the books at several pre-determined large-scale events or celebrations—all of which typically draw crowds from across the region.
The real power of the coupon books comes from distributing to an already captive audience. Non-residents—the tourists—were already in the area attending events or celebrations and the individual coupons provided a way to lengthen stays and foster further spending in local businesses.
In today’s tight economic times, the value to discounted goods and services are still very much on the mind of the public. The coupon book was a perfect fit for the tourism partners, as they were distributed at events previously highlighted by media outreach efforts. Tourists were drawn in and given a book of local discounts, which it turn fostered additional time and spending on a local basis. They see the value in having a conversion opportunity which benefits them directly and the visitors you have attracted now have another reason to return. That’s the ultimate win-win situation.
Consequently, the effectiveness of the coupon books can be measured quite easily—as reported by the response rate of the participating category businesses. So far, the business partners have reported regular redemptions of the individual coupons and it is a program they would like to see continued once the coupon books expire later this year.
We would like to hear from you. Have you completed any couponing books or similar projects? If you have a creative example, share it with us!