Tourism Public Relations

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Tourism Public Relations

What is Tourism PR?

Also known as ‘earned media’ or simply ‘press’, tourism public relations involves working with journalists, bloggers and influencers to tell your business’s story. If you have ever picked up a magazine on a plane or stumbled across a travel story online and thought, ‘Wow, I have to go there!’ then you know the power of positive press. Those articles didn’t just happen, they required considerable legwork and expertise in working with travel media.

The benefits of tourism PR are manyfold. A great story can inspire your target audience and PR is often regarded as one of the best top-of-the-funnel ways of raising awareness about your business or tours. But it also has value further down the customer journey, and can motivate a booking-ready customer to choose your company over a competitor’s. Press can be a powerful way to introduce new tours or offerings to reach entirely new markets.

But few people realize how valuable tourism PR can be to your online marketing. Of all the ranking signals Google uses to determine where your website shows up in search results, one of the most important is backlinks and press mentions. Here quality counts more than quantity, and since editorial sites have high domain authority, if you manage to get them to write about your business, that can improve your SEO for years to come.

PR as Storytelling

Harness the power of storytelling to engage your audience and reach new ones. We suggest trying to look at your business through as many different lenses as possible. Current events, popular culture, and culinary angles can all be good tie-ins for press. Business travel, art and architecture and cultural events can make strong stories. If you are on the cusp of a trend, that might be of interest to a journalist or editor. Is there someone in your company who is an expert in the field and might make a great character for a story or an interview? Often, business owners are so focussed on their niche, that they fail to see all the other great stories that can be told. Make it your goal to be constantly finding and telling new stories about your business.

How to Start a Tourism PR Program

Any successful tourism PR program must begin with the right strategy. That means knowing your ideal customers, what motivates them and what types of media they consume. Craft powerful pitches and send them directly to editors and journalists. Blanket press releases are seldom successful. Instead, a targeted approach works best. If you are able to, consider hosting media on press trips, aka FAM trips (for familiarization), so they can experience your tours and write about them.

Here Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) can be useful to work with, by helping to vett journalists and even covering some of their travel expenses. Make it a goal to host media in your low or shoulder season, since tours with space are perfect for putting a journalist on.

Key Components of a Tourism PR Program:

There are a lot of things to consider when building a successful tourism public relations campaign, but each of these is essential to getting great press and ultimately, more bookings.

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Integrate PR into your Tourism Marketing

Getting a great story in a major publication can be a coup for a tour operator. The spotlight and recognition feels awesome and those article backlinks can be sending your site traffic and SEO for years to come.

Aventur’s experience in fully integrating tourism marketing and PR is unmatched in the industry. We are a tourism PR agency and a marketing agency. Our roster of PR experts can handle everything from story development and pitching to complete FAM trips. Contact us today to learn more.

A few of the places our clients' stories have appeared

tourism PR tear sheets

I’ve collaborated with Darryl on adventures everywhere from Vancouver Island to Tahiti, and I’ve seen his organizational skills in action. Darryl is a focused, hard-working professional who knows what journalists need to make stories come alive.” 

Lucas Aykroyd is an award-winning travel and sports journalist. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostNational Geographic, and The Globe and Mail, among others

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