Issue #137: Word of mouth for tourism

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Tourist destinations have an inherent word of mouth advantage in that everyone that visits has a camera — but that just means you’ve got to work harder to get them talking about your destination over everyone else’s.

1> Invite big talkers
2> Create a landmark
3> Let them share on-site

1> Invite big talkers

One of the quickest ways to generate word of mouth for your city is to invite big talkers to visit. Look beyond the regular travel writers and invite artists, authors, bloggers, musicians, and business leaders to experience your community. Show your guests a good time with a list of “must-see” things and give them all the wireless internet they need.

2> Create a landmark

Every word of mouth campaign needs a topic — and for tourism, this is often in the form of a landmark. Franksville, Wisconsin, for example, created their landmark in the form of the Kraut Festival which today annually attracts 40,000 people. Your community’s landmark may be a historical site, a big festival, or the world’s largest ball of something — but whatever it is, it’s got to be the kind that visitors take their picture with, that makes lists of “things to see before you die,” and makes visitors drag their friends across the country to see it.

3> Let them share on-site

Make it easy for visitors to your community to post and share content right from your tourist attractions. It could be as fancy as setting up terminals or wireless hotspots so visitors can create blog posts or share photos on-site, or as simple as taking their picture and posting them to your community’s Facebook or Flickr pages. If you can help them share content during their visit, you won’t have to wait until they get home for their word of mouth to start.

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