June 04, 2020
By Kim Campbell

Tourism is a wide-reaching industry that affects much more than hotels and booking agencies; local travel impacts the surrounding community and all its businesses. Within the hospitality industry, Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) play a significant role in incentivizing visitors, companies, events, and individual travelers to choose their destination among seemingly endless options.  

Discover these CVB marketing tips that drive tourism and boost the economy 

CVB professionals, like destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and tourism directors, are responsible for and dedicated to generating travel and tourism that powers the surrounding economy. Whether you’re new to destination advertising or seeking to supercharge your CVB marketing efforts this year, these strategies make attracting new visitors to your location easier.  

Supercharge your CVB's digital marketing presence with these 7 tips

  1. Know your destination inside and out 

To attract new visitors and encourage past tourists to return, CVBs must have a comprehensive understanding of their area (i.e., town, region, and overall destination). This includes knowing which travelers, groups, and companies are visiting, when they come, and why. Are there specific attractions, recurring events, or natural wonders that draw travelers?  

What are the primary demographics of your region's tourists, and what attracts them? Do you cater to specific groups like 'leaf-peeping' snowbirds, international corporations, luxury vacationers, and family travelers, or does your destination appeal to a broad range of consumer demographics?   

  1. Take advantage of data 

If you’re unsure which market segments seek out your destination, demand reports and historical data can help identify them. Collect and analyze regional data points to monitor traffic, pinpoint travel patterns, and identify opportunities to drive new business to your area. Some valuable data points to consider include—  

  • Hotel occupancy spikes 
  • Restaurant revenue trends 
  • Event inquiries 
  • Venue site visits 
  • Proposal request numbers 

Dive into data to discover even more about your destination. Collect and analyze essential consumer and behavioral data to identify demographic and destination trends.   

  • When are your peak, shoulder, and off-seasons?  
  • When is business busiest?  
  • When do the most travelers visit your region?  
  • What events, patterns, and travel habits drive these trends?  
  • Is there a large university nearby?  
  • Is your destination a hub for festivals or artisan trade shows?  
  • Is your destination popular during football, festival, or fishing season?  

Once you understand what brings tourists to your area, you’ll be better prepared to entice them to visit again.   

Discover the data to help CVBs drive more group business

  1. Consider your target audience 

A 2023 research study from PLoS One, published by PMC, was dedicated to identifying the top five factors influencing tourist loyalty. According to the study, which analyzed a plethora of information from major academic databases published between 1989 and 2021, the five most influential factors impacting destination loyalty for tourists are:   

  • Degree of satisfaction, 
  • Quality of experience, 
  • Perceived value,  
  • Perceived quality, and  
  • Motivation.   

Think about your current and target customers. Who is traveling to your destination right now? Which travelers come back every year? Consider what customers or events you want to attract in the future. What makes your location unique and valuable?   

  • What experiences does your destination offer that exceed travelers' expectations?  
  • What experience quality can you guarantee travelers, and how do you know?  
  • Do regional hotels, restaurants, and attractions offer enough value for their cost?  
  • Does the perceived quality of what you advertise match what customers get?  
  • Does consumers’ perception of your destination match the image you project?  
  • Why should travelers, planners, or group decision-makers pick your location?  
  1. Be more available  

Expand the CVBs availability to assist planners and travelers by delegating tasks and designating primary contacts for different market segments. Depending on the size of your team, you may designate one individual as the local expert and primary point of contact. Larger tourism teams may have one person focused on corporate events, another committed to generating leisure travel, and another responsible for incentivizing sports teams to visit.   

To increase CVB availability, utilize numerous channels to communicate with travelers, tourists, event planners, and other decision-makers. Connect with tourists and advertise where the planners are using your website, social media pages, destination guides, and blogs. Consider employing a chatbot or an AI-driven text messaging service to communicate with all interested travelers, even those uncomfortable speaking face-to-face or over the phone.  

Finally, gather with your team regularly to share updates, pass along information, and identify the most successful marketing strategies. Learn from each other’s mistakes and commit to increasing, improving, and incentivizing travel to your destination.   

  1. Team up with hotels  

Many hotels, particularly large properties, luxury resorts, and branded hotels, have extensive marketing budgets and multi-person teams that government-funded travel organizations, like CVBs, often do not. Work together to create wide-reaching destination marketing campaigns that benefit both businesses, drawing more consumers to your destination and providing them with a reputable, exciting place to stay. Collaborate to create captivating social media campaigns, partner on eco-tourism initiatives, or create exciting stay packages with tickets or access to other areas your CVB wants to promote.   

  1. Partner with destination marketing organizations 

If you haven’t already, contact DMOs in your area to form a partnership dedicated to driving tourism. Meet regularly to share valuable insights, host events, and brainstorm incentives that could attract companies, travelers, and headlining events to your area. Combine your resources and marketing strengths to create far-reaching destination marketing campaigns featuring area adventure opportunities, highlighting local attractions, or announcing your destination’s new tourism rewards program.   

For example, your area's travel partners could collaborate to create a visitor membership or tourism loyalty program that incentivizes consumers to do business in your area. In addition to CVBs and DMOs, expansive destination marketing efforts should include local restaurants, hotels, bars, attractions, recreation spots, art galleries, and other hospitality-based businesses.   

  1. Focus on the entire funnel 

Every lead generation funnel has three major pieces: the top, middle, and bottom.   

  • Top-of-funnel marketing attracts awareness and introduces consumers to your product/brand/destination. It strengthens your destination’s reputation and grows awareness by providing consumers with informative, engaging, and valuable information.  
  • Middle-of-funnel marketing content generates desire and further interest. During this stage, CVBs strive to move consumers closer to the desired result (i.e., visiting a particular site).  
  • Bottom-of-funnel marketing is dedicated to brand advocacy. At this stage, a call to action typically pushes consumers toward a conversion. Instead of directing visitors to a booking page or meeting inquiry form, destinations may encourage consumers to visit a specific hotel site, open a restaurant page, or click through the remainder of the campaign.   

Destinations may have traditionally focused on upper-funnel marketing, targeting consumers at the discovery stage of their sourcing journey. However, research indicates almost two-thirds of destination marketing and CVB teams will shift their focus to full-funnel marketing this year. Sojern, a travel marketing platform, partnered with Digital Tourism Think Tank to assess the State of Destination Marketing in 2024. Of more than 300 global DMOs surveyed, 70% of respondents stated they would embrace full-funnel marketing campaigns this year.   

  1. Put sports tourism on your radar 

Youth sports is an increasingly profitable industry, with the USA sports tourism market expected to reach $185.3 billion in 2023. Look for sports tourism opportunities in your destination. Do you have space to host a youth travel baseball tournament? Are there multiple soccer fields in your area? Identify opportunities to entice collegiate, youth, and travel sports to travel to your destination.   

  1. Create a rescheduling strategy 

Planners may call you in a panic because they believe an event has been canceled or because their plans fell apart at the last minute. Event organizers, group contacts, and corporate planners often turn to CVBs for assistance and recommendations for nearby alternatives.   

Work with hotels to stay up-to-date on availability, especially during major events, high-demand periods, and inclement weather. Some CVBs create a team dedicated to juggling event changes and rescheduling needs. If you have enough staff, divide your team into two parts: one dedicated to major demand drivers and the other focused on accommodating intricate or luxury events.   

  1. Highlight sustainable tourism initiatives 

Eco-tourism is a more critical consideration for all travelers, including companies and event planners, than ever before. For hospitality businesses and destinations wanting to remain competitive in an increasingly green industry, investing in sustainable solutions is no longer an option for travel brands and destinations; it’s necessary.  

Create sustainable travel initiatives for your destination. Work with hotels, event venues, restaurants, and other businesses to form eco-conscious tourism partnerships, promoting green partners on your social media sites. Lobby for green initiatives and eco-conscious policies that positively impact your area and share your efforts with online viewers. Encourage visitors to participate in local efforts by choosing green hotels, booking eco-conscious venues, and connecting with the local culture during their visit.   

  1. Incorporate short-form videos into your social media strategy 

Short-form videos dominate social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. A 2022 survey conducted by MMGY Global found that 40% of travelers over 30 prefer TikTok as a travel research tool instead of mega-influential search engines like Google. The introduction of Shorts helped YouTube solidify its space in the ever-evolving video-based social media sphere, as new and innovative tools create a more engaging, immersive, and community-based platform for creators and viewers alike.  

To make your CVB short-form video content even more compelling, consider incorporating engagement tools, like live Q&A, polling, and interactive stickers, into videos to encourage user engagement. Open a casual and honest line of communication between the CVB and social media users, responding to comments and posting short-form answers to travelers’ burning questions.   

  1. Collaborate with niche creators  

Partner with niche advertisers and travel experts to create compelling, trustworthy, destination-focused marketing campaigns. CVBs targeting adventure-seekers may partner with outdoor living enthusiasts or eco-tourism experts, whereas destinations that want to attract digital nomads may partner with off-the-grid, nomadic creators.     

  1. Keep your eye on the pipeline 

Monitor tourism and hospitality pipelines to know what businesses or brands are coming to your market. How will new companies affect travel, comfort, and availability in your area? Collaborate with hotels and event venues to share important information, such as pace reports, cancellation trends, anticipated market fluctuations, destination advertising efforts, and rescheduling updates.  

Still have questions about CVB marketing?  

If you want more information about CVB marketing, check out these FAQs.  

  1. What are the core responsibilities of a CVB? 

At its core, the role of Convention and Visitor Bureaus is to provide resources, information, and support for hospitality and tourism in their destination.   

  1. What is a CVB quizlet?  

A CVB quizlet is essentially a set of flashcards tourism professionals use to learn everything they need to know about their destination. From the local “bed tax” to the details of the town’s history, CVB quizlets help tourism professionals become local experts.   

  1. Where do CVBs get money for marketing?  

Like other not-for-profit organizations, CVBs are primarily funded through local governments. While they may receive some supplemental funding from taxes or fees derived from local businesses that benefit from tourism (e.g., hotels, restaurants, and attractions), most of their funding comes from the local government where the bureau resides. Due to limited funding opportunities, creativity and cross-promotion are key to CVB and destination marketing success.  

Now you’re ready to build a CVB marketing strategy that works for you 

You know your destination better than anyone, so you understand how its unique features can benefit companies, adventure-seekers, families, and other travelers. Team up with other hospitality businesses in your backyard to form a powerhouse travel and tourism support network. Strengthen local industry bonds by hosting hospitality networking events that lead to long-lasting relationships. 

Headshot of Cvent writer Kimberly Campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list.

Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.

7 Reasons Hotels Hate Room Lists Blog Right Rail promo
7 Reasons Hotels Hate Room Lists
Ever think about the time and effort that goes into managing room blocks?

Subscribe to our newsletter