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Attracting Attention

Promotion and Marketing for Tourism Attractions

Andi Stein

From theme parks and museums to zoos and aquariums, attractions draw millions of visitors each year. Regardless of type, they all share one common denominator – they are intended to provide visitors with memorable experiences. This book offers information about how to promote and market tourism attractions for maximum results. It looks at different approaches, strategies, tools, and techniques marketers can use when promoting their organizations to the public. Topics include advertising and marketing; media relations; social media marketing; sales promotion and merchandising; special events; guest relations and customer service; employee relations; crisis communications; and social responsibility and sustainability. In addition, it includes a variety of examples from attractions that have implemented successful promotion and marketing activities.
Whether in the form of a news story, television commercial, brochure, website, Facebook posting, or special event, promotion and marketing have the potential to show customers the possibilities that await them. This book addresses the many different ways to reach this potential. It explains how to make the most of promotion and marketing to bring people into an attraction and keep them coming back for more. Attracting Attention offers valuable information for practitioners and for students enrolled in tourism, hospitality management, marketing, and communications programs. It is a handy resource for those working for attractions and tourism-related organizations.
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Chapter One: Introduction

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When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Diagon Alley opened at the Universal Orlando Resort in the summer of 2014, members of the media could barely contain their excitement. Television and newspaper reporters heralded the opening of the resort’s latest addition. Industry magazine writers marveled at its ingenious design. Bloggers lavished readers with tips on how to make the most of their visits.1

The much-anticipated attraction was the sequel to the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Hogsmeade, which had opened at the resort to similar fanfare just four years earlier. Both brought to life the scenes, characters, and stories from the acclaimed Harry Potter franchise inspired by the books of author J.K. Rowling. The successful launch of Universal Orlando’s Diagon Alley was a picture-perfect scenario for attraction promoters and marketers. It was a prime example of what can happen when years of planning, development, marketing, and promotion come together, resulting in a perfect blend of over-the-top media coverage, customer enthusiasm, and, ultimately, increased ticket sales.

← 1 | 2 → Figure 1.1: Roller coasters and other thrill rides add to the excitement of the attraction experience.(Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Kennywood Amusement Park)

Attractions comprise a major segment of the tourism industry. Author John Swarbrooke describes them as the “main motivators for tourist trips” and “the core of the tourism product.”2 Theme parks, zoos, museums, aquariums, national parks, casinos, and iconic attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Las Vegas Strip...

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