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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 Eight: Special Events

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With proper planning and execution, special events can be powerful promotional and marketing tools for attractions. Events bring people together for a specific purpose and provide them with a reason to celebrate, interact with others, and be entertained. Author C.A. Preston explains, “Events are about excitement, creativity, and enthusiasm and the generation of experiences and memories.”1

A special event can be a form of brand marketing. It serves as a way of making people aware of an attraction and bringing them into the venue. An event provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the attraction itself and what it has to offer customers in the way of entertainment, leisure, education, and fun. A well-developed event may also appeal to journalists interested in bringing it to the attention of readers and viewers. As Preston notes, “In creating a well-received event, it is possible for an organization to target a number of important audiences with positive public relations.”2

Special events can vary in size and scope, depending on the nature of an attraction. They may be something as small as a wine-and-cheese reception held before the opening of a museum exhibit or as large as a city-sponsored festival designed to bring tourists to a specific locale. Some events are seasonal, marking an occasion like Halloween or Christmas. Others might be a routine part of an attraction’s operations, such as a monthly speaker series.

Whatever the purpose, events have the potential to entice large...

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