Entrepreneurs miss out on a lot of opportunities to grow and scale their business, not because of “bad business decisions” but most of the time, it’s due to lack of information. It’s hard to determine what strategies and methods will position your company towards growth when you lack information.
Often times, it’s challenging to understand where the opportunities are and how to monetize them.
You may be overlooking opportunities right in your own backyard. Cities currently account for 45% of global international travel. Travel and tourism attributes towards economic development, growth, innovation and job creation. Your business can benefit from your city’s local tourism and travel.
How? Through your local tourism board, sometimes referred to as the “Visitors Bureau, Convention and Visitors Bureaus”. Visitor Bureaus provide a wealth of regional knowledge, this includes markets, communities, local night life, and lodging. Travelers tend to visit local Visitors bureau websites to plan their trips and create unique experiences.
Travelers are seeking to fully immerse themselves in culture, traditions, history, and indulge in unique local cuisines. Google data found that hotels and flights are booked 12 weeks in advance. Within the 3 months prior to the trip date, the search increases further for experiences. (Google 2019)
Local tourism websites help travelers experience cities like never before, transforming individuals from tourists to locals. Imagine having your business added to the Visitors Bureau website? The foot traffic alone, for your recently opened restaurant would increase significantly.
Here’s 8 ways your business can use the Visitors Bureau to boost your business
The city of Oakland, California does a pretty good job promoting local events such as First Fridays, a monthly street festival that incorporates community, and cultural art. Festival goers experience food vendors, live painters, DJ’s, poets, musicians and more. If you’re hosting a new event; pop up, art exhibit, conference, reach out to your local visitor’s bureau to submit your event.
Check to see what events are likely to be approved. Read the guidelines carefully. Submit your online form. Typically there is no fee associated with having your event promoted on your local bureaus website which is a huge plus considering you’re getting free marketing for your event!
Art & Culture
Art is one of the many creative expressions of emotions, feelings or ideas that enables people to connect with an artist’s work. Art exhibitions gives artists platforms to showcase their work.
Exhibitions are a lot of work. The good news is, there is a community that appreciates your hard work and one that will help promote your latest collection of paintings, sculptures, installations and more. Contact your local Visitors Bureau to promote your event. Most websites have an Arts & Culture section that lists upcoming shows and exhibits.
Festival culture is here to stay, with Nielsen Music estimating that 2 3 percent of the U.S. population attended a music festival in 2018, up from 18 percent in 2017, the biggest year-over-year growth of any kind of live music event.
Every city, and region is known for having some kind of festival. 23 percent of the U.S. population attended a music festival in 2018.
BottleRock, Napa’s fast-growing music festival is held in May attracting over 120,000 attendees. Essence Festival brings over half a million festival goers to the city of New Orleans each year.
Putting together a multi-day event in your local city is challenging but it gives your city a boost economically, while promoting the local music scene. As an organizer promoting an event, it may be beneficial to partner with the local visitors board to get the word out about your event.
Travelers love exploring the nightlife in cities across the globe. Bars & Lounge owners can maximize their marketing efforts by listing their venues on the Visitors Bureau website. More visibility for your establishment means an increase of foot traffic.
Food and Drink
Foodies love good food and drink, more importantly, they love sharing their unique dining experiences with their following. Food bloggers and foodies alike, use the Visitors Bureau website to find local cuisines, the hottest restaurants and the best cocktails.
Some of the most memorable moments can be found on walking tours of cities. Walking tours give travelers an in depth look into the city’s history, culture and traditions. Visitors can take in the sights, sounds and scenery up close.
Walking and food tours
Food is probably one of the most universal common interests we share as humans on earth. Food is an immersive experience into cultures and traditions. Through food, we explore history, customs, and people. There is no better way dive into the local food scene than with a food tour. Food crawls are curated dining experiences that allow foodies to make multiple stops at food trucks, popup dining events, restaurants and cafes.
What good is a vacation if you can’t go shopping? The great thing about local shopping are the boutiques. These shops offer unique designs, jewelry and collections that shoppers usually can’t find anywhere else. Do you own a vintage boutique? Do you sell cool t-shirts? Contact your local visitor bureau to have your retail store added.
The local Visitors Bureau is often times overlooked by entrepreneurs to grow their business. Travelers tend to visit the website to find local events, restaurants, shops and conferences. Each bureau has its own guidelines for what events, products and services they’re willing to promote.
Simply submit your event or company to the bureau and await a response. Once you’re added to the bureau’s website, make sure you add the logo, and promote the feature on all of your social platforms. Use hashtags on Instagram to maximize your reach. When users click on the bureaus website, they should be able to locate your business.
Having your business on the Visitors Bureau is another marketing tool used to raise brand awareness about your company and usually it’s free! Free advertising along with foot traffic? Who can ask for a better marketing tool?